The market now are very competitive even in this structured cabling market, I believe every one can pull and install the cable but are they install in the correct manner?
Electrical contractors that do install structured cabling without a solid knowledge of the process may be putting both the home’s network and their own professional reputation at risk. However, refusing to take part in the structured cabling market may not be the best move for an electrical contractor either.
There are some important differences between pulling electrical wires and pulling structured cabling that electrical contractors need to be aware of to provide quality work and earn a good reputation in this growing field. One of the biggest differences between electrical wiring and structured cabling is the fragility of the latter. “In the installation of structured cabling, you can easily destroy the performance of the cables if they’re not handled right.”
For example, the maximum pulling tension for low-voltage cable is much less than that used for electrical cables. Each manufacturer has its own standard, but less than 25 pounds is typically recommended. What will happen if more force is used? “One improper tug at a wire, and you can pull out the twist that is so carefully put in by the manufacturer, degrading performance.
It is also important to note that the low-voltage cable, such as fiber optic cable, cannot bend at a 90 angle, so it must form a loop in order to turn in a different direction. The radius of this loop also depends on manufacturer specifications. If there is too sharp of a bend in the cabling, some of the cable fibers could break or kink and also degrade the signal.
You must install low-voltage cables at least 12 inches away from electrical wires, and run them parallel to one another. They must not be closer than this for more than 6 feet. If electrical wires and low-voltage cables cross, they must do so at a 90° angle.
Keeping up with the competition
Though many builders seem willing to give their structured cabling work to electrical contractors, some are still not sure they will perform at the level of electronic systems contractors, alarm system installers, and even home entertainment installers — all specifically trained in low-voltage installations.
“I think the electrical contractors have a ways to go to prove that they know what they’re doing in this area [structured cabling]”, “Their background and experience is on the electrical side, which is totally different than on the communications side.”