Speaker wire as mains cable


I have 79 STRAND FIGURE 8 TWIN SPEAKER CABLE 0.2MM² pre wired in to my wall for my old speakers. Can I use this as mains cable to power Sonos Ones?

21 replies

Userlevel 2
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it should be find as long as the figure 8 is the proper size. Does cable meet electric code, that I am not sure.
Thanks for your reply. How do I tell if it is the correct size?
Userlevel 2
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see if you can plug it into the sonos. And see if it stay snug.
I would have to fix a plug on the end of the speaker cable. It is the actual cable I am concerned about, not the plugs.
Userlevel 2
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Well I am not sure the electric code requirements of where you live. It might require certain cables in the wall. But as an electric conductor, the speaker wire would work fine, and most good quality speaker cable has better insulation then most electric cable. But the code might cover plenum vs non plenum coating also. If i is toxic if it burns.
It is almost certainly not code for mains power in walls.
Userlevel 2
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ps if it is going to into the wall, for insurance purpose, I would go with code wire.
It is not a solid wall, it's dot and dab plaster board.
I don't have a choice without pulling the plasterboard off the wall. The wire that is already there is speaker cable bought from B&Q.
What is "Code Wire" anyway?
Userlevel 7
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Code Wire - as in wire required for your building codes in your area for the usage and amperage required.
Userlevel 2
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the speaker wire you mention should have no problem with the amperage. It is a thick enough gauge to handle 110AC, and 5amp without issues. More then what the sonos needs. But if there is a fire, and they deem the wire as the issue. You will run into insurance issues.
Userlevel 7
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Yea I was being lazy in my old house when I mounted my flatscreen. I made a media closet downstairs from the TV so I ran an extension cord up the wall to give the flatscreen power. I knew it was pretty safe but when I sold my house the first thing I did when removing the TV was cut that extension cord and pull it out of wall. I could see someone burning down their house years later.
BradJohn wrote:

I don't have a choice without pulling the plasterboard off the wall. The wire that is already there is speaker cable bought from B&Q.


I wouldn't run mains through anything other than properly rated mains cable, installed according to the current regs.
Why are you even contemplating this?
Userlevel 4
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Depending on your speaker cable you may well have issues down the road. Our house was wired with regular Romex for power and the previous homeowner had the builder add speaker cable from a central location to two other rooms and to a pair of rear speaker locations in the main room. That was fine for about 10 years but now after 20 years the speaker cable is brittle and shedding chunks of insulation every time it is touched. I've cut into the wall and attached low-voltage junction boxes and speaker connectors in each location to try to preserve the wiring to the point I can use it until we sell here.

So if your speaker cable isn't any better than mine you'd sure not want to put AC power over it.
Userlevel 6
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If the cable is running through simple plaster board ... just attach (wrap with tape) a proper rated and insulated A/C mains cable to it and pull it through the cavity. You just need to widen the in/out holes where the cable starts and finishes. I personally wouldn’t use speaker wire, to run A/C power through. It’s not worth the risk. I would not take any chances in this situation.
Ken_Griffiths wrote:

... just attach (wrap with tape) a proper rated and insulated A/C mains cable to it and pull it through the cavity.


If there's space, I usually connect the wires together using inline connectors, then tape it up - less chance of it pulling apart, IMHO.
Userlevel 6
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amun wrote:

Ken_Griffiths wrote:

... just attach (wrap with tape) a proper rated and insulated A/C mains cable to it and pull it through the cavity.


If there's space, I usually connect the wires together using inline connectors, then tape it up - less chance of it pulling apart, IMHO.


Yes indeed, and use heat-shrink tubing before taping too (that holds well), but it’s not (usually) too much of a problem when it comes to plasterboard. Just the holes at each end need widening and there are plenty of different style cable entry/exit grommets and plugs on the market too, to help provide a slightly neater finish, if necessary.

It is a quite a simple job in most cases (famous last words) :D

I just wouldn’t like to chance the speaker cable in this instance, personally speaking, as it was not designed for the purpose intended. It’s not worth the risk.
Ken_Griffiths wrote:

I just wouldn’t like to chance the speaker cable in this instance, personally speaking, as it was not designed for the purpose intended. It’s not worth the risk.


Couldn't agree more...
Userlevel 4
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If low on space just twist and solder the wires together then slip a piece of shrinkable tube over the splice, that gives you the smallest diameter splice and less chance of snagging.

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