Installing a range hood

MATERIALS: Range hood, solid duct, wall cap, masonry screws, cable and clamps, wire nuts, caulk, electrician’s tape

TOOLS: Drill, fish tape, saber saw or reciprocating saw, hammer and cold chisel, screwdriver, combination stripper, lineman’s pliers, safety goggles

VENTING THROUGH A MASONRY WALL - Use a long masonry bit to drill the locator holes. Draw the outline and drill holes about every inch along the outline. Use a hammer and cold chisel to chip out the brick. To attach the duct cap, drill holes and drive masonry screws. Be careful to avoid any existing wiring or plumbing in the wall when you cut through for the duct.

For the best range hood efficiency, run the duct through the wall directly behind the range hood, in as straight a line as possible. You can run the vents of most hoods out the back or the top of the unit. If a wall stud is in the way of the ductwork, you could do carpentry work to change the framing. An easier solution is to purchase a hood with an extra-strong motor and run the duct around the stud.

Before you purchase a fan, check its CFM rating, which indicates the number of cubic feet of air it pulls per minute. Choose a fan with a CFM rating that is double tire square footage of your kitchen. If the location of your stove makes it impossible to run a vent outside, ask about a ductless vent. A ductless vent pulls the air through a filter that removes odors and grease. It won’t work as efficiently as a fully ducted unit, but it will help remove odors, smoke, and grease. You will have to change filters frequently for best results.

1 MARK THE HOLES. Remove the filter, fan, and electrical housing cover from the range hood. Remove the knockouts for the electrical cable and the duct. Hold the hood in place and mark the holes for the duct and the cable. CUT OUT THE VENT HOLE AND DRILL A LOCATOR HOLE. Cut holes through the drywall or plaster. Drill holes at each corner all the way through the outside wall.

2 CUT THE SIDING. Connect the dots between the holes on the outside to mark the outline of the hole. Cut out the opening. Remove any insulation or debris. ATTACH THE DUCT CAP. Push the wall cap into the wall to see if the duct is long enough to reach the range hood. If not purchase an extension and attach it with sheet metal screws and duct tape. Apply caulk to the siding where the cap flange will rest. Push the cap into place and fasten with screws. Caulk the perimeter of the flange.

3 RUN POWER TO THE HOOD. Shut off power to the circuit. Run cable from a nearby receptacle or junction box through the hole in the wall. Strip the sheathing and clamp the cable to the range hood electrical knockout. Mount the hood securely by driving screws into studs or adjacent cabinets. CONNECT THE WIRES. Splice the white wire to the white fixture lead, the black wire to the black lead, and the ground wire to the green lead. Fold the wires into place and replace the electrical cover. Reattach the fan and filter. Restore power and test.

Installing telephone and CAT 5 wiring

MATERIALS: Solid-core telephone cable, phone jacks, staples

TOOLS: Drill, screwdriver, lineman’s pliers, combination stripper

GET CONNECTED - You can now buy faceplates that hold several interchangeable jacks along with distribution boxes that let you customize the phone, computer network, and cable services that go to each room in the house. Here’s how it works: Run all of the incoming wires—such as phone, cable or satellite, and Internet—to the distribution box. Run cables to each room, and snap in and connect the jacks that match the services you want there. One room might have Internet, phone, and television, while another might have a different phone line and outlets for two computers. Connect the cables to the distribution box so that the appropriate service is going to the jack in the correct room (it’s easier done than said), and the job is finished.

Adding a new telephone jack is straightforward work. Just run cable and connect wires to terminals labeled with their colors. The most difficult part is running, and then hiding, the cable. Depending on your service contract, it may be cost-effective to have the phone company install new service for you. The lines they install will be under warranty—all future repairs will be free. Be aware that they may charge you a usage fee for the lines they run and maintain; this will appear on your monthly telephone bill.

Category 5 (CAT 5) cable and telephone wire are fragile. Don’t bend, flatten, stretch, or otherwise compromise these wires. A damaged wire can result in a distorted connection, especially for computers. Make all connections in a jack or junction box. Plan cable paths so as little of the cable as possible can be seen. For instance, going through a wall saves you from running unsightly cable around door moldings. Use these same techniques to run speaker wire.

CAT 5 AND CAT 5E - Category 5 (CAT 5) cable consists of 4 pairs of cable and is used for computer networks, phone, audio, and video. CAT 5E has 4 twisted pairs of cable and is less subject to interference from outside sources. Because of their versatility, Cat 5 and 5E are excellent when wiring your house for entertainment/media systems. Both wire types come in several colors to help you identify which cable came from where.

