Future proofing and the NEC

Javier Unzueta

New User
Location
Miami/Lady Lake
Occupation
Painting Contractor
I’m building a new home in Lake County as owner/builder. (My father is an active GC for over 55 years and I have been involved in all the disciplines of the company for 30 years but have been out of touch with electrical for about a decade now) I would like to run numerous cat6 cables for the purpose of future proofing my new home (motion sensors, led, networking, poe cameras etc.)

I will be complying with the WORING INSTALLATION section of the NEC rules for low voltage wiring as IF they were energized.

Question: what, if anything does the code say about the feasibility of installing non-energized cat6 cables throughout the walls? They will all be terminated with rj45 plugs and behind blank plates in their proper boxes. In other words, does the NEC forbid non-erergized wires installed in a new construction (for future use)? In your experience, do you think there be a problem at inspection time.

The reason I am asking this is that the plans have been drawn up and approved but the architect did not include any low voltage cables in the electrical plan stating that it did not need to be there.
Do I need a plan revision or is this a non-issue? Will (in your experience) an inspector disapprove a rough for non-energized wires properly installed that are not being used and do not in any way interfere with the main electrical system?
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
Question: what, if anything does the code say about the feasibility of installing non-energized cat6 cables throughout the walls?
Absolutely nothing. Why do you think it would make a difference if they are connected to anything or not?

There are several things that you need to be aware of though.

However, whether or not you will need a plan revision, add it to the permit, have it inspected or be allowed to install it yourself is up to your jurisdiction. Ask your electrical contractor.

Really, if you have to ask these kinds of questions you probably shouldn't be doing this anyway.

-Hal
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
Future proof? If you want to future proof Do Not Wire. Installation of empty smurf tubes keeping with maximum total bend degrees is a better solution. Just need a little planning to create a central hub location to begin pulls. Also Insulation would not be issue for future pulls. Technology changes so fast that cat 6 may be irrelevant in less than 2 years. This can be used to pull in cat cable, coax, fiberoptic, even easy access for integrated sound system. Then when decisions to incorporate some form of upgrade the appropriate technician/electrician can do installation.
Get an electrician to aid in this planning /layout phase as they would have the best idea on making the installation the most efficient, and code compliant. Sounds as if your father should have some electricians he works with regularly being a GC, get their input, paying a little now can save a whole lot of head aches later.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Since I started in this trade we have gone from running at least two pair POTS cables to multiple locations, often daisy chaining at first, then home runs to each location, and often similar with RG59 coax cable. Having a second line for fax and/or modem was common, maybe even more than two lines in some cases, though two was usually sufficient in a dwelling. We were starting to run CatV in offices and such, usually to specific workstations, but not on all installations at that time. Often some sort of shielded cable was run from a workstation to a printer (if printer wasn't at the workstation) Wasn't long though and Cat5e became the cable of choice and you started to run it everywhere, but multipair phone and RG6 coax were still run to many the same locations. In non dwellings especially you always ran conduits for communications to various locations either complete runs to central equipment or at least to suspended ceiling locations when available, and usually with ample room to add or sometimes just empty conduits for future.

Then came wireless technologies and especially in the dwellings the Cat5e or Cat6 seems to be limited to certain fixed stations where everything else tends to be wireless. Exception for some things like security cameras with POE and such, if you don't use POE you either need to get 120 volts there or be willing to change batteries or something so POE is preferred choice. Coax cable become more limited to just a main location for satellite/cable receivers and the need to be able to pull HDMI cables with larger connectors to those locations to secondary locations became more common - which often means raceways to allow flexibility may not have that many cables in them, but better be at least 1.5 to 2 inch so those large connectors will pass through and still allow room for existing cables in there.

Now some are getting wireless direct, not only to a central network modem/router but direct to their personal devices in many cases.

