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Hiding cables in wall, is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by cheesyhammyeggy, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. cheesyhammyeggy

    cheesyhammyeggy
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    I have a hitachi 423000 plasma on order and am having lounge decorated at about the same time it is due to arrive. I am having it wall mounted to free up space and am considering channeling the cables into the wall before the plasterer arrives.
    Having not done this before I would like to know others views on this, what do I need to put the cables in when I embed them in the wall, conduit or what? I presume it will be the media cable and power cord? Also, is it worth it, considering that if I need to remove the tv from the wall, ie for repair etc, I will need to remove cables somehow and damage the wall again?
    As a newbie to plasma I would really appreciate some advice on this as plasmas with no cabling visible look great but I don't want to cause myself unneccessary grief!
     
  2. johndon

    johndon
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    If you put plastic trunking in the walls and then plaster over them, you'll be able to pull your cables through that without having to worry about damaging the walls if you need to remove the cables.

    Just make sure that the trunking is large enough to fit the connectors at the ends of the leads through - I'm about to do the same with my 42PD3000 this weekend, got the trunking from B&Q.

    HTH

    John
     
  3. SimonO

    SimonO
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    If you have a cavity wall, try dropping the cables down the cavity...
     
  4. GaryB

    GaryB
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    Leave a few spare draw wires in the trunking. It makes pulling new wires through in the future a lot easier.
     
  5. sdemmery

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    I installed my Hitachi 400E on Monday night. I decided that after spending this sort of cash on a plasma, hacking a wall about & a bit of decoration was nothing in the scheme of things. Mind you the wife took some convincing :nono:

    Im parinoid when doing jobs like this that there is enough room in the trunking for future cables, so i ended up using a piece of Square Drainpipe which was about 80mm square. The wife thought I was digging a hole to china :eek: I then plastered the whole mess up & painted it. A pic of the results should be shown below.

    The wall also originally had a dado rail, but I really couldnt put up with all the horizonal(Dado) & vertical(Exposed trunking or wires) lines ruining the look of my screen.

    Stuart

    [​IMG]
     
  6. codlord

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    I think its definately worth doing, especially if you are re-decorating anyway, the end results are well worth it. See the "Get your plasmas out for the lads" thread so see lots of pics of different setups - I think you will agree the wall mounted ones with hidden cables look the best ;)

    Ideally you should use some sort of conduit, and I would also install all cables that your plasma supports, so for example even if you are only going to be using component to start with, install scart/s-vid etc too becuase you may have use for them later on and you do not want to have to change anything after all the plastering etc.

    I have just accepted that the cables are permanently in the wall, if you need to take the plasma down for repair/replacement there is no need to remove cables - just get another power cable it will be a common one.

    Oh, and don't forget your centre speaker wire while you are at it if you are going to wall mount it below your plasma.
     
  7. RoyH

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    That's a very nicely completed job Stuart and tastefully put together :smashin: I've just been through a similar process and know how much work is involved but as you mentioned, spending that amount of money deserves the effort of a good installation.

    Some good looking kit as well.

    Cheers,

    Roy
     
  8. cheesyhammyeggy

    cheesyhammyeggy
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    Thanks for the advice, looks like I'm off to B&Q!
     
  9. Brogan

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    Depending on how long the run is, you can always drop the cables behind the skirting.
    It's a simple job to prise it off and minimal work is required when replacing it.
    Of course, you'll still have to hide the cables from the skirting to the appliance but that's generally quite a short run.
    As my cables go from one end of the room to the other, I'm thinking of taking the skirting off and then fixing it back on with screws and little white plastic caps to hide the screws.
    That way I can remove the skirting with ease when it comes to moving/upgrading/replacing kit, etc.
     
  10. Brogan

    Brogan
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    This could prove to be expensive if you leave the system cable (Pio HDE series) buried in the wall - over £200 worth...
     
  11. JonHarper

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    I was told that where possible cables should be run inside trunking to stop the plaster 'attacking' the cables (although you can get special plaster that is much less corrosive). With big enough trunking you can get the cables back out again. The screen will hide the hole at the top and the bottom can either be hidden with a suitable something or a single/double flush mounted box installed with suitable connections. I've done this for my speaker cables - 5 fly leads join the amp to the wall.

    I was also told that cement corrodes cables (even quite old cement) so be carefull running them in an outside wall cavity. I can confirm that wet cenent is very corrosive and really does burn the skin if you don't wash it off fairly quickly.

    Jon
     
  12. JonHarper

    JonHarper
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    Oops, missed a good tip. If you do need to cut some channels you can hire channel cutters from places like HSS. These have 2 cutting wheels with variable depth of cut. A bit of easy work with a chisel and hey presto an extremely neat channel in minutes rather than hours.

    You can also hire SDS drills. These are hammer drills but you can stop the rotary drilling action so you end up with a power chisel. Whilst not as neat as a channel cutter they are far less work than manually chiselling brickwork. You can get bits for them that let you excavate behind skirting etc.

    Jon
     
  13. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Alternatively, if you live in one of these new shoddily thrown up modern boxes, just use a blunt fish to cut through the plasterboard...:rolleyes:
     
  14. whuuf

    whuuf
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    Jon,

    Have you ever used one of the hss channel cutters? If so how did you find it, i've heard they create a real mess, throwing plaster and brickwork everywhere.
     
