You may be wondering if you could run Ethernet cables via your air ducts when running or using a cable. These areas appear to be ideal for concealing wires and connecting rooms quickly.
However, you have to know the air ducts you have and different types of Ethernet connections before you start to push wires. Although Ethernet wire can be run via air ducts, it may be against or illegal according to the codes of a local building.
The heat resistance of Teflon-coated cable makes it ideal for use in air ducts. Signal difficulties will not occur with Ethernet cable with regular or extra shielding, but it is usually worth the spare time to run and put it through walls instead.
While running cable via your ducts is technically conceivable, most electrical professionals may disagree about it for different reasons.
Building rules, insurance policies, and leasing setup all have legal implications that must be addressed. Even for a domestic space, there are a variety of legal issues to consider. (Learn How To Unscrew Triangle Screws Without Screwdriver)
Can I Run Ethernet Through Cold Air Returns?
A supply duct should not be used for cable runs. Plenum-rated cable is meant for commercial facilities where the region above the drop ceiling is only used as a return air and can run via cold air ducts.
It’s still better to avoid what’s suggested because the vent’s sharp edges could cut your wire inside cold air duct when you pull it.
Can You Run Cat5 Cable Through Air Ducts?
It’s fine to run it via the duct. It was done in both houses and places. There’s a tool for this named “Fish Tape” that’s a terrific snake-like structure to guide for ducts, walls, and anything else that requires a strong guide that is bendable.
How Do You Run A Cable Through A Duct?
- Using Fish Tape to Pull Wire
- Feed the tape’s end into the conduit. Feed the end of the tape into the similar end tip of the conduit that you’ll be pulling from.
- Tape should be pushed through the conduit.
- Insulation in strips.
- Glue the wires together.
- The wire should be bent and looped through fish tape.
- Wrap the hook in tape.
- You should use a lubricant.
Can You Run Cat5e in a Cold Air Plenum?
You can obtain cat5e that is plenum-rated and run via air-handling facilities. It’s more costly. According to Monoprice, a typical 1000′ spool costs $85, and a plenum-rated spool costs $159.
Is it Advisable to Run an Ethernet Cable in a Wall?
One of the best installation ways is to run a cable via the wall. A brilliant place to start is following a guide in running Ethernet wire through external walls. It covers the fundamentals of a secure and long-lasting application. It also explains how to choose the best Ethernet cable for the finest internet service. (Learn How To Fix Car Visor)
How to Connect the Cable to the Wall Coming From Air Vent
Finally, before choosing an air vent as a way for your network cable connection, think about what you’ll do with the cable on the other end of the duct. A cable protruding outside the air duct does not present a professional image.
Many people prefer to run the wire through vents rather than drilling holes in their walls, but if you want a lovely faceplate with an Ethernet connection, you’ll need to find a means to put the cable coming from the air vent into your wall. It is firmly advised to have a look at your circumstance. Will it be that much more labor to discover a better cable pathway if you go to the trouble of finding a means to get the cable through below your floor or up of your ceiling and then to your wall?
If you’re in a room that’s above a crawl space, the answer is probably no. This isn’t to argue that there aren’t times when using a vent isn’t the best choice. In fact, many have used this technique before. But, it is not always the quick fix that some people anticipate.
Is Running Ethernet Cable Via Vents Safe?
Running an Ethernet wire inside your home’s vents is not recommended because of the possibility of damaging the cables and the risk of having fire incidents and other property damage.
That is why professional advisers and installers will not put Ethernet cable via vents. Both wires for electrical and Ethernet must never be put into vents.
Reasons Why Ethernet Cable Should Never Be Run Through Air Ducts
There are various reasons why an Ethernet cable should not be run via an air vent. We’ll discuss them in more detail below. With the proper Ethernet installation recommendations, we are merely attempting to keep your house safe from any electrical wiring incidents.
1. Heat Incidents
The Ethernet cable’s plastic coating isn’t designed to tolerate extreme heat. The warm air can damage the cable’s housing and the conductors within your vent, which can reach temperatures above 150°F.
