Forum Thread

Ethernet cable run down two stories externally?

YanksIn2009 3,107 773 February 22, 2016 at 09:35 PM
OK I am looking to run a couple of ethernet wires (Cat 6 or 7 ) from a second story office to the basement directly below. The obvious problem has always been that there are 2 floors to go through along with fire stops in the walls and I really do not want an electrician or contractor cutting into sheet rock and having to repair and repaint and the like as it would become a very messy and costly cable run.

A contractor who does work for me suggested punching holes to the outside and running the cables through conduit or on the inside of\in the gap of the corner vinyl siding pieces and would do the job at minimal cost for me. Was wondering if anyone has ever done this and what if any issues arose? Which is better, dedicated conduit or the siding option if that works (I am guessing the conduit is better)? What type of conduit is best for this...rigid metal, rigid non-metal or flexible and what if any issues there are with the setup?

Thanks.

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#2
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
OK I am looking to run a couple of ethernet wires (Cat 6 or 7 ) from a second story office to the basement directly below. The obvious problem has always been that there are 2 floors to go through along with fire stops in the walls and I really do not want an electrician or contractor cutting into sheet rock and having to repair and repaint and the like as it would become a very messy and costly cable run.

A contractor who does work for me suggested punching holes to the outside and running the cables through conduit or on the inside of\in the gap of the corner vinyl siding pieces and would do the job at minimal cost for me. Was wondering if anyone has ever done this and what if any issues arose? Which is better, dedicated conduit or the siding option if that works (I am guessing the conduit is better)? What type of conduit is best for this...rigid metal, rigid non-metal or flexible and what if any issues there are with the setup?

Thanks.
drilling a hole in the corner or the room to come in behind a vinyl siding corner piece seems challenging, but you could probably run it along the wall under the siding and then under the corner piece. Think long and hard about how the walls are framed and whether you could get wire where you want it. The cable itself is cheap enough you don't need to worry. There's probably a slightly higher lightning risk on externally run cables, but it's not like your running it to the roof or between buildings. Make sure you paint any exposed cable and preferably use a uv resistant cable.

Personally, I'd go for an internal run if there are any walls that match up between the office and main floor. I've done similar runs between 3 levels only making 1 hole per level for a wall jack. You could also go up to the attic and back down in an easier location like a wall inside a closet where you can cut a bigger hole or near your flue pipe (still requires cutting holes in drywall). I can link to a few tools that might help if your interested.

Conduit would be uglier than using the siding, but might be easier. Vinyl siding could also make conduit more difficult, you do have to anchor it every 4 or so feet. If you do conduit, PVC is probably the best choice with an LB on each end. Priming/painting before install is a good idea. The flexible stuff won't look as clean. However full sun can be problematic with pvc conduit, it can change shape and expand / contract if it gets hot enough. This is less of a problem on a vertical run.
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Last edited by jkee February 22, 2016 at 10:24 PM
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#3
Quote from jkee View Post :
drilling a hole in the corner or the room to come in behind a vinyl siding corner piece seems challenging, but you could probably run it along the wall under the siding and then under the corner piece. Think long and hard about how the walls are framed and whether you could get wire where you want it. The cable itself is cheap enough you don't need to worry. There's probably a slightly higher lightning risk on externally run cables, but it's not like your running it to the roof or between buildings. Make sure you paint any exposed cable and preferably use a uv resistant cable.

Personally, I'd go for an internal run if there are any walls that match up between the office and main floor. I've done similar runs between 3 levels only making 1 hole per level for a wall jack. You could also go up to the attic and back down in an easier location like a wall inside a closet where you can cut a bigger hole or near your flue pipe (still requires cutting holes in drywall). I can link to a few tools that might help if your interested.

Conduit would be uglier than using the siding, but might be easier. Vinyl siding could also make conduit more difficult, you do have to anchor it every 4 or so feet. If you do conduit, PVC is probably the best choice with an LB on each end. Priming/painting before install is a good idea. The flexible stuff won't look as clean. However full sun can be problematic with pvc conduit, it can change shape and expand / contract if it gets hot enough. This is less of a problem on a vertical run.

Thanks. The locations are actually perfectly lined up with the utility closet in the basement directly 2 floors beneath the office in the corner. It is the same corner the electric wires attach to the house with the meter, so I figured it might not be too bad to run solid conduit out and directly down and aesthetically it probably does not stand out as much given the location is already busy with wires and meters.

Going internal might be preferable but the thought of having someone butcher two walls, one of which is in my formal dining room with a chair rail and decorative wall trim and having to cut two holes (probably a fire stop on each wall) sort of turns me off to the idea. I thought about going up to the attic and then trying to find a path down next to some piping, but the attic has a lot of insulation and I could not find any easy way. Maybe if I poke around some more, but honestly, I have no idea what to look for.

That said, wouldn't it be necessary to ground a pvc pipe run just to be safe?
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#4
I guess the question is what do you want to do with the runs?

It is a private home, have you looked at using your phone wiring, I would try powerline first they have some pretty fast ones now..

