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Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: mattkime
Date: October 18, 2019 09:51PM
I've been closing in on a clever path to run ethernet to the second floor. Its a real challenge in this house as there are few interior walls that span both floors. I found a preexisting route that nearly goes the full distance - the drawback: its already occupied with four romex cables.

Its unclear to me whether the separation between power and data cables is merely academic or not.

Any real world experiences?



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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: October 18, 2019 09:56PM
You will have problems if they are run directly contacting power wires. You want at least an inch or so.

Best way to get from the basement through the first and second floors is around the chimney. Usually there is room around the brick and the wall.



C(-)ris
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 18, 2019 10:06PM
How are the exterior walls different/unusable? They're often constructed the same way as the room dividing ones.

I had a few I ran in my last house near Romex, but not a 4-run of Romex. I think you're fine so long as there's no induction and no one ever punctures both and sends 110v into your RJ45's.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 18, 2019 10:12PM
Quote
C(-)ris
... Best way to get from the basement through the first and second floors is around the chimney. Usually there is room around the brick and the wall.

Yes that's good.

Also, my last house, the first owner apparently got a 2nd phone line installed for an upstairs room on the opposite end of the house from where the demarcation box was. So what the telco did was run the new line into the basement as normal, all the way across the basement ceiling joists to the other end of the house, out through the wall, up the siding, into the exterior wall of the upstairs room with a proper jack right on the baseboard. Standing outside the house the wire wasn't evident unless you looked closely.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: mattkime
Date: October 18, 2019 10:29PM
Quote
C(-)ris
You want at least an inch or so.

hm, maybe I can run the ethernet near but not directly next to the power cables. I will need a very long drill bit.

My kitchen had 6" par down lights - 7 of them. At 65w each that total 455w when you have all the lights on. I've replaced them with leds and in the process found pathways to the basement and second floor. (not joined, unfortunately) They're on the permitter of the room in their own soffit-like space. I could drill a hole downward for ethernet, I think I'd need a 9 foot drill bit and I'm not joking. Maaaaybe I could go from the bottom up but that seems like it has its own challenges like determining the correct spot to drill.

Quote
C(-)ris
Best way to get from the basement through the first and second floors is around the chimney. Usually there is room around the brick and the wall.

Chimney is on the other side of the house.

Quote
deckeda
How are the exterior walls different/unusable?

They're filled with insulation, or should be. I wouldn't rule it out if everything was otherwise perfect but thats not the case here.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/18/2019 10:31PM by mattkime.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: October 18, 2019 10:48PM
Do you have a bathroom upstairs? Plumbing pipe is good to follow from basement to 2nd floor. The runs are usually very straight and have space around the large pipes. Plus no electricity.



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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 18, 2019 10:57PM
Go one floor at a time and fish from one to the other. You'll have to use existing wall holes or make them/patch them up as needed.

I have one of these: [www.cableorganizer.com]
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: mattkime
Date: October 18, 2019 10:58PM
Quote
C(-)ris
Do you have a bathroom upstairs? Plumbing pipe is good to follow from basement to 2nd floor. The runs are usually very straight and have space around the large pipes. Plus no electricity.

I know where that goes but it come up under a shower and toilet - so I'm not sure thats of use.

Looks like the sink drain line goes into the soffit space on the other side of the kitchen. I'm not sure why, might find out some day. Looks like that soffit space made a lot of things easier. All sorts of stuff you can hide in there.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/18/2019 10:59PM by mattkime.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: October 18, 2019 11:08PM
Quote
mattkime
Quote
C(-)ris
Do you have a bathroom upstairs? Plumbing pipe is good to follow from basement to 2nd floor. The runs are usually very straight and have space around the large pipes. Plus no electricity.

I know where that goes but it come up under a shower and toilet - so I'm not sure that's of use.

