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  1. Member yoda313's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2004
    Location: The Animus
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    Ok here's the situation - I want to run a phone cable from one floor to another. I don't want to cut anything nor do any kind of line fishing.

    Can I use duct work to snake a phone cable around?

    I don't have a phone jack in the room I intend to move my dsl modem to. I know they have wireless adapters to turn power outlets into phone jacks but I don't want to spend close to a 100.00 on this project.

    So is this safe? Also how could I get it out of the vent cover? How do you crimp a phone jack plug onto a phone cable?

    Ideas are welcome. FYI this is so I can use my router and dsl modem in the same room with my ps3 and xbox 360 for media sharing off my vista pc.
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  2. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    Probably against code and rental agreements.

    If this is your house, you can fish telco wire through walls under the floor or via ceiling. It all depends on your house construction.

    When I was in an apt, I fished telco wire under carpets to convert a dining room into an office. That was probably against code as well.
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  3. I know there is a different type of Ethernet cable to be used in plenums, though I don't know exactly why this is. The dude that taught me how to run cable 15 years or so ago indicated it was something to avoid. Maybe something with the temperature changes?

    To crimp a phone jack onto phone cable, you use (wait for it) - a phone jack crimping tool. Very cheap. Many Ethernet RJ45 crimpers will also handle phone (RJ11).
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  4. Member ron spencer's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2005
    Location: Ish-ka-bibble
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    what do you mean air ducts?

    there are two type:

    1. heating
    2. cold air


    heating I avoid "just in case"

    cold air has no downside...just cold air.
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  5. Renegade gll99's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2002
    Location: Canadian Tundra
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    I don't know about building codes so can't advise you on that but IMO this is a low risk solution. This is low voltage communication equipment not electrical wiring so it shouldn't cause a problem.

    Years ago I ran a wired intercom which only ran on a 9 volts dc battery after I modded it from our 3rd floor bedroom to my basement office/workshop. I went though a heating duct at a point about 10 - 15 feet from the furnace. At the time I would have preferred to use the cold air return but upstairs it was in the middle of a hallway on an opposite wall.

    All I did is remove the cover from the heating duct upstairs and fished and wiggled a fairly stiff but flexible multi filament steel wire into the pipe until by my estimate it had reached the basement. With a friend upstairs to wiggle the wire I went down to listen for movement in the basement pipe. I pried the duct joint on the bottom, found the steel wire, pulled it through and then duct taped the phone cable to the steel wire end to end to form a smooth line making sure the unplugged phone extension cable was long enough not to get fished back into the pipe. I went back up and pulled it through. To pass it through the cover I just pried the centre of the fins with a wide flat screw driver just enough to get the head of the connector through the back of the cover but not enough to actually cause a visible bend. I put the cover back on the hole and pulled as much phone line as needed. Downstairs I had to leave a small slit / bend where the duct pipe joins to let the phone line through and used metal tape to reseal the pipe joint and cover the small slit / bend for the phone wire.

    This worked great for many years until I moved but the removal was even easier. I just cut the line downstairs at the duct pipe and pulled it back up through the bedroom vent and that was it.
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  6. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Yeah I have no idea about code so I'd probably not end up doing this. Its just kinda one of those "what if" ideas that popped in.

    What exactly is "plenum"? Is that some kind of heavy duty plastic casing?

    I'm sure I'll figure out something. Thanks for the advice.
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  7. A plenum is the air space between a false ceiling and the real ceiling, between the walls, etc. Plenum cable has thicker solid core copper wire and thicker plastic shielding that doesn't give off toxic fumes when burned. It's less flexible than patch cable (what you use within a room) but can withstand more stress during installation (like when being pulled through conduit).
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  8. Member gadgetguy's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2002
    Location: West Mitten, USA
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    According to fire/electrical code, it is never ok to run wire in air ducts. Plenum rated cables can be run in plenum spaces as described by jagabo, but not in ducts. In case of fire, both hot and cold air ducts are paths for the fire to spread if there is anything in them that can act as a fuel source. Wire (even plenum rated wire), dust, spiderwebs, trash, and almost anything else that falls through the register can be a fuel source. It's recommended that your air ducts be cleaned at least once a year.

    Edit: I was discussing this with a friend and he said that if you have wire in your ducts and have a fire, the insurance company can deny, or partially deny the claim. Wire in the ducts can be considered a willful violation and a contributor to the covered loss. He couldn't site an example of this actually happening and he's not an insurance man, so I don't know if this is fact or speculation, but I thought I'd pass it along.
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  9. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone.

