Residential market is growing around the globe. Therefore, it is necessary that people are aware of the most important issues that arise while residential cabling. From research, discussions on different forums and self-experience, following issues have been recognized.
There is no doubt that the lifestyle of people will further improve in the years ahead. This will remain the trend. The need to consider structured cabling at home is very important. It is as important as the 110/220 power grid, HVAC system, and the water infrastructure. If we go with the unstructured cabling, then homes will have old fashioned wiring, in which adding enhancements or further improvements will be very difficult.
Since, lifestyle is changing, therefore, we must keep the cabling structure flexible enough to make sure that it may accommodate changes in the future easily. If this is not done, then we will have to pay ten times more to make changes and improvements in the future.
CAT 6 cables are thoroughly designed with demand electrical performance characteristics mandated to 100 Mega Hertz. World class manufacturers test the quality of these cables and test their ability to 200 or 300 MHz as well. These cables should be third party verified by either ETL or UL to make sure that the performance meets the required criteria, set presently. The RG-6 coaxial cable should be tested to a minimum of 2.2 GHz to accommodate satellite services.
- Single cables may be installed for individual runs such as a Category 6 cable to a telephone on a kitchen wall, or an RG-6 to a small television sitting on a kitchen counter.
- A Siamese construction is recommended for Grade 1 TOs which consists of one Category 5e and one RG-6.
- A multimedia bundle consisting of two Category 5e and two RG-6 cables for Grade 2 TOs is recommended.
In either case, make sure the manufacturer tests the individual cable, both before and after the bundling and jacketing process. When these processes are not done properly, they can significantly degrade electrical performance.
Importance of testing residential cabling
Testing is very important to ensure the quality and acceptance of any product let it be any software, application, or any hardware product. Same applies to the residential cabling. During cable installation, a handheld tester must be kept verifying that each CAT cable meets the electrical performance requirements provided by TIA. It is much easier to replace a defective cable run in a commercial installation, since only a few ceiling tiles must be moved to gain access.
In a residential installation, sections of wall may need to be demolished to gain access to the cable. To ensure the performance of installed cable in a residence is critically important. A basic test sequence requires only an inexpensive meter. It tests the continuity of the conductors and wire map to ensure that all connections are made properly.
But this does not verify the electrical performance of the cable and will not detect:
- Attenuation is increased due to cable stretching during installation
- Reflection loss is increased due to bends below the minimum bend radius.
- Increased crosstalk due to conductor deformation or excess untwisting of pairs.
I strongly recommend that you use a full-function handheld tester, which can do all the tests specified in the TIA/EIA-570A residential and TIA/EIA-568B commercial standards.
These are the few issues that everyone must keep in mind while getting their residential cabling done.