Looks like the sink drain line goes into the soffit space on the other side of the kitchen. I'm not sure why, might find out some day. Looks like that soffit space made a lot of things easier. All sorts of stuff you can hide in there.

The hot and cold water pipes for the shower should come out somewhere where you have access to the rear possibly through an access cover?



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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: jdc
Date: October 19, 2019 02:10AM
Im assuming this is the wrong answer? confused smiley





----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: Speedy
Date: October 19, 2019 04:31AM
Quote
deckeda
Quote
C(-)ris
... Best way to get from the basement through the first and second floors is around the chimney. Usually there is room around the brick and the wall.

Yes that's good.

Also, my last house, the first owner apparently got a 2nd phone line installed for an upstairs room on the opposite end of the house from where the demarcation box was. So what the telco did was run the new line into the basement as normal, all the way across the basement ceiling joists to the other end of the house, out through the wall, up the siding, into the exterior wall of the upstairs room with a proper jack right on the baseboard. Standing outside the house the wire wasn't evident unless you looked closely.

We ran ours outside, too. We have cedar lap siding and ran it right along the lap. We don’t even notice it although when we go to sell the house, I’m sure any potential buyers will see it first thing.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: Acer
Date: October 19, 2019 07:15AM
Very common in my area with older homes for the cable guys to run coax outside over the siding or brick. Not my preference, but since everyone has it no one "sees" it.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 19, 2019 07:32AM
Quote
Speedy
Quote
deckeda
Quote
C(-)ris
... Best way to get from the basement through the first and second floors is around the chimney. Usually there is room around the brick and the wall.

Yes that's good.

Also, my last house, the first owner apparently got a 2nd phone line installed for an upstairs room on the opposite end of the house from where the demarcation box was. So what the telco did was run the new line into the basement as normal, all the way across the basement ceiling joists to the other end of the house, out through the wall, up the siding, into the exterior wall of the upstairs room with a proper jack right on the baseboard. Standing outside the house the wire wasn't evident unless you looked closely.

We ran ours outside, too. We have cedar lap siding and ran it right along the lap. We don’t even notice it although when we go to sell the house, I’m sure any potential buyers will see it first thing.

And in my case, the lap siding was of course always painted, so the tightly-tacked wire became part of that same color.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: lost in space
Date: October 19, 2019 07:37AM
Having the data and power lines touching or in close proximity to each other over a short distance will cause fewer priblems. Ours cross each other where it can’t be helped but are kept apart where possible. We have no problems (that I know of). Might not apply to your situation though.



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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: mattkime
Date: October 19, 2019 08:40AM
Those who talk of running cables externally - are you in a northern climate?



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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: October 19, 2019 08:44AM
Quote
Speedy
Quote
deckeda
Quote
C(-)ris
... Best way to get from the basement through the first and second floors is around the chimney. Usually there is room around the brick and the wall.

Yes that's good.

Also, my last house, the first owner apparently got a 2nd phone line installed for an upstairs room on the opposite end of the house from where the demarcation box was. So what the telco did was run the new line into the basement as normal, all the way across the basement ceiling joists to the other end of the house, out through the wall, up the siding, into the exterior wall of the upstairs room with a proper jack right on the baseboard. Standing outside the house the wire wasn't evident unless you looked closely.
We ran ours outside, too. We have cedar lap siding and ran it right along the lap. We don’t even notice it although when we go to sell the house, I’m sure any potential buyers will see it first thing.

I did the same thing, ran the DSL line in my last house through the mortar gaps in the brick and under the lip of vinyl siding segments. Nearly invisible until you walked right up to it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/19/2019 08:45AM by Will Collier.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 19, 2019 09:18AM
do you need Gigabit or is 2-300 Mb sufficient? you can get those ethernet-powerline adapters and run data through the electrical circuits. I think more expensive models go up to 500 or possibly 1 G these days.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: Acer
Date: October 19, 2019 09:26AM
Quote
mattkime
Those who talk of running cables externally - are you in a northern climate?