Also found this not cheap but you could probably find for less, using phone lines you can get 100mb

http://www.startech.com/Networkin...110VDSLEXT
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#5
Have you checked for existing conduit that you could use? Often commercial/business buildings have such conduit installed for just such purposes.

It could be worth a look.

Oh well. OP stated office/basement then House became the target.

SRY
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Last edited by dale_101798 February 23, 2016 at 07:37 AM
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Quote from komondor View Post :
I guess the question is what do you want to do with the runs?

It is a private home, have you looked at using your phone wiring, I would try powerline first they have some pretty fast ones now..

Also found this not cheap but you could probably find for less, using phone lines you can get 100mb

http://www.startech.com/Networkin...110VDSLEXT

I already use both powerline and coax\moca networking. The coax works fine. The power line adapters I have found to be OK but a little erratic at times (and do not get anywhere near the rated speeds). Irrespective of that, I was looking to get to full gigabit wiring throughout the house and need to do this run to achieve that. I have resisted doing it in the past because of the difficulty and the cost involved.
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#7
If I was going to run cable outside like this I would want to use externally rated cable. What the contractor said will work but I don't think it's the best option. Personally I would try quite hard to run internal before going external. Have you checked our your air ducts? Maybe the return duct? Can you run up into the attic then down?

I am actually getting ready to wire my house as well but doing it all internally. Need to finish the prep for this project and do some work.
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Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
If I was going to run cable outside like this I would want to use externally rated cable. What the contractor said will work but I don't think it's the best option. Personally I would try quite hard to run internal before going external. Have you checked our your air ducts? Maybe the return duct? Can you run up into the attic then down?

I am actually getting ready to wire my house as well but doing it all internally. Need to finish the prep for this project and do some work.
I would use externally rated cable.

House is two zone, so the air ducts for the second floor go to the attic. I looked at the attic to see if I could find some pipes to go along the side of...did not find anything though there is a lot of insulation covering things up there. Honestly do not really know what I am looking for either in that regard.

I just loathe the idea of cutting two holes into each of two internal walls (almost 100% sure there are fire stops in each wall), one of which has a chair rail and decorative molding and then having to deal with repair and repainting. Just not worth the hassle to me at that point.
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#9
any reason you don't run wifi AP? speed?
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Quote from Dr. J View Post :
any reason you don't run wifi AP? speed?

I have powerline, moca\coax and wifi already. I just want to go full gigabit wired for the speed. Since I currently have a contractor doing a job for me for my business at a nearby location, I sort of can get him to do small things at my home for cost\on the cheap so I figured I would use the opportunity to upgrade my home to full wired gigabit and get him to do a couple of cable runs. Do not really want to go ripping up walls though.
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#11
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
I have powerline, moca\coax and wifi already. I just want to go full gigabit wired for the speed. Since I currently have a contractor doing a job for me for my business at a nearby location, I sort of can get him to do small things at my home for cost\on the cheap so I figured I would use the opportunity to upgrade my home to full wired gigabit and get him to do a couple of cable runs. Do not really want to go ripping up walls though.

Probably be able to completely hide it behind vinyl.
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#12
you can use any electrical outlet to get to your outside wall then install a quad box in place of the duplex

Check for a drain pipe or see if you have any closets that line up.
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#13
I wonder if you know that anyone with the right hardware can run a wire through multiple floors by drilling though top/bottom plates & fire-stops with a special extendable drill bit and then using the extended drill to pull a new wire.

I tried to find a link to a Harbor Freight product that I have seen on the shelves on the local store. I prefer to help with links where I can but often times I find that I spend a lot of time for no return, not even a thanks in passing. Search for yourself this time.
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#14
Quote from dale_101798 View Post :
I wonder if you know that anyone with the right hardware can run a wire through multiple floors by drilling though top/bottom plates & fire-stops with a special extendable drill bit and then using the extended drill to pull a new wire.

I tried to find a link to a Harbor Freight product that I have seen on the shelves on the local store. I prefer to help with links where I can but often times I find that I spend a lot of time for no return, not even a thanks in passing. Search for yourself this time.
Flexible drill bits are tough enough to wrangle, that you really don't want to deal with a sub par one. Stick to quality flexible extension bits at home depot / lowes or online stores. A set of bumper balls makes them a lot easier to control: http://www.licensedelectrician.co...-Balls.htm

http://www.lsdinc.com/ also makes a bunch of really good tools
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Last edited by jkee February 23, 2016 at 09:45 PM
#15
Quote from jkee View Post :
Flexible drill bits are tough enough to wrangle, that you really don't want to deal with a sub par one. Stick to quality flexible extension bits at home depot / lowes or online stores. A set of bumper balls makes them a lot easier to control: http://www.licensedelectrician.co...-Balls.htm [licensedelectrician.com]

http://www.lsdinc.com/ also makes a bunch of really good tools
Oh...Duh, I wonder where you got that idea....laugh out loud Harbor Freight RULES! [Well if you don't mind mindless Chinese crap for just 1 time use.]
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