Author Topic: Which Cable Type for New Home Wiring?  (Read 4813 times)

Offline cloyd

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Which Cable Type for New Home Wiring?
« on: February 21, 2016, 01:53:15 PM »
Hello experts!
I am ready to begin trying to use existing phone lines to fish new lines into place as home runs to my PBX.  I have identified where the lines are going and I can get access in the attic.  I want to know which cable to use.
I'll be mounting the PBX in the basement and most of the lines will go two stories straight up (hopefully) into the attic.  From there I will need four lines.  If I try to replace all of the phone lines, I'll need two extensions in the basement, four on the main level, and then the four on our top floor.  I think one jack is hidden behind some substantial shelving units in the front room where I have my phones on display.  Wouldn't you know.
We have wireless internet access but I still want to use a cable that will have expandability into the future.  Granted, "it" would probably require something different so, maybe expandability isn't an issue.
I'm venturing into the attic now to see if I can find the cables that I am guessing are where I think they are.
Let me know what you think!
Tina
« Last Edit: March 03, 2016, 03:36:23 PM by AE_Collector »
-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- 1885

unbeldi

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Re: Which cable for home runs?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2016, 02:29:54 PM »
The most readily available and probably cheapest wire these days is Category 5 plenum cabling that has been the mainstay for Ethernet computer networking for some years, but now being replaced with CAT 6 in many places for multiple gigabit speeds.  For telephones you don't need that of course, in fact CAT 3 would be fine, but CAT3 is only good for 10 Mbit/s Ethernet, long obsolete by 15 years at least, so stay away from it if you are also thinking to string some networking cables.

Cat 3, 5, 6 come with four pairs of wires, each pair twisted to specs.  So that provides you with four telephone lines, or one Ethernet connection.  Theoretically one could squeeze two telephones lines into an Ethernet cable, as that only requires 4 wires, but the ends need to be properly terminated.

Cat 5 is most economically bought in boxes of a 1000 ft, I think last time, I paid ca. $50 or $60 for the box, but it's been a while, and I still have plenty left.  I think I have also seen 500ft boxes somewhere.  Buying shorter lengths the price goes up quickly, but perhaps there are reasonable sources too.

When having such large supply, it makes sense to pull two runs to each location at the same time in one action by simply hooking your pulling wire at the bend of two sections of equal length.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2016, 02:43:49 PM by unbeldi »

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Which cable for home runs?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2016, 02:58:02 PM »
So the thought is to run 4 cables to the attic to hit the 4 locations in tge top floor? Then the 4 jacks on the main floor will be run through the basement and then up a foot or so to each location?

Each station needs 1 pair if wires so anything more than that is thinking ahead to try to allow for future needs. I would also look at a project like this as being lots of work and relatively small material cost. Therefore while at it I would be installing a data run and a phone run at each location. Data run would be 4 pair Cat 5 minimum and tge phone run could be the same ideally. This would allow you to use both for phone use (up to 8 stations at any location in case you want to make phones on display work) if you arent using the data run for data. A future owner of the house may have no use for phone runs but might appreciate double data runs in some of the locations.

If you are creating a route basement to attic be sure to pull in an extra run or two and/or put in a pull string for the future (which is replaced when used in the future). Make the hole(s) in the framing large enough to handle more wires in the future, not jammed tight after the initial installation.

There are lots of ways to accomplish what you need while allowing for the future. Others will have other ideas. I think much of this was discussed in a previous topic not too long ago.

Terry

<edit> Here is what I wrote on the topic in your "does a Panasonic PBX require a Propreitery Phone" topic.  http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=15529.0

Most older homes will have all phone wire feeding directly from the telephone protector which is very often olcated on the outside of the house, very often near the electric meter. Of course there are many exceptions. Around here much older homes, say older than 1960 usually had the prot inside by the electric panel. Some new homes now, maybe built in the last 10'years maximum will have prot on the outside but it feeds to a distribution panel inside where all the phone, network and CATV wire distributes from.