I am.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: October 19, 2019 09:32AM
Quote
mattkime
Those who talk of running cables externally - are you in a northern climate?

Nope, but that's what I did to connect a couple of Tivos.

Downstairs Tivo connected to the cable modem/router via ethernet,

Then a flat ethernet cable from the cable modem/router out under the downstairs windowsill then up through the deck via downspout hole then under the living room windowsill to the living room Tivo.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: pdq
Date: October 19, 2019 09:42AM
Quote
mattkime

My kitchen had 6" par down lights - 7 of them. At 65w each that total 455w when you have all the lights on.

Yikes! If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Thank god for LEDs.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: Speedy
Date: October 19, 2019 09:44AM
Quote
Acer
Quote
mattkime
Those who talk of running cables externally - are you in a northern climate?

I am.

Me, too.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 19, 2019 09:54AM
Another thought: do you have Coax upstairs? look into MoCA adapters

[www.amazon.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/19/2019 09:55AM by space-time.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: October 19, 2019 10:32AM
The key to running signal lines near power lines is shielding AND grounding. While Cat 5e is shielded ( and twisted), most people do not ground the shield on one or both ends. And that can cause the shield to be kind of useless. Run a green ground line up along with the Cat5e (run a spare Cat5e line just in case). Terminate both ends of the Cat5e inside a metal box and connect the shield to a ground pigtail in the box. Then terminate the ground wire to the box as well. And you’ve put the signal wires inside a grounded tube.

The alternate is to run a piece of EMT up the hole, ground both ends, and put the signal lines inside it. But that’s hard to do.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: GGD
Date: October 19, 2019 11:28AM
Quote
cbelt3
While Cat 5e is shielded ( and twisted), most people do not ground the shield on one or both ends. And that can cause the shield to be kind of useless.

Cat 5, etc cable is commonly referred to as UTP Cat 5, and the U in UTP stands for Unshielded. I've seen some specialty shielded Cat5, but it's uncommon, and the is no ground pin on a common RJ-45 connector for a shield to connect to, just 8 data pins for the 4 twisted pairs.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: October 19, 2019 12:05PM
PowerLine ethernet?
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: 3d
Date: October 19, 2019 01:49PM
In the six years since painstakingly running an ethernet cable in the walls and ceiling up to the second floor of the house (aside from testing) I've used the cable EXACTLY ZERO times. Would I do it again? Absolutely! Every time I look at the un-used tidy little ethernet port wall plate on the second floor I get a warm fuzzy feeling inside smiling smiley
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: wowzer
Date: October 19, 2019 01:58PM
I ran my own cat5e. When crossing power lines, do it at 90 degrees. Like others said, try to stay away if possible. Other trick, run only where you need the wires, then plan on running wireless router from that spot. The router connect wired to your central switch and then it can supply wifi to the devices in that area. The nighthawk routers from netgear are good to use because you can get the same IP bank from your main router...this allows file sharing and printer sharing.

GL.

PS I've also used the powerline ethernet...not too bad. YMMV.



All I ever really needed to know, I learned from watching Star Trek.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: richorlin
Date: October 19, 2019 02:04PM
I've used powerline ethernet at times and it is pretty reliable. I used some older cheaper models I got off of eBay. If you aren't doing streaming over the line then the older, slower ones work fine and wil save you some money. BTW, they have to be pluged directly into the wall. No extension cords or multi-outlet adapters.



richorlin

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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 19, 2019 04:32PM
I repeat my question: do you happen to have COAX there? look into MoCA

In fact I may just do that myself. I just realized that I have coax exactly where I want ethernet.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: mattkime
Date: October 19, 2019 05:54PM
I'm kind of surprised that people who live where winter exists would pierce the exterior of their home to run a cable but maybe I'm being prissy about it.

No, no access panel to the upstairs shower plumbing. I know, I know, its weird.

