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I'm looking to run CAT5E/CAT6A cabling from my basement where I have a network rack to the attic above my 2nd floor. After a lot of investigation there was no way I was going to feed the cabling through existing pathways in the walls. None of the pathways are "straight runs" from top to bottom, there is no in-wall conduit, existing coax/cat3 wire was run before drywall and stapled, and most walls have lots of insulation in them.

So I found a much easier approach. I'm able to come through from the basement to the garage, right through the drywall above the foundation. Builders did the same thing for wires into the garage for an irrigation system. From there I can run the cables vertically up the garage wall (~15'), then drill a role into the ceiling to the attic above. This way I can run the cabling on the face of the garage wall instead of in-wall and avoid a bunch of work and problems.

I wouldn't want the cables just dangling down, so I'd use a conduit. And since it's vertical and outside the wall I figure a rigid conduit instead of a flexible conduit will be better. I came up with a few ideas. While this is a garage I don't want it to look ugly and stick out. So I'd like the conduit to hopefully be white or have the option to paint it white so it blending into the white walls. Also the more flush it is against the wall the better as well.

  1. My first though was electrical PVC piping (HERE) secured to the wall with some U brackets? Would this be sufficient? Can I paint it white?
  2. Next thought was, do I even really need electrical PVC? Could I just use standard white PVC piping for this? It's not running outside the home or inside the walls.
  3. Then I found this flanged U channel raceway HERE. Would this be sufficient? I guess this is an extension of the previous question if the electrical PVC is necessary.
  4. Finally I thought, why not a square conduit that would sit flush against the wall. Closest thing I could find was some "vinyl" downspout/fencing posts HERE. From what I can tell "vinyl" in this context is just PVC.

I'm open to any other suggestions. I've already determined I can easily run the cables through this area. So much easier then through walls. I want it to look decent and not use improper materials though.

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    Sounds like you are looking for surface mount raceway and you don't even need the stuff of "normal electrical" quality/price, since it's low voltage. Of course, you don't even need it at all, other than you want an appearance of a certain sort. I'd be fine with ring-ended zip ties screwed to the wall with the cable dressed neatly so it lays straight/flat, but you're going for fancier than that.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 10, 2022 at 18:00
  • With low voltage wires you can use anything, bubble gum, pink balloons, gold piping. Anything that looks nice to you. Wires carrying more than 50 volts do come under code you need to follow.
    – crip659
    May 10, 2022 at 18:00
  • @Ecnerwal yea except surface mount raceways are rather expensive and tiny. I need a conduit for like 12-20 cables. Which lead me to consider cheap pvc piping and then found both electrical pvc and EMT conduit. Also wasn't sure if there was any concern about it being a conduit running from basement to attic from a fire code perspective.
    – JayG30
    May 10, 2022 at 18:05
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    In that case, yes, electrical PVC is the right choice. Feel free to paint it white. It IS flame retardant, which guttering is not. Or, frame out a chase and enclose it with drywall.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 10, 2022 at 18:09

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All of these items would do the trick. The electrical PVC is a good choice and it can be painted. The advantage to using it over regular PVC are the bends and fitting available and the strength of material. During your installation of this, a bend or two might come in handy and you won't get those with regular PVC. The mounting brackets are available everywhere as is the PVC.

Your flanged U channel is good and would be a real easy installation floor to ceiling but this stuff is really expensive, about 3 to 4 bucks a foot.

Your vinyl "down spout" would be very bulky and is fairly expensive too.

All these items can be painted.

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  • The square vinyl down spout looks actually cheaper to me, at $14 for 10ft and is a 2.5" sizing so more room for more cables. They have angles and adapters as well which is nice. 10ft 2" of electrical PVC is $30 so more expensive and will need to be painted. But it's electrical rated soooo. The flanged U channel looks good but, yea it's expensive ($50 for 10ft 2") and can't find many manufacturers of it.
    – JayG30
    May 10, 2022 at 18:38
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    The advantage, @JayG30, in your situation of using actual conduit is that it looks like conduit. Most people would recognize that there is wiring in there. They may not know what it's for or why it's there, but wouldn't be puzzled by the fact that there's a piece of conduit on the wall. The vast majority of folks would be quite puzzled to find a piece of PVC downspout on the inside of the garage and might start digging into it to find out why it's there.
    – FreeMan
    May 10, 2022 at 18:48
  • @JayG30 Yes, the 2" sizes are considerably more expensive. I thought you were looking at 1/2" or 3'4" sizes for conduits so they wouldn't stick out. If you want that much room, then down spout it.
    – JACK
    May 10, 2022 at 18:50

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