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ericds14's profile

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2 Messages

Friday, March 4th, 2022 8:37 PM

Proper ethernet cable for installation throughout house

For AT&T Fiber internet, which is the proper ethernet cable to use when installing ethernet ports throughout a house? They will be run through the walls like the electrical, not through HVAC ducts or anything like that. I'm familiar with:

Cat 5e

Cat 6

Cat 6a

From reading about it, the cables should also be solid UTP. Does that make sense?

And is there any requirement in California for Cat6 Riser (CMR) cables?

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Official Solution

ACE - Expert

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24.4K Messages

2 years ago

To extend my ethernet cabling throughout the house, I used solid copper core, UTP CAT-6 cable, which was not CCA/CCS and not the typical ethernet patch cable. 23AWG, CM. I then terminated the cable in each room that I ran it to (via flexible conduit) with punchdown keystone wall plates. The cabling I used came from Sewell but there are others just as good to choose from.

Expert

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19.5K Messages

2 years ago

Don't know the California codes, but the NEC codes are no CMR in plenum runs or anything that carries air return. Since I don't feel like typing this all out again see this topic and no you don't want to use patch cords, solid cable is what you want and terminate with correct 8p8c plugs. As stated by @OttoPylot 

(edited)

ACE - Guru

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9.9K Messages

2 years ago

I was in an online seminar recently put on by one of the major networking hardware manufacturers.  Here's a clip from one of their slides that gave their recommendation for Ethernet cabling....

We'll see 10G somewhere down the line but as most residential cable runs go, CAT6 should still suffice.

New Member

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2 Messages

2 years ago

Thank you for the helpful responses.

Expert

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19.5K Messages

2 years ago

Just a bit of a warning here. Make sure you use the correct connector if terminating more than CAT5(e) as CAT6 and above is a larger gauge wire and thicker insulation. You won't get a good termination using CAT5 connectors on CAT6 cable. The reverse is also true. 

Expert

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19.5K Messages

2 years ago

@tonydi Your chart supports my rant and a lot less wordy.

ACE - Guru

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9.9K Messages

2 years ago

😁  I'm prone to being wordy so no awards here!

Given that this manufacturer usually plays things pretty conservatively I suspect one might even get a bit more distance from CAT6 on 10G in a home environment.

ACE - Expert

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35.5K Messages

2 years ago

FTR:

UTP means Unshielded Twisted Pair.  The Cat5e,Cat6,Cat6e are all standards for UTP.

As tonydi's chart indicates, Cat5e is fine for 99.44% of in home uses, probably for the next 10 years.  Cat6 is not all that much better, but most Cat6 cables are generally stiffer (most have a plastic divider in them) which can make them harder to fish.  I cannot in good conscience recommend Cat6 for anything unless it is cheaper than Cat5e.  Use Cat6e if you really want to worry about supporting 10 Gbps.

Plenum-rated cables may be necessary unless your cable will go in conduit from box to box.  Depends on your local code.  The large city here requires plenum-rated cable in office buildings in drop ceilings, even when there are closed returns.  Not everyone does.  And residential codes can be different.  The idea is that if the cable is plenum-rated, it's not supposed to give off poisonous gasses if really hot/burning, other wise...

Solid-core carries a clearer signal a longer distance.  Stranded isn't as good as carrying good, clear, high frequency signals (think about the fact that electrons travel on the surface of each conductor... more conductors gives a chance for different distances of travel, and hopping between conductors.  Thus, you should use solid where you can.  And where you can is in the walls where it doesn't move, because bending solid core isn't good for it.  Stranded is good for cables that bend... patch cables from the wall to your device should be stranded.

When putting your own ends on, not only are ends designed for the conductor gauge of the copper, but for whether it is solid core or stranded, so be sure to get the right one for your application.

(edited)

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