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How to ground conduit containing CAT5e.

grimreaper1014

New Member
Hey fellas,

I am new here. Someone recommended this forum to me on another site. I hope I posted this in the right location. I would like to know how to properly shield a run of CAT5e with conduit. I have done some research around the internet but everything seams so confusing. Some people say to ground both ends. Some say no grounding is needed. Which has all managed to confuse the heck out of me. The run of CAT5e I am trying to shield is about 20ft long. I wanted to just run shielded CAT5e. However, I cannot find a place that will sell me the length I need. They all require that I purchase a spoil of 1,000ft. I would never use that amount in my life time. Like I said I just have one 20ft run. My local Lowes will cut cable to whatever length I need. They just don't have a shielded cable at all. I was told to use conduit. I purchased 50ft of flexible metal conduit.

I will try to do my best to explain my situation. My house sits on top of my garage and basement. All my utilities enter through the basement. There is a few different places in the corner of the basement to bring the CAT5e in. However, the problem is no matter which way you choose there are numerous electrical lines and you have to run along the side of the fuse box. The room that the CAT5e us being ran to is the living room. Which is right above the garage where the utilities come in. The garage ceiling is the living room floor. The hole that the CAT5e would need to be fed through to come up into the living room is right above the fuse box. Therefore, there is numerous electrical lines. Also, there is no way to cross them at right angles. The CAT5E will have to run right along side of them and the fuse box. There is way to many electrical lines to use conduit on. It would take forever.

What I would like to do is run the CAT5e from the NID on the side of my house to the wall jack in my living room in conduit. Can someone please explain to me the proper way to do this? Some articles say to pull a solid copper ground wire through the conduit. Others say to use a ground with a jacket on it. If the ground wire has a jacket on it how does it ground the conduit? This is what confused me since the ground wire would not actually be touching the conduit if it has a jacket. I could ground the one end to the ground inside the NID. What happens to the ground wire on the opposite end if it's not suppose to be grounded? Does the ground wire just get cut of on the end that is not grounded and lays in there? I don't want to use junction boxes. The conduit I have is small enough to tuck under the gap under the wall. However, I am confused as to how the ground wire would be grounded without a junction box. Would I just use a ground clamp at one end and connect it to the ground rod underneath the NID? Could someone please put this into perspective for me so I can understand what to do and how to do it? Thanks in advance it is greatly appreciated.
 

WayneW

Senior Member
The run of CAT5e I am trying to shield is about 20ft long. I wanted to just run shielded CAT5e. However, I cannot find a place that will sell me the length I need. They all require that I purchase a spoil of 1,000ft. I would never use that amount in my life time. Like I said I just have one 20ft run. My local Lowes will cut cable to whatever length I need. They just don't have a shielded cable at all.
Sorry, I cannot answer your other questions, but here is a good source for pre-cut shielded cables
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10208&cs_id=1020816&p_id=6357&seq=1&format=2
25FT Cat5e 350MHz STP Ethernet Network Cable - Gray
$5.60

Welcome to CT!
 

grimreaper1014

New Member
Sorry, I cannot answer your other questions, but here is a good source for pre-cut shielded cables.

WayneW,

Hey thanks for the quick reply. Since I would be using the CAT5E for a DSL home run I would if I could just cut the RJ45 connectors off the ends? Then, just use it as regular bulk cable. I would assume the cable you recommended would have the ground wire inside since I think it connects to the shielded RJ45 connectors. Can someone confirm if this would work, or if it would be better to go the conduit way? Thanks again...
 

apostolakisl

Senior Member
Is this cat5 running outside or inside the house?

Have you tried just running unshielded/no-conduit cat5 (indoors) and checked for errors?

What is the cat5 carrying (datawise)? Is it primarily for internet connection or do you have high bandwidth intra-LAN communications. Unless you are aiming for gigabit intra-LAN speeds just put a wireless access point in. A wireless setup will be way way faster than the internet can deliver it to your house, so if that's your primary need, what is the point in having more bandwidth.

