Data Cabling Mistakes You Are Likely To Make As A DIY Installer

Posted on: 21 September 2016

If you are planning to upgrade your data cables, one of the decisions you have to make is to handle it as a DIY project or hire a professional electrician. This is, of course, assuming that you have some data cabling skills. Before you go ahead with DIY installation, however, make sure you won't be making these three mistakes that novices tend to make:

Running Cables Near Noisy Fixtures

Any electrical device that emits electromagnetic signals can interfere with signals along your data lines. Therefore, you need to ensure you do not run your data cables near such devices. Examples of devices that emit electromagnetic signals include telephone receivers, anything with an electric motor, network routers, electrical wires, and television receivers. This is not an exhaustive list of devices that may interfere with your data cables; if it uses electricity, it's good to assume that it may cause interference.

 Either run your data cables elsewhere or relocate the device causing the interference. The recommended distance between an electromagnetic device and the data cable depends on numerous factors including the strength of the signals. For example, the minimum distance (that will prevent interference) from a fluorescent lighting should be 5 inches. Alternatively, you can invest in a shielded data cable that is designed to block the interference signals.

Using the Wiring Data Cables

Just because a cable can carry data doesn't mean it is the right one for your needs. Data cables differ on which speeds (in megabits per second) they can handle reliably. For example, Cat6 Ethernet cable is more reliable for high-speed internet than Cat5 Ethernet cable, though the two look fairly the same and can be easily confused.

Ignoring Local Cabling Codes

Both the national government and your local authority probably have some codes or ordinances on data cable installation. Most people don't know this because a data cable doesn't look like a dangerous item that needs to be regulated. However, it is not the data, but the cables and their accessories, which need regulation. For example, since 2014, National Electrical Code (NEC) requires that nonmetallic cable accessories (such as cable ties) in plenum spaces should have low-smoke and low-heat-release properties. Plenum spaces are parts of a building that facilitate air circulation, such as the open space above the ceiling.

DIY projects save money, but they can also lead to wastage of resources. The trick is to identify what you can handle and leave the rest to the professionals (like those at Dolce Electric).