Teledata Technologies

Electricians Shouldn't Pull Data Cable

As the importance of low voltage cabling increases in the construction industry, many electricians are trying to expand their services to include network cabling.  But don’t be fooled into letting someone inexperienced and unqualified set up your network. 

A common trend that has been harming networks is the installment of network cable by electricians in replace of actual network cable professionals.  There are many reasons why companies resort to this damaging substitution.  Some companies may often use electricians to do network cable work to save money.  Unfortunately, many clients are unaware of the numerous risks that will result from having electronic technicians or electricians perform the work of professional network cable technicians.

Network cable technicians and electricians share entirely different “related field” classifications.  Electricians do not work with technology and networking and have been known to perform poorly on data cable installations.  Network cable installation involves extensive training, education and applies a series of standards, specific materials, and codes to ensure high-quality performance, reliability, and safety.  Network cable technicians, electronic technicians and electricians are all grouped and classified with different specifications as illustrated by the chart below:

 

Network Cable Technician

Electronic Technician

Electrician

Job Group

185: IS Suport, Program and Service Technicians

127: Public Relations and Media Technicians

333: Craft and Trade

DP Code

6: Technical

6: Technical

4: Building Trades Crafts

EEO

3: Technicians

3: Technicians

7: Craft Workers

 

Source: WIDOA Classification Specifications

Job Group: code which identifies classifications with similar work, similar pay, and similar opportunity

DP Code: designates the data processing unit to which the classifications/class title belongs.

EEO: Job category designating the kind of work performed for purposes of the Affirmative Action reporting.

 

Each of these jobs serve a different purpose and it is important to keep in mind that network cable technicians are sure to follow the American National Standards Institute  (ANSI) accredited BICSI and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the leading trade association representing the global information and communications technology industry.  Additionally, electronic technicians and electricians are more inclined to use counterfeit and non-compliant cable, because they typically aren’t partnered with the appropriate vendors and thus do not have the correct materials certified by an IT authority.  As a result, the quality and performance of telecommunications and network drops tremendously.  Cheap and counterfeit cable may also cause alien crosstalk (interference from other nearby cables) as well as risk of fire hazards.  Counterfeit and non-compliant cable isn’t the only concern customers should be worried about it.  Network cabling and low voltage is a specialized field which encompasses specific techniques that electronic technicians and electricians may not apply.  Some mistakes electricians and electronic mistakes typically make in data cabling include:

  • Stress on cable- Electronic technicians and electricians may apply extra twists, pull or stretch beyond the specified pulling load rate, bend cable beyond the specified pulling load rate, create tension in the suspension runs, and staple or apply pressure with cable ties. Low voltage technicians are specifically trained on how to pull this type of cable.
  • Lack of industry standard testing- Network cable tester tools are not cheap, meaning unethical electricians rarely invest in these state-of-the-art essