Pulling CAT-5 with phone wire


Nov 26, 2009
My home is about 20 years old. I want to pull out all the old phone wiring and replace it with CAT-5 cabling. I have several questions.

1) Is it likely the phone cable is loose in the walls, or is it typically tied down inside the walls? Therefore, can I use the phone cable to pull the CAT-5 (unterminated)?

2) I heard that fire code construction demands that holes in the wall joists be filled - is that true?

3) Any thoughts as to the least invasive way to get CAT-5 around my home? I can pull to only a select few spots if it's very difficult.



Usually the phone lines pass through small holes in the studs in bundles often at angles around obstacles and can be hard to pull out, much less pull a larger cable through. You can try one in an area that won't matter if it doesn't work. Other than from adjoining rooms it usually is a chore.

Don't know about the fire code question, depends on the locality, but holes in the studs would be of more concern than the joists I would expect.

I've pulled a lot of cable through existing residential construction and the only time that it is reasonably easy is if it is a single story and does not have a flat roof, the larger the attic space the better. Commercial jobs are usually easier as many of the buildings have conduits where you can use a fish tape.

And for the cable runs that you can do, use CAT5e cable so you can achieve gigabit speeds.