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Running Cables in Hollow Walls

Many homes have internal walls consisting of study timber frames covered on each side with plasterboard (or with lath and plaster in older homes), and modern timber-framed houses also have this type of construction for the inner leaf of their cavity walls.

hollow walls cables diagram

This type of hollow wall provides the ideal route for cables although once the wall has been constructed it can be tricky to get the cable to where you want it without having to cut away some of the plasterboard first. In timber-framed houses, the exterior walls contain a vapour barrier, so new cables can not be concealed within them without damaging it.

What to do?

Start by locating the positions of the wall studs (verticals) and noggins (horizontals) - either by tapping the wall, or by using a metal detector to locate the fixing nails. Then cut away panels of plasterboard with a sharp knife where new accessories are to be fitted, and where the cable run will cross a nogging or stud. Screw supporting battens between the studs to provide fixings for the accessories and drill holes or cut notches where necessary to allow the cables through. When wiring is complete, nail the plaster-board panels back.

Locate the head plate of the partition wall, drill a hole in it and lower a plumb-line.

Where the bob hits a nogging, cut away the plasterboard and notch the timber. Then tie the cable to the plumb-line and use this to draw the cable into place.

Running the cable locate the noggings

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