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Beginners Guide on Running And Fishing Electrical Wire Through Studs Inside Drywall

Wiring through studs is a conundrum all common folks suffer from. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on this issue, why not do it yourself for free? Here’s a quick guide that can help you through exactly that process!

How to run and fish electrical wire through studs inside drywall?

First mark where the studs are. Then cut out either squares or circles or even entire strips of your drywall to access the studs. Afterwards, drill hole through the studs to feed the wire through. Finally, feed the wire through the studs using whatever kind of hole you made and make the connection. 

With that out of the way, I’ll get to talking about the safety measures in passing the electrical wire through the studs. 

Is Passing the Wire Through by Yourself Safe?

While this task is indeed easy to do, it can and will be dangerous unless you’re confident in doing it. If you, by any chance, are not confident in this, do contact the professionals. I’ll regardless mention some of the precautionary measures you can take- 

  • Turn the circuit breaker off before messing with the wiring. 
  • Make sure you know what you’re doing before doing anything.
  • Follow the guide step-by-step and thoroughly to avoid any potential mishaps. 
  • Be sure of the electric code of your area to avoid any complications. 

Follow these precautionary steps and you’ll be golden throughout the rest of the process. Time to get to the process. 

3 Easy Ways of Running And Fishing Electrical Wire Through Studs Inside Drywall

Just like wiring pole lights, you can easily wire through studs inside the drywall. There are some certain tools you will need to make that happen. The details are given below-

Tools You Will Need

The three easy methods I have mentioned require a few specific tools. First of all you will need the drill and drill-bits for every method. The other tools are listed below in a method-wise manner. 

First & Second Method

For the first and second methods, you’ll require a few tools. Although most of these tools are basic and you probably have them, here’s a list-

  1. Electrical Fish Tape
  2. Endoscope
  3. Stud Finder
  4. Retractable Utility Knife
  5. 3/4” Spade Bit 6” Long
  6. 3/4” Spade Bit 16” Long
  7. Spade Bit Extension 12” Long
  8. Masking Tape 1”
  9. Tape Measure 25’
  10. Folding Stick Ruler
  11. Keyhole Saw

These are all the tools you might need for the first two methods. The Third and last method requires some more tools alongside the ones I’ve mentioned below. 

Third Method

For the last method, there are only two additional tools you’ll require. They are-

  1. 5” Hole Saw
  2. 6” Hole Saw

These are all the tools you may need for the three methods I’ll mention today. Here are some of my recommendations for the tools and where to buy them. 

ProductWhere to Buy
Product 1
Product 2

That’s all you have to know about the tools. It’s time to talk about the methods themselves. 

First Way: Using Square-Shaped Holes to Run the Wire Through

What you have to do for the first method is compiled into a few easy steps right below-

  1. First of all, you have to find the studs using the stud finder. 
  2. After finding the studs, mark them with masking tape. 
  3. Then, make holes above the J-boxes using a ¾inch spade bit and mark them with masking tape.
    Make sure to leave some space between the holes and the J-boxes. Otherwise, the wire will get too bent and you do not want that. I am leaving 8 inches of space for both the J-boxes. 
  4. Connect the markings above the J-boxes with a long strip of masking tape. 
  5. Drill the marked places and check if there’s something there to avoid cutting through pipes and such. Check that with the endoscope. 
  6. You’re going to have to make two squares with a pen where the tapes have intersected. Because that’s where the studs are. Make sure to leave 6 inches for each side of the square to fit your hand through easily. 
  7. Cut off the square-shaped area with the keyhole saw and the retractable utility knife. 
  8. Take the drill and use the 12” long spade bit extension. Then make a clearance in the studs for the wire to pass through. You can do that easily thanks to the square holes.
  9. After passing the wires through the studs, it’s time to fish it out from the other j-box.
    There are two ways you can do that. One is to use fishing tape to fish it out of there. But it is, in reality, very hard to do. The other way is to take out the j-box to fish the wire out easily.
  10. Finally, put it through the j-box to complete the Wire passthrough. 
  11. You can put back the squares you cut out previously and patch the drywall up like in this video.

That concludes the first method you can use to pass the electrical wire through studs. The second method is much simpler. 

Second Way: Cutting Off A Long Strip of The Wall to Run The Wire Through

This is the second method to run and fish your electrical wire through studs inside drywall. You will not need a new tool for this one. What you first have to do is Repeat the steps from 1-5. Then-

     6. Use the folding stick ruler to draw a straight line.

     7. Then cut out the entire strip of the wall with the keyhole saw and the retractable  
        utility knife.
    8. Because of the higher clearance, it is easy for you to drill the holes with the spade
        bit and get the lines through. But try not to fix the hole using expensive tools if it’s 

necessary. 

     9. It is easier to fish the line out and into the J-box too.

    10. Then comes the harder part. Patching up the drywall will take a lot of work.
          This is basically the hardest patch throughout all the methods. Don’t worry
          though, patching up drywall can be done in a cheaper way.
          

With that, all that’s left is the last method. 

Third Way: Using Circle-Shaped Holes to Run The Wire Through

This is the last method you can follow to get your wires through studs behind the drywall. The additional tool you’ll need is the hole saw. First, repeat the steps from 1-5. Then-

     6. Drill two circular holes beside the two studs. Use either a 5-inch hole saw or a 6
        inch hole saw.
    7. Then drill the holes, but there’s a technique to it. First, start drilling
        counterclockwise. Afterward, reverse the drill back clockwise and continue
        drilling. This way you’ll be able to avoid any slippage and won’t make much of a
        mess. 

     8. After making the circular holes, drill through the studs using the longer 16’ spade
        bit through the holes.
    9. You only have to fish the electrical wire through the studs with all that done. insert
        it through the other J-box, finishing the connection like the first method. 

    10. Then patch up the drywall using the circular cutout.

With that, these are the three easy ways you can run and fish electrical wires through studs inside drywall. 

A Simple Touchup on Patching the Holes up

After going through any method, you’ll be left with the cutout of the drywall. To patch it up-

  1. First, screw a piece of wood behind the holes. 
  2. Then, plug the hole up with the cutout. Afterward, screw it with a drywall screw in the piece of wood to secure it. 

That’s it for drilling through the vertical studs. Though you will have to follow a different method for the horizontal studs. I will answer some frequently asked questions before concluding the article. 

FAQs

Can I drill holes in studs for wiring?

Yes, you can drill holes in studs for wiring. But, it’s best to drill with ¾inch bits and not more than that. Because it may harm the integrity of the structure any bigger hole than that. 

Does a 50-year-old house need rewiring?

Yes, a 50-year-old house does need rewiring. If a house is 30 years or more old, then it needs rewiring to meet modern standards. It’s best if you rewire your home if it’s more than 30 years old. 

How much does it cost to rewire a house?

It costs $2,100 on average to rewire a house. But, that number does not speak for most of the states. You can rewire your house for only $1,500, or even for $10,000. It depends on a lot of factors. 

Conclusion

And that’s it! if you didn’t know how to run and fish electrical wire through studs inside drywall, that’s solved. Don’t forget to use gloves in your endeavor. 

Good luck with the operations!