And yes, I'm aware there are alternatives to running ethernet but thats not what I want! Its the backbone of my wifi network.



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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: October 19, 2019 08:47PM
there are alternatives to running ethernet but thats not what I want! Its the backbone of my wifi network.

I think this is commendable and a smart investment of time, money, and a solid ROI. Once and done.

It's not the easiest, but done well, it will be the most reliable. Not that being hacked by war drivers is a thing, there's still comfort in the security of a wired system over the vagaries of WiFi.




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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: btfc
Date: October 19, 2019 09:47PM
Brief proximity is less of a problem than, long parallel runs at close proximity.


"I'm kind of surprised that people who live where winter exists would pierce the exterior of their home to run a cable but maybe I'm being prissy about it."


That's what spray foam and silicone caulk are for.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: 3d
Date: October 20, 2019 07:35AM
Quote
mattkime
I'm kind of surprised that people who live where winter exists would pierce the exterior of their home to run a cable but maybe I'm being prissy about it.

Your house is full of holes. Many of which are just "sealed" with a hinged piece of plastic and a loose rubber flap. Soffit vents? Range hood vent? Bathroom vent? Dryer vent? Electrical outlet drafts? Thinking about a half inch hole with a cable and sealed with caulk is overthinking.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: JoeH
Date: October 20, 2019 10:22AM
Quote
3d
Quote
mattkime
I'm kind of surprised that people who live where winter exists would pierce the exterior of their home to run a cable but maybe I'm being prissy about it.

Your house is full of holes. Many of which are just "sealed" with a hinged piece of plastic and a loose rubber flap. Soffit vents? Range hood vent? Bathroom vent? Dryer vent? Electrical outlet drafts? Thinking about a half inch hole with a cable and sealed with caulk is overthinking.

Exactly! And the hole can be smaller than a half inch, just big enough to pass the cable through and do termination afterwards. That is how the coax was done for the upstairs connection years ago. The line from the street came in one side of the basement, goes to a splitter for one run to the first floor and another for the second. The second floor run crosses the basement, exits through a hole in the sill, and goes up the exterior of the house and one through a hole drilled next to a window. All holes were drilled just a slight bit larger than the coax and sealed with caulk.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: October 20, 2019 06:32PM
I guess it depends on how you value aesthetics. I'd never run a cable across the outside of a house. Poor implementation and looks bad. Plus it will fail, especially a network cable which doesn't have anywhere near the shielding or core size as a coax cable.



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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: mattkime
Date: October 20, 2019 06:42PM
Yeah, I was going to say that I'm 100% convinced that its an okay thing to do but I'll still never do it.

---

UPDATE - apparently this is how coax is being run to our kitchen. (whats fancier than having a tv in your kitchen??? hahaha...) except that the cable is in the garage, run behind the pvc pipe for the central vac that hasn't been turned on in decades.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/20/2019 07:48PM by mattkime.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: mikebw
Date: October 20, 2019 07:28PM
Quote
btfc
Brief proximity is less of a problem than, long parallel runs at close proximity.

Where possible, have your wires cross at 90 degree angles, this will minimize the area where a current could be induced from one wire to another.

I also second the idea of looking for a plumbing run from base to 2nd floor. There should be a vent pipe from the basement that goes all the way to the roof. If you're lucky it won't be sealed up tight at penetrations through the floors, and you can run a wire down alongside that.
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Re: Running ethernet in an old house - power lines
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: October 24, 2019 03:25PM
Quote
C(-)ris
I guess it depends on how you value aesthetics. I'd never run a cable across the outside of a house. Poor implementation and looks bad. Plus it will fail, especially a network cable which doesn't have anywhere near the shielding or core size as a coax cable.

All depends.

Mine goes out the corner of the window, then up behind the downspout, then back into a corner of the upstairs window.

Sheltered behind the downspout & underneath an eve, it's lasted for years so far.
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