Plain old metal conduit isn't really the greatest shield, they make stuff specially designed for it and it is expensive. If you are burying line or running outside you will need conduit unless you have outdoor rated cat5.
 

apostolakisl

Senior Member
WayneW,

Hey thanks for the quick reply. Since I would be using the CAT5E for a DSL home run I would if I could just cut the RJ45 connectors off the ends? Then, just use it as regular bulk cable. I would assume the cable you recommended would have the ground wire inside since I think it connects to the shielded RJ45 connectors. Can someone confirm if this would work, or if it would be better to go the conduit way? Thanks again...

shielded wire has a woven jacket of fine metal wires around the periphery, like coax wire.
 

grimreaper1014

New Member
Is this cat5 running outside or inside the house?

Have you tried just running unshielded/no-conduit cat5 (indoors) and checked for errors?

What is the cat5 carrying (datawise)? Is it primarily for internet connection or do you have high bandwidth intra-LAN communications. Unless you are aiming for gigabit intra-LAN speeds just put a wireless access point in. A wireless setup will be way way faster than the internet can deliver it to your house, so if that's your primary need, what is the point in having more bandwidth.

Plain old metal conduit isn't really the greatest shield, they make stuff specially designed for it and it is expensive. If you are burying line or running outside you will need conduit unless you have outdoor rated cat5.

The CAT5E is being used for a 7mb DSL connection. I am using just regular CAT5E right now. I have ran one of those shielded Belkin ICE RJ11 modem telephone cables out a window to the test jack in the NID. I left it like that for a few days. Everything was running great. I was getting good DSL signal and no line errors at all. Then, when I switched back to the regular CAT5e that runs from the NID through the basement along side the electrical lines I get all kind of line errors. It gets way worse at night. I think this is because of the motion light on our house as well as the other lights. Therefore, the line needs to be shielded some how. Also, if I was just using the internet for browsing I would look into a wireless solution since both computers have wireless N adapters. However, the internet is mainly used for gaming on the XBox360 so latency is a issue. Plus I do not have a wireless adapter for the XBox 360. I have looked into them and they are around $100 dollars I believe. Would the best bet be to buy the cable recommended above, and cut the connectors then ground the one end in the NID? Should I get CAT5E FTP instead of STP? Thanks for your quick reply.
 

AnthonyZ

Active Member
If you're attempting to shield the cable (via shielded cat5e or conduit, either will work), you MUST ONLY ground at one end. Whoever told you to ground both ends was wrong. To ground conduit, simply use a bonded connection to ground (generally a clamp). In my experience, shielded cat5e will not have the braid (the braid's primary use is as a barrier to egress, not ingress) described earlier by Lou. Instead, it will have what we call a drain. That is a simple wire, generally stranded, that is outside of any twisted pair. It is used to "collect" ingress signals and dump them to ground without passing through any components in the circuit (resistance).
 

grimreaper1014

New Member
If you're attempting to shield the cable (via shielded cat5e or conduit, either will work), you MUST ONLY ground at one end. Whoever told you to ground both ends was wrong. To ground conduit, simply use a bonded connection to ground (generally a clamp). In my experience, shielded cat5e will not have the braid (the braid's primary use is as a barrier to egress, not ingress) described earlier by Lou. Instead, it will have what we call a drain. That is a simple wire, generally stranded, that is outside of any twisted pair. It is used to "collect" ingress signals and dump them to ground without passing through any components in the circuit (resistance).

Thanks for the reply. I guess I will just pick up a conduit ground clamp and do it that way. Since I already have the conduit. I take it I will not actually have to pull a ground wire through the conduit? I will just put the ground clamp on the NID end of the conduit. Then, run a ground wire from the ground screw on the clamp to the ground post on the NID, or down to the ground rod underneath the NID? Would this work better than CAT5E STP since the conduit is a lot thicker and durable than aluminum foil? Thanks again fellas.
 

apostolakisl

Senior Member
Have you considered this?

http://www.frys.com/product/5916974?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

It will cost you less than any wired option, not to mention the saved work.

