Basic info for wiring a house?

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by lightsout, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. lightsout

    lightsout Limp Gawd

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    I have done some googling but was wondering if anyone has a good site for a basic guide on running cat 6 in a new home.

    We are building a house and I will get to do this while the walls are open. Planning on running Cat6, doesn't need to be a top of the line network, internet will be 100mb cable.

    I plan on doing 4 runs to the office and 4 runs to the TV, one run to all the other three rooms, everything meet at a spot in the garage where I plan to have a switch.

    Do I need a patch panel? I am on a pretty tight budget I was thinking 1000' of cat6 from maybe monoprice? Any advice or pointers in a certain direction is appreciated.
     
  2. ndehmer

    ndehmer [H]Lite

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    Seems like you got a good plan to start. I would say run more now to every room as you won't have as easy of chance to do it after. I had to wire mine after the fact and crawling around in the attic and in the crawl space was an awesome way to spend a weekend. I ended up running 1 Coax and 3 Ethernet to each drop. I am only using 1 drop for data and 1 drop for voice, so have at least 1 spare if anything were to go bad. As far as patch panel, I got a cheap one modular box that you can add different modules to. I have a 8 position 110 to RJ45 punch down patch panel block module and a 2 position 110 to RJ11 for phone. I picked it up from Home Depot I think for fairly cheap. It is nice to have everything in one box that can be covered up so no chance for wires to get unhooked/unplugged. Then I mount my distribution switch right next to it and can run the patch cables between the box and switch, and also run the phone line between the box and the Ooma.
     
  3. lightsout

    lightsout Limp Gawd

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    Thanks, can you link to what sort of modular box you are speaking of?
     
  4. ndehmer

    ndehmer [H]Lite

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    lightsout likes this.
  5. lightsout

    lightsout Limp Gawd

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  6. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot [H]ard|Gawd

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    Conduit is your friend. If open attic, run a 1" conduit down the wall to the TV spot and Office spot and run 1 cable each. Easy to add more later.

    Garages are often poorly climate controlled. Might consider putting your hub closet in an interior spot. It can also be used as a spot for your NAS if you get one. Be sure to include a dedicated power run to your hub closet. Don't want some fridge or hair dryer rebooting your switch and/or router.

    Cat 5e plenty good enough for 1 gig network speed.

    Consider where your WiFi APs will go and run a cable there. How will they be powered? AC or POE?

    Run a conduit from the outside ISP entrance to your hub closet. Makes it easier to make a 2nd run if you switch ISPs later. Or they show up with fiber. Also avoids the nasty habit a lot of ISPs have of wanting to run cable around the outside of your house.
     
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  7. heman22union

    heman22union n00bie

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    I would not put the switch in the garage. It's more humid and more likely to corrode the PCB and the pins inside the RJ45 jack of the switch, plus it's not climate controlled. I would plan all your cable runs to a closet in your office or something similar. Conduit may make it easier for more runs later, but it adds cost. You could just have conduit just where all your cables terminate. You could even have more that one conduit ran there for future use. I would just leave extra pull strings at each drop to use if you needed more to a specific drop.

    I would recommend using a patch panel. Pick one from here. Make sure to match the patch panel to the cable type for less issues. Monoprice is good for home stuff. This Universal Cable Jacket Stripper is nice for the price. This is a good punch down tool for your jacks and patch panel. This is an excellent crimper - they also make a non ratcheting one for less. For your cable runs, I would get a 1000 foot box of either Cat5e ($69.99) or Cat6 ($89.99). I would lean more towards Cat6. I would also get a cable tester (amazon item number B0000AZK08) and a toner (amazon item number B000NY8IXO). You can skip the toner, but definitely get the tester. Yes, there are cheaper testers, I even had one, until it died. I think this is a great one for the price with the right amount of features. You can get the more expensive one, but I don't see the benefit other than being able to test USB 3 cables vs USB 2 cables.

    When shopping for cables you need UTP (unshielded twisted pair) not STP (shielded twisted pair). You also want to get solid core wire not stranded. Patch panels and jacks work much better with solid core wire. You also don't need to get plenum rated cable since you aren't running this in your hvac ducts. I haven't messed much with terminating Cat6, but there is a plastic spine in the cable that you need to cut. It keeps the appropriate number of twists in the cable. Here is a great website that gives good info about Ethernet cables. I don't know if I agree with the max bandwidth chart they have listed in the chart, but that shouldn't matter much to you.

    Useful tips:
    1. Even though you might have a drop everyplace you think you might need one, you will probably end up adding more. Maybe plan on a bigger patch panel then you originally thought.
    2. Leave a service loop of 3 - 10 feet on each end of the drop in case a cable gets damaged and need to be re terminated.
    3. It's also probably a good idea to keep the network cable from running over or along 120V electrical cables as much as possible.
    4. Make sure to label your drops after each run. You then can label the patch panel and wall jack with the same scheme later. I also made a spreadsheet in Excel that I printed and keep near my switch/patch panel for quick reference.
    5. It might be a good idea to route your cables in a strap that hangs down from the roof rafters in the attic. This keeps them off the ceiling joists, making them easier to locate and makes sure you don't step/place items on them. Also by hanging them a 6 inches or more under the rafters, you don't have to worry about a nail/screw piercing the cables when a new roof is installed. Google image of framing anatomy :)
    6. I would probably use a 1 inch spade bit or a 1 inch hole saw for all your holes through your top plate in the wall. Remember to periodically clean the wood chips from the hole by backing out your bit so you don't bind your bit.
    7. I don't know how you are going to easily find the cables in the wall once the drywall is installed. It would probably be a good idea to measure, count what stud it's between, and take a picture once your done with your drops before they install the drywall.
    8. When you are going to cut a hole in the wall to add your low voltage wall bracket. Make sure to measure the height of the electrical plated in the room and keep it the same height.
    9. If the drops run along a stud in the wall and you plan on having a box screwed to the stud, make sure it's on the other side of the stud of there is electrical there.
    10. It is an industry standard to use the T568B wiring standard for ends, jacks, and patch panels. Read this article.

