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I have a walk in attic. Through a room upstairs, there is a door that opens and you can step out into the attic. There is a power outlet in the attic on the wall (on a stud) near that door. What I'm wanting to do is keep a POE switch in the attic. I would need to run an extension cord around a corner from that outlet in the attic to put it where I want to put it. The area has particle board below it, studs with insulation on 2 sides, and open area on the other two sides. My concern is that I want to make sure I'm not creating a possible fire risk. I don't think I would be, but I would like some feedback by people who know more than I do.

I tried to upload pictures, but they're apparently too large ...

By the way, my question is not with the CAT cables. I have in wall rated CAT6 cables already running to a switch that is in a closet. I want to reroute those cables to this attic switch to make things easier for me, and cable runs shorter.

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    I googled for a random POE switch and looked at its specifications page. On that page I found operating temp specs listed as 0to 40C. My attic can get considerably hotter than 40C (104F). This was just one product but it's likely very similar. Electronic devices aren't made to operate in the extreme temp of an attic. – Tyson May 26 '17 at 11:53
  • The specs do say 40C, but I got this off amazon and others have said they've had this same switch in their attic with no issue. I can live with the device overheating and dying ... if that happens. I'm just trying to make sure I don't do something potentially unsafe. – CorporalCuddler May 27 '17 at 2:59
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I don't know for sure, but I don't think it's a good idea to have something that CAN overheat in an area that you don't normally visit (i.e. attic) Cables runs of Cat 5 and Cat 6 should be fine at any length in a house unless you have a mansion or are running parallel to power. I believe up to 200 foot is okay before any loss in packets.

POE switches are typically safe, and a good quality one is definitely worth it if you plan on leaving it unattended. Extension cords for permanent use is never a good idea, but a 12 or 14 gauge cord would be plenty overkill and should NEVER get hot with a low power drawing POE switch on the cord. Obviously don't use a lamp cord for extension purposes.

  • I agree with this answer, but I have never thought it was a good idea to run any extension cord in an attic for permanent use . There is just too many other things that can go wrong with one. So my question is why not just hardwire to the POE and use a fixture "tail" if necessary? – Retired Master Electrician May 26 '17 at 13:35
  • @Nic Not sure I'm following you when you say, "Extension cords for permanent use is never a good idea, but a 12 or 14 gauge cord would be plenty overkill and should NEVER get hot with a low power drawing POE switch on the cord. Obviously don't use a lamp cord for extension purposes." So, are you saying I COULD use a properly insulated extension cord, but you wouldn't recommend it? – CorporalCuddler May 27 '17 at 3:02
  • @RetiredMasterElectrician excuse my ignorance here, I've never messed with electrical outlets, aside from replacing dead ones. Are you saying why don't I run directly off an existing line directly to the switch? As in, cut the power cord of the switch and wire it to a power line? Also, are you guys saying that having a POE switch, in your opinion, WOULD be safe in an attic? – CorporalCuddler May 27 '17 at 3:06
  • @CorporalCuddler - Working backwards on your remark. It is perfectly safe to install a switch in the attic. What I was commenting on was the extension cord in the attic. Wherever that extension cord is connected to power you could extend that circuit from there to the POE, and then connect the POE. The reason I don't like extension cords is in my second comment. – Retired Master Electrician May 28 '17 at 13:37
  • @CorporalCuddler - The reason I don't like extension cords is because it could be considered by some AHJ as permanent building wire since you're not planning on ever taking down the POE. The 2014 NEC 400 Flexible Cords and Cables Article 400.7 (A) (11) "Uses permitted" and 400.8 (1) "Uses not Permitted" explains my concern . I would quote it but I don't have enough characters, but you can google it and make your own judgement. – Retired Master Electrician May 28 '17 at 13:47

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