James R. Hofmann
In the July 1997 issue (page 5), you talk about the "Four great mysteries of the cabling industry." Your editorial reminded me of Category 5 wiring that is now being employed in the housing industry.
My daughter and her husband are building a new home, and when they showed me the plans for the house, I noted one of the specifications was for Category 5 wiring. Many homes in this area are now being wired in this fashion.
My son-in-law is an electronics engineer, and we wondered if electricians who are familiar with the National Electrical Code regulations are aware of Category 5 wiring, cable runs, and pulling-tension requirements. To put Category 5 in a home, I assume that the standards must be followed. If there are problems in the future with data reception or transmission, who will get the trouble ticket? I can just see the telephone company receiving a trouble ticket when it had nothing to do with the home wiring, if the wiring is at fault. Who will repair the problem?
As a retired gte data technician, I still wake up in the middle of the night thinking of such things, too.
The editor replies:
Mr. Hofmann raises an excellent point. Who has jurisdiction over residential low-voltage wiring? In a number of states, this question is currently being answered by the legislature, often with telecommunications installers on one side of the fence and electricians on the other. For example, see Industry Spotlight (September 1997, page 92) for a story on the Massachusetts licensing battle. For another perspective, see "The coming revolution in residential wiring," in the August 1997 issue (page 52). What about the rest of you readers out there? Any thoughts on residential wiring?