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Ethernet Wire run parallel to Electrical Wires in a conduit? Bad idea?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: July 19, 2007 12:17PM
Well, as usual, the "powers that be" have sprung their "grand plan" on us (uh, ME) tech folks with a wave of the hand and a "oh, by the way, you have 3 weeks to do it all".

That's another rant...

How bad an idea is it to have Ethernet line (Cat5e or Cat6) run at the same time as some new electrical (AC) lines are being run in some conduit?

Would I just be asking for a poor, noisy, lossy, connection with the ethernet? (it would be limited to 100-BaseT by all the other equipment).



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Ethernet Wire run parallel to Electrical Wires in a conduit? Bad idea?
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: July 19, 2007 12:19PM
Does the Building Codes allow that?

BGnR



"Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You're beautiful!"
"If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster."
"Near the day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky."
"A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans."
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Re: Ethernet Wire run parallel to Electrical Wires in a conduit? Bad idea?
Posted by: GGD
Date: July 19, 2007 12:19PM
Everything that I've read says that Cat-5 should cross AC wire at a 90 degree angle, and not run parallel to AC. But I've never experimented to find out how bad an idea it is.
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Re: Ethernet Wire run parallel to Electrical Wires in a conduit? Bad idea?
Posted by: OWC Jamie
Date: July 19, 2007 12:30PM
1. Not legal to mix high voltage and low voltage in the same conduit.
2. Ethernet will pick up interference by running alongside AC lines UNLESS they are in a conduit by themselves.



Good Luck!
Jamie Dresser
Other World Computing
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Re: Ethernet Wire run parallel to Electrical Wires in a conduit? Bad idea?
Posted by: TheTominator
Date: July 19, 2007 12:31PM
The only thing I have heard about Cat 5/6 and building codes is with regard to the insulation on the Cat 5 cable. There is something about the cable needing to be "plenum" cable if it is to be strung in an air duct.

If I had to guess, I would say that there should be no problem with crosstalk of 60 Hz AC and much higher Hz ethernet, but I have no experience with it.
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Re: Ethernet Wire run parallel to Electrical Wires in a conduit? Bad idea?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: July 19, 2007 12:35PM
All electric codes I have seen do not allow you to run low voltage wiring like Cat5e in the same conduit as AC wiring. So that is out. If you mean run alongside the AC wiring conduit, that is not a good idea for noise reasons. Depending on how close and for how long a run, you might be lucky to get 10BaseT speeds. I forget what the recommended or required separation distance is, but it is at least a foot. If you have to run parallel and next to the new AC conduit, this may be the one reason to get shielded Cat5e cable. You get shorter runs than with unshielded, so use it only where necessary.



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Re: Ethernet Wire run parallel to Electrical Wires in a conduit? Bad idea?
Posted by: billb
Date: July 19, 2007 12:54PM
I don't think your codes willallow any other kind of wires in the AC conduit besides AC.
No TV, no Telephone, no doorbells, no speaker wires, nothing.
If this is a public building there are likely codes regarding what the outer insulation on the Cat5/6 can be made of. depending on how and where it is being routed.
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Re: Ethernet Wire run parallel to Electrical Wires in a conduit? Bad idea?
Date: July 19, 2007 01:16PM
Fiberoptic might be acceptable but finding someone competent to do it on short notice would cost a lot.

I think most ethernet guides recommend 18" between power and signal conduits. Plenum rated cable can be run in heating/AC ducts with some precautions.



in tha 510.
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Re: Ethernet Wire run parallel to Electrical Wires in a conduit? Bad idea?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: July 19, 2007 01:21PM
I was going to let the Electrical contractor worry about the building codes...
They wouldn't listen if I told them it was illegal.. they would if the contractor did.

That aside, it sounds like it is as I feared; won't work anyway.


Oh well...
Looks like I'm putting together a PO to try to get wireless to computers that are worth less than the cost of the wireless card or USB adapter...
But I've tried explaining THAT to them also...



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Ethernet Wire run parallel to Electrical Wires in a conduit? Bad idea?
Posted by: GGD
Date: July 19, 2007 01:28PM
Quote
Paul F.
Oh well...
Looks like I'm putting together a PO to try to get wireless to computers that are worth less than the cost of the wireless card or USB adapter...
But I've tried explaining THAT to them also...

How about a WIFI to Ethernet bridge and an ethernet switch, and run Ethernet to all of the computers.
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Re: Ethernet Wire run parallel to Electrical Wires in a conduit? Bad idea?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: July 19, 2007 01:34PM
GGD;

That's one possibility...
First I have to get a straight answer about what kind of table arrangement they're buying..



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Ethernet Wire run parallel to Electrical Wires in a conduit? Bad idea?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: July 19, 2007 04:20PM
Ignoring "Codes" doing that is an insanely BAD idea. Unless their goal is to buy all new networking equipment, switches, cards, and perhaps computers.

AC along with love voltage /signal lines produces AC voltage signals in the low voltage lines. Plug in your RJ45 and bzzzap !
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Re: Ethernet Wire run parallel to Electrical Wires in a conduit? Bad idea?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: July 19, 2007 04:27PM
Like I said.. I wasn't planning on IGNORING the codes...
Just know the people involved well enough to know that the licensed electrician would be listened to. I would not be.
No point in MY telling them it violated code.

It's a very odd place to work in that regard :-)

Now that I know it's a pointless endeavor anyway...(and possibly a dangerous and expensive one), I know to not even bother asking the electrician if it IS to code or not.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Ethernet Wire run parallel to Electrical Wires in a conduit? Bad idea?
Posted by: ADent
Date: July 19, 2007 05:15PM
I know our computer lab in high school ran the power for the window A/C units (240V IIRC) and the power for the Corvus network thing (120V) together. They couldn't figure out for a long time what was wrong. The Corvus would not work sporatically, but swapping it with a known good unit wouldn't help.

It wasn't until some genius decided to pull out a multi-meter and check the power outlet line voltage with both A/C units running - 160+ V AC instead of 120V. D'ohh.

Don't run power and ethernet together unless you want some A/C induced on the ethernet lines (not to mention the shock hazards).
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Re: Ethernet Wire run parallel to Electrical Wires in a conduit? Bad idea?
Posted by: Bernie
Date: July 19, 2007 06:13PM
If the AC is in Aluminum conduit you can zip tie the CAT 5 cable to the outside of the conduit. Really!




Staunton, Virginia
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