I'd like to run a data communication cable through all of the outlets, light fixtures and switches in a house. (I already have the walls open for other reasons.) Think something like a hardwired X10, within each outlet/fixture. A single run per floor, which I can then "pick off" when I I don't want to put a control box outside of the wall; the module which will switch the light/outlet or query switch status easily fits inside a standard junction box.

I understand that data and power are not to be mixed as per NEC without an accepted barrier, but how does this apply to devices which require both power and data within the box? It seems like NEC 2011 defines a specific exception for its "thou shalt not run power and data together" when the power is used to power the communications device.

My application isn't quite that (the outlet would be powering both the communications device inside the outlet box as well as whatever the communications device is controlling on the "other side" of the outlet) but it's close enough to make me think that perhaps someone else has already done this.

I see this is similar to this question but different enough that I'm not sure whether it would apply or not. I'm also in Ontario (Canada) and I know that NEC and CEC don't always agree, but it's almost always easier to find people who know the NEC than CEC. :-)

  • 1
    I'd suggest a LV box next to the power box.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 1:28
  • I was afraid you might say that. That doubles the install but is probably the only way to avoid any trouble.
    – akohlsmith
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 2:50
  • 1
    Separation, always between low voltage and power. With low voltage, you only need mud rings. Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 3:31
  • Out of curiousity, what device where you going to use that would also fix in the electrical box?
    – diceless
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 5:15
  • I'm designing something (I'm an electrical engineer). The house is just for future-proofing.
    – akohlsmith
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 12:40


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