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Old 05-04-2010, 02:46 PM   #1
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Low voltage wire & electrical wire (NM)

I'm planning to addding a coxial port and ethernet port (dual keystone plate) inside same workbox to a bedroom in a unfinished basement. I was planning on running the two wires in parellel along the 2x4 stubs up through the ceiling. On the other 2x4 runs a couple electrical wire. I was wondering if I can use the existed drilled hole up in the ceiling to route my RG6 and Cat5 (UTP), which currently has a couple or few 14-2 wires going thru it. Once it passes through the hole, I will route the two low voltage wires as far as possible from the electrical. Would having the low voltage wires right next to the electrical wires for roughly 6-8 inches overall impact or cause noise/interference on the low voltage wires? I would prefer not to drill another hole, as it's going thru the bottom of the i-beam and not stud.


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Old 05-04-2010, 04:05 PM   #2
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This question comes up a lot.

For a worst case and simple experiment run several yards of all three cables together, while pulling 10A through the Romex by running a hair dryer on the end. Motors with brushes like in a hair dryer put out all kinds of nasty wideband interference, which you can hear on an AM radio.

The Romex will put out a magnetic field which really can't be shielded against so I'm depending on the 60 Hz being so far removed from the frequencies going through the other cables.
Also, computer stuff has error-correcting methods, which you would notice as a slowing down if the computer were detecting errors.

IMO you won't notice anything.

If you do want to shield the cables from the Romex you need to use a section of steel/iron pipe, not copper. If you want to go really hi-tech, use mu-metal.


Last edited by Yoyizit; 05-04-2010 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:57 PM   #3
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It's probably best to find another safe place to drill and route away from electrical, I assume then, right.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:02 PM   #4
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I think typical min. distance is 18 inches on parallel runs when running LV next to electrical. You'll want to drill a separate hole and save yourself the hassle.

**edit - can't think tonight... 18" separation OR physical barrier (e.g. stud, 2-gang box with divider, etc.)**

Last edited by brich; 05-04-2010 at 10:03 PM. Reason: adding comment
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