Home wiring for contractors
Ensure you deliver home wiring that makes the most of the new ultra-fast broadband network for your clients. Poor home wiring is one of the leading factors impacting on broadband performance. Cat6 cabling installed in a star wiring configuration is ideal.
Cable Installation Requirements
To ensure availability of services throughout your client's home, these minimum standards have been developed by the industry though the Telecommunication Carriers Forum:
- Cabling must be ‘star configuration’
- A star wiring (home distributor) box needs to be located at the ‘star point’ to provide cross-connect and testing facilities
- This star point must be internal, accessible and ideally located just above the External Termination Point (ETP) position. The star point will typically be set into the side wall of a utility room or garage.
- The home distributor box must be large enough to house devices such as a router and video splitter. It must also have integrated power sockets for these devices
- Cables to be a minimum specification of Cat6 (UTP) and Tri-Shield RG6 Coax
- Run two Cat6 cables and two RG6 from the home distributor to each outlet position
- Run four Cat6 cables and four RG6 from the home distributor to the main TV position
- Leave at least 300mm of cable slack at each outlet
- Run at least one Cat6 cable plus one 20mm duct from the home distributor box to the ETP. Leave at least 500mm of cable slack at the ETP
- Cable through the wall at the ETP must be protected within a short length of plastic pipe
- Make sure all clearances between communication cables and power cables are maintained. See the TCF Premises Wiring Code of Practice for more detail on the segregation of services.
Although Cat5 standard wiring may be sufficient to meet the bandwidth demands of current telecommunications services, but we now recommend Cat6 cabling to future proof the building, or consider installing cabling in ducting – refer to the TCF ‘Premises Wiring Code of Practice’ for more information.
We have developed some suggested approaches to home wiring based on standard house layouts.
The guide takes you through three options:
- Optimal star wiring configuration
- Star wiring with voice delivered via the RGW
- Rewiring options for an existing home
Double click on the step by step guide to view the images.
You should be able to source OptiC@t hybrid cable from any electrical wholesale outlets such as Active Electrical, Cory's, Ideal, JA Russell Ltd, Radcliff Electrical, Redpaths or Scott Electrical.
- At least two RJ45 type jackpoints with two ‘F’ co-axial outlets for most outlets on the same faceplate in each bedroom and normally occupied room.
- For the main TV position we recommend four RJ45 jackpoints and four ‘F’ co-axial. Avoid wet areas such as bathrooms and laundries.
- Two or more such outlets are recommended in the lounge, rumpus room and study
- At the home distributor box the Cat6 cables should ideally be terminated on RJ45 type modular sockets mounted in a patch panel. This will allow very simple patching to/from routers and easy replacement if one becomes faulty.
Setting up the home distributor box
It is the homeowner’s or builder’s responsibility to supply the home distributor box, patch panel and patch cables. The homeowner’s service provider will supply the residential gateway (RGW).
Chorus will provide the External Terminal Point and the Optical Network Terminal (ONT) which will be installed in the home distributor box at the same time.
To set up a home distributor box:
- The ETP position will typically be on the external wall of the garage or utility room in new homes
- The ETP must be a minimum of 300mm above the final ground level and a maximum height of 1500mm.
- Make sure a plastic pipe is installed through the wall at the ETP position and up into the star wiring box, using minimum 20mm diameter pipe and 300mm 90˚ bend. Do not use an elbow bend
- Run the three Cat6 cables from the home distributor box to the ETP position
- Leave at least 1000mm of slack loop at the home distributor box and at least 500mm slack at the ETP position
- Install a dual power outlet in the bottom of the home distributor box to power the equipment
- The home distributor box must be installed in the inside wall above the ETP position – about eye level is ideal
- Home distributor box minimum dimensions are 350mm wide x 700mm high x 80mm deep.
- The door on the home distributor box must have louvers so air can circulate to keep the equipment cool.
Testing and verifying is critical
Poorly installed wiring can affect the quality of the phone or broadband services and homeowner experiences. We strongly recommend that newly installed cabling is tested and verified by the installer as being able to operate at the speed it is rated for. The performance of communications cabling can be affected if:
- Too much cable insulation is removed
- The communications cabling is too close to electrical cabling, causing interference
- The correct bend radius is exceeded
- Wiring is incorrectly terminated
- Copper pairs are not kept twisted as close as possible to the point of termination
- Poor quality components (e.g. patch cords and connectors) are used.
The homeowner should expect a detailed report showing the level of services supported by their home wiring.