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Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessary?

Posted by snowang (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 16, 10 at 23:19

Builder can put in an 1 1/2" PVC conduit from basement to attic for $412. Could anyone explain the benefits of this conduit? I only have the basic idea that it's going to run inside walls and can be used in the future for running wires from basement to each floor. But if it's only on one side of the house, how are future wires going to be fished from that single conduit to all the rooms? Is it going to be helpful when I would like to connect a TV in the Master Bedroom to Dish Network some day?
Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

I can see where having such a conduit could be advantagous for phone or TV or other low voltage wires, but $412? Are you building a 5 story house? Do yourself a favor and look up the price of 1.5 inch PVC conduit.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

The price is ridiculous but the conduit is a good idea. When wiring is retrofit, it is common to fish all 2nd story wiring up to the attic in one spot and then branch out from there. Sure the connection being added possibly could be installed with only 25 feet of wire (going straight down to the basement) but even using 150 feet of low voltage wire is often pennies compared to the extra labor of taking a difficult path.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

We had a 2 inch conduit pipe installed from our basement to our attic. It is in the center of the house between wall studs.
The price for the conduit and labor was less than $50.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

I bet this "builder" is nickel and diming you on every little "extra". Am I wrong?
His original price was one of the lowest, wasn't it?


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

I agree that the price is ridiculous, but the idea is good. Assuming you have attic access to all the rooms below (i.e., you can drill into any wall top plates from the attic), it should make later installs pretty easy. If you are at all handy, you should be able to put this conduit in before the walls are closed with $20 of materials.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

necessary -- no
advisable -- yes
is the price ridiculous -- ABSOLUTELY


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

I don't think we as homeowners are allowed to put in anything by ourselves before the house is completely done and transferred to us. That's exactly how the builder can charge this ridiculous price and rack up huge profits on these "upgrades". Unfortunately, it's either do it at their price or never at all. We have enough power outlets on the 2nd floor and will use wireless phone sets so no need for additional phone outlets. My only concern is with Dish Network. Without the PVC conduit, they'll probably run the main wire dangling on the outside of the house from basement to the dish on the roof? I do have a cable outlet in the master room. But I was told that's not gonna work for dish. Anybody has experience with this?


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

... there are various types of coax that will barely work for cable tv and not at all for satellite.

The better CATV cable works fine for dish. Been there, done that.

You should be able to add that PVC conduit after-the-fact, it will just be a great deal more difficult and will require some drywall repair after. Still, I think conduit + drywall repair will cost a lot less than $412.00 !!!

Ultimately you will have to ask yourself which is more difficult - adding the conduit, or adding [whatever] without it.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

If space permits, a larger conduit might be preferable. A home-run to each outlet is desirable and the conduit fills rapidly to the point where pulling more cables becomes difficult. As a cable is pulled up, also bring with it a pull line for the next one. That will speed things considerably.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

my directv required 2 coax, a ground and an ethernet.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

Are we talking about putting coax and power cables
in the same conduit??? Oh my.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

I think what they mean is a chase for future use. That's a very different thing. Let's not get worked up ;)


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

"Are we talking about putting coax and power cables
in the same conduit??? Oh my."

Really not that big a deal.

The comm wiring must have an insulation rating based on the highest power line voltage in the conduit.

It also counts for fill factor for heat dissipation.

Correctly shielded and installed cable should not have much of an issue with 60 Hz power proximity.
That is more of an issue with poorly designed systems (and many home installations fall into this category).


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

your having this house built right?
so you should be able to add something as long as it doesn't get in the way of the work and workers. cannot hurt to ask. I would think that you'll have to do the work and not hire someone else.

When we had our house built I added lines for central vac and PVC pipe from the basement to the attic..I wish I put one on each end of the house.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

I believe Dish and DirectTV tuners, even dual tuner models, now work with a single coax line so have them pull this for you now. RG6 or better should be fine. If you have a basement or utility room, just have them pull all the cables to a central location and the installer will run it to where ever the satellite dish is located.

If it were me, I would also have a CAT 5 or better ethernet cable pulled. It's always easier to do this while the house is being roughed in. Dish, DirectTV and others can pull services off the internet too. You might decide to toss them out and get a Roku or something similar.

I like the idea of a conduit between the floors. Is the builder ripping you off to basically nail a PVC pipe between the floors? Absolutely. But if you decide to do business with them then you probably have no choice.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

my directvwas putnin a year ago. the ground went to ground the receiver sor some strange reason. i think it is because they needed it isolated. probabably for the hdmi. my dad doesnt have any i can cut to find out.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

I do alarm and related stuff for a living. We regularly retrofit homes dropping wire through an internal wall from the attic to the basement/mech room. I'm oversimplifying but that's how we do it. You could conceivably do this yourself provided you are able to reliably locate where the drop is.

We don't use conduit (we drop a small chain through the hole and fish it the other end) but you could if you wished, the only question is fire regulations, you may have to stop up the ends (a good idea to avoid heat loss) since you're creating a direct channel up into the attic.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

you could make a shaft through the middle of the house. you could even use that for plumbing. i wish they did that in my 1897 house. use a qo panel.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

"you could make a shaft through the middle of the house."

Those are called chimneys.

While fire stopping in single family is sort of an afterthought, having a chase from bottom to top is going to result in a total loss if anything much happens, and is NOT allowed under most codes.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

It is a piece of cake before the drywall is up. If done after the fact with all the other wires and possible ductwork it can be a total pain in the butt.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

You can't and shouldn't run ac cables together with low-voltage/data/cable. It's not allowed, at least not where I am.

If you have to cross power cables, do so at a right angle.

All the satellite roughins I see have a minimum of four RG6 to the dish point.

Ethernet and/or phone should be run to tv locations and/or cable boxes. You can't overdo it.

We now have to run conduit to the media panel from the phone demarc box for future direct fibre optics.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

Any place that relies on the NEC has no problem running low voltage stuff along side of power. There are restrictions about places where connections are made.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

what do u think a cable tray is? doesnt that have hi/lo voltage cables?


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

I could be mistaken, and if I am I'm sure someone will correct me. But as I read the code, technically it's OK to run low voltage and line voltage in the same raceway, as long as the low voltage wire has insulation at least equal to that of the higher voltage conductors. That is, if the line voltage THWN is rated 600v, your RG or UTP or whatever should also have 600v insulation (and be so marked).

However, my personal opinion is that running them in a common raceway isn't the best practice. To avoid problems with coupling and noise, I prefer to keep them in completely separate raceways.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

"But as I read the code, technically it's OK to run low voltage and line voltage in the same raceway, as long as the low voltage wire has insulation at least equal to that of the higher voltage conductors. That is, if the line voltage THWN is rated 600v, your RG or UTP or whatever should also have 600v insulation (and be so marked)."

Adequate for the voltage present last I looked, not the max voltage (600 V).

You can't and shouldn't run ac cables together with low-voltage/data/cable. It's not allowed, at least not where I am.

If you have to cross power cables, do so at a right angle. "

This is mostly a carry over for older equipment with poor design and construction.

If you cannot tolerate large amounts of 60 Hz coupling you are pretty much toast.

It comes form everywhere.


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RE: Building home - Is PVC conduit from basement to attic necessa

what about 2 2'' conduits? one for high and one for telecomm.


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