If installing a pbx of some sort in a house to be used on a daily basis as both access to your phone line and for its built in intercom and/or paging features, I would do the following. Install the system inside in a utility area where it isn't too difficult to run wire from. I would suggest terminating the phone system properly on punch down blocks such as 66, 110 or BIX. Take a good feed from there back to the prot or where ever your phone wires in the house ditribute from. Don't under do it, run ample pairs of wire to handle the main line or lines coming in and a pair for each station back out to the prot. This could easily mean 2 - 4 pair cables or more.

Ideally if your home is wired with station wire of two or more pairs and is all home runs you can change the jacks to double jacks everywhere with a pair of wire to each. Then you can set it up so the phone line goes direct (not through the pbx) to one of the jacks at each location allowing you to directly connect phones, answering machines, call displays etc. The other jack can be for a pbx station which needs to be connected at the prot to one of the pairs of wire you ran from the pbx  to the Prot.

If installing a distribution point within the house and you have the ability to run wire from there to the prot another possibilty to further enhance the flexibility would be to splice all set runs at the prot so that they all show up directly on blocks at the distribution area. Thus your phone line can be cross connected to whichever jack(s) you want and the same for the pbx. This would move all cross connecting from happening at the prot to happening at your new distribution point.

Remember, your direct phone line can be looped or home runs but the pbx pretty much needs a pair from each station to each individual jack. If you have a pbx port looped to some jacks they will all be the same station which will work for analog but not for digital (proprietary) phones.

There are infinite number of ways that a system can be installed and connected. I am a big proponent of doing things right the first time which then makes it much easier to change, rearrange or expand in the future without the need to basically start over and run more wire each time.

Terry


« Last Edit: February 21, 2016, 04:24:05 PM by AE_Collector »

Offline NorthernElectric

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Re: Which cable for home runs?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2016, 03:30:32 PM »
I am ready to begin trying to use existing phone lines to fish new lines into place as home runs to my PBX.

Why not leave the existing wiring in place then just do 1 run from the PBX location to wherever all of the existing wires originate and use a suitable junction block?
Cliff

unbeldi

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Re: Which cable for home runs?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2016, 03:32:12 PM »
You definitely don't need anything like the picture.

And you should avoid the solutions shown in this web page:

unbeldi

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Re: Which cable for home runs?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2016, 03:34:52 PM »
In particular, this may impact your private life significantly:


Offline cloyd

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Re: Which cable for home runs?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2016, 09:02:59 AM »
Before going up into the attic, I thought I had the wiring routes figured out.  When I got up there, there were cables EVERYWHERE!  Many more than I could account for.

Also, in the phone jack boxes, I found 2 and 3 lines ganged together which I thought meant that that box was used to route to one or two other boxes.  As soon as I cut the wires, we lost internet.  Now, this threw me.  Our internet is wireless, so these must be used for data???

This means, I think, that they need to remain in place which is bad news for me since I was going to use it to pull wires.

Oops, gotta teach, more later.

Tina
-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- 1885

Offline Fabius

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Re: Which cable for home runs?
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2016, 09:40:32 AM »
When I wanted an extension off my Panasonic PBX to a location with no IC (inside cable) wire and the extension is going to be POTS (plain old telephone service) I used cordless phones. I believe you can still buy them at WalMart and such. I bought mine at Goodwill cheap. And they work great on the system for POTS.  Only minor issue is those extensions will not have all the features that the Panasonic phones have.
Tom Vaughn
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Offline cloyd

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Re: Which cable for home runs?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2016, 02:54:49 PM »
So the thought is to run 4 cables to the attic to hit the 4 locations in tge top floor? Then the 4 jacks on the main floor will be run through the basement and then up a foot or so to each location?
There are lots of ways to accomplish what you need while allowing for the future. Others will have other ideas. I think much of this was discussed in a previous topic not too long ago.
Terry

Terry, thank you for your input!  Much of your advice is beyond my technical know-how.  I appreciate your comment that anything beyond the pair of wires is future oriented.  If I am going to bother pulling one wire, I may as well pull two.