    Going with Cat6 could possibly allow you to utilize 10Gig Ethernet later down the road. Something you wouldn't be able to do with Cat5e. If there is any remaining cable left, save it for future runs, instead of making patch cables with it. Patch cables are relatively cheap and usually use stranded wire making them more flexible and easier to use/put away.

    I own every item I linked above and think they are great.

    Good luck and have fun. At least it's winter. I ran some of my drops in my attic when it was 110 degrees outside :p
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
  8. Meeho

    Meeho 2[H]4U

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    Why not STP? I would skip CAT6 and either use 5E or 6A.
     
  9. bman212121

    bman212121 [H]ard|Gawd

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    1 box won't be nearly enough to get that done. Yes it's only 40' between point A and point B, but it will take 60' of wire to actually make the run by the time you go up the wall and back down again and leave a bit to terminate with. That and unless you have some way of measuring you're going to be doing 1 pull at a time. If you want 4 pulls in a box, then you really want 4 boxes. By the time you try to pull the 4th single with 3 already in the wall everything starts to get tangled together and it becomes a huge pain to deal with. You could get away with 2 boxes and probably do 2 and 2, but I definitely wouldn't be doing more than 2 separate pulls per wall outlet or it will be a really annoying time.

    I'd definitely just run conduit to an open location where your runs will be. So if you're planning on making runs in the attic get conduit from the wall box to the attic. If you pull the wire while in construction, it's going to have to be inspected, and depending upon your location your electrician has to be the one to sign off on it because they hold the license. It will also cost more money as the inspector usually charges per outlet, so they will charge for each outlet that has wire in it. If you at least put in the conduits you can get everything signed off if you prevent airflow through them (Put something in them to box the airflow) and always take care of the wiring at a later time.

    3rd here that you definitely want your networking closet in an environmentally controller location. If that means using the top shelf of a closet somewhere in the house, then that's what it is. The copper ports on switches will turn green if you don't, and it's not easy to clean the corrosion out of the ports on your switch once they go bad.
     
  10. quiktake

    quiktake Limp Gawd

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    Make sure to do this after the electrical inspection or they might have to rip out the work if the inspector sees it and is in a bad mood.
     
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  11. Kwaz

    Kwaz Whine & Cheezy

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    Likely not nearly enough EMI to justify shielded.

    I'd run really high quality Cat 5e. High quality Cat 6a is not going to net you much unless you're positive that you're going to use 10 Gbe, which you're not. Anyways, high end Cat 6a is going to be A LOT more expensive.

    This is really great detailed advice. Take time to read through it!
     
  12. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot [H]ard|Gawd

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    Check with your local electrical inspector on if low voltage is subject to inspection and what if any permits might be required. Some low voltage stuff isn't covered by a lot of local codes. But you don't want to wind up having to redo or have to have a 2nd inspection trip due to not having the proper permit when the inspector makes the first trip. Some charge for each trip.
     
  13. bman212121

    bman212121 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Which is every time you see the inspector.... :p

    The proper way would be to talk to the electrician, see whether or not it falls on them and work with them to make sure it is covered and will pass inspection.
     
  14. lightsout

    lightsout Limp Gawd

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    Thanks so much for all the help. Now I am nervous about doing it myself, figured inspection could be an issue, I'll have to talk to the electrician when I get the chance.
     
  15. Brian_B

    Brian_B [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yeah if it’s still under construction just talk to your GC and get them
    to add what you want under a change order.

    They can order all that crap at wholesale, they already have all the tools, it won’t interfere with other construction work, and it will get permitted and pass inspection.
     
  16. lightsout

    lightsout Limp Gawd

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    Yeah that will definitely be the easiest route. I was trying to save cash doing it myself because the budget is already maxed out. But I do need to talk to him to see what it may cost.
     
  17. Brian_B

    Brian_B [H]ard|Gawd

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    Odds are they already budgeted to run telephone - that’s pretty standard and they use CAT5 for that anyway. Just may need to add a few additional drops and change from RJ11 to RJ45
     
  18. TordanGow

    TordanGow Limp Gawd

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    Best advice I can give in a few words:

    Run conduit.
     
  19. lightsout

    lightsout Limp Gawd

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    I think the builder actually said they were running telephone to the rooms, which I don't even want. Thanks for the tip, hopefully the cost isn't too high. I will use this thread as reference for sure.
     
  20. lightsout

    lightsout Limp Gawd

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    Thank you very much for this advice, to this and everyone else your advice has not gone unnoticed. I will look back upon this when I get closer.

     
  21. SamirD

    SamirD [H]ard|Gawd

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    Be careful about using contractors for ethernet. Most still can't get it right. Our apartment was built in 2016 by a large nationwide group--and even their cat 5 was just terminated to a telephone punch down block I had to rip out and rewire for proper ethernet. I would let the contractors run the wire, but inspect their runs, change things if need be (re-run runs near power, etc.), and DON'T LET THEM TERMINATE ANYTHING. I still have to re-terminate runs in my parents house from their build years ago. Idiots were stripping off 2" and undoing the twists--I'm surprised we don't have more runs that fail gigabit.