How to run satellite cable from one side of the house to the other.

23 Jan 2012
Reaction score
United Kingdom

I would be grateful for some advice as to how best to run coax from one side of my house to the other.

I live in a semi-detached bungalow, and the satellite dish is on the left side of my house. I have yet to mount it yet, but it is going to be mounted on a pole, just above the guttering.

The server, that contains my satellite tuner card, is in the office, which is on the other side of the house.

I was thinking of drilling a hole in the fascia, directly below the satellite dish, and running the coax along the inside of the soffit and then dropping it down the inside of the cavity wall where the box is and into the room.

However, I have read that this is bad practice.

What is the alternative to drops inside cavity walls?

Sponsored Links
Then you have either the exterior of the wall, or the interior of the wall left to choose from.

The neatest way when viewed from inside the bungalow, and what would probably happen if you employed someone to install it for you, would be a drop down the external wall and then drill though to the inside (the wire will still have to pass through the cavity in this case)

Alternatively drop the wire down an internal wall. If you don't want to go to the trouble to bury it in the wall, and aren't keen on it being on view, then could you hide it behind a curtain? a piece of furniture? or inside a built in cupboard? If not cover it with trunking.

Other options will depend on the construction and layout of your house, so may not be possible for you. I ran an internet cable from the ceiling down inside a built in cupboard in the hall where it was out of sight, and then fed it under the floorboards to where I wanted it in the room next door. Then it simply came up from behind the skirting-board.
Thank you.

So running coax horizontally, from the outside to the inside, is acceptable but vertical runs within the cavity should be avoided?
I thought you might ask that. It's a bit contentious and depends whom you ask. It's generally seen as not good practice to install cables in cavities, however this may be because 'cables' can refer to current carrying cables the capacity of which can be reduced if the cavities are filled with insulation. Horizontal cables that pass straight through are seen as less of an issue, as much less of the cable is in contact with any insulation. But with coax, that's not an issue anyway.

Another concern is that moisture can run down vertical cables and in theory if a cable touches a wet outer wall, it can transfer moisture across the cavity. Although I think you you need pretty wet walls for this to happen, so I think you would be pretty unlucky for this to happen.

Most commercial aerial, satellite, telephone and internet cables when installed by service providers will pass through walls horizontally, and they usually have a 'drip loop' to prevent moisture going inside.
Sponsored Links
When we had cable fitted many years ago, I wanted it fed to my router which was at the rear of the house. The installers wanted to drill through the front wall and route it along the top of the skirting board, round the hearth of the fireplace, drill through the room dividing wall and then along that skirting to my router next to the computer by the rear wall. I said no, you go up the front of the house, across the loft, down the back wall and through the wall to the router. They said they weren’t allowed to go in lofts so I got them to poke the cable through to me, I dragged it across the loft, poked it through to them at the rear and they did the rest. They didn't like it - I don’t think it was anything to do with regs - just laziness on their part.
I did a similar thing with Virgin Media, they wanted to run cables all around the outside of my house. Other VM installations nearby looked pretty poor, the clips had fallen out and cables were bunched up, crisscrossing and hanging down all over the place. I wanted the internet cable run inside the loft of an attached garage, down through the airing cupboard into an under-stairs and cupboard, all nicely out of sight.

The installer wouldn't do this and even said that it would be impossible to install them in some of the places I suggested. In the end the guy left me the drum of cable and his mobile number. I ran the cables where I wanted and he came back the next day and terminated them. He was happy because I had done the work, and I was happy because none of the cables are visible and they are still clipped in place. Win, win.

It always irritates me when new properties are built and people move in, then a few days later a hideous spiders web of black coax encases the property. It would have been so much better to install them when the property was being built.
Lofts are in most cases a health and safety risk which is why a lot of installers will not run cables through there. Lucky for them they have the company they work for (Sky, Virgin) on their side. The guidelines provided to them say they should not go in lofts. No laziness about it.

If you get a contractor round on job rate and they see a big time saving going through the loft they will normally do it for their own benefit on time saving, even though they shouldn't.
Lofts are in most cases a health and safety risk

I hope those with water tanks in their lofts never have a problem; otherwise they might end up with new tanks screwed to their external walls and the pipes to them routed around the outside of their property.......:rolleyes:
modern houses usually have the soil pipe run in an internal duct, in the corner of the kitchen and the bathroom above, with access in the loft. AFAIK there is no objection to running comms cables or coax down these ducts, which can be a handy way of installing them. In some cases (mine) CH and other pipes are also run in ducts between floors.

Electrical cables have to be clipped at specified intervals, but I don't think there are such regulations for comms cables.
It always irritates me when new properties are built and people move in, then a few days later a hideous spiders web of black coax encases the property. It would have been so much better to install them when the property was being built.
Trust me, you don't want builders installing cable during the build phase. By all means have cable installed; just don't leave it up to the builder to spec and supply.

Every property when a house builder has installed coax cable it has been the cheapest stuff they could get their hands on. I have seen sparks wire up TV points and speakers in daisy chain fashion like a ring main. Network cables using that copper coated aluminium rubbish, and just generally installing points in the wrong places.

What would be loads better is to install conduit or concealed trunking. That would make the job of pulling cable much easier.
Thanks for that - really helpful.

In light of your comments, I had a bit of a think and realised that I was probably making life more than difficult than I needed to.

One of the walls is hollow, so it might just run the coax down there into the room like that - that is exactly how the light switch has been done.

Not only neater but a shorter distance to run the coax.

Now I have sorted that out, I do have a rather more complex question about satellite TV but I will start that on a fresh thread, rather than muddying the waters here.

Thanks again.

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

Sponsored Links