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Routeing ethernet through electrical backing boxes

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by James Carmichael, 21 Oct 2020.

  1. James Carmichael

    James Carmichael

    13 Sep 2015
    Thanks Received:
    United Kingdom
    I am decorating one of the rooms in my house and want to add ethernet while I am at it. I want to bury the cable.

    It makes sense to me to borrow the "safe zone" thinking of electrical wiring, so I don't undo all of my good work later on by driving a picture hanging nail into my nicely concealed cat-6.

    So, I'd quite like to co-run my ethernet wiring alongside the electrical wiring in an open chase. This means the electrical socket would create the safe zone it sits in, the same as it does for my electrical wiring. Yes, I know running parallel to the electrical wiring (a 2.5mm 20 amp radial) may have a small degrading effect on the ethernet. It's only a 2m ceiling to socket, so I doubt it - but I understand the risk.

    Anyway, is there any *regulatory* or *safety* issue with routeing my ethernet cable into my socket's metal back box. Basically, it'll come into the backing box from the top, taking advantage of the vertical safe zone above it, hang a left to go out through the side, then carry on the horizontal safe zone to a newly installed ethernet point.

    No, I cannot just use the ethernet point to create a facsimile of a vertical safe zone and route straight to that. The location won't allow for it. My only available vertical safe zone is via the electrical socket.

    So, in short: Can I route ethernet cabling through an in-use electrical backing box?


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  3. DetlefSchmitz


    17 Aug 2010
    Thanks Received:
    United Kingdom
    I think the following applies:

    Proximity to electrical services
    Except where one of the following methods is adopted, neither a voltage Band I nor a voltage Band II circuit shall
    be contained in the same wiring system as a circuit of nominal voltage exceeding that of low voltage, and a Band I
    circuit shall not be contained in the same wiring system as a Band II circuit:
    (i) Every cable or conductor is insulated for the highest voltage present
    (ii) Each conductor of a multicore cable is insulated for the highest voltage present in the cable
    (iii) The cables are insulated for their system voltage and installed in a separate compartment of a cable ducting
    or cable trunking system
    (iv) The cables are installed on a cable tray system where physical separation is provided by a partition
    (v) A separate conduit, trunking or ducting system is employed
    (vi) For a multicore cable, the cores of the Band I circuit are separated from the cores of the Band II circuit
    by an earthed metal screen of equivalent current-carrying capacity to that of the largest core of a Band II

    I think there is also some mention of interference but can't remember where it is.
  4. rsgaz


    28 Jul 2014
    Thanks Received:
    United Kingdom

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