Can I use Cat 5e for garage door control?

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Old 08-30-08, 05:21 PM
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Can I use Cat 5e for garage door control?

The wires supplied with my garage door openers that are to go from openers to controllers are not long enough to reach the location where I want controllers. There is one pair for each of 2 openers that need to get to the controllers. I have a lot of cat 5e so I thought of using it and removing outer shield near openers and then running one pair to each opener. Of course I will have 2 extra pairs unused. Any problems with doing this? Will be neater as will essentially have only one wire running from openers to controllers. The wire that came with openers is 22 AWG. The cat 5e is 24.
 
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Old 08-31-08, 12:44 AM
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If you double up the pairs of a 24g cable it has close to the same current handling capacity of the next bigger size. (In your case 22g.)

The Cat5 will be fine, but strip & twist together the blue pair as one wire, the orange pair as another, and so on.
 
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Old 08-31-08, 06:50 AM
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do you think that is really necessary? what is capacity of 22 and 24 AWG? I will have to look that up and see if I can find a rating for the controllers. I liked the idea of having extra wires in case one got cut somewhere. won't have any extra if I double up.

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Old 08-31-08, 10:19 AM
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I found something saying that ampacity (90 C) is 9 for 22 AWG and 7 for 24 AWG. the current is only flowing I would assume for a second to send signal. I wouldn't think there is any current flowing when the door is moving or even if you manually turn the light on from the controller. I think it just sends a signal and current only flows when any of the buttons are pushed and held closed.
 
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Old 09-01-08, 06:14 AM
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Where did you get that info? Pull 7 amps through 24g at 90C and you'll start a fire.

At 25C/77F ambient temperature, 22 is generally rated at about 1 amp and 24 = about 1/2 amp.

You're correct in that the control current is probably very low and well within the 1/2 amp rating of the Cat5. Voltage drop also comes into play over distance, though, and voltage drop could be a concern.

I would still double up on the pairs. The device calls for 22 gauge for a reason. It could work forever with 24g, but since you have the spare pairs, why not use them? In the future if you need the extra pairs, split them off.

* I was incorrect in that 24 to 22 is not the "next bigger size". 23 is the next bigger size. ( duh!) It doesn't change the fact that doubling up on 24 equals the ampacity of the 22.
 
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Old 09-01-08, 09:02 PM
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NEC didn't have anything for wire smaller than 18 (that I could find). I got that info in literature search and was from some Canadian electric guide. I also found this which is similar although it gives two numbers-one for free air (which is close to the numbers I gave before) and one for enclosed which is much smaller and close to what you listed. they don't define enclosed- in conduit? does insulated count as enclosed?

http://wiki.xtronics.com/index.php/Wire-Gauge_Ampacity

something interesting is that the door opener came with a surge supressor that you plug the opener into and it plugs into outlet. It also has connections for all the sensor and control wires. They all plug into the device, and then run to the opener. So you need jumper wires to go from the device to the opener. The wire that came with it is 22, but the instructions say in several places "use the 24 AWG wire" so whether a misprint or what I don't know but it is in several places.
 
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