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#187802 07/10/09 08:27 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,507
Since the State of Michigan will soon be on the '08 NEC I will be asking the electrical contractors to comply with 800.156.
What is the rest of the world accepting for this requirement? Cable, phone, location?

George Little
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Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 853
Who has never done this anyway? Around here,the first one is always 'free'(included).
I think it is just taking up space in the book.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,299
Likes: 6
The '08 becomes the bible here (NJ) October 1, 2009.

This has been discussed adnauseum during the update CEU courses, both with AHJ's and EC's.

My personal view has been that a location at the point of entry would be acceptable. Literally, a piece of Cat5 or whatever at the utility entry point, thru to the interior garage or basement (or wherever).

The NEC is not a design tool, and there is no mention as to 'where' the location is to be, like kitchen, etc.

IMHO, this should not be an issue, as most EC's do data/comm and LV wiring anyway.

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 316
I think it has the possibility of becoming an issue and this cuts it off prior to that.
How many of you know some one who does not have a land line phone service, just cellular ?
This is becoming more and more popular.

When the cellular craze hit us, we kept the landlines for 2 reasons
1) we didn't trust the cellular service, with all the dead zones and dropped calls. This has pretty much gone by the wayside now.
2) We were utilizing dial up internet service. Now most have broadband.

I have my landline through the cable company for now. Only because it was a package deal with a great price for 2 years.
I have 2 cell phones, my wife has one , my 2 daughters each have one. Our wall phones very seldom ring and when they do it's a wrong number or a solicitor as everyone else calls our cells or text messages us.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,299
Likes: 6
'08 800.156 has no bearing on requiring telco wired service, only that one location be provided within a residence. My opinion that this should not be a 'big deal' or 'issue' is that code compliance could be obtained with less than 10' of Cat 5/6 telco wire, or for that matter any vintage comm cable, and drilling a hole.

After hearing all the 'financial reasons' regarding AFCI & TR in '08 CEU groups, 800-156 is by far the cheapest new requirement.

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
The 2011 ROP has a single proposal on this topic, which the committee has accepted in principle.

The committee accepts requiring that this required outlet be in the living space, accessible, and cabled to the service point.

Personally, I believe requiring ANY communication outlet is beyond the scope of the NEC (minimum for safety). I believe it is obsolete, as the use of cell phones and Wi-fi expands. It is also futile, given the two basic cable types (twisted pair or coax?) and frequent changes in CAT standards.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,299
Likes: 6
Yes, Reno the comm methods are becoming more complex and evolving quickly.

Thanks for the heads up on the ROP for 2011 on this. All the ROP seems to require is a longer piece of cable! Up from basement to whatever room is above the utility entry, or accross the garage to the closest interior wall.

Again, most resi new construction/addition/renovation the sparkies do data-comm, coax, etc. anyway, so this becomes a moot subject.

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
"Yes, Reno the comm methods are becoming more complex and evolving quickly."

Well, not exactly. Much of the change is coming from manufacturers, just like with AFCI's, tamper-resistant receptacles, etc.

Voice communication has never required anything above CAT3 cable and even that is gross overkill. Telephone service is and will continue to be for many decades, delivered to the premises via non-category rated cable. Even CAT1 cable (if you could still buy it) would be more than is needed for voice use. Reno, if I recall correctly, your phone service is working on a 1950's era parallel steel drop wire, yet DSL can still travel over it.

CAT3 for voice and CAT5 for data have pretty much been the industry norm for about twenty years now. In a residential application, it is important to note that the data speeds delivered via DSL, cable modem or even the newer fiber-optic services still operate at the old speeds. Cable capable of carrying 10Base-T (CAT3) is really all that is needed. Wiring overkill does nothing to improve voice quality or improve data speed.

Running CAT5 for voice is about the equivalent of running 10/2 Romex for a 15 amp lighting circuit.

Running CAT3 for voice is about the equivalent of running 12/2 Romex.

The fact is that contractors and suppliers are trying to minimize overhead by simplifying stocking. That is why CAT5 seems to be the most common cable out there. Communications cable suppliers aren't quite as limited as electrical supply houses.

The manufacturers are panicking because the suppliers aren't buying as much of their product. To counteract this, they invent "new and improved" versions of the same thing (reinvention of the wheel). All of this "CAT6, 6A, 7, shielded UTP", etc. is all hype. The computer geeks are driving this wave because they often have an open check book full of other people's money to spend. The IT guys always get whatever they want because everyone is scared of losing their computers.

By the way, those structured wiring panels are a waste as well. Professional voice and data people absolutely hate them. I know this because 95% of what I do is voice/data. Again, the manufacturers figured out a way to scare people into buying things that truly aren't needed or desired.

Just so shed a little more light on the subject, all of the computers, IP phones and even wireless access points in my home are wired using spare pairs in "CAT Nothing" four pair cable. These cables are also shared with voice. It has been that way for ten years. It can be done, but the manufacturers don't want you to know it.


"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,696
Likes: 11
The difference in price between the best Cat-x UTP and the lowest rated bell wire is negligible when compared with the labor to install it. You should always be pulling cat5e or better (whatever the state of the art is) and that will be plenty for residential networking for the foreseeable future. We were talking about the death of copper in the late 80s but if anything, the technology is moving in the direction of shoving more data down wire.

I do think any responsible builder should be wiring houses for networks but I also think this is a design issue, not a code issue.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
EV, you're partly correct.

My phone service - when I had it - was over 50's period wiring. This wiring is still in place.

Alas, I have gone 'all cell phone' now.

My computer uses the cable company's coax (RG 6); they're continually trying to get me to use them for phone service too.

Also, perhaps relevant to the code requirement, in my home the 'service point' for the phone is on the opposite side of the house from the electrical.

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