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I have a finished basement and would like to install and consolidate my house's wired ethernet cables in a data panel in one of the cabinets. I need to run wires around to the other side of the basement. The wall studs were placed several inches away from the concrete basement walls and bats of insulation were placed between the concrete walls and the studs. Cables could be fished around and behind the studs with minimal cabinetry removal. (The cabinets were screwed onto the studs before the dry wall.)

The problem is that the ethernet would have an irregular run and would lie on the ground, on/through insulation, over old pipes and then up into the desired rooms.

Flexible carlon-style ENT conduit might fit, but might not, and might require additional hole drilling. Fishing individual wires would be much easier. Also, I don't know how easy it'd be to pull through the irregular run of flexible ENT conduit. I think that grey PVC conduit would be very difficult. Securing it would be near impossible given what's back behind there.

  1. What type of Cat 6 cable would be suitable for this location? Direct burial? Riser?
  2. Is it OK to run it along the basement concrete.
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Riser should be fine unless you expect it to really get wet, in which case a waterproof version might be wise for a bit more money. Since you are using inside, a waterproof cable needs to be an "indoor/outdoor" rated cable - strictly outdoor cables are not tested for and may not meet indoor smoke ratings, and are limited to 50 feet from the point they enter the building.

We run plenum or riser attached to concrete all the time in industrial work.

I still recomend conduit for the reasons I always recommend conduit for networking (future-proofing and rodent-proofing (EMT), or at least resisting for the plastic stuff.) Perhaps metallic flex conduit if EMT is too daunting and you'd like tooth-proof. Comparatively expensive, though.

However, since it appears that you could run new cable as easily in the future as you can now, you can probably get away with just doing that. I would suggest using some cable ties with screw holes to support the cables by attachment to the studs, where accessible, rather than just draping them on the floor the whole way.

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  • Thanks. I would love to be able to tack the cable to the studs, but I just can’t do it very frequently to make it worthwhile. I can only get access to behind the wall every 8 feet or so. It’ll be a challenge as it is. The cable will have to run on the ground. I like the idea of Outdoor cable. I think I’m going to use a non-gel filled outdoor cable. I don’t anticipate it getting wet, but you never know. There shouldn’t be any rodents back there. Maybe just the occasional bug. The previous construction guys threw a bunch of trash back there. DW – Daniel Woodward Sep 17 at 0:02
  • 8 feet or so is plenty to keep it off the floor. – Ecnerwal Sep 17 at 0:21
  • Thanks so much. You don't think that dangling the cable between the 8' plastic tacks will eventually damage it? That's what I was worrying about. I'm just used to tacking it every 18" or running it through the studs for support. I wouldn't pull it taut or anything. I'd probably give it a foot or two of slack between the tacks. – Daniel Woodward Sep 18 at 1:10
  • Also, in talking to the cable guys at TrueCable, they suggested CMX rated Outdoor Direct burial cable for what I'm planning. Not the gel-filled. It seemed like a good idea to me. – Daniel Woodward Sep 18 at 1:12
  • "Plastic tacks?" We commonly cable-tie as much as 12 feet apart running through commercial ceiling framework. We don't use nail-in plastic cable clips, which might be what you mean - we use cable ties with a ring at the end, and a screw through the ring - bundling all the network cables running through that area into one bundle. – Ecnerwal Sep 18 at 1:14

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