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Old 03-30-2014, 03:50 PM   #1
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Running cat6 cable and grounding outlet


I'm planning to retrofit an old house with cat6 ethernet cable. The walls are a mix of drywall and plaster/lath.

1. I attached pictures of two outlets inside junction boxes. There is some kind of threaded pipe exiting out the top and top/bottom. Can I run cat6 through this pipe to the network equipment?
2. Is it common to run ethernet alongside an existing electrical line?
3. Alternatively, has anyone run across a simple way to retrofit a type of conduit into a wall, so I can add new cable as needed?
4. It seems like these outlets are not grounded. If I wanted to add a ground, do I need to run a third wire, or can I ground it to the metal housing?
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:13 PM   #2
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Running cat6 cable and grounding outlet


Doubt there is a conduit most likely just a wire clamp


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Old 03-30-2014, 04:19 PM   #3
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Running cat6 cable and grounding outlet


cat6 cable should not be run with electrical.
If you want to ground it you will need another wire. Code also allows using a gfi outlet for similar protection a ground wire would give.
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:45 PM   #4
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Running cat6 cable and grounding outlet


The box may be grounded with a "Boston back wrap". The ground wire from the NM cable is wrapped ba k arpond the cable sheath and secured under the cable clamp. Common method used from the late 50s to the early 70s. Common in the northeast.

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Old 03-30-2014, 04:45 PM   #5
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Running cat6 cable and grounding outlet


If it is EMT back to the panel, then the box is already grounded. You just need to go get the ground wires with a screw, to attach to the back of the box where there should be a place to screw it in. Then the wire attaches to the ground screw on the outlet.

As for the Cat-6 wiring, just drop it down next to the conduit, and go from there. You should place the LV plate about 2-4" away, so it does not look bad cosmetically.
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Old 03-30-2014, 06:31 PM   #6
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Running cat6 cable and grounding outlet


CAt6 low voltage cable can NOT be run in the same conduit or electrical boxes as line voltage cable. They need to be kept separate.
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:18 PM   #7
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Running cat6 cable and grounding outlet


With power turned off....use an ohm meter and measure between the box and neutral. If it's grounded....you will have a real low resistance.....like 1-2 ohms.
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:27 PM   #8
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Running cat6 cable and grounding outlet


Quote:
Originally Posted by zipmsp View Post
I'm planning to retrofit an old house with cat6 ethernet cable. The walls are a mix of drywall and plaster/lath.

1. I attached pictures of two outlets inside junction boxes. There is some kind of threaded pipe exiting out the top and top/bottom. Can I run cat6 through this pipe to the network equipment?
You cannot run cat6 through the same raceway as power.
Quote:
2. Is it common to run ethernet alongside an existing electrical line?
Alongside, yes. Within the same raceway, no.
Quote:

3. Alternatively, has anyone run across a simple way to retrofit a type of conduit into a wall, so I can add new cable as needed?
It's near impossible to install conduit into finished walls. There is no need to run a conduit or even a flexible raceway when retrofitting and fishing in cat6 cable.
Quote:
4. It seems like these outlets are not grounded. If I wanted to add a ground, do I need to run a third wire, or can I ground it to the metal housing?
Those outlets may very well be grounded if the wiring method was conduit and metal boxes. They WON'T be grounded when hanging outside of the metal box though.
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:35 PM   #9
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Running cat6 cable and grounding outlet


Smurf Tube can be fed into a wall. A PITA, but it can be done.
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:13 PM   #10
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Running cat6 cable and grounding outlet


I decided to address the apparent grounding issue first since I have computer stuff plugged in to this outlet. I got an outlet tester and it shows "CORRECT" when plugged in to the outlets (yay!). It must be "Boston back wrap" or something equivalent. I am a real newbie at home ownership so I was expecting a physical ground wire to be connected to the outlet itself.

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Old 03-30-2014, 09:53 PM   #11
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Running cat6 cable and grounding outlet


What does it look like where the wires enter the breaker or fuse panel? Is it Conduit or Romex? Picture of it would be nice.

You do need to turn power off to the circuits in the house, and clean all of that dust and crud out of the boxes with a small paint brush and vacuum. If there is ever an arc inside that box. The dust can act as an explosive and cause bigger problems. Go to the main panel and look at how the wires enter into it. If all of them are conduit, then you just need the ground jumper.

This is from a previous thread we had on here. It is that Green #12 stranded that you see in the right side of the box, with the Green screw. You can get them where the Wire nuts and tools are in the electrical aisle at Lowe's, Home Depot, Menard's. The tape does not belong in that picture.

I have a bag of them in a cabinet, along with my other stuff for electrical, boxes of nails & screws. Just in case I have to put in a metal box in my house. Which has seemed to be of late, quite a few for a few circuits that I have done in my basement and attic.

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Old 03-30-2014, 10:15 PM   #12
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What does it look like where the wires enter the breaker or fuse panel? Is it Conduit or Romex? Picture of it would be nice.
Here's a quick picture. I'm not sure which one leads to the outlet in question yet (most of the wires in a metal housing terminate in the basement, but some continue on through the flooring).

The bare copper wire runs along the basement ceiling and terminates where the water main enters the building (a foot or two above the floor); this seems like ground.

A complete mapping between outlet and circuit breaker has been on the TODO list for a while, maybe this will push me to finally do it. It seems disorganized, which breakers are connected to which rooms/outlets.
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:19 PM   #13
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Running cat6 cable and grounding outlet


That is a pretty small Bonding wire. Looks like #10. Only way to find out is to look at the sticker on the door. If it does not match the breaker, you are going to have to plug a radio in and turn it up if you are the only one there.

If other people are in the home. Plug in a light, and start flipping breakers one by one. The one that turns off that outlet, is the one that you then need to find out if it is Romex or AC/MC/EMT.

You have to take the Dead Front off to know. My guess since it is Yellow & White wires, is that it is AC or EMT to that outlet. Romex, it would be Black, White & a Ground wire.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:36 AM   #14
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Running cat6 cable and grounding outlet


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Doubt there is a conduit most likely just a wire clamp.
Since one of the wires coming into the box appears to be yellow, it probably is conduit. They don't make cable with yellow wires that I have seen.
If it is conduit then the conduit is the ground.

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