34 votes
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Mysterious cord running from wall. Safe?

That is a wired telephone junction block. The wire coming through the wall may very well be where the original land line entered the house from outside. The other wire is probably going off to some ...
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  • 61.1k
31 votes
Accepted

Can you identify this receptacle?

That appears to be a central vacuum system. The LV wire is to turn the vacuum on via a relay. Hard to tell from the picture if the end of the wire has simply been tucked into the pipe awaiting the ...
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  • 133k
30 votes

Landscape lighting wire rough in for future, what wire, how deep? Other things to consider?

Conduit Don't put in wires. You'll guess wrong. With conduit, you can run multiple wires, change the wires for a larger size, etc. as needed over time. There are limits, but even 1/2" can hold ...
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17 votes

What is a proper way to support/suspend cat6 cable in a drop ceiling?

If you read up on the standards for datacom cabling, you might end up with your head spinning. Those standards are very demanding and detailed. They do make sense for big installations in commercial ...
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13 votes
Accepted

Can I mix AV and Power cables in the same raceway?

Those rules apply to building infrastructure. Typically "inside the walls" but also surface-mounted conduit and related infrastructure. If your "raceway" is nothing more than a ...
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  • 16.9k
13 votes

Can I replace a 115 V doorbell transformer with a 120 V doorbell transformer?

There are 3 issues here. The one in the title is actually the least of the concerns: 115V to 120V The US electric supply has gradually increased the standard voltage over the past century from 110V ...
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12 votes

What is a proper way to support/suspend cat6 cable in a drop ceiling?

Simple cup hooks will suffice $5 for a pack of 25. src If screwing into the bottom, then at the first joist, you have two of them about an inch apart, and you face them opposite directions (not like ...
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11 votes

Can you identify this receptacle?

This question already has a very good answer but I wanted to provide a couple of pictures that will provide some additional clarity to the installation and usage.
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  • 61.1k
10 votes
Accepted

How to leave low voltage wiring behind wall?

The common practice for future expansion is to install the box and put a blank cover on it. That eliminates the requirement of chopping into the drywall to find the wire. It also eliminates the need ...
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  • 19.3k
10 votes

What should I leave in the walls to allow me to fish future wires?

This is what ENT (or any sort of conduit) is for If you want to leave "room for installing wires in the future" in an electrical installation, you put a conduit in the wall so that the installer who ...
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10 votes

What is a proper way to support/suspend cat6 cable in a drop ceiling?

This answer is from an Australian (licensed cabler) perspective. Based on the fact you have metal conduit and a basement, I'm assuming you're in the US/Canada. The rules here are definitely open to ...
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8 votes

Mysterious cord running from wall. Safe?

A few things to add to the other answer It was probably an older 4-pin jack that went there. This was the forerunner for the modern (and considerably more compact) RJ-11 jack you would recognize. ...
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  • 19.7k
8 votes

How to protect outdoor low-voltage cable over concrete walkway?

I would remove a 12" square of sod from either side of the walkway and dig down to force a tube from one side to the other. When we had the drive tarmaced, I put a tube under just in case. Came ...
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  • 20.7k
8 votes

How to protect outdoor low-voltage cable over concrete walkway?

Your best bet is to install a conduit under the walk. There are various ways to do this. Dig a trench on each side of the walk and hammer a piece of 3/4" pipe with caps on each end under the ...
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  • 53.3k
7 votes
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Is there an advantage to using EMT over Plastic Flexible Conduit for Low Voltage runs?

Electrical Metallic Tubing (Type EMT) Pros Protection from physical damage Larger internal area (1/2" EMT = 0.622 in. ID) Available in sizes over 2" Easy to push through closed walls and ...
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  • 128k
7 votes
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Wiring home network patch panel (568A vs 568B)

Sorry if this simple answer comes across as too basic. But you really could get the decided by looking at your own setup. Rewire at the end that has more slack cable in case you need to cut it off ...
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  • 61.1k
7 votes
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How to attach a security camera to an existing box?

Many camera's like this popular Lorex model: come with a small 2" surface mounting "Plate" that you can use if you don't have electrical box mounting. They also screw into a 1/2" weatherproof ...
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  • 4,140
7 votes
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What is this unit attached to my house, and what do I replace it with?

That's telephone. It's not a transformer. It's a terminal block. Call up the phone company and ask them to have someone come out and show you where your point of demarcation is. That's where the ...
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7 votes
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Why can't I (or: shouldn't I) run a power cord through a wall?

Of course it's illegal to run power cords inside walls. National Electrical Code 400.8 rolls through the things you can't do with cord, and it's mostly a list of schemes to use them as a substitute ...
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7 votes

What is a proper way to support/suspend cat6 cable in a drop ceiling?

I like using these in my attic, even though they are designed for Romex. I like how they can clip multiple cables in. Sometimes I replace the nail with a screw for easier installation. Multi-Cable ...
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  • 499
6 votes

Is it safe to run a Kinect 360 cable in drywall?

Most likely not code compliant, at least - the insulation fire rating is what matters there - if you can read off any codes on the side of the cable jacket it might be possible to be more certain. I'...
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  • 133k
6 votes
Accepted

Low voltage wiring ideas for house

I recently had the opportunity to do this on an out-room on the other side of the garage. It just had wood veneer and no insulation, so the gut was pretty pain free. I'm a forward thinker, but ...
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  • 19.7k
6 votes
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Low voltage circuits inside mains conduit

This is a case where what ordinarily would be a Class 2 control circuit is redesignated as a Class 1 control circuit, as per Exception 2 to 725.130(A): Exception No.2: Class 2 and Class 3 circuits ...
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6 votes

What is a proper way to support/suspend cat6 cable in a drop ceiling?

For a fixed run, I use ring-type wire ties (they have a ring at one end for a screw to hold them in place) and I would screw them into the framing in this case. They are much less fuss than the plates ...
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  • 133k
6 votes

Is there a good way to get 12v into an electrical box?

All you need is a plug-in power supply of a slightly different form-factor, one you're not used to. You're used to wall warts where they have an integral low-voltage cord. That cordage is not legal ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Will this non Contact voltage detector be adequate for my use case?

A Non Contact Voltage Detector doesn't replace the need for a Voltmeter but it is an item I keep in my pocket as a quick verification of AC Power. If I cut the power, I'll do a quick test before I go ...
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  • 4,356
5 votes
Accepted

Why is my electric fence killing birds?

Even with a small charger like you have if a bird is eating at the fence line and touches the fence ! Wham ! It is dead. We spray our fence line to keep the horses and grass / berry vines from ...
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  • 95.5k
5 votes

How to locate a cut low-voltage ethernet wire behind drywall?

You need a LAN Tracer This one is from Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Upgraded-VicTsing-Ethernet-Telephone-Tracking/dp/B008G8KE90 Connect the sender to one end of the cable, and use the tone ...
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  • 1,166
5 votes

Low voltage wiring ideas for house

Don't guess. Pull conduit and add whatever the future calls for. The main thing to be thinking about in low-voltage is POWER. Solar panels continue to get cheaper, and batteries are getting ...
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5 votes

Do low voltage wires need to go in a junction box

It's not required, but there's no harm in doing so. I'd mostly detach them from the yellow cable and bring the nuts up above the insulation level in case you need to find them later.
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