Min distance Cat 6 cable bundle from electrical Panel

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 Question by Jeff McConnell posted 05 Feb 2008
 Min distance Cat 6 cable bundle from electrical Panel
What is the minimum distance required for a cat 6 cable bundle from an electrical panel in an equipment room?
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 Answer by Dmitri Abaimov posted 28 Mar 2012
Dear Jeff,

There are at least two different aspects that need to be looked at deciding on the CAT6 bundle installation route - electrical safety and network performance.

From the network performance stand point the distance between networking cables and the power cables does not play much of a role anymore because the difference in frequencies of the signal and the EMI-induced noise is so great that the network electronics will easily handle filtering that noise out. In addition, all modern applications, including voice, are transmitting and receiving balanced signals and this, combined with the twisted-pair cable designs, makes them less susceptible to the electromagnetic interference in the first place.

From the safety stand point, the code only describes required separation from the power conductors and not the hardware. The minimum separation of 2" from an electrical cable entering the panel can rather easily be achieved even if the bundle is sitting right ontop of the panel but I would obviously advice to mount the bundle in such a manner that the panel is not directly on the way.

If you want to read more about the separation from power cables, I would recommend to check out our Guide to Separation of Network Cabling from EMI Sources

Sincerely,
Dmitri Abaimov, RCDD

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