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I'm building a new casa, & would like to include structured wiring, home run everything to a distribution panel, and tie everything together(alarm, hvac, video-audio distribution, etc.)

Could someone please point me toward prior posts, articles, or other info that can tell me what to do, and not do, before the drywall goes up? What type wire, how to run it, future proofing, etc.


TIA

Jeff Garner
 

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Jeff, this exact question gets asked in this forum every day and seldom gets answered (I asked the same question 3 weeks ago). I have found that if you ask very specific questions they are more likely to be answered. So to get you started, I recommend that you purchase this book,"Structured Wiring Design Manual" that can be purchased at Smarthome.com ( http://www.smarthome.com/9356.html ). I read this book over the weekend and it covered most of the hardware and installation questions you might have. Also, in addition to Smarthome, you may want to checkout http://www.futurehomesystems.com/ for hardware. I'm still at the same design stage as you, so I haven't made any purchases do date. Good luck.
 

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Robert is correct.

There are many options and you should talk to a professional.

Things to consider.

Networking for Computers

Hardwired

Wireless

CATV dist.

Sat TV Dist.

HDTV Dist.

Source Dist. thru Modulators

Source Dist. Direct

Audio (Speakers)

How many sources

How many zones

Video Cameras

Paging

Intercom


I spent over 20 yrs doing design/Installation, I will be happy to help in any way that I can.


Brent McCall

Tsunami HT

(800) 221-0932 #230
[email protected] (Days)
[email protected] (Night)
 

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I'm considering wiring my own new home, and I was

thinking about installing conduit. I have found a few how-to guides on wiring, but not on whole

house conduit. My specific questions are:


1) What should I use? I was think standard PVC, what diameters have people found usefull?


2) How do I go about the conduit in the wall?


3) How do I handle things like joints and corners?


4) Are the any problems with "intersections"? i.e. On conduit runs from the closet to the back half of the house then splits out into two rooms?


5) What do I use for pull strings?


6) Any gotchas with pulling wire later in this setup? Should I not even be consdering this?


KB
 

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8_ball I just built a new home and had a pro wire the whole house- no conduit was used except I ran several empty 1 inch PVC conduits for future use


in my opinion trying to put everything in conduit (except those required by code) is unnecessary and greatly complicates things.


what you have to do is spec out all the prewiring to every room in advance with a pro installer- then let him figure out the details of how the wires are run
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by markrubin


what you have to do is spec out all the prewiring to every room in advance with a pro installer- then let him figure out the details of how the wires are run
I'm a do-it-yourselfer at heart, but talking to a pro can't hurt. I live in Santa Fe, NM and I haven't been able to dig up much information on

subcontractors that do this sort of work. My builder said his electrician would do the work. But after all the research I have don't I figure

I could do it myself.


Anyone out there who can provide me with a contact in the Santa Fe area? I'd at least like to get a price range.
 

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I had a contractor do the wiring in my theater room. I would have done a much worse job had I done it myself -- however, now that I've had a chance to look over a good example and see how it's done, I've been able to redo the low-voltage wiring in the rest of my house by myself with good results.


If I were to build a new house at some point and I had the free time for it, I'd be strongly tempted to do my own wiring, but it was an absolute necessity for me to hire someone else to do that initial room or I wouldn't have learned a lot of useful things.
 

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8_ball,

My builder used something called "Smurf tube" for conduit. It is a flexible blue tube that is very rigid (i.e. hard to crush). It can be snaked through the framing fairly easily. I had this run from several locations on the first floor all the way to my wiring closet on the second floor.


The stuff comes in 100' lengths and can be found with a 1" diameter. My builder ran two 1" tubes to each location. Homey D has it, but I've only seen the smaller ones (3/4" diamater and lower).


It's great since you don't have to worry about joints or bends. The fish tape goes through it fairly easily. I wouldn't do "intersections" as you say. I would run two separate conduits.


Hope this helps!


Glenn
 

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1) What should I use? I was think standard PVC, what diameters have people found usefull?


This is problematic only to the extent that the bigger the diameter, the bigger the cost. If the first floor is open from the basement, and the second from the attic, the most critical conduit will be the two 2-1/2 conduits from the basement to the attic. If you're only 'thinking' about a CAT5, maybe a coax, 1.5" should be adequate. (We just completed a penthouse loft...it was all 1" aluminium.) Areas that are worthly of conduit are places you're not likely to get to later...like first floor ceilings for speakers and knee walls.


2) How do I go about the conduit in the wall?

Not certain I"m understanding the question.


3) How do I handle things like joints and corners?

PVC has couplers. Corners...very tricky. You want long sweeping bends or your wire won't make the corner. For PVC, you want to make the corners with two 45 degree couplers and a few inches in between each.


4) Are the any problems with "intersections"? i.e. On conduit runs from the closet to the back half of the house then splits out into two rooms?


Well, yes. You should have some sort of access at the junction. Otherwise, you'd really need to pull both at the same time pulling the wire from the two locations toward the single location.


5) What do I use for pull strings?

Nylon!


6) Any gotchas with pulling wire later in this setup? Should I not even be consdering this?


The real 'gotcha' (only because Mr. Murphy is your helper on this) is to give some thought to where you might want wire later (and IMHO, pulling wire now is cheaper than conduit all over just in case). Locations you might want wire include:


1. light switches for wired lighting control systems.

2. Thermostats (integration into your alarm system or home automation system later).

3. Garage Door opener location (when my fire alarm goes off, the garage door opens, the HVAC system shuts down, all the lights go on).

4. In wall/in ceiling speakers (wire from control head to volume control to speakers).

5. Telephone locations.

6. Locations you might have a TV (all TV locations should also have a phone). In a structured wiring plan, you'd have two CAT5 and two RG6 Coax to each TV location.

7. Places you'd have a computer.

8. None of this includes any alarm system which means smoke alarms, windows, doors, attic and garage door(s).
 

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The "Smurf Tubing" is very good, yet a bit pricey. Its characteristics are as Glenn described. It is quite easy to pull even over distance. The trick is to anchor it every 18" or to keep it from flexing when you pull. When we built our house in '96, we ran every thing that could be anticipated without tubing. We ran a long Smurf Tube run from the point of utility ingress to the home run, and from the home run to the HT equipment cabinet. This gives us the ability to pull cable that may be adopted in the future. Good luck.
 

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I'm going with the smurf tube, but how do I anchor to the stud?

For the cables (in locations without the conduit), I was going to use zip ties that have a nail hole on the head. I've use them before, they work great. Any reason I can't use this for the conduit?
 

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In my house, the electricians anchored the smurf tube to the stud by pounding in two long nails part way on either side of the tube. Then, they bent the nails so that they wrapped around the tube.
 
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