Okay to use ordinary Ethernet cable for in-wall installations ? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 16 Old 02-28-14, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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Okay to use ordinary Ethernet cable for in-wall installations ?

Hi guys ... I wanted to get everyone's opinion on whether it's okay to use normal custom-length cut CAT 5e/6 Ethernet cable for running it between floors through walls ..

I actually have my wireless router on ground floor (i.e. 1st floor for US folks), and its signals kinda struggle when I move floors .. So I want to run one Ethernet cable from ground floor to 1st floor, and one from ground floor to basement (where my upcoming HT room is supposed to be) .. Then one 1st floor and basement, I'll install access points ..

Problem is, I'm not in the US, and I really only have local custom-length-cut ethernet cable available .. There is a guy selling QED ethernet cables, but not only are they quite expensive, they're also on backorder so I'll have to wait like 15 days or so for them ..

So long story short, I want to know if an ordinary Ethernet cable will work well while running inside walls between floors, or if I should really wait for those QED cables ..
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post #2 of 16 Old 02-28-14, 10:10 AM
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Re: Okay to use ordinary Ethernet cable for in-wall installations ?

I use ordinary Cat5 cable under my floor... Not sure if it is to code but it works fine.


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post #3 of 16 Old 02-28-14, 10:57 AM
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Re: Okay to use ordinary Ethernet cable for in-wall installations ?

it'll WORK just fine. believe me done it.. just not sure about code
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post #4 of 16 Old 02-28-14, 11:33 AM
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Re: Okay to use ordinary Ethernet cable for in-wall installations ?

Is the wire going to be fully supported? Different type of cables for different areas, fire exposure and mechanical wear..

For instance if your going to run a cable through a ceiling, is that space used for return air and subject to the cable moving and flexing? If so then use a cable that has internal support and an outside jacket that does not give off toxic fumes when exposed to fire...

The cable I used in my home has an internal filler that is X shaped. The X has one pair of wires in every " void" of the X and the jacket surrounds the wires and the X. Hard to explain in words, just think of a X inside of an O and the wires in the spaces... The filler acts as a strain relief for the wires and an internal support that allows the cable to hang unsupported.

As a practical matter as long as you don't make really sharp turns, hang 30 feet of cable unsupported (Think elevator shaft) or run the cable through areas where the cable is subjected to vibration or excessive flexure any type of cable should last forever..
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post #5 of 16 Old 02-28-14, 12:45 PM
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Re: Okay to use ordinary Ethernet cable for in-wall installations ?

CAT5 or CAT6 Ethernet cable which is CL2 rated (inwall rated).

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post #6 of 16 Old 03-01-14, 03:12 AM
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Re: Okay to use ordinary Ethernet cable for in-wall installations ?

of course it'll work. There is NO point in using the QED cables for ethernet. no point at all. do use Cat5E or Cat6. The latter is more future proof, but slightly harder to connect the plugs at the ends. Cat5E is the current standard in normal installations, also on events etc, we use Cat5e.

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post #7 of 16 Old 03-01-14, 07:10 AM
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Re: Okay to use ordinary Ethernet cable for in-wall installations ?

Cat5 cables are good, I don't think it's a good idea to use ordinary Ethernet cables in wall installations, because I faced many connection and speed problems after a year due to it, I think the wall damages the cable and they do not behave exactly as electric wires behave in wall.
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-08-14, 07:02 AM
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Re: Okay to use ordinary Ethernet cable for in-wall installations ?

QED cables for ethernet is useless. There is no point using it for that. CAT5e is widely used by most of Telephone Service Providers for Voice and Data Cabling around the world. QED manufactured cables for multimedia purpose not for telephone.
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-08-14, 12:15 PM
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The selection of network cables for installation requires a bit of understanding. First, bulk cable cut to length wins over pre-terminated cables. Second, select a Cat5E or Cat6 that is rated for the installation. The type required is mandated by local electrical codes, so you need to find out what's required and ignore general forum recommendations from those not familiar with your local codes. Generally, plenum rated wire is safe everywhere, but the extra cost may not be necessary. Next, use only wire that has been tested and certified to at least 350Mhz. Some wire is sold as Cat cable but doesn't really test out well. Blue Jeans has an article about this. Use coppers only, nothing plated or clad. Shielded cable isn't necessary for short residential runs. Cat 6 is only required for large installations with long runs, or for the OCD/Paranoid. Cat 6 is much harder to use and more expensive. For residential installations there is no measurable advantage.

Perhaps most critical, use connectors designed specifically for your wire type. Don't use Cat6 wire with Cat5 connectors...you probably can't anyway. Stranded cat wire isn't recommended for installation, and uses specific connectors. If you do used shielded cat cable, you need the right connectors and tools too. The "EZ" style of cable connectors and tools do make life simpler for the novice, but the pros avoid them because of cost.

Lastly, get the right tools. A good ratcheting crimper if you're using cable mount plugs, a good punch tool with jacks, and invest in a basic cable tester is you can confirm your connections as you go.
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-03-14, 01:53 PM
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Re: Okay to use ordinary Ethernet cable for in-wall installations ?

+1 for the Blue Jeans brand. A little pricey, but worth it. Comes with certificate of authenticity and test data (similar to mic calibration/tests). Dropouts and other anomalies disappeared when streaming from NAS. Garden-variety cable caused many hours of unnecessary debug effort!
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