    I think I may have gotten my ethernet switch to work in place of my dsl modem/wireless router configuration. I still have to tweak it though. I will pull up a previous post for further discussion on it.

    Hopefully this thread may prove useful for other people.
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  10. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Bump - well I struck on something the other day. I have a whole for my CABLE!!! DUH! I'm just gonna drill it a little wider. Turns out the darn thing is only big enough for the cable itself. It is so narrow that even adding the flat phone cable is too much extra thickness for both to fit.

    This will be great. I'll be able to snake the phone cord through the cable hole and I'll be able to have a live net connection with my dsl modem and wifi router in the same room with the 360 and ps3.

    Thanks everyone.
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  11. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2002
    Location: canada
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    I put a phone wire thru a heating vent cover 17 years ago,just replaced it cause the clip broke off that secures it to the phone.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  12. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    I've heard they have tools to recrimp those connector points. I've never seen one but it would have prevented the need of rerigging the phone cord.....

    Though I'm sure it was cheaper to replace the cable then to buy a new tool
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  13. Member gadgetguy's Avatar
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    Location: West Mitten, USA
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    The crimp tool is about $6US at Home Depot. I think it comes with a half dozen connectors.
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  14. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gadgetguy
    The crimp tool is about $6US at Home Depot. I think it comes with a half dozen connectors.
    Wow that cheap huh? Didn't know.
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  15. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2006
    Location: United States
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    I think mine (purchased there last year) was a little more than that, about $10. Still reasonable though, and not difficult to use. It saved me the trouble of replacing the whole cord.
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  16. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
    Join Date: Sep 2002
    Location: USA
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    When they wired my new home for phone lines, they used eight conductor CAT5e cable, all brought back to a central junction box. Since I just use a cell phone, I converted the wall connectors to a Ethernet configuration for my LAN. They can be converted back to a phone configuration if necessary in the future. I also added a Ethernet switch for distribution to the junction box and fed one line back to the box from my router.

    I suppose you could use the other four unused Ethernet wires in the cable (Or usually just two are needed) to run phone signals on the same CAT5 concurrently, though that could cause interference to either system. Phone wires carry just a few volts except for the ringing signal, which can be up to 90V during ringing, but all low current. I found out about the 90V once when I was holding the wires and someone rang my phone number.

    In a pinch and not recommended as they aren't usually twisted pairs, you could use a regular phone line for a Ethernet line on a very short run. There are just 4 active wires in most Ethernet cables. Or if the phone wires are loose enough in the walls, tie a Ethernet cable to the end and pull it through in place of the phone cable. CAT5 will work fine for phone or Ethernet, just the connections are different at the ends.

    BTW, I would agree it's not a good idea to run any cables through air ducts, for all of the stated reasons, and one more. The cables would likely rattle against the sides of the metal ducts whenever there was air movement and the noise would drive you crazy.
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  17. Banned
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    Plenum is a fire rating for cables used in air ducts. You can use www.disney.com and internet as it can serve you what you want from it, Cat6 is overkill for domestic customers.
    Last edited by Baldrick; 5th Nov 2014 at 08:36.
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  18. Member
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    Originally Posted by Markwinstanley View Post
    Plenum is a fire rating for cables used in air ducts. You can use cat5e cable for telephone and internet as it can serve you what you want from it, Cat6 is overkill for domestic customers.
    If you are out to build a reputation for yourself as a troll, idiot or a mental case, you are off to a good start by digging up long dead threads to add your badly-informed two cents to them for no good reason.

    Someone already stated with some authority that running LAN cables through HVAC ductwork is a bad idea.
    Last edited by Baldrick; 5th Nov 2014 at 08:37. Reason: Removed link to an advertisement
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  19. Member
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    I've got Cat6 connecting my ADSL Modem to the phone line. My telephone company is adamant I shouldn't have the modem so far away from the telephone point but I don't have a lot of choice.

    My only concern is that the different qualities of the cable in the wall and the cable I bought might cause some degradation of the signal, but if overkill is the only actual concern then I'd think I'd made the right choice.
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  20. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    I suspect that unless your internet connection is much higher than 20 mbps you will not likely have a problem. I use a gigabit system on my home LAN, so I do like a CAT5-E or better for my internal system. There are lots of cables and lots of connections with my router and five switches. But the ADSL line coming in from my phone company is likely not much better than regular twisted pair phone cable. I doubt it's CAT6.

