Conduit. FREE cabling and networking Helpdesk
 Question by Travis posted 06 Aug 2004
I've been searching the internet for concrete answers regarding the appropriate conduit for network cables (cat5, cat5e, cat6, etc). I've seen PVC suggested but also grounded metal. What is the absolute BEST conduit to use for a new commercial construction (in my case, a credit union building)?
 Answer by Joseph Golan posted 06 Aug 2004
Dear Travis,

What you need to do is contact the electrical inspector for the location in which the building is to be located otherwise know as the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction).

The "best" conduit would be RGS (Rigid Galvanized Steel) but the cost differnce from that to PVC (or even nothing) is frightfull. Your electrical contractor will love you if you specify RGS but be prepared for the cost impact.

Things that you be concerned about before selecting a conduit system is the actual installation conditions under which it is be installed including and especially if conduits are buried in the slab, which may be considered a wet location. That will cause havoc with your cabling unless they are perfectly watertight (very few actually are).

Most commercial applications (and I do consider a credit union location to fall under that broad spectrum) would used EMT conduit stub-ups terminating in a one or two gang box. The cable would then run on a support system or j-hooks or cable tray to the TR(Telecommunication room). If the cable is running through am air handling plenum, then it must be rated for that evironment to meet fire and electrical codes.

If you are still at a loss, I would add a communication consultant to the team developing the building. If you do not know one and are looking for references, you may want to contact BICSI ( 800-242-7405 for a reference of a local RCDD (Registered Communication Distribution Designer) who is familer will the local code and buildings.

Joseph Golan, RCDD

Click here to see the expert's profile
Back to the current page of questions | Back to all the questions
Back to HELPDESK | Ask your question
Residential Cabling Guide

Home Cabling Guide

Finally, an instantly downloadable book that saves you thousands in home improvement dollars! Enjoy living in 21st century technology-advanced home while increasing its selling value and competitive advantage on the real estate market. Whether your cabling is for home office or high-tech leisure, you can wire your home yourself or learn "wirish" to speak with your cabling contractors in their language!

Learn more ...