Minimize strain on vertical drops of Category 5 cables

Feb. 1, 1998
After running Category 5 cable above a ceiling, dropping it vertically can strain and bind the cable, damaging it and causing signal degradation.

Rick Lees, Erico Inc.

Wayne Armstrong

Problem

After running Category 5 cable above a ceiling, dropping it vertically can strain and bind the cable, damaging it and causing signal degradation.

Solution

Create a ladder using conduit supports, beam clamps, and 2-inch polyvinyl chloride (pvc) or metallic conduit. A ladder of this type will support the cable and minimize strain at the drop point, as well as limit damage to the cable.

Srocedure

1) Run the cable horizontally to the wall or beam, using wide-base J-hook cable supports.

2) At the drop point, attach a piece of 2-inch conduit to the wall or beam with a "hammer-on" support and a beam clamp.

3) Loosely wrap the cable around the conduit a full 360o.

4) Drop the remaining cable vertically to the next wrap point.

5) Continue this looping process every 4 to 6 feet, or as needed, on the vertical run.

Click here to enlarge image

A short piece of 2-inch conduit should be attached to the wall or beam, using a support and beam clamp, every 4 to 6 feet. Wrapping Category 5 cable around these pieces of conduit will help avoid excessive strain and consequent signal degradation.

Rick Lees is a design technician with the Fastening Products Div. of Erico Inc. (Solon, OH). Wayne Armstrong is a self-employed cabling contractor based in Woodstock, GA.

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