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I'm constructing a new home office and rather than having fixed cables from the (existing) wiring closet, I want to have the flexibility to add/remove/change cables in future, so I've been looking at solutions for having a duct.

The closet is partially below (split-level house) and horizontally offset from the home office. There is a reasonably accessible void between the two rooms that could be used.

What I need is:

  • a ducting product which will allow new low-voltage cables to be pulled with relative ease, given a couple of wide radius turns

  • a WAG-friendly (i.e. neat and tidy) way to finish the ends of this ducting, particularly at the home-office end.

I would be open to solutions/products/ideas that terminate either on the wall or down through the floor (the home office is above the void I mentioned and is floorboards, with carpets to go down soon.)

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Tip: run conduit, but run your current wires outside of the conduit while you can. If you ever want to add wires, the conduit is there (and empty). The more wires in the conduit, the more of pain it is to run new wires. A lot of the wiring (eg, Cat5e/Cat6) is likely to remain useful for a long time anyway, and you're probably not likely to have a reason to want to remove some particular wire if it's not in the way. –  gregmac Mar 12 '12 at 21:36
    
+1 for you. This is a really good point, and I'm pleased I came to the same conclusion myself :-) –  tomfanning Mar 13 '12 at 21:35

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

For the duct work, since we don't know how many cables you are talking about, I suggest ENT (Electrical Non-Metallic Tubing). It is flexible, corrugated and comes in a range of sizes, same as PVC. You can even use PVC connectors on ENT if in a bind.

ENT

For termination, you can either use a box / terminating structured media center or make your own with a J-Box, but I suggest the SMC's. The SMC's come in different sizes, depending on the manufacturer, and different modules and a surge suppression power system made for the box.

Structured Media Center

The SMC's are for RG6, or quad, Telephone, Cat5 and or Cat6, speakers, IR, securitry and the list keeps getting bigger. This is a link for Leviton, and there are many more manufacturers of these.

Remember, no tight turns or hard pulling, these cables are not made to be tugged at real hard at, like stretching the twists inside cat5 cable. If you can make the bend in ENT your wire radius will be OK.

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Just remember not to mix power and signal wires in the same conduit. –  Tester101 Mar 13 '12 at 16:21
    
ENT looks great, wasn't aware of it. Thanks for the recommendations! –  tomfanning Mar 13 '12 at 21:34

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