The main question I have is two-fold:

  • Is it legal according to the Canadian electrical code and
  • How will it affect performance?

My setup:

I have my "server room" underneath the stairs, but my best access to the rest of the house for ethernet cable runs are from my furnace/electrical room. The only "path" between the two is a 3/4 inch Carlon Nonmetallic grey liquid-tight flexible conduit from HomeDepot that I ran when we did some renovations. At the time I did not read much online about it and just thought that it would be okay, but from reading similar questions now, I question my decision. And unfortunately, I won't be able to add another conduit now. I could not find any article or question specific to CAT6A alongside an armoured electrical cable so I thought I will post my first question on StackExchange.

My goal:

I am still busy setting up my first HomeLab and want to plan everything to be as future-proof as possible. I'm planning to install a switch in the electrical room to connect to all the other rooms for general ethernet access as well as connect more Wi-Fi access points where needed. But for now, my main traffic will be from my office(right above the stairs) to my "server room" underneath the stairs where all my main equipment will be.

What I understand: From reading more questions and answers is that I don't have to worry about getting a 10G connection all throughout my house and I am fine with that, as long as my installation will be safe and I get decent performance.


  • Will running shielded or unshielded CAT6A make a difference in my case?
  • Would armoured CAT6 be better/safer?
  • I know about having low voltage and high voltage in the same junction box is a no no, in the same conduit unknown. Think your problem will be to try to run armoured cable in 3/4 inch conduit. I doubt you will have enough extra space to run single 22/24 gauge wire in it, never mind cat5/6 cable.
    – crip659
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 22:16
  • What is the insulation voltage rating on the Cat6A? However, the simple reliable solution (especially if you care about 10G+ speeds) is all-dielectric fiber optic network cable.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 23:13
  • Is 100-500Mbps ok? Perhaps you can use powerline ethernet (so don't need to run the ethernet cable too?). YMMV.
    – Mr R
    Commented Feb 9, 2023 at 2:11
  • Not running a second conduit for data was a mistake. Your 1 power cable maxes out the conduit fill and you have no room for anything else. Also don't mix power and conductive data cables. Commented Feb 9, 2023 at 3:01
  • You'd be surprised at the speed and capacity of a cheap modern WiFi mesh network. Wiring up your whole house with CatX is a waste of time and money. If you have specific needs like a network file server for a video editor (just an example) cable for that. Otherwise do yourself a favor, install two or three mesh nodes first and build on top of that. $200 and twenty minutes, you'll probably be happy.
    – jay613
    Commented Feb 9, 2023 at 11:03

2 Answers 2


The method that I'm fairly sure no code anywhere would have an issue with is to use all dielectric (nothing electrically conductive) fiber optic network cable here, and choose switches at the ends of this run that have XFP ports since you apparently care about 10Gbit (or more) speeds. That's also a guarantee of no interference issues (and it's a more power-efficient way to get 10Gbit or greater speeds on a link. Copper 10Gbit is a power hog.)

However, you may well have an issue (both code and practical) running 12/3 AC90 and anything else in a 3/4 LFNC conduit due to the size of the armor on 12/3 AC90, which is 13.28mm or 0.523 inches going into a 20.828mm or 0.820 inch hole. That's 63.76% fill. A junction box and transitioning to THHN in the LFNC conduit may be required, rather than running AC90 through the conduit.


Will running shielded and unshielded CAT6A make a difference in my case?

It's not clear what you mean by "unshielded" in this context. The main difference in Ethernet grades is shielding. Compare Cat 5e and Cat6a sometime and you'll see what I mean. All Cat6 is shielded to some degree.

Would armoured CAT6 be better/safer?

The armor would provide an additional layer of shielding, yes. The catch is that electrical wire is a potential source for electromagnetic interference. Putting your Ethernet next to it, even for a mere gigabit network, is not a good idea, armored or not.

As Ecnerwal noted, however, fiber needs no shielding and would probably be comparable in cost. I would only run Ethernet in this context if you need Power over Ethernet (PoE). In such a situation, I would highly recommend running it in its own conduit.

  • 2
    Ethernet cables are often specified as "UTP" or "STP." "U" for "unshielded" and "S" for "shielded. This typically refers to a single additional foil shield wrapped around the entire bundle of twisted pairs. Additionally, when you terminate STP cable the endpoint has a conductive point to attach the foil.
    – Matthew
    Commented Feb 10, 2023 at 16:07
  • 3
    "The main difference in Ethernet grades is shielding.". That's not quite true. You can purchase unshielded Cat6A cable, and you can purchase shielded Cat5E. The big difference that affects performance is the way the individual pairs are twisted, which reduces intra-pair crosstalk.
    – SteveSh
    Commented Feb 10, 2023 at 16:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.