1 OPTION A: TAP INTO A PHONE JACK. Unscrew the cover from a phone jack or a phone junction box. Strip about 2 inches of sheathing and 1/2 inch of insulation from each wire. (Standard phones use only two of the wires, but it doesn’t hurt to connect all the wires.) Loosen each terminal screw. Bend the wire end in a clockwise loop, slip it under the screw head, and tighten the screw.

1 OPTION B: USE PUSH-ON CONNECTORS. Some jacks have terminals that clamp onto the wire so you don’t have to strip it. Just push the wire down into the slot until it snaps into place.

2 OPTION A: HIDE CABLE. Use any trick you can think of to tuck away unsightly cable. Pry moldings away from the wall, slip the cable in behind, and re-nail the molding. Or pull carpeting back one short section at a time, run cable along the floor behind the tack strip, and push the carpet back into place.

2 OPTION B: RUN CABLE THROUGH A WALL. To go through a wall, drill a hole using a long, 'A-inch drill bit. Insert a large drinking straw through hole. Fish the cable through the straw. When you're finished, split and remove the straw.

2 OPTION C-. STAPLE EXPOSED CABLE. When you have no choice but to leave cable exposed, staple it in place every foot or so along the top of the baseboard. Use a round-top stapler or plastic-shielded staples that hammer into place. (Square-cornered staples damage the cable sheathing.)

3 INSTALL A WALL BOX. A wall jack can attach to a low-voltage ring (as shown) or to an electrical remodel box. Cut a hole in the wall and install the ring. Tie a small weight to a string and lower it through the hole until you feel it hit the floor.

4 PULL THE CABLE. Drill a 3/8-inch hole just above the baseboard of the wall where you want the wire to go. Bend a piece of wire into a hook, slip it into the hole, and pull out a loop of the string. Tape the string to the cable and pull the cable up through the remodel box.

5 INSTALL A WALL JACK. Attach the base of the jack and make the connections. Install the cover plate.

Installing coaxial cable

MATERIALS: RG6 coaxial cable, splitter, male connectors, wall jack, staples

TOOLS: Drill, screwdriver, knife, combination stripper

Cable TV companies will run new lines and install jacks. Some do simple installations for free; for longer runs, they may charge and may not hide as much of the cable as you like. They also may increase your monthly fee after installing a second or third jack. Still, it’s worth checking out the service options before deciding whether to do your own installations. Purchase RG6 coaxial cable for all runs through the house. Don’t use RG59; it has less-substantial wire wrapping. Coaxial cable is thick and ugly, so fish it through walls when possible. If your cable signal is weak after adding new lines, install a signal booster to solve the problem. The booster attaches to the coaxial cable and plugs into a receptacle.

Be sure not to overbend, twist, or damage the cable during installation. Keep all splitters accessible for future repair or maintenance.

INSIDE CO-AX - Co-ax cable is designed to carry radio and television frequencies with a minimum of interference and maximum efficiency. The signal runs down a copper wire in the center of the cable. The wire is surrounded by an insulator, then by a grounded, braided wire jacket, and finally by another insulator. Because they all have the same center, or axis, the cable is known as coaxial, or co-ax. The braided jacket prevents radio interference from other sources. Co-ax cables have a given impedance, usually 50 or 75 ohms. It's the alternating current version of resistance, and for the stronger signal transmission the impedance of the cable should match that of the television. Use 50 ohms unless otherwise specified.

1 MAKE A MALE END. Use a combination stripper to remove 3/4 inch of insulation from the end. Do not bend the exposed wire. With a knife, carefully strip 3/8 inch of the thin outer sheathing only: Do not cut through the metal mesh wrapping. Firmly attach screw-on F-connector. You also can purchase a coaxial crimping tool and attach a crimp-on F-connector.

2 SPLIT A LINE. Cut the line you want to tap into. Install male ends on both ends of the cut line and the end of the new line. Insert and twist all three male connectors onto a signal splitter. Anchor the splitter with screws.

3 INSTALL A JACK. Cut a hole in the wall and run cable to it. (A regular electrical box can be used, though a low-voltage ring is preferable. Strip the insulation to make a male end in the cable. Clamp the mounting brackets in the hole. Connect the cable end to the back of the jack by attaching the F-connector. Tighten the connection with pliers or a wrench. Attach the jack to the wall by driving screws into the mounting brackets.

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