Sunday, February 26, 2012

When Installing Wiring Tight or Loose it Depends?

When we wire with wiring above 50 volts you always want wiring connections tight and cabling installed orderly and with little slack.

However when it comes to low voltage wiring below 50 volts AC or DC you often want to have the connections tight but the wiring run loosely.
If you run any type of wiring which has data over it be it telephone , alarm ,internet the worst thing you can do is run and pull it tight you might as well step away from the job and forget ever getting it to run correctly.
The picture at left may look sloppy but the system works they way it is suppose to because you can not pull data wires tight they need to be loose with slack . or they will not transmit data correctly.
Read any manufacturer of Cat5 wiring and components instructions they want loose and flowing not tight .

I have a very good customer who has a couple of relatives involved in alarm business and they always criticize my alarm and data wiring for being loose and sloppy looking.
But then my customer jabs them in the ribs and reminds them when Nick installs something for me It works and there's no call backs like when you install something.
Why? it gets back to how the wiring is installed and terminated.
Take your average alarm system the field wiring to the devices you want to run with out slack
but the 4 conductor wire you run for the keypad contains data on 2 of the wires. install it with straight UN-twisted wiring and install it tight and the data path becomes interrupted and the noise made by the data path can be injected into near by music system or computers.

This is exactly what happened at my customers home when his relative installed an extra keypad on the system with out twisted wire crossed over a stereo wire in ceiling and every time he went to play music it had a data buzz noise over the speakers ,because the wrong wire was used and it was transmitting into the stereo wire. same thing in his office when they ran the cat 5 wiring too tight constant computer errors while my jacks and wiring work just fine.

This same thing happened at a high end restaurant I was doing a sub contract job installing an integrated system in when I got sick with stage IV colon cancer and had to stop and I warned the people taking the job over they must run cat 5e for the keypads and addressable data path and they did not listen and noise bars and hum came over the TV's in the bar area and sound system . They had to rip everything out and start over. they never ever did get the system working properly when I got better I had to go back and Finnish it.
Some people never learn when it comes to dealing with data cheap out the job it will never work.

How many times do I see the wrong wire being run or very cheaply made wire and devices being used you are going to have nothing but problems cheapening things out.

Its just like people who tightly roll up the wires behind the computers and components your doing nothing but interfering with the data path.

I see this all the time with door entry and intercom systems on buildings where installers refused to install them with proper wire and components same thing my systems work fine while other some times or not at all.
This was particularly true with Nutone Commun-com Intercom systems for apartments it says very specifically in the instructions to use only there Nutone brand wire which is of course is more in cost then other wire so installers buy and use the cheaper wire and the system does not work properly all the time if at all or frequently breaks down. Why because the Nutone wire has a very specific twist to it unlike cat 3 or 5 wire. Thats why Nutone insists you buy there wire. But the usual excuse from installers it does not matter what wire you use its a crap system either way. then what are you doing installing a crap system?
I have Nutone systems that are over 15 years still operating out there just fine. Of course I also surge protected them as well to protect them against storm damage etc. but again same excuse I only put in what I am told, surge protection does not work does not matter how you install it.
When the truth is the wire run correctly is the whole answer.

I install and use very high end very complicated Honeywell fire and security systems and never have problems with them while other installers and dealers will tell you there crap. Sorry this is not the case its your poor installation skills which make them operate like crap.
I never to very rarely ever have to replace boards do to surges etc. When I replace them its to upgrade the systems to do more . Mean while walk into any supply house and see all the boards other dealers bring in to be repaired every time there is a storm. Not me.
Its back to keep the wiring loose and surge protect things or loose them period.

I have phone, fire, card access,intercom and security systems I installed 30 years ago still running and working fine.
because they where wired correctly with correct wire the correct way with proper grounding and surge protection. So do not tell me how crappy a product is its more than likely a crappy installing alarm company doing the work and causing the problem.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Nick. Your explanation of electrical wiring is spot on. Many clients will call in with electrical problems and it turns out the only issue is the loose wiring. Excellent post with electrical details. Thanks!