Structured wiring standards

cfvhFebruary 21, 2013

Hello everyone,

I figured I would ask here rather than electronics as I am sure this is something anyone building their home has considered and they may have answered.

What are people pre-wiring/running these days? I'm in the middle of a total gut/remodel and am at the point now that the rough electrical is coming to an end that I need to think about cable, phone, internet, speakers, etc.

Personally, I only use a cell phone and watch my TV shows online. But, given that the house is two units, I want it wired in advance to avoid the seemingly inevitable "helpful" service installers who drill unsightly holes and stable cables along baseboards for a tenant.

I am thinking of using Leviton QuickPort Decora Inserts for all applications. They come with 2, 3, 4 or 6 changeable ports.

One unit (to be rented) has two bedrooms, a living room where all the TV-related electronics will be contained together, and a kitchen, all rooms where I have tentatively installed low voltage boxes. I want to terminate all of this in a data closet of sorts. Are people still adding phone jacks to bedrooms? Should I add ethernet ports or would I just assume they will use wireless? Do I run two cat5e or cat6 to each of those jacks? What is appropriate for the kitchen? A phone jack and maybe and ethernet jack? Anything else? I think behind the TV only needs cable (coax), phone and ethernet?

The *other* unit will be owner-occupied (unless minds change and the units are switched). Things are a little trickier here, I think. The living room is small, so any equipment associated with the TV is going in the data closet for this unit. There is one bedroom, I suppose it would be treated as the two bedrooms in the first unit.

I want surround sound (five speakers plus bass) and anything that would be connected to the TV would need to be communicated through a jack in the wall to whichever equipment and then to the TV. The only equipment visible in the room would be the speakers and TV.

I figured a double-gang box behind the TV (up to 12 ports) would handle the left, right and center speakers as well as the coax and HDMI connections. Am I missing anything else? Ethernet?

I also figured that boxes on either side of the couch (across from the TV) would handle the back left and right speakers and the bass. I think I have to give up two ports each for those. I'd also stick a phone line there, just because.

Services for both units are totally separate because cable, internet, etc, will be billed separately, so none of the wiring will be common.

Sorry to have rambled, please ask me to clarify anything. I can also provide basic floor plans and jack/port locations if needed.

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I am building a new home and don't plan on wiring for phone or internet..most everyone uses cell phones and wireless internet. I will wore for cable TV but that might be a thin of the past by the time we sell.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 10:09AM
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I know some people don't use many of those services but I still want to accommodate it in case a tenant decides to use it so I can avoid having walls and baseboards chewed up with holes and staples.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 10:41AM
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I am using leviton and will be running cat6 cabling throughout the house. The cost with the walls opened up is small and I will take a wired port of wireless any day for fixed devices.

Right now I have it slated to have a 2 cat6 cables and 1 RG6 coax ran to 2 different walls in each bedroom. In the media room and the family room I will have 4 cat6 drops and 2 RG6 drops at each location. All these cables will be ran (in smurf pipe) back to a communications closet where I will house the router and switch. I will also be running conduit from the first floor comm room to the attic. I will have 2 locations where I will have access points.

All in all I have about 36 drops that I can use for either phone or data.

My comm room is really just a portion of a closet in the media room, nothing fancy. Just my thoughts but I am a network engineer :D

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 10:59AM
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Smurf tubing.

Flexible non-metallic conduit.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:05PM
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Sounds like a comprehensive install. May I ask why you used two RG6 drops behind the media center? Is it to pipe video/etc out to other locations from the "brain" of your system?


I'm using rigid non-metallic conduit for the first floor because the basement ceiling is open and everything can be dropped down. The first/main unit is just the first floor with a basement studio. The second and third floors are the second/tenant unit, where thinks are a little trickier with the structure so I was thinking about smurf tube... What diameter is standard for these kinds of installations and are there standard fittings to be used with the low voltage boxes which are open in the back and sides but have knockouts/holes on the top and bottom?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:31PM
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In our area, our land line is used by our Emergency Medical Services. We are in a rural community and so they recommend keeping your land line.... Just food for thought.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 6:23PM
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Hi cfvh

It is actually in case I want to run an antenna in the future. In my previous house I had an antenna up in the attic for when hurricanes came through and cable was out.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 2:52PM
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Everyone, plan has been sorted out, thank you all very much for your help!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 7:09PM
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3/4 for the ENT. 1/2 gets full fast with coax and the like.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 7:23PM
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