In response to customer demand, many builders are incorporating structured wiring into all their projects. Unfortunately, the standard wiring may leave the homeowner disappointed.
Here are some of the most common problems homeowners encounter:
- Not enough outlets or “drops.” Like electrical outlets, structured wiring outlets should be installed on every wall in the home. Even the utility room, kitchen, and bathrooms should have low voltage cabling installed. You can never anticipate what type of project the homeowner will want to implement using the structured wiring, so cover all the bases. This saves the home-owner the expense and inconvenience of running more wire later when the customer thought they had all the wire needed.
- The wrong type of wire. Many structured wiring systems use of “bundled” cable(multiple types of Cable bundled together in the same jacket) to make the running of wire easier and more cost effective for the installer. Typical bundles consist of two Category 5 cables, two RG-6 and a few runs of low gauge conductor. If affordable, one fiber run will cover any future technology for years to come. Unfortunately, many of the cables within these bundles end up wasted because their use is limited to a few applications. Category 5E and Category 6 cables are the most versatile; they can be used for data, telephone, video and audio transmission with little or no additional components. This is not true of other types of cables.
- Proprietary systems. Many structured wiring systems use an enclosure or distribution panel to bring everything together. In an attempt to fit everything into the enclosure, structured wiring manufacturers often craft their own version of common head-end components. Common equipment such as routers, switches, distribution amps, splitters, and modulators get redesigned to fit into the particular enclosure. This forces the homeowner to deal with a closed system in which he cannot take advantage of common products on the market because a secondary component is needed to fit into the system’s particular box. All structured wiring enclosures should accommodate standard aftermarket components
- Not really structured wiring. All structured wiring systems have the following characteristics: a) all cable is home-run from a finished outlet or component to a central or intermediate termination point; b) all cable components at the termination point are contained within or bound to an enclosure or panel; c) all wires are properly routed, secured, and labeled. If the above does not hold true for your structured wiring installation, then your structured wiring is not really structured wiring.