Low voltage wiring

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Old 11-16-07, 11:47 AM
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Low voltage wiring

Other than the basic common sense rules, Is there any special procedure for fishing low voltage cables in finished walls.??
I need a run of "INTERCOM" cable between first and second floor , And I am just curious of some "Overlooked Rules" .

Thanks as always.
 
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Old 11-16-07, 12:44 PM
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Basically, anything goes with low voltage signal wires. The only one I can think of is try to avoid running parallel to power wires closer than about 12". It can introduce a hum into the analog audio signal. Crossing power at right angles produces no interference.
 
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Old 11-16-07, 05:24 PM
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And don't run inside ducts unless rated for that.
 
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Old 11-16-07, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
And don't run inside ducts unless rated for that.
Referring to heating ducts? As in...Inside the duct????

Im sure someone has tried it.......But why would you do something like that?

Although it would make life really easy.....

Im assuming I would be looking for a Temperature rating on the wiring?????
 
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Old 11-16-07, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Unclediezel View Post
Im sure someone has tried it.......But why would you do something like that?
Haha, I'll have to raise my hand and say "Guilty" here.

Reason I did it was... this wiring was for my surveillance cameras, with most of the exposed wiring in the basement. On the main level there is a vent right next to my multiplexer where the cameras hook in. I looked at that vent and then looked at the plaster and lath. It really wasn't a hard decision.

It's only a couple feet in the ductwork. Will get 'round to doing it right eventually, if I decide that's where everything's going to live permanently. Been that way for a couple years with no problems. The wires on my roof get a helluva lot hotter (because of the sun) than the air coming out of my ductwork.
 
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Old 11-16-07, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by core View Post
. It really wasn't a hard decision.
----I guess thats the answer to most of engineering and design work--

Is there a temp rating or something that I should look for to make this an acceptable installation?...Maybe a 1/2 inch conduit thru the duct? Or am I just plain "OVERTHINKING"?
 
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Old 11-16-07, 07:52 PM
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its actually not a temperature rating

the wire will be "plenum" rated. More of a flammability thing.
Typically, this will force you into a teflon, FEP type wire insulation.
 
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Old 11-16-07, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Unclediezel View Post
Referring to heating ducts? As in...Inside the duct????

Im sure someone has tried it.......But why would you do something like that?

Although it would make life really easy.....

Im assuming I would be looking for a Temperature rating on the wiring?????
Where I live residential air handlers are usually in the attic. In a two story house it is very tempting to run wire through the return to get to the first floor.
 
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Old 11-30-07, 07:35 PM
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Hurry and do low voltage wiring...

Hurry up and do any low voltage wiring that you have planned. The NEC and many governments are trying to regulate it (requiring permits, professionals, etc.). Do your work before this happens so that it will be "grandfathered". In my state, the electrical unions are buddy-buddy with the building safety departments, so they get laws passed to make it difficult and expensive for homeowners to do projects.
 
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Old 11-30-07, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Strategery View Post
Hurry up and do any low voltage wiring that you have planned. The NEC and many governments are trying to regulate it (requiring permits, professionals, etc.). Do your work before this happens so that it will be "grandfathered". In my state, the electrical unions are buddy-buddy with the building safety departments, so they get laws passed to make it difficult and expensive for homeowners to do projects.
GOOD! I'm getting tired of these low voltage contractors waltzing in with no permits, no licences (other then contractor) dragging their cable where ever and how ever they want. Making the whole job look like crap!
 
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Old 11-30-07, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
GOOD! I'm getting tired of these low voltage contractors waltzing in with no permits, no licences (other then contractor) dragging their cable where ever and how ever they want. Making the whole job look like crap!
You do realize that in the process, the homeowner who simply wants a neat install for his surround sound speakers is now stuck paying someone to do it?