    You can check your internet speed at some on-line speed test sites and there are programs that can check your internal LAN system for dropouts or problems.
    Try AIDA32 or similar: http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/aida32_personal_system_information.html There is also a 64 bit version.
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  21. if possible go for flat Cat5e or Cat6 cable, pointed many times but it may be not legal to laid cable in air duct but as this is low voltage and only temporal solution should be not a problem - telephone lines are usually different impedance than Ethernet but overall quality for Cat cable should be higher than telephone cable then it should work OK - you should prefer lower AWG (thicker wire) cable over thin (higher AWG) - it is expected that they should provide lower overall losses - usually Cat5 is available as 24AWG where Cat6 as 23AWG - that's why Cat6 can be beneficial (you can find Cat6 22AWG).
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  22. Member
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    Well that stinks, all my Ethernet cables are Belkin, which apparently are 24AWG. Belkin was the only brand name I could find and that was the only clue to quality I could wrangle from the various listings. At least Belkin lists it's AWG, I'd have to do a wider search and find anything else listed with AWG values.

    Apparently there's Cat7 now, but I'd really rather get the telephone point moved.
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  23. Originally Posted by ndjamena View Post
    Well that stinks, all my Ethernet cables are Belkin, which apparently are 24AWG. Belkin was the only brand name I could find and that was the only clue to quality I could wrangle from the various listings. At least Belkin lists it's AWG, I'd have to do a wider search and find anything else listed with AWG values.

    Apparently there's Cat7 now, but I'd really rather get the telephone point moved.

    Then consider to buy single Twisted Pair cable instead Ethernet 4 TP cable.

    Something like this:
    http://ex-en.alliedelec.com/search/productdetail.aspx?SKU=70004847
    http://ex-en.alliedelec.com/search/results.aspx?term=twisted+pair&navigation=116-42948...rt=lowestprice

    TP cables are used frequently in industry or instrumentation, site to this buy simple CAT6 sockets http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystone_module and mount those sockets at the both ends - to mount this probably some impact knife http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punch_down_tool ("Krone" or comparable) will be required - nowadays they are cheap and useful if sometimes you need to rewire home cabling.
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  24. Member
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    Location: United States
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    Did anyone else noticed Markwinstanley, our grave-robber, linked to a blog he wrote to promote his own cable installation business? There is no way I'd let this illiterate dimwit anywhere near my home or business.
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  25. Member
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    Location: Australia
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Did anyone else noticed Markwinstanley, our grave-robber, linked to a blog he wrote to promote his own cable installation business? There is no way I'd let this illiterate dimwit anywhere near my home or business.
    Mickey Mouse knows how to read, I've seen it on TV!

    I replaced the PAL connector keystone in my Antenna Socket with an F-Connector, so I know how it's done. Unfortunately, at the moment it's not technically legal in Australia to rewire a building yourself, you need to have it done by a professional. Plus my little unit is rented and I don't think they'd be happy if I started making large holes in the wall. I've already got permission to have the thing moved, since it's really in a rather awkward position, but I'll need to wait until I have the money to spare. I haven't got a quote yet to find out exactly how much it will cost, but since I want Ethernet in the walls as well I don't imagine it will be cheap.

    I wonder if I should try to get cat7 and future proof myself for awhile?
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  26. Member
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    Originally Posted by ndjamena View Post
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Did anyone else noticed Markwinstanley, our grave-robber, linked to a blog he wrote to promote his own cable installation business? There is no way I'd let this illiterate dimwit anywhere near my home or business.
    Mickey Mouse knows how to read, I've seen it on TV!

    I replaced the PAL connector keystone in my Antenna Socket with an F-Connector, so I know how it's done. Unfortunately, at the moment it's not technically legal in Australia to rewire a building yourself, you need to have it done by a professional. Plus my little unit is rented and I don't think they'd be happy if I started making large holes in the wall. I've already got permission to have the thing moved, since it's really in a rather awkward position, but I'll need to wait until I have the money to spare. I haven't got a quote yet to find out exactly how much it will cost, but since I want Ethernet in the walls as well I don't imagine it will be cheap.

    I wonder if I should try to get cat7 and future proof myself for awhile?
    Baldrick works fast.

    It wouldn't hurt, but it may be more than a few years before you can get affordable 10 Gigabit networking equipment for home use, which would require upgrading to CAT-7.
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  27. Originally Posted by ndjamena View Post
    Unfortunately, at the moment it's not technically legal in Australia to rewire a building yourself, you need to have it done by a professional. Plus my little unit is rented and I don't think they'd be happy if I started making large holes in the wall.
    Don't rewire anything - apply approach similar to cable extenders - if drilling can be avoided then it is not a problem.
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