Consolidation points in ceilings

Q: Could you clarify the specific points from tsb-75 about consolidation points? The March 1997 cover of Cabling Installation & Maintenance shows a consolidation point being installed in the ceiling; I was led to believe that you should not install them there because of access problems.

Aug 1st, 1997

Q: Could you clarify the specific points from tsb-75 about consolidation points? The March 1997 cover of Cabling Installation & Maintenance shows a consolidation point being installed in the ceiling; I was led to believe that you should not install them there because of access problems.

Richard E. Henderson, rcdd

Krone Inc.

Englewood, CO

A: I strongly agree with you that consolidation points should not be installed in ceiling spaces, but unfortunately a majority of the voting members of TR-41.8.1, the authors of tsb-75, did not. The following is the list of specific points from tsb-75, Section 6, that you requested:

- Consolidation points shall not be located in any obstructed area.

- Consolidation points shall be located in fully accessible, permanent locations such as building columns and permanent walls.

- Consolidation points shall not be installed in furniture unless that unit of furniture is permanently secured to the building structure.

- Consolidation-point accessibility and marking should follow tia/eia-568a, Section G.2.3, which states: "A consolidation point should be readily accessible and its location visibly marked, allowing for ease of routine maintenance and reconfiguration."

How "fully accessible" or "readily accessible" is a box in the ceiling? I still remember the countless hours that I have spent above the ceiling, tugging on 25-pair cables and trying to listen for "the can" to rattle. The proponents of these products will tell you that cannot happen now, not if you follow the standard and label everything. The can locations were labeled, but over time the tiles were not put back in their original locations, or had to be changed because of all the dirty fingerprints, or the label fell off the T-bar, or worse yet, the can was moved by another building trade needing access to their equipment.

Donna Ballast is a communications analyst at the University of Texas at Austin and a bicsi registered communications distribution designer (rcdd). Questions can be sent to her at Cabling Installation & Maintenance or at PO Drawer 7580, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78713; tel: (512) 471-0112, fax: (512) 471-8883, e-mail: ballast@utexas.edu.

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