Wiring closet size


Active Member
In working on my plans for the new house, I've spec'ed a minimum 6'x6' wiring closet / server room to be located just off of my home office. How does that sound size wise? The thought was to be able to put equipment rack(s) in there such that you could walk all the way around, and drop wires from the ceiling into the rack as opposed to an in-wall structured wiring type of enclosure. More like what you'd see in a commercial installation as opposed to residential.

Also, my plans are for one dedicated 30A circuit to the closet. Is that going to be enough power? For HVAC, I'm going to spec a dampered 6" supply line as well as a return in the closet so I can control the temperature separately as its own zone.

I would probably use a combination of plywood on the walls to surface mount plus the racks. I think you will need more power in there. Think of everthing that will be in there - panel, pcs, either receivers or audio amps, etc, etc. I would also have a circuit from each phase of the panel in case you need to segregate stuff for some reason. Maybe 2 30A circuits, 1 on each phase would be ok.
Equipment racks are nice but some stuff still needs to be mounted on a piece of plywood so at least one wall will need to have stuff on it.

I would use a couple of circuits instead of one big one. Especially if you go with UPB. You will want a "clean" circuit for transmitting control signals that is separate from the one that has your UPS(s) on it.

Also try to do a rough count of how many actual wires you will be running and try to picture the real estate required to terminate them. Are you using patch panels or punch blocks?

How are you going to wire things like alarm zones? I personally do not believe in connecting field wiring directly to a panel or piece of equipment. All wires should come to a patch panel or punch block. from there use patch cables or cross-connect wire to connect to equipment. This way you can easily change or reconfigure your hardware in the future.
If you are looking for an idea on a wiring closet - check out my cocoon (link in my sig). I'm not done (with either the installation or the writeup)... but it may give you some ideas of things you like/don't like.
To expand on what Mike said, I would run a sub-panel to the closet, so that
1) You have access to both phases,
2) You could put equipment like audio on their own breakers,
3) You can more conveniently power things down during maintenance, and
4) You are less likely to ever run out of power in the closet.

My house back east needed the smoke-detectors on a dedicated breaker, and a sub-panel would have made it much easier.
Excellent suggestions. Thanks.

Nobody said anything about size of the room. Does 6' x 6' sound too big, small, just right?
Calculating the needed size for a wiring closet is very easy: Figure out how big you think it should really be to house all the stuff you plan to put in it. Then multiply that by 2.5 and then add 15%. ;)
RandyKnight said:
Excellent suggestions. Thanks.

Nobody said anything about size of the room. Does 6' x 6' sound too big, small, just right?
6' x 6' seems small to me if you want to use a standing rack and have good access on all sides. If you use a 4-post (or enclosed rack) figure that the rack itself is at least 2' square. If placed in the center of the room for good access, this only leaves 2ft on each side... this seems tight to me, especially if you also have gear mounted on one or more walls.

You may want to tape off a 6' sqare on the floor and then tape off the deminsions of your planned rack in the center and get a feel for the space. I expect it will be difficult to bend over without bumping into your "virtual walls".

Also, don't forget to plan for the door... if it swings in, this will take up space and cause possible clearance issues with the rack?

I use a much smaller space, but have the rack on casters so it can be rolled out for access to the rack gear (and the equipment that's mounted to the walls inside). This works well, but require good cable management for all the cables going to gear in the rack.

I am in process of building my wiring/server room, it's about 18'x12'. While it might be a little too big for now, I would rather play it safe, and I have the luxuary of dedicating that much space to this (no kids).
betrickey said:
These wiring suites sound great, but does anyone actually have a whole room dedicated to components etc?
One approach might be to combine the equipment room with a lab or workshop. You could have a workbench along one wall and devote the rest of the room to equipment. Using this shared space approach you might be able to justify a large enough area to accommodate a beer frig amongst the equipment racks!
upstatemike said:
One approach might be to combine the equipment room with a lab or workshop. You could have a workbench along one wall and devote the rest of the room to equipment.
I've thought of this as well. The plan is for this room to be adjacent / connected to my home office, which will be LARGE (big enough for two workstations plus a small conference table, etc.). So I could just put the equipment in there ... but it would be nice to isolate it for noise as well as climate control as I'll likely want it cooler in there than in the office.

But I like the lab idea. Maybe a larger space partitioned into the office and a lab/equipment room?

say you took a 20x20 space and carved out an 8x16 lab / equipment room? That would leave 14x20 for the office plus a 4x8 hallway next to it for doors, etc. Racks on casters would make the most sense in that case so they could be back against the wall.
Hmm . . . if my understanding of real-estate terminology is correct, the difference between a "Wiring room" and a "Wiring suite" would be an attached bathroom.

Pretty important if you consider the beer frig . . .
My wiring closet is off my office. The door is a great feature ;)

It is a walk in closet, almost 6'x6'. It's been big enough for anything I've wanted it to hold. I have 2 seperate power lines run into it - on different phases.