Structured Wiring | Technology Backbone

By Todd Fratzel on Electrical

Structured Wiring Technology

Structured WiringToday’s new homes are much more technologically advanced than in the past. One of the biggest advances lately is the use of “structured wiring” in homes.
Structured wiring consists of installing a bundled wire package that typically contains two RG6 and two Cat5e or Cat6 cables. The cables are bundled together into one larger plastic sheath to make it much easier to install as one unit. Some of the new structured wire bundles even include fiber optic cables as well. In the photo you can see the electric service panel on the left and the structured wiring panel on the right wall.

Each room of the house will have a home run structure wire group run to a central location (basement, utility room, closet, etc.) The beauty of this system is you can run almost any technology over this system. The new wiring becomes the backbone of your electronic components. Some homeowners may not use all of the wires in the beginning, however as new products and technology develop the structured wiring will allow simple upgrades in the future.

Structured Wiring PanelIn my new house we are currently using the structured wiring in the following way. Each room has a outlet with 4 ports, two RG6, one telephone and one Cat5e. In this configuration we run two telephone lines to each room, one cable TV line and one Cat5e line that has Internet and network signals. The second RG6 cable is inactive for the time being. In the utility room in the basement the Internet service is over the cable service.

A cable modem is installed next to the structured wiring panel and then it is connected to a simple network router. The network router is then connected back to the structured wiring panel and distributed to each room. In this photo you can see all of the home runs for the structured wiring entering the panel. There is a shelf next to the panel where the cable modem and network routers are hooked up to the structured wiring.

The structured wiring method will allow us to add many features in the future as we need them. We could add video cameras, who house audio, play DVDs in one room and watch them in another or create a simple home network. The possibilities are endless and as more electronic components are created with IP addresses and ports it will become much easier to integrate all of our favorite electronics into a smart home feature.

If you’re interested in this new technology ask your electrician for more information. If you’re interested in installing it yourself, read How Do I Install Structured Wiring.




About the author

Todd Fratzel

I’m full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I’m also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I’m also the author of Tool Box Buzz and Today’s Green Construction. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you’d like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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8 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    Your structured wiring setup looks great. I’d make one additional recommendation – you should seriously consider adding an uninterruptable power supply to protect your networking equipment and ensure continued uptime. Even in a residential setting, this minor expense really pays off.

  2. Ogden2k says:

    I love the structure and organization, I may be having a house built and am wondering what was use to hold the wires in place? Thank you!

  3. Todd says:

    In the photo there is 3/4″ plywood (black surface) used behind all the wiring components and regular wire staples to hold the wires neatly to the board.

  4. Martina says:

    I’d make one additional recommendation .

  5. Martina says:

    What a embllishing this technology.

  6. Martina says:

    I love the structure and organization.

  7. Martina says:

    His structrured wiring setup looks great.

  8. Justin says:

    This looks amazing!! You mentioned that you used regular wire staples… is that what all the orange horizontal lines are? They look so perfectly straight. Amazing job. Any tips or pointers to get those wires straingth like that would be greatly appreciated.

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