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I have an older home in Toronto that I am planning to have upgraded with network cabling. I have already pulled a couple of free runs of CAT 6 through existing chase ways in the house, but I would now like to get the rest of the house done and I just don't have the time to do it myself since the "art" of fishing cables through walls is time consuming, especially if you don't want to open big gaping holes in your drywall.

Since I have all the equipment to fish cables and wire the panels / wall plates, I have been thinking that it would make more sense to have conduit installed instead of cable. That way I could simply pull whatever cables I want through the walls easily / quickly through the conduit runs. If I wanted to upgrade in the future (fibre, Lightpeak or some future standard) then no problem. I've contacted a couple of electrical contractors but they don't seem to have a clue what I am talking about when I ask them. Does anyone have experience with pulling conduit or know of an installer that will pull conduit through my walls instead of cable?

TIA
 

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Conduit is not usually using in residential applications due to cost. Retrofitting conduit has the potential of increasing cost significantly and won't provide a significant advantage. Retrofitted cables can usually be replaced easily by simply attaching a new cable to the old and pulling the new cable in. Then there is the issue of predicting future technology. Will wiring be used for future networking? We don't know but wireless is replacing wired networking even now.
 

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It is virtually impossible to bury conduit in a wall without disturbing the drywall etc. Especially if it is rigid or EMT.
The only other possibility for them to use is either metallic or non-metallic flexible conduit, even then it is tricky in an older home.
In some case you can utilize the furnace vent duct that goes up to the roof as a means of inserting conduit, often these are boxed in in closets etc, making it less intrusive to come out to a device box.
The only down side is you don't always have the flexibility of where in the room you want the box.
The up side is you can put a OTA antenna in the attic!!!
Al.
 

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retrofit

If you live in an older home there are a couple of options available to you...
- drop a pull line down the bathroom stack from the attic. Usually it goes directly down to the basement without any bends and has space around it for cabling. Then pull your cables up from the basement. That would allow you to drop cables into all the rooms on the 2nd floor.
- if you have an unfinished basement, then the 1st floor rooms can be accessed up from there.
- not an attractive option, but you could run conduit on the exterior of your house to the rooms in question
- I would be careful about running cables thru the heating vents. I think you can get fire rated plenum cables. Obviously more expensive.
 

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You may want to google smurf tubing or carlon low voltage conduit, but its tricky in retrofit.

I just went through this in my house, and it drove my contractor nuts. Plaster walls, joist spacers, crown molding, every imaginable nightmare. In the end, we had to put a lot of access holes in the wall that needed repairing, but there isnt much else we could do in a custom built home that was built like a fort.
 
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