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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope this is the right forum for this question. We are in the process of building an extension room and are having people install all the electrical and speaker wiring for the TV/Speakers.


The guy who installed the speaker wires tied them together with the electrical wires. Is this ok or is it going to cause interference/noise in the sound quality?
 

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dont know correct answer but i wouldnt do it. seems like asking for trouble when you dont have to.
 

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I've seen this debate rage on and on and on. some will say you can some will say you shouldn't. Some local code requires low voltage and line voltage be separated. Make sure your installer knows which your municipality goes by. If it were me I would seperate them regardless of whether or not there really is a negative impact.
 

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Keep speaker wires as far away from line voltage as possible. Try for at least 12" apart. Ideally have them run in separate joist spaces. When they cross, cross them at a ninety degree angle.
 

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I think there are two separate issues:


1) Code: The speaker wire is allowed to come out through low voltage boxes, etc. and is considered a low fire risk. Running it with power (tied together) increases the risk that you'll get a short between the power and the speaker wire. If there is a problem in the power lines, it'll (hopefully) be contained in the well designed junction boxes. If 120 gets shorted into the speaker wires, no guarantees. It shouldn't happen, but all it takes is one badly place picture hanging nail and you have a short. You'd have to check your local code to see whether it is a code violation, but it seems like a good thing to avoid.


2) signal quality: Running a 120 V 60 Hz line a long distance with unshielded, untwisted speaker wire will definitely give you some cross coupling. Your speaker wire will have a 60 Hz 'hum' to it. Whether that matters at all is completely dependent on the magnitude of the hum relative to the normal signal. If it's low, no big deal. If it's a big hum, and it's to a full range speaker, you could hear it.


General leaning: it's usually easier to avoid running power with speakers than it is to prove that it won't be a (very hard to solve) problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for your answers, everyone. I think we'll tell the guy to fix the wires the next time he comes out. Better safe then sorry, and since the drywall isn't even up, it will be much easier to do now, than later.
 

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Also, make sure the speaker cables have a CL-2 or CL-3 label on them. If they used the standard Zip cord and it doesn't have a fire code label on it...it must be replaced.
 
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