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I'm looking to build a central wiring closet for ethernet, phone, and co-ax. I would like this closet to have a single pipe to the exterior of the house, which service lines can come in through. Also, fiber is not currently available, and I'd like it and any future technologies to have easy access to the central closet.

My concerns are:

  • What kind of conduit to use
  • How to penetrate the exterior wall
    • Basement wall is concrete
    • Could also be easily put through main floor siding
  • How to protect the exterior of the conduit from weather

Hopefully that's all I need to plan the project...

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Your local hardware store should have a selection of conduit that's suitable. Generally any PVC should be OK as it's designed to survive the weather, and does so very well. I used 15mm, but I wasn't running coax - just data cables. An SC fiber connector would not fit through a 15mm conduit, so you'll either have to get a larger conduit than this or get it crimped after it's been through the hole. Go for the larger conduit - it'll be cheaper and easier.

Penetrating the exterior wall depends on what kind of structure your house is built with. Ours is double-brick exterior, so I just drilled through it with a 15mm masonry drillbit and a large hammer-drill. Concrete should be pretty much the same. If you don't have access to a hammer drill, every few seconds stop the drill and pull it back a few cm, then start again. Depending on the thickness of your wall the drill bit will get incredibly hot, so be careful after you've made your hole.

With the exterior conduit, if it's PVC then it should be pretty safe against the weather as it is. If you need to run outdoor connectors outside of the conduit, then IP65 or 67-rated devices should do well.

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for concrete do you need to worry about something like shear strength and/or rebar? –  Wayne Werner Jul 22 '10 at 3:28
1  
That's a good point actually, when drilling through concrete walls you're likely to run into reo - you might want to ask a question about how to drill through concrete to get the rest of the answers, probably too much for comments. –  Mark Henderson Jul 22 '10 at 3:56

EMT (electrical metal tubing) is your best bet for outdoor cabling and it is also designed to be pliable for directional installation. You can buy a pipe bender that will allow you to angle it in any direction to make creating your path easy. EMT is what I've used in office buildings, retail stores and central offices and various other environments for running many types of cables in. EMT is strong for concrete and since it is designed for electrical, it is fairly waterproof, but there are other options like liquid-tight, that you can use along some portions that are completely waterproof.

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