Dual voltage electrical gang boxes... good idea or not?

daxiang28

Member
Hi,

New to the forums after lurking for a while. I'm in the process of a remodel and have a million questions that this forum has been great with answering. One topic I couldn't find an answer to is these dual voltage double gang boxes:

homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100146034/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

I like that they save some space and allow for a cleaner look on the walls, but is this a good idea if I'm running Cat6 and RG6 on the low voltage side? Will I run into interference? Right now, the power is being run along the walls and I was thinking of drilling the LV down under the house in conduit as home run lines back to the rack/patch panel.

Also, I'm not sure what the protocol is for soliciting paid advice from a local pro on the boards is. If anybody could point me to that (San Francisco Area), that would be awesome.

Thanks,
Steve
 

tmbrown97

Senior Member
Starting backwards... There is an integrator directory on the site HERE - search for people in your area. There are lots of us in Northern California.

If the AC and Coax aren't run terribly close in parallel for any distance, you'll be fine... especially if the AC goes up and Cable goes down. Where you have problems is when the AC and LV run in parallel for some distance.
 

AnthonyZ

Active Member
Starting backwards... There is an integrator directory on the site HERE - search for people in your area. There are lots of us in Northern California.

If the AC and Coax aren't run terribly close in parallel for any distance, you'll be fine... especially if the AC goes up and Cable goes down. Where you have problems is when the AC and LV run in parallel for some distance.
Where you can have real issues is running near high current or "noisy" lines. While best to avoid, if you must run parallel to high voltage just avoid lines that drive high amperage or motors and you should have zero problems whatsoever.
 

apostolakisl

Senior Member
I put in quite a few of the split boxes and none are an issue. The low voltage (mostly cat5) does not run with the 120v wires at all, they just end in the same box. In fact, the low voltage stuff runs in conduit for ease of changing out as my needs or technology changes.
 

daxiang28

Member
Cool thanks for the replies guys! Just curious, what is the minimum distance if I have to run parallel? What about when it crosses AC?

Steve
 

daxiang28

Member
Zero inches huh? So even if I ran them at 2' apart parallel, that would still generate some interference.

Ok one more. Is it safe to run cat6, alarm sensor, and coax together?

Steve
 

apostolakisl

Senior Member
Zero inches huh? So even if I ran them at 2' apart parallel, that would still generate some interference.

Ok one more. Is it safe to run cat6, alarm sensor, and coax together?

Steve

Parrallel and at a distance of 2 feet won't be a problem. The magnetic field drops off exponentially with distance. Even a few inches is usually plenty. It depends on how strong the magnetic field is which is related to how much current is going through the wire. So a 50 amp line to your hvac would be more of a problem than a 15 amp wire going to a plug you never use.

And yes, all of those wires can be bundled together. In fact, you can even buy them bundled in the same outer jacket. None of them carry any meaningful current and things like cat5 are shielded and cat6 is twisted pair which neutralizes some of the magnetic field. Alarm sensor only carries a few milliamps.
 
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