Structured Wiring Questions

I am looking to run the following throughout the house:
1. Coax for cable tv. 2. Coax satellite tv 3. Cat5 for an analog phone line. 4. Cat5 for Voice-over-IP phones line. 5. Cat6 for Ethernet/Internet
I'm planning it so that all the cabling comes into a control center located on the 2nd floor. The house is a two story house and it was built in 2000.
My questions are:
1. What is the best way to run wire from the attic through the 2nd floor ending up at the bottom floor. Do I make 1 ft. diameter holes in the walls to drill between floors?
2. How do I navigate around/through firebreaks located on the exterior walls?
3. Would you recommend that I run 1" - 2" diameter pvc piping so that I can run the wires in the piping. What this allows is for me to add or remove wiring easily at a later time. My only concern is that I will weaken the structure of the house by running pvc through the walls and between floors.
4. In terms of the list above, should I add anymore type of wiring? I was thinking of an intercom.
Thanks in advance, Matt
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wrote:

first you should add more wiring. an extra cat6 wouldn't hurt. you could use it for intercom if you wanted. you could split the pairs and use two for a door bell. you might want to run some 16 gauge for speakers. i see you want the control center on the second floor. usually, people put this stuff in the basement. a patch panel and a switch box for the coax will look ok down there. also, cable and phone usually start there. also reaching the main floor is simple. you could go wireless for the network.
now, how? mighty tough in finished houses. some folk use the heating ducts. some are able to go thru closets which are vertically lined up. maybe one corner of a room on each floor could be used for the wiring. then just finish square it off. whatever solution you find i would use piping. you will need to alter your setup as your needs change. coax could go outsid without any concern. but not the cat-x of course. ...thehick
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Using the inside of heating ducts for wiring is against the code and otherwise generally not a good idea. PVC pipes are a good idea if you can get them in the walls. Use a large size like 2 1/2 - 3 inch diameter. A permanent pull cord for additional wires is also a good idea.
Beachcomber
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frank-in-toronto wrote:

I don't like to depend on the wireless network just because it uses the same frequency as most cordless phones whether it be 2.4 GHz or 5.4 GHz. I guess I could fall back to a 900 MHz phone. I still use the wifi for when I'm farting around on my laptop.
I don't have a basement, but the phone and cable do originate in the garage. Right now there is a phone line and cable line going up from the garage between the exterior wall up into the attic then dropping down into the master bedroom. Since all the wires seem to be dropping down from the attic, I figure I would have the control center located in the up stairs laundry room, and have the main lines come in there. From the control center have them branch out through attic and then drop them down to the individual upstairs/downstairs rooms.
As for the piping, I think thats my greatest concern. I definitely want to use piping. But how do I run piping from the attic to the bottom floors without weakening the structure?
I like the suggestion for the extra Cat6, so that I could have isolated connections or whatever...
Thanks, Matt
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Matt,
You can use cat 5 for all of your cat 5 / cat 6 wiring unless your are going to use gigabit ethernet in your house and then cat 6 is the answer. If you think you will ever go to gigE in the house then run cat 6 now. Cat6 will work just fine on your VoIP as well. Using cat 5/6 on the analog phone line is pretty funny. It's like using a 777 jet to go from Miami Fl to Tampa Fl. It'l work just fine though.
I like the idea of PVC. 1ft diamater holes are excessive. Not like the 777 analolgy above but excessive.
DJay

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...

is it. what if you are on dsl and want the modem in a specific room for reasons of your own (security, control, who knows?) then you'll be glad you ran cat-x. ...thehick
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frank-in-toronto wrote:

Well I bought a Telecommunications Module for my control center. The module allows you to have 4 different phone lines so thats why I want to run Cat5 for the phone. Cat 5 has 8 conductors which supports 4 separate lines.
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wrote:

Okay Matt, that makes perfect sense now. Just buy CatX and use it for all of your drops. Just remember the pinout for Ethernet and analog phones is different.
Djay
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djay wrote:

The one foot daimeter holes are for accessing the space between the drywall. So if I need to drill a hole through the floor or through a fire break it would give me enough room. What I don't know if there is an easier way to drill holes through fire breaks and floors that are between the walls. Maybe I should invest in a very long drill bit??
Thanks, Matt
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a few times.
DJay
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Matt Silva wrote:

Not long ago who would have thought that we would be running computer cables around the house? Who knows what kind of cables we will want or need a couple of years from now?
Assuming your home is new and you will have the opportunity to get inside and do it right, I suggest running conduit to every room, even if you have no idea why you might want to run a line there. Leave a string in them to pull cables in the future. Terminate every one in the same area of the basement (home run system). You will then be ready to what may come guaranteeing that next year they will have something new that either will not fit in the conduit your used or will not need it. In any case it is far easier to put in now that later.
--
Joseph Meehan

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Joseph Meehan wrote:

Thats an excellent idea with the pull string, thanks! The house was built in 2000.
I don't have a basement, but the phone and cable do originate in the garage. Right now there is a phone line and cable line going up from the garage between the exterior wall up into the attic then dropping down into the master bedroom. Since all the wires seem to be dropping down from the attic, I figure I would have the control center located in the up stairs laundry room, and have the main lines come in there. From the control center have them branch out through attic and then drop them down to the individual upstairs/downstairs rooms.
As for the piping, I think thats my greatest concern. I definitely want to use piping. But how do I run piping from the attic to the bottom floors without weakening the structure?
Thanks, Matt
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Matt Silva wrote:

Generally you will be running it through areas that the holes will not weaken any load bearing parts. There are so many different possibilities, that I would not want to even start with suggestions and I am sure I would miss more than I would hit. Maybe someone who dies this a lot may have some good suggestions.
--
Joseph Meehan

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I would put another cat5 in. I would also just stick to quality Cat5e.
Wall plates are designed to handle 6 plugins. In most of my house I have 2-4 Cat5 Depending on the room The rest is filled with RG6
Leviton panels are great but Channel vision panels are a better value for the money.
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