I am currently running conduit for Cat5e cable in the home office I am finishing off. Are there any rules in the code for how far off the floor Category 5 wires in conduit must be run?

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    The only height requirements specified have to do with cables run outside (from pole to building, or building to building). The raceway would have to be installed in accordance with chapter 3, but there aren't any height restrictions I can think of. – Tester101 Mar 25 '13 at 11:30

No. Cat 5 cabling can be run on the ground or underground. If you are worried about it working just make sure the coating isn't torn/cut and it is capped properly. If you are worried about code violations - no inspector cares unless the cable is interfering with something else he cares about.

My experience level - ran communications cable for large internet provider for 4 years both in the field and in-house. If you run cable underground there is code specific sheathing needed. Not really sure this would apply for cat5 because that wouldn't be used for long runs. I personally have buried cat5 cable 1 foot under by 50 feet to set up a link in a shed that now works just fine 8 years later - without piping. Hillbilly but works perfect.

If I were doing my house I would run it 7-8 inches off the ground. Just because that is usually a spot that has little chance to be nailed/screwed.

Actually I wouldn't run cabling in my house. You run cables now and in 2-3 years wireless is faster. Seriously what could you be doing at your house that wireless wouldn't work? They make 1GB wireless routers for under $100. Soon 10GB will be the norm. Your internet speed - if it is blazing blazing fast - goes at 100 MB. That is 10 times less than your 1GB wireless throughput. Also your computer will only be able to process so much data being saved to it. I have my house teched out to the max (video/music hub server, print server, 10 devices online, virtual servers, mac/pc) and I haven't thought for a second running cables. Unless you are looking at selling your house soon to a couple in their 40/50s (the only demographic where cabling was known to) I see this as being pointless from a pure tech standpoint. My advice - take all the money that you were spending on this project - read reviews - buy a good router, buy a repeater if you are worrying about reception to devices, buy a central hub device (NAS) to store and share your stuff and enjoy.

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    Cat5 wiring is much less prone to interference, and works from one end of the house to the other without any weak signals. Plus, you can run audio, video, data, control, etc. over a Cat5 cable with relative ease. – geerlingguy Apr 10 '13 at 18:23
  • As you can do all of those things through wireless. I doubt he lives in a prison with 4 foot thick concrete walls. If he does they sell hi-range routers and repeaters that could fix that too. I can access "audio, video, data, control" 150 feet behind my house. It is funny that people are willing to run cabling everywhere (and there is no way you run it everywhere that you will need it in the future) but unwilling to pay extra for a router with commercial range - if they are worried about weak signals. Please give a specific reason why someone should run cat5 cabling in their house? – DMoore Apr 10 '13 at 20:17
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    @DavidMoore - "Please give a specific reason why someone should run cat5 cabling in their house?" - Network security. Cat5 is less accessible than a wifi signal. This limits the ability for someone to gain access to the network. – firedfly Apr 11 '13 at 13:20
  • I run video and audio signals through some of my Cat5 runs. One amp for kitchen, bedroom, and living room music and TV sound, which I can control via my phone on WiFi. Check out everythingovercat5.com for some more ideas. – geerlingguy Apr 11 '13 at 16:27
  • My reason for running Cat5e (actually, 3/4" conduit, within cat5e is run) was due to business reasons (I do consulting, and run simulations that can create hundreds of GB worth of data per week, which I need to back up over the network.. with link aggregation I can get 3Gbit to the backup server). As for routers, switches, etc.. there is quite a bit more $$$ going into them than the cat5e cable and conduit, as I need managed switches for doing the link aggregation. – MarkD Apr 11 '13 at 19:24

IMO in a commercial setting all receptacles, switches, jacks & the like should be installed at what is called counter height (about 48" to the top of the box). This not only satisfies ADA laws, but it keeps it all above most furniture, in sight for quick inventory, easy access, easy repair and upgrades. The days of crawling under desks and counters to get to plugs, kicking jumbles of cords plugged into recepticle strips under desks or smashing furniture against plugged in cords and cables really should come to an end. Exceptions to this would be common areas, corridors and lobbys

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    I don't know about ADA requirements, but IMO receptacles & switches should be located as near as possible to where they will be used. If the network jack is going to be used for a computer under a desk, it should be there. If it's for a wall-mounted TV, it should be there. – Hank Apr 17 '14 at 23:24
  • Especially in a home office, keeping it "in sight for quick inventory" translates to "keeping ugly wall plates and cables in sight for everyone to see (and wonder 'wtf did he do that for?')" – Doktor J Aug 20 '15 at 22:25

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