If I have to pay someone to put in 23 feet of Intercom cable...hell ..I'll just "TAPE IT TO THE WALL"
 
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Old 11-30-07, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
GOOD! I'm getting tired of these low voltage contractors waltzing in with no permits, no licences (other then contractor) dragging their cable where ever and how ever they want. Making the whole job look like crap!
Well I'm tired of (some) electicians who don't know what the heck they're doing trying to install low voltage, such as fire alarm and cameras. In our state they aren't licensed for that, but it still happens. And daisy chaining cat 5, and etc, etc.

It works both ways pal.
 
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Old 12-01-07, 05:04 AM
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We always use ECs for our installations. Hiring an electric construction company is more expensive than hiring our own people for a cable crew, but with very little supervision we know the job will be done right -- exactly to our specs -- and will have no problems passing inspection.

Besides, with all the engineering and programming the systems require, we have enough to do. Time saved on one job means more time to spend on others.

There have been a few guys I've seen on sites who were ham-handed and didn't care, but they don't last long. The union weeds them out.
 
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Old 12-01-07, 07:06 AM
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We're not union here (I'm glad, but that's another argument let's not get started on here). But I've seen good and bad electricians (both union & non-union, old & young), and I've seen good and bad low voltage guys. I don't lump everyone together by trade, and say they're bad just because they're different than mine. Heck, one of my best friends is a master electrician.

Oh, and I've seen romex run every which way, making a web like a spider on crack.
 
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Old 12-01-07, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Integrator97 View Post
Well I'm tired of (some) electicians who don't know what the heck they're doing trying to install low voltage, such as fire alarm and cameras. In our state they aren't licensed for that, but it still happens. And daisy chaining cat 5, and etc, etc.

It works both ways pal.
Then all you low voltage guys should have no problem being licenced and having to get your own inspections.

I agree. I have seen plenty of poorly wired jobs by electricians. Nothing bugs me more than cable going every which way. Even though it is strapped correctly it still looks like junk. On the other hand, I have seen some low voltage guys who bundle the cable so neat it looks like one cable.

BTW - homeowner can install his own wiring in his own home.
 
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Old 12-01-07, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
Then all you low voltage guys should have no problem being licenced and having to get your own inspections.

I agree. I have seen plenty of poorly wired jobs by electricians. Nothing bugs me more than cable going every which way. Even though it is strapped correctly it still looks like junk. On the other hand, I have seen some low voltage guys who bundle the cable so neat it looks like one cable.

BTW - homeowner can install his own wiring in his own home.
Our fire alarms do get inspected. As a matter of fact, the submittal and as built process here would make your head spin. I have no problem, because we are licensed, but I agree that the non alarm low voltage guys aren't. I have a problem with submittal proposals that would require security and camera systems plans be turned in to an AHJ or planning department. First of all it becomes public record, second even if it wasn't, municipalities are far from secure.

As far as licensing or inspections go, neither would change the sloppy wiring. Workmanship is isn't dictated by either, as long as it meets code. And I've seen a lot of stuff slip by the inspectors, be it electrical, fire, or other stuff.
 
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Old 12-02-07, 04:06 AM
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The National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) is trying to get LV licensing laws passed in each state. I don't believe they've been very successful to date, mostly because the electricians are fighting it tooth and nail.

Some of the state bids we're seeing in New York now require low-voltage installations to be managed by an NSCA "Certified Electronic Systems Technician." The company I work for sent all of its project managers for this certification. It's an intense course that requires up to a year of study followed by monitored written and hands-on exams. They equate it with the difficulty level of an accountant achieving a CPA.

Also, New York state recently passed "prevailing wage" legislation that has a major impact on pay scales for the trades. For "Commies" (union electricians who install communications wiring) it means their pay increases significantly.

It affects LV guys -- union or not -- when they perform service calls in publicly funded buildings. In our county they must be paid the current rate of $29.45 per hour plus the cash value of the union bennies. It's the same if they install systems, but that's rare on a publicly funded job site because virtually all of them are union in NY.
 
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