S-Video/Cat5e/Power Underground Run

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 Question by Tony Amabile posted 14 May 2004
 S-Video/Cat5e/Power Underground Run
This is a great service for us laymen! I plan on putting in three runs in my home - s-video via cat5 (using baluns), audio, and power (110v). These are outside and will be buried 18" deep. I am using pvc electric conduit. The run is 100'. Can I put everything in one conduit? If not, what distance apart underground should the seperate conduits be? Is cat5 or cat 5e or cat6 the correct category? Stranded vs. solid? Shielded vs. unshielded? Should they terminate in seperate wall mount boxes? Thanks, Tony
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 Answer by Joseph Golan posted 17 May 2004
Dear Tony,

As far as your separation distance, the residential standards do not cover buried outside runs but here is the separation part of the standard.
8.1 3.1 Separation distance from electrical power
Separation of telecommunications cable with respect to electrical power conductors shall meet
applicable electrical codes. Additionally, when telecommunications cable containing metallic
elements (e.g., UTP, coaxial cable) is placed alongside unshielded electrical power conductors inside
wall space or ceiling space, it shall have a minimum separation of 50.4 mm Q in) from power wire.

The NEC does not allow you to install power and low volage circuits in the same conduit or outlet box (unless the box has an approved barrier to separate the 110 side from the low voltage side) so you will need separate conduit runs for these services. Even though the standards call for a minimum of 2" separation, for the distance of 100', I would recommend a separation of at least 6".

Category 5 is no longer a recognized cable so it is your chaoice for either category 5e or 6. The cable should be solid conductor as stranded cable has higher attenuation abd is typically only used for patch codage.

Sincerely,
Joseph Golan, RCDD

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