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Thread: Cat 5e along drywall ceiling

  1. #1
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    Cat 5e along drywall ceiling

    I am adding 16 runs of Cat5e as part of an office remodel for a customer. Their telecom room is quite crowded with cable runs from a variety of sources along all four walls. The room is only 7' wide and I am thinking about supporting this Cat5 bundle along the ceiling to get to the punchdown blocks,. It's a drywall ceiling with wooden joists above. I can screw cable supports into a joist so as not to anchor directly to the drywall, if necessary. I cannot find any specific mention in the Code that prohibits this. Again, it's only a 7' span across the ceiling to the opposite wall.

    Thanks
    Tom

  2. #2
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    It may be compliant but why not sleeve it in conduit. It will look alot better
    They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
    She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
    I can't help it if I'm lucky



  3. #3
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    I agree, a sleeve would look a lot better. But my main concern is whether suspending it from the ceiling would present a code violation.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by colotom View Post
    I agree, a sleeve would look a lot better. But my main concern is whether suspending it from the ceiling would present a code violation.
    I don't see one in the NEC if it's a drywall ceiling but someone may come up with an obscure building code problem.
    Rob

    Moderator

    All responses based on the 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted

  5. #5
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    Nothing in the NEC addresses workmanship issues in the installation of low voltage cables. You can tape them up there with duct tape if you want. So there is nothing wrong with using hangers attached to the ceiling. That's what I would do. And they don't even have to hit the joists but where they don't I would use a suitable sheetrock anchor or toggle bolt.

    It's a telecom room and only 7' wide. Why would you want to bother with a conduit sleeve?? Betcha cables in hangers will look better than the mess that's already there.

    -Hal

  6. #6
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    Thanks all, for the input.. given the time crunch I was under, and that the room is crammed with electronics with barely enough space to turn around (It's a hotel with all the gear necessary to run it) i was reluctant to take a chance, I re-routrd the bundle up into the attic above it, and down the opposite wall. Good to know that it probably wouldn't have been a big deal, though...but yes, there's always that obscure code somewhere...

    Tom

  7. #7
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    There are some specifications for installing. See the informational note which refers to ANSI/NECA/BICSI which could be considered code.

    800.24 Mechanical Execution of Work. Communications
    circuits and equipment shall be installed in a neat and
    workmanlike manner. Cables installed exposed on the surface
    of ceilings and sidewalls shall be supported by the
    building structure in such a manner that the cable will not
    be damaged by normal building use. Such cables shall be
    secured by hardware, including straps, staples, cable ties,
    hangers, or similar fittings designed and installed so as not
    to damage the cable. The installation shall also conform to
    300.4(D) and 300.11. Nonmetallic cable ties and other nonmetallic
    cable accessories used to secure and support cables
    in other spaces used for environmental air (plenums) shall
    be listed as having low smoke and heat release properties.

    Informational Note No. 1: Accepted industry practices are
    described in ANSI/NECA/BICSI 568-2006, Standard for
    Installing Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling;
    ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.1-2004 — Part 1, General Requirements
    Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling
    Standard; ANSI/TIA-569-B-2004, Commercial Building
    Standard for Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces;
    ANSI/TIA-570-B, Residential Telecommunications Infrastructure,
    and other ANSI-approved installation standards.
    Jack J.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by colotom View Post
    ... and that the room is crammed with electronics with barely enough space to turn around (It's a hotel with all the gear necessary to run it) ...

    Tom
    Hotels and restaurants are notorious about having tiny closets for their technology, artical 110.26 does apply to low-voltage installations as well.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrumFX View Post
    Hotels and restaurants are notorious about having tiny closets for their technology, artical 110.26 does apply to low-voltage installations as well.
    That's debatable. And believe me, I've often wished for it. Can you reference any part of 725 or 800 on up that refers back to 110.26?

    -Hal

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