This heat damage has the potential to ruin the cable, resulting in the loss of internet connection service. If the cable is put within an air vent, this will be most likely happen.
2. Fire Danger
Your Ethernet wire may catch fire due to the increasing heat inside your air vent. Most Ethernet cables have a low point of smoke and can readily catch fire due to the PVC covering. So always remember, do not put Ethernet wires via your ducts to avoid a house fire.
3. Toxic Fumes
When the Ethernet cable coating is damaged by heat, poisonous gases are released. These can be imperceptible or appear as black smoke.
These fumes are hazardous to everyone in your surroundings, including yourself. Plastic vapors can harm your lungs, nervous system, and airways if you inhale them.
4. Sharp Points
Cutting and combining multiple chunks of metal ducts creates ducts. Sharp metal edges can be seen on both the inside and outside of the air duct. This may cause the Ethernet cable to be cut or the casing to be damaged.
Any issues that can be found in the casing allow the cable to be damaged by heat considerably more quickly. It’s also not a good idea to install an Ethernet wire straight beside air ducts that are attached to your wall because the duct’s exterior contains sharp points. Ducts and Ethernet cable wire must be run and installed separately.
5. Lease is broken
Because Ethernet wires inside air ducts pose a risk of damage to property, if you install them in a rental place, you may face eviction and legal actions. Your landlord has all the right to cancel your lease if ever they discover a cable in the heating ducts, regardless of the type of cable you use.
6. Insurance Claims That Aren’t Valid
An insurance company may refuse to pay for destruction caused by running an Ethernet cable through your heating duct in some instances. This implies that if your cable causes fire and causes damage to your property, you may be responsible for the expenses and repairs. Although PVC-jacketed types of cables are most commonly linked with fire risk, any Ethernet wire put within a vent poses a fire risk.
7. Building Code Violations
Your local building code determines what is legal and not during home construction and renovation. Ethernet wires and Electrical wirings are included. Installing an Ethernet connection inside vents and air ducts is prohibited by many building standards. To prevent breaching the building code, you can only install your Ethernet cable wires in an approved building code.
What Alternatives Should You Consider to Running Ethernet Via Vents?
When choosing a path for your cables, it’s frequently just a matter of selecting the alternative with the fewest issues. It is advisable for anyone considering an air duct as a viable pathway to take a step back and look around.
- Do you have a room that is above a crawl space?
- Is there a direct attic space above you?
- Is this room equipped with crown molding?
- Would it be convenient to use a utility or a closet room?
If there are any alternatives that also work, even if they require more effort, we would recommend investigating them further. When you are able to get a cable inside an air vent, through the floor, and side by side of the walls, one of the other solutions is highly likely to have taken the same amount of effort and time to have resulted in a much better result.
Plenum Cable: What Is It and Why Do You Need It?
All wiring that runs inside an air return space should be made of plenum-rated rather than the less expensive options. You might wonder if that is true for you. Yes, it is correct. If a contractor runs a cable wire via an air vent of a newly constructed home without using a plenum-certified cable, the house will almost certainly fail its fire inspection. (Learn What Can I Use Instead Of A Screwdriver)
Although you are not in a circumstance where utilizing less expensive cabling within an air vent might cause you problems, I would advocate spending more money to use the proper materials. Because there are a few scenarios when the cheaper form of cable (commonly referred to as riser cable) can be dangerous, you should utilize plenum cable instead.
The first big worry about the riser cable is that the coating may contain carcinogenic polymers. Only plenum-rated cable is guaranteed to be free of cancer-causing polymers, so it’s not a good idea to install a riser cable in a place where it’ll be in contact with the air you breathe all day.
You are the best judge of your home and position at the end of your day. As long as you’re aware of the hazards and issues that come with placing Ethernet cable wires in air ducts or vents, it can be a viable option for you. It all goes down to whether or not you can discover a better option.
You also have to remember to follow the hvac system, cold air return, and local building codes to avoid commotion and legal actions from your landlord or neighbors. If you are not sure about running an Ethernet cable, seek for professional help of an electrician.