If you still want to run wire, I suggest buying cut to length shielded wire from the internet as previously described. You can ground it to the ground wire your house electrical runs off of or if you have copper plumbing it can be grounded to that. (normally house plumbing is already tied together with the house ground by the electrician so it is really the same thing), or the grounded rod, they are all tied together.
 

AnthonyZ

Active Member
Would this work better than CAT5E STP since the conduit is a lot thicker and durable than aluminum foil? Thanks again fellas.
Grounding the conduit effectively turns it into a Farraday cage. Will it work better than shielded cat5e? Tough to say but, it's a super cheap option so, I say go for it.
 

grimreaper1014

New Member
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I guess I am going to try the conduit first. If it doesn't provide good results then I am going to move on to the shielded CAT5E or possibly wireless. I didn't know they had wireless gaming adapters that cheap. The situation with the wireless option is that since it is the DSL line coming in from the NID (phone box) that is being affected I don't see how this would help. That line would have to be ran to the modem and the modem connected to my wireless N router. I would have to mount them to the outside of the house in order to eliminate the problematic area. Which isn't going to work due to weather. Basically my basement and garage are cut down inside a hill. They are under ground on three sides. The side that is open is a driveway that comes up the hill a double car garage. On the front of the house there is a few feet of the brick from the basement showing. The NID is mounted on that brick wall. Directly below the NID is the bare copper ground coming from the fuse box to a ground rod. On the other side of the brick wall across from the NID is the fuse box. Above the NID is a hole where the home rum CAT5E line runs into the house above the fuse box where a big nest of electrical wires feed into the top of the fuse box. Therefore, I think my only option is to go through the same hole with conduit or shielded cable. Now that I think about it I wish I could get away with wireless. It should would be a heck of a lot nicer to eliminate all these Ethernet cables. I wish I could just drill a hole about a foot above the one that is there now. It would take me right into the living room where I need to be. However, there are electrical outlets and wires that I am guaranteed to hit.
 

mustangcoupe

Senior Member
If you're attempting to shield the cable (via shielded cat5e or conduit, either will work), you MUST ONLY ground at one end. Whoever told you to ground both ends was wrong. To ground conduit, simply use a bonded connection to ground (generally a clamp). In my experience, shielded cat5e will not have the braid (the braid's primary use is as a barrier to egress, not ingress) described earlier by Lou. Instead, it will have what we call a drain. That is a simple wire, generally stranded, that is outside of any twisted pair. It is used to "collect" ingress signals and dump them to ground without passing through any components in the circuit (resistance).

I would expect a drain, and a foil shield in cat5 cable in my experience.
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
I would also try to run the conduit 'past' the 'noise' sources as much as possible (at least ten times the conduit's diameter length).
 

grimreaper1014

New Member
I would also try to run the conduit 'past' the 'noise' sources as much as possible (at least ten times the conduit's diameter length).

Well I went to Lowes and picked up a conduit ground clamp. I ran the conduit through the same path, but pushed the conduit as far back away from the electrical wires as possible. I have about six inches of clearance I would say. I pushed the conduit right up into the phone box so the whole CAT5e cable is completely covered. I was going to put the ground clamp inside of the phone box, and ground it to the ground post. However, the clamp is pretty big due to the long bolts and thick construction. I might of been able to get it to fit if I could find shorter bolts, or just cut the current ones down. This would of took up a good deal of the space that was available though. Therefore, I just put the ground clamp outside of the box about eight to ten inches from the end. Finally, I grounded it by running a 10AWG ground wire about four feet straight down to the bare copper ground for the fuse box. I connected the two grounds with something like one of these. I used this ground clamp to connect to the conduit. Does it sound like I should be okay? Should the above setup work out okay? Thanks for all the advice guys.
 
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