Last house I wired new I never installed any phone lines at all. They had unfinished basement and satellite TV provider installed cable, but happened to be back to back TV's on same wall was all that needed to be run in this house, so Coax to receiver and two short HDMI cables to the two televisions. IDK what they did for internet. Think just used mobile data from cell phones initially, kind of people that maybe still doing that, they been there 4-5 years now.

What will we have in 10 years? 20 years? who knows. Can't even keep up with lighting technology the past 10 years or so. LED's is the trend, but even those keep changing faster than the models in a fashion show. What you might have installed just a year or two ago is no longer available when they add on and want to continue running same thing in the addition or similar circumstances.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
Likely everything will be wireless as it's speed increases. I can see moving away from service to the premises and each device linking up to the provider like cell phones do today. Eventually service will be supplied by satellite.

-Hal
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Occupation
Field coordinator/ technical support
Most phone systems now are voice over IP, uses the same data line as the computers, just daisy chained in, so only one cable needed. Wireless has greatly improved over the years. I have a point to point system that can transmit at high speed over 10 miles. Fiber is about two miles from me, and have tried to talk the EMC into letting me shoot from a point on their line to my house, and dumping the local telephone companies blazing speed of 3 meg max, but they won’t even talk to me.
 

egnlsn

Senior Member
Location
Herriman, UT
Occupation
A/V/Security Technician
Likely everything will be wireless as it's speed increases. I can see moving away from service to the premises and each device linking up to the provider like cell phones do today. Eventually service will be supplied by satellite.

-Hal
Every device?

I don't see that happening anytime soon, and it has nothing to do with speeds. Not everything that needs a network connection needs an internet connection. NAS, for example. All of my files (documents, jpegs, mp3s, etc.) are on a NAS which does not require an internet connection to access. CCTV does not require an internet connection to view and/or record locally. Neither do network printers. Making every CCTV device be a wireless device and sending it to wherever kind of defeats the purpose of the security camera. Sending a Print command to wherever only to have it come back to my printer just a couple of feet away from me makes no sense. Having to go through the internet to pull up a file that is on my NAS would benefit absolutely no one -- certainly not me.

Potential privacy and security issues abound.

Can't do anything about the latency from earth to 22,600 miles up to a satellite and 22,600 miles back down, either.


CIAO!

Ed N.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
Most phone systems now are voice over IP, uses the same data line as the computers, just daisy chained in, so only one cable needed. Wireless has greatly improved over the years. I have a point to point system that can transmit at high speed over 10 miles. Fiber is about two miles from me, and have tried to talk the EMC into letting me shoot from a point on their line to my house, and dumping the local telephone companies blazing speed of 3 meg max, but they won’t even talk to me.
We have a fiber loop around to every substation eventually going back to a wholesaler. It’s a private loop, with no others allowed for obvious security reasons. Is this what theirs is? Or does your EMC provide fiber communications to members also?
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
Agree with the others. Conduits.
You know there’s a CAT7, CAT 7A, and CAT8 now? and fiber is another option.
I thought I was being smart installing CAT 3 in my house when it was built..
 

drcampbell

Senior Member
Location
The Motor City, Michigan USA
Occupation
Registered Professional Engineer
And make sure to run 3 or 4 inch conduit everywhere just in case
Best o' luck with that -- a three-"inch" conduit won't fit in a four-"inch" stud wall.
(plumber's inches -- which the electrical industry borrowed -- are bigger than carpenter's inches)

... Can't do anything about the latency from earth to 22,600 miles up to a satellite and 22,600 miles back down, either. ...
True, but nothing says that geosynchronous satellites are required. We could put up satellites into low orbit, and constantly switch to whichever one is currently in range. (exactly the same as we do when we're phoning while driving, or while using GPS) Then you'd suffer "only" the latency from 200-500 kilometers up and 200-500 km down. :LOL:
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Best o' luck with that -- a three-"inch" conduit won't fit in a four-"inch" stud wall.
(plumber's inches -- which the electrical industry borrowed -- are bigger than carpenter's inches)
Yes it will, but it takes out the entire top/bottom plate at the max dimension, and I have seen plumbers do it a few times, can't have any fittings in the wall though.

