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How far should network cabling be from electrical appliances?

Posted on 2013-12-08
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Last Modified: 2013-12-13
I'm doing 21 runs of Cat 6A non-shielded cabling throughout my house.  The cabling is going through the attic to it's respective end points, but there is an AC unit up there.  How far away should the cabling be from the AC unit to avoid EMI?
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Question by:epichero22
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Britt Thompson earned 250 total points
ID: 39704642
There's no real standard that I can find for this but you should be safe if you run it no closer than several inches. If this is a big house with a lot of voltage running to the furnace you may want to keep it a foot or more away.
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by:Chris Millard
ID: 39704695
I really don't think that the AC unit will cause any interference.
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by:Britt Thompson
ID: 39704700
Definitely not the AC unit itself but the power to the AC can. Just keep the cabling clear of any conduits running to the unit.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39704740
As a general idea, you should run it as far away as you reasonably can.  If your install was to be inspected, they would want you to keep high voltage like AC power and low voltage like network cables separated.  The two most likely problems would be startup surges in the AC unit motors and external signals carried on the AC wires coming from the outside like surges caused by lightning and radios interference.  While I don't expect you will have any of these problems, keeping the wires and cables is a generally good idea.
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by:Craig Beck
Craig Beck earned 250 total points
ID: 39704796
If you run parallel to high-voltage electrical cable you should leave at least 3 inches.  This is around the standard distance for horizontal cabling in new buildings where cabling is run in containment.

If your cabling runs at 90 degrees to the electrical cable you won't see any noticeable effect from EMI.
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by:epichero22
ID: 39717616
Thanks.
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