  15. JonHarper

    JonHarper
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    whuff,

    Sorry, only passing on info - no practical experience. But if you look on the HSS site (www.hss.co.uk) what you need is a Dustless Concrete Cutter. To quote: If you want to cut chases in concrete and masonry, but don’t want the dust that normally goes with the job, this is the tool to choose. Chases up to 40mm (15/8") deep.

    Jon
     
  16. lumpsucker

    lumpsucker
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    Next month I will be putting a new Pio 504 onto my lounge wall which is an externall wall. As I only need worry about one power cable and one Custom connection cable (OK it's 2 cables really) I am thinking I will just drill straight through the wall behind the AV cabinet to take the cables out, and then drill through behind where the plasma will be to take the cables back in. Then seal up the holes with silicon. I assume the cables are ok exposed to the elements as it seems to be OK with the sattelite coax, and I can always encase the cables in trunking against the outside wall if I want to.

    As you can tell I am no DIY buff but it seems a quick and tidy out of sight way of achieving the same result as chasing but with easier access to the cables.

    Obviously I'll get someone who knows what they are doing to drill the holes and screw the wall bracket in but I reckon this will work OK ??
     
  17. Brogan

    Brogan
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    It will have to be quite a large hole to get the cable ends through.
    Personally I wouldn't do it this way as the (10m) system cable is £200 and it's an expensive cable to be tacking to the outside of a wall.
     
  18. lumpsucker

    lumpsucker
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    Hi Brogan,

    yes I was worried about the plug ends but I reckon the hole need only be big enough to get a dvi plug through, about 1 inch. I only need to use the supplied 3 metre cable and I wont tack it, I'll probably just tack some conduit / truncking around it .

    What do ya reckon ?
     
  19. Brogan

    Brogan
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    If it's only 3 metres, are you sure it's long enough to go through the wall (about 30cm) and back again?
    i reckon the hole will have to be big enough to get both connectors through otherwise you will have to pull one connector cable through first and then try and get the other one through with a cable already in the hole - much easier to tape them and pull them through in one go.
    I presume that this external wall is in your back garden or somewhere equally as private? You don't really want cables where the general public can get at them - you know what kids are like.
    Definetely use trunking - if only to protect the cable.
    I would also check whether the cable is UV and frost resistant.
     
  20. SimonO

    SimonO
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    Hi lumpsucker... I have just cut a 100mm diameter hole through my living room wall to take a ducting kit to cool my new AV cabinet... If your external wall is a cavity type (plaster on Thermalite then cavity then a couple of courses of external brickwork) you could look to drop the cables down the cavity... Only thing you may run into is insulation in the cavity but you could drill an inspection hole to see whats in there... This is how I intend to run the cables to my plasma... When I finally decide which one to go for..!
     
  21. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Simon, I would make sure this hole does not allow air that is too moist/cold, etc. to reach your equipment, otherwise you will get problems.
    I had terrible problems at a previous house as the consumer unit (fuse box) was on an external wall and under the right (wrong) weather condtions, damp air used to get blown up the cavity and trip the circuit.
     
  22. lumpsucker

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    Thanks for that Brogan,

    I think I am OK for length (oor er missis), and I can check out pulling the double cable through in a simulation first, although the new pio system leads are supposed to be very small compared to previous models.
    The outside wall is totally secure from joe public so no worries there. I didn't know whether cable exposure to the elements was a concern but I'll check that out.

    Thanks For your help

    Lumpy
     
  23. Brogan

    Brogan
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    No problems errr...Lumpy :D

    Some plastics can become very hard and brittle when exposed to the elements.
    I would suggest that the system cable is designed for internal use and therefore may not be suitable for external installation.
    Worth checking with Pioneer.
     
  24. lumpsucker

    lumpsucker
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    Thanks SimonO,

    Yes I think my wall is that type. I was assuming that insulation would be the problem in pulling the cables through the gap but as you say I could check that out first before drilling straight through.

    Brogan - yes I'll have to make damm sure that those holes are sealed air tight !

    thanks again

    Lumpy
     
  25. SimonO

    SimonO
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    Yeah... I did worry about that, however the cabinet gets so hot that I'm sure the air flow will be out rather than in... It also vents out into a covered car port so it's not too exposed... The vent on the outside also has those little flaps... Time will tell, but if worse comes to worse I can always seal it up... I really had no other practical way of cooling the cabinet as it runs wall to wall...

    Lumpsucker... Definately check your cavity for insulation as this is a very simple job if you have a clear run...
     
  26. whuuf

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    Jon

    I just looked at the Dustless Concrete Cutter from HSS and at around £50 a day I think i'll use a bolster lol.
     
  27. Brogan

    Brogan
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    I don't know the construction of your houses but with these new builds, surely there's enough gap between the plasterboard and the breezeblock, unless it's dot and dab in which case it'll just be a few mil so probably not....
    I still think skirting boards are the best bet as there is usually a decent gap behind the skirting anyway as the plasterboard doesn't come all the way down to the floor.

    Me ,I'm just going to do what I always do - run it on top of the carpet around the edge of the room.
    I never stay in a place long enough to bury cables :rolleyes:
     
  28. whuuf

    whuuf
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    just moved into my house and it was built 1869 so no chance of seeing any breezeblocks. all the floors are solid concrete as well so i'm having to go up and over with my speaker wires.
     
  29. whuuf

    whuuf
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    Will it be ok to put the plasma power cable in with the rest of the speaker, video cables etc?
     
  30. Brogan

    Brogan
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    As long as the cables are fairly decent and have adequate shielding there should be no problem.
    You can always put in some extra shielding between/around the cables if you want to be on the safe side.
     

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