3 inch EMT will leave just a little bit of room if perfect hole is drilled, but possibly no room for any fittings within the wall here either, unless maybe thinner walled steel set screw fittings with set screws parallel to finished wall surface.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Occupation
Field coordinator/ technical support
We have a fiber loop around to every substation eventually going back to a wholesaler. It’s a private loop, with no others allowed for obvious security reasons. Is this what theirs is? Or does your EMC provide fiber communications to members also?
This is a loop open to members. Much cheaper and faster than the monopoly phone company. 3 meg with the phone company is $60 a month.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
I don't see that happening anytime soon, and it has nothing to do with speeds. Not everything that needs a network connection needs an internet connection.
True, but tell them that! Microsoft Office, Office 360, Quickbooks and many other applications don't reside on your computer anymore. How about iCloud? How about printing on your printer from your cell phone?

"They" claim that the big advantage is that you can access your applications from anywhere. But I think the big advantage is for "them" because they charge a monthly or yearly fee where you used to buy the application, install it and it was yours.

-Hal
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
True, but tell them that! Microsoft Office, Office 360, Quickbooks and many other applications don't reside on your computer anymore. How about iCloud? How about printing on your printer from your cell phone?

"They" claim that the big advantage is that you can access your applications from anywhere. But I think the big advantage is for "them" because they charge a monthly or yearly fee where you used to buy the application, install it and it was yours.

-Hal
It also keeps you up to date with latest version. Not that this is always a must for everyone, but it assures them you keep paying them instead of waiting a couple years for an updated version.
 

egnlsn

Senior Member
Location
Herriman, UT
Occupation
A/V/Security Technician
True, but tell them that! Microsoft Office, Office 360, Quickbooks and many other applications don't reside on your computer anymore. How about iCloud? How about printing on your printer from your cell phone?

"They" claim that the big advantage is that you can access your applications from anywhere. But I think the big advantage is for "them" because they charge a monthly or yearly fee where you used to buy the application, install it and it was yours.

-Hal
The above-mentioned programs are downloadable and can reside on your computer. If one prefers to use the web app version of the software, they can certainly do that, while those who prefer to use the downloaded software that does reside on their computer can certainly do that. Buy the subscription, download the software, create your document, if you need to do so, upload it, edit it via the web app, and do whatever you need. If you buy Office 360 and download it to your computer, pay for a subscription for 1 year then cancel your subscription, the software doesn't stop working. You won't get updates, but the programs still work as well as they always did.

ICloud is an excellent cloud storage solution, but I wouldn't want to have the cloud as my primary, let alone only, storage solution. Printing from your cell phone? That's already readily available, and the majority of printing is done from desktops/laptops anyway.

For businesses that have multiple workstations, cloud (or preferably their own server) is definitely the way to go. For the typical consumer, though, I just don't see any advantage (to anyone) of going totally cloud and/or having every device in the home wirelessly on a virtual router with that router being somewhere out there.


CIAO!

Ed N.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
The above-mentioned programs are downloadable and can reside on your computer. If one prefers to use the web app version of the software, they can certainly do that, while those who prefer to use the downloaded software that does reside on their computer can certainly do that.
I think the only reason downloadable versions are still available is people complaining. They wanted to eliminate them years ago. This is why:

If you buy Office 360 and download it to your computer, pay for a subscription for 1 year then cancel your subscription, the software doesn't stop working. You won't get updates, but the programs still work as well as they always did.
They figured out that they can't make any money that way anymore. :(

-Hal
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I'm still using a 2007 version of Quickbooks. Runs fine on windows 10.

When it comes to basic accounting concepts, it hasn't changed. The ability to access the company file from mobile devices and perform some other actions is what is nice about newer versions. The last few years I keep saying I'm going to get the current version, but never am all that excited about making transition, partly because I want to restructure some things instead of just a straight import the old data and continue with those same structures. So if I do that it is like starting all over to a certain extent.
 
Top