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In-Wall Networking Enclosure: Connecting to Attic and Basement with Conduit

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I recently bought an older 1957 home (so nothing is open currently). I'm getting ready to install a network enclosure in a coat closet on the first floor (between the attic and the basement). I was planning on running 3/4" Flex ENT conduit from the service in the garage (2 CAT6, 1 Coax) to the enclosure by way of the attic. The enclosure has 2" knockouts. I'm planning on running 2" rigid conduit from the box to the attic and to the basement ceiling joist bay below the box.

After reading up on conduit for use in home theaters, the prevailing convential wisdom appears to be that conduit is for things you forgot and not for running new wires in, especially if the walls are already closed up.

So two questions:

1) Is it absurd of me to think of running conduit from the garage to the enclosure? Should I just carefully route them out of the way and secure them to the attic framing, or possibly pull them through holes in the joists?

2) Can I run 2" conduit through the top and bottom plates of a 2x4 wall? If not, what do people recommend? In my last house I didn't run conduit and debris kept falling into the enclosure and running new wire through the open stud bay into a new small hole in the top plate was a major PITA.

post #2 of 8
I would not run the cables from the service entrance to the enclosure inside conduit. I'd secure them to the attic framing members using cable D-rings, or some other cable fasteners.

From what you describe, I can't tell if the 2" conduit is needed. You'll need to open the closet drywall to install the conduit so why not install all the cables you'll need when the drywall is open?

If you have future plans to run cable, then I would run multiple smaller 1.5" (or other sized) conduit, that is within code. I doubt the 2" is kosher through your top and bottom plates, but I don't know what you have. An easy solution would be to call the AHJ.

I ran 4 runs of 2" conduit, basement to attic, inside a chase. The conduit penetrates floor and not top/bottom plates.

I like to use plastic drywall access panels in closets where I would like to preserve access. Maybe you could install 1 above and 1 below the LV enclosure, and skip the conduit?

Conduit sure does make life easier, though.

Could the conduit penetrate the ceiling of the closet, and then bend into the wall? Then, cover the conduit with a drywall soffit?

How about making the wall thicker? Bring it out a few inches, with the conduit coming into the closet in front of the existing top plate?

Whatever you decide, I foresee drywall work in your future. wink.gif
post #3 of 8
Another option would be to surface mount the enclosure, and do a good job making the conduit look nice (collars at the penetrations). Conduit could then penetrate the floor and ceiling, without compromising the bottom and top plates.

You may want to make sure 2" conduit terminates cleanly into your 2" knockouts, with connectors, if you go the surface mount/exposed conduit route. Inner and outer diameters aren't the same. It will probably be fine, but might want to research up front. An exact match isn't necessary if buried behind drywall - won't be a big deal with fiberglass rods to help you.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
2" Conduit is definitely not needed for what I have planned for the enclosure, it just happens to be the size of the knockouts. I'm doing a fairly minimal install. Data/Phone/TV coming in from the garage, 3 PoE lines out to ceiling mounted access points, single Cat6 out to each TV/Media location and one to each office location, a couple of CAT6 for phone lines. No Coax out as I run a networked tuner and all TV is done over IP. I suspect most folks here will scream and tell me to run at least 2 CAT6 to very location... perhaps I should order another spool...

Can you provide an example link to the "D-Ring" you're referring to? You would not use cable staples?

I could run 3 smaller conduits up and two down. Would you just use PVC reducers to get from the 2" opening in the enclosure to the conduit?

Further reading seems to suggest that for a simple partition wall like this, there may not be any code restrictions on how much of the top-plate I can remove. I'll call the county building office and verify on Monday.
post #5 of 8
Bridle rings work really well for attic cable runs - solid and yet easy to add more cables in the future... I've used 2" wood screw tipped-rings with good results.

post #6 of 8
The bridle rings and D-rings used to be ideal for cables, but something broader like a cable j-hook are better for category cables - over time the relatively narrow ring [slightly] digs into the cable.

post #7 of 8
Neurorad, where did you find that j-hook?
post #8 of 8
I found them. Those sure aren't cheap!


EDIT: I didn't notice that the price was for a pack of $10. That's not bad at all.
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