New home pre-wiring: How to bring the homerun cables into the electrical room? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-08-2013, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

I've been a long time reader of AVS, and first I must say a big thank you to all the knowledgeable and helpful people out there, I have learned much from these forums.

So I am in the process of constructing a new house and have just gotten permission from the builder to do my own pre-wiring. I'm an electrical engineer and I work in electrical sales, so I think I should be able to handle the actual cabling and terminating as well as all the drilling etc. that is required. My question is regarding how to neatly/efficiently bring the homerun cables back into the electrical room.

The electrical room is in the basement of a 2-story house. The outside feeds from the cable and telco companies are here. For the cable runs up to the main floor and second floor, I plan on going vertically up (final location depends on what the framing is going to look like). So far, pretty standard I believe. There will probably be 20-25 Cat6 cables and 5-6 RG6 cables going up. I am wondering, how do you neatly bring all these cables out of the wall and the electrical room?

My first inclination is to install a 2-gang LV mounting bracket (like this: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=105&cp_id=10425&cs_id=1042507&p_id=7063&seq=1&format=2) and leave 4'-6' of cable hanging out of it. (This length is so I can easily connect it to a patch panel). Questions:

  1. Is this the right approach? Or are there more proper ways of bringing so much cable neatly out of the wall?
  2. If this mounting bracket is the way to go, will leaving the 20+ cables of 4' - 6' spilling out of the box (since there's no way to coil this amount in the box) give the drywallers troubles? I don't want the drywallers to cut my cables because it's "in their way" or something like that
  3. Is there a recommended height to bring the cables out of the wall? For example, 12" from the ground, halfway up the wall, or near the ceiling?
  4. Is it recommended to bring the cables out of an interior (non-load bearing) wall so that I wont' have to worry about insulation installers cutting my cables?
  5. Another thought is to leave all the cables coiled up inside an interior wall with no other electrical boxes so the drywallers don't have to make any cutouts. Then they just put their drywall up, sandwiching my coiled cables inside, and when I am ready to pull them out, I just drill out a big hole and fish them all out. The studs are 24" OC so I would have lots of room between studs to "store" the cable

I would appreciate any insight you guys and gals have on my questions, and if you have any pictures of what your electrical room looks like and how the cables come out of the wall, that would be great!

Cheers!
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-08-2013, 09:37 PM
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One or more double-gang LV rings will be the right approach for a large number of cables. You can dress up the opening with a double-gang "scoop". Group the cables together logically (category, RG6, speakers), leave yourself plenty of slack, then bundle each set together, wrap up the entire length to protect it from the drywallers and misc damage. They'll understand a big bundle. My guys wrapped the bundle in newspaper secured with duct tape, for example.

If you have a good interior, un-insulated wall that you could tuck the entire bundle behind and pull out later, that can work, too. I've done both in my house.

In the latter case, I tucked the bundled wire behind the wall, but exposed the last few inches of the bundle through the low-volt mud ring, so I could just grab the whole thing. I didn't use enough tie wraps (use velcro so you can get them off with one hand inside the wall without tools) so getting the big bundle out became somewhat of a tangled mess that took more time than it should have to retrieve out of the wall. This was behind my rack in the theater, so I went that route because the cables would be "in the way" too much with the full bundle exposed.

Jeff

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post #3 of 8 Old 01-09-2013, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for sharing your experience Jeff! Cheers
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-09-2013, 06:02 PM
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It depends on what you want to do with the home-runned cables.

If no plans for a floor rack, wall mount rack, or on-wall open network rack, and the mechanical/electrical closet will be drywalled, I'd use a recessed, flush mount LV enclosure for the network devices (modem, router, patch panels) and coax distribution devices (patch panel, amp). I'd tuck the bundled, coiled, labelled cables into it so nobody steps on them.

If the mechanical/electrical closet won't be drywalled, I'd probably tuck them into the same enclosure.

Channel Vision makes nice enclosures, but I'd probably go with what's convenient for you from the local electric supply house.

The LV enclosures have line voltage knockouts for outlets, at the bottom. I wouldn't rely on a nearby outlet; power cables should stay in the endosure.

If you eventually need to run a cable bundle out of the enclosure, to a nearby rack, use the enclosure knockouts to run cables to a nearby scoop/nose/pass through wall plate, and out of the wall. You shouldn't see any cables using an enclosure.

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post #5 of 8 Old 01-09-2013, 06:07 PM
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Bottom line, the home-runned cables should enter the electrical closet inside a stud bay, if not using a 4-post floor rack.

If your cables will enter a rack, without being patched, they should enter the room in the ceiling, coming down to the rack, preferably inside conduit so the cables aren't visible.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #6 of 8 Old 01-09-2013, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
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The home run cables will enter a rack, but it sounds like you have given me another option which is to have the cable enter the room from the ceiling using a conduit. It looks like I will either do that, or come out via a scoop wall plate as Jeff and you have both said. Thanks!

I think my question has been answered, I'll see if I can lock or close this thread. Cheers all,
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-12-2013, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samwong82 View Post

Is this the right approach? Or are there more proper ways of bringing so much cable neatly out of the wall?
I would use these,
http://www.hometech.com/hts/products/wiring/wall_connect/bulk/ai-wb.html
Quote:
If this mounting bracket is the way to go, will leaving the 20+ cables of 4' - 6' spilling out of the box (since there's no way to coil this amount in the box) give the drywallers troubles? I don't want the drywallers to cut my cables because it's "in their way" or something like that
I would cover the wall with plywood, not drywall. Then you can screw anything anywhere.
Quote:
Is it recommended to bring the cables out of an interior (non-load bearing) wall so that I wont' have to worry about insulation installers cutting my cables?

Build a double-thick wall, insulate the outer 4" and route through the inner wall.
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-12-2013, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archbid View Post


Build a double-thick wall, insulate the outer 4" and route through the inner wall.
That's what I did in my electrical closet - just added a 2nd (pressure treated) bottom plate, and another layer of studs attached to the existing studs (using Simpson tie plates from HD).

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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