Usually, you would call a security company to install your security camera systems, but if by chance you decide on doing everything by yourself, then you have come to the right place. In this how-to guide, we will talk about security camera installation through soffit (decorative vertical trim that is placed over the edge of a roof). The wiring part is usually the trickiest step of the installation, but don’t worry we will get you through it, start to finish. Let’s dive right in!
Putting a security system in place is a hard practice and takes a lot of planning before even placing the first screw.
You will need to have all the right tools and have a detailed plan of where you will place the cameras so that you know where you will have to run all the wiring.
You will also need extensive knowledge of the layout of your house and its electrical systems so you do not drill over any previously laid wires or trouble areas.
Now, wherever you decide to place the central hub, the soffit will allow you to have the cables run through it completely hidden out of view. This minimizes exposure and makes sure that the cables will be protected from being cut by any intruders.
Getting Ready For The Installation
You need to fully understand the security system you will install and how everything will be connected. This is crucial because this will determine how the cables will run throughout your house. Every single type of CCTV system has its own unique design and follows an already predetermined set of instructions.
If you have wiring diagrams of your house and you know where all the dangerous points are so you do not puncture something
After deciding where to mount all the cameras, comes the wiring part. Which is what we are here to help you with today. Let’s get started!
Wiring With A Drill
For this, you will need to use a drill first, because you will need to bore a few holes in the walls and ceiling. Besides the drill, you will also need a couple of other tools and wiring accessories. Let’s quickly go through them all just to make sure that you have everything that you need before starting the installation. Here’s a list of everything:
- drill and bits
- a fishing rod
- a flashlight or a headlamp
- the camera wires
- electrical tape
- a hole saw (optional)
- a grinder (optional)
Make sure that you have everything on this list and after that, we can continue the process.
Step 1 – Start by removing the soffit where the wire will pass through. Oh, and by the way, this technique will work with any soffit material, even if it’s vinyl, aluminum, wood, fiber cement, etc. Measure the width of the camera and cut a piece of wood for it. This wooden piece will help you to more easily mount the camera.
Step 2 – Take the drill and make a hole in the middle of the piece of wood. You will feed the camera wires through this hole. And if you have a hole saw, use it to make the hole larger so it can fit all the wires.
Step 3 – After that, make smaller holes for the mounting screws of the camera. There should be a template sticker that came along with the camera, which will help you make accurate holes.
Step 4 – Take the fishing rod and tape the start of the cable to one of the rod’s ends. Then, push the rod through the hole that you have drilled through the soffit, which leads to the attic. Take extra care when drilling this hole, because it will probably pass near some of your home’s electrical wiring. Please try not to cut your power supply or worse, electrocute yourself.
Step 5 – After that, go to the attic, pull the fishing rod out, and just plug the cable to its respective port. Then, just repeat all the previous steps from the start until you finish connecting all of the cameras you plan on mounting. Make sure that the cables don’t span over a great distance though, in order to avoid any voltage drop issues.
Step 6 – This is all planned with your recorder set in the attic. If that is not the case, you will need to make another large hole for the cables to pass through to the room below, in which you have placed the recorder.
Step 7 – After making that hole, push the cable down using the fishing rod and they should come behind the wall.
Step 8 – In the end, just make a hole in the wall, pull the cable and fishing rod out, and connect them to your central hub. With that, you’re all done.
Wiring Without A Drill (An Alternative Method)
Now, let’s talk about an alternative way to finish the task if you don’t own a drill. Or if you just don’t want to make any holes in your walls. This method involves running the security camera cables from the attic to the soffit through your gable vent. Meaning, that if you want to go with this method, your surveillance hub must be placed in the attic area.
Moreover, it’s better if the gable vent is placed somewhere near the roof overhang where the soffit lining is. That will minimize cable exposure by taking the cables by the shortest path to their end target. Also, the soffit should be vinyl because it’s easier to make a hole in it if you need to, unlike the other materials, which are harder to puncture. For this method you will need:
- the camera wires
- a screwdriver
- electrical tape
- a fishing rod
If you have everything you need, continue to Step 1.
Step 1 – Prepare your tools and remove the vinyl near the gable vent and any different places you plan on placing your cameras.
Step 2 – If your soffit is connected directly to the attic, then you won’t even need to use the gable vent. Just create a simple path for the wiring that the cables will be able to penetrate without issues. Otherwise, you should use the screwdriver to pierce a hole in the gable vent screen.
Step 3 – Again, tape the start of the camera cable to one end of the fishing rod’s ends. Then push it through the hole, straight to the attic.
Step 4 – Repeat these steps if you have additional cameras, but be smart with the use of the soffit. If you have additional vents that are close to the other camera’s positions, use those to feed the cables to the attic. Just remember to replace the vents to ensure maximum airflow circulation into the underside roof and attic. (1)
Finishing The Installation
Now that you are done with the wiring, which is honestly the hardest part of the installation, you’re almost done. All that’s left is to mount all the cameras and connect them to the cables you have already placed for each of them. Adjust the viewing angles to your liking and power them on to test them.
If everything is working properly, the only thing left is to set all your preferences for the security system at the central hub and start watching and/or recording.
Knowing how to install security camera wiring through a soffit is a great addition to your skillset. It is far better than simply using methods such as cable raceways. That is because by using the soffit, the camera wires will be completely out of view, which also prevents them from being cut or tampered with. This maximizes the security of your system. Plus, this way doesn’t take away from the aesthetic appeal of your home, if that is one of your requirements.
This installation might seem easy at first, but it is a tasking process, especially if you won’t, or can’t place the central hub in your attic. So maybe call a friend or two to give you an extra hand with the installment. And you should all be careful not to mess up the electrical wiring of your house, because that will only open up additional, and unnecessary problems for you. And for that, you will probably need to call in an electrician. Who knows how long that might take, especially if you cause irreversible damage. (2)
Hopefully, we were of some help to you with the installation of your home CCTV system.
(1) airflow circulation – https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/supply-airflow
(2) electrical wiring – https://www.familyhandyman.com/project/how-to-roughin-electrical-wiring/