Walt Roehr and Roger Roehr,
Telecommunication Networks Consulting
When you are fishing a weighted string from the top of an uninsulated wall down to a hole for a communications outlet, pulling the string through the outlet hole will be difficult if the access hole at the top is not perfectly aligned with the outlet hole below.
Sweeping a coat hanger hook inside the wall will allow you to snag the string and carefully pull it to the opening.
1) Get a standard wire coat hanger and, if necessary, modify the hook so that it is a little wider than the space inside the wall. It must be slightly wider than the wall space so that it will press against the inside surfaces of the wall.
2) Insert the hanger into the hole where the communications outlet will eventually go--with the hook flat against the inside surface of the near wall.
3) Turn the hook so that it now reaches from the inside of the near wall to the inside of the far wall.
4) Sweep the hook in an arcing motion inside the wall. You will snag the string and pull it over to be lined up with the hole.
5) Reach in and grab the string with your hand.
Note: When weighting the string to fish through the wall, strongly consider using standard-pattern, football-shaped fishing sinkers. A 1/2-ounce sinker will fit through a 1/2-inch hole; a 2-ounce sinker will fit through a 3/4-inch hole. Avoid using pyramid-shaped sinkers if you plan to fish the string through drilled holes or other tight spaces because the pyramid-shaped sinkers are wider per ounce than the football-shaped ones.
Place the coat hanger inside the wall so that the hook is flat against the inside surface of the wall closest to you (a). Then turn the hook so that it bridges the space inside the wall (b), and sweep the hook in an arcing motion until it is vertical and has pulled the weighted string to line up with the hole (c).
Walter Roehr is executive director and Roger Roehr is head of production, both at Telecommunication Networks Consulting (Reston, VA).