Tina Loyd

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- 1885

Offline cloyd

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Re: Which cable for home runs?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2016, 03:57:16 PM »
I have been surfing the internet for Cat 5e plenum cable.  Some brands (Southwire) switched manufacturers and has gotten terrible reviews about broken cables that have to be redone.  Some cables are copper clad aluminum, others are all copper.  Is there code restrictions on copper clad aluminum wiring?  Do I need shielded or unshielded?  "Data cable" or "ethernet" or is it all the same?

Thank you,

Tina
-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- 1885

Offline Babybearjs

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Re: Which cable for home runs?
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2016, 04:05:55 PM »
checkout www.deepsurplus.com I bought 25 pair Cat 5 from them and it works great! kind of pricey and now, they don't have the deals I found last year....  BUT... they do have IW cabling!
John

Offline cloyd

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Re: Which cable for home runs?
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2016, 12:48:44 PM »

When having such large supply, it makes sense to pull two runs to each location at the same time in one action by simply hooking your pulling wire at the bend of two sections of equal length.

Unbeldi,

Just to be clear, you recommend that I pull two Cat 5e cables to each location to allow for two ethernet connections in each location.  (Or 8 telephone connections.)

Thank you,

Tina
-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- 1885

unbeldi

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Re: Which cable for home runs?
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2016, 01:52:30 PM »

When having such large supply, it makes sense to pull two runs to each location at the same time in one action by simply hooking your pulling wire at the bend of two sections of equal length.

Unbeldi,

Just to be clear, you recommend that I pull two Cat 5e cables to each location to allow for two ethernet connections in each location.  (Or 8 telephone connections.)

Thank you,

Tina

That's what I have done in the past, I found it just easiest to fold a full length of run, and tie the pulling string or wire at the folding point without creating more reason for the cable to get caught somewhere while pulling.  As Terry pointed out, the work is greater here than the material costs, and this way it's easy to pull two cords in one action.

覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧\______________________ pull
覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧/

But in the end it's up to you to decide how it works best for you, and if the double run is not ever needed, then you need to decide what's best in each case.  But telephones in collectors' homes don't seem to stay alone long, and I have always found good use for an extra run.

When things get out of hand (with telephones), then the extra run can be used for a T1 line with a channel banks on each side.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 02:09:30 PM by unbeldi »

Offline Jim S.

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Re: Which cable for home runs?
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2016, 06:23:59 PM »
You don't need plenum cable unless you are running it in your ductwork. Plenum is typically used above drop ceilings  when the space above is part of the return air plenum. I would buy 1000' and home run 1 cable per jack ( but I like overkill). 
JMO,
Jim S.

 It can be hard  to go from a basement up 1-2 stories and into an attic without making extra holes .  Depending on when the house was built and the walls you will most likely have a top plate, bottom plate, maybe fireblocks, on exterior walls you typically will have some sort of insulation.
A good spot to find a chaise is @ the plumbing pipes. You best run locations may be inside the closets, if you surface run the cable in the front corners it will be out of sight  and easier. You can also cover the cables with metal or plastic wiremold.

JMO,
Jim S.
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.

Offline cloyd

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Re: Which cable for home runs?
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2016, 02:40:03 PM »
Thank you Jim,
I think I have read that plenum cable is more flexible and easier to pull.  Is that your experience?  I know that riser cable is much cheaper.  No one answered my question about copper clad aluminum cable and whether it is up to code.  Or is solid copper cable the better way to go anyway?

I may be doing one run to each location simply because I think the future will be more wireless rather than less.  I might try running some cable this weekend.  If I find a generous space to run from the basement to the attic, it will make a difference.  Our house is plenty big and I figure one run to each location will take roughly 600 feet of cable.  At $160-ish for a box of 1,000 feet, I think future homeowners can pull their own cable.  Perhaps my husband isn't as forgiving of expenditures on my archaic hobby as other spouses might be.   :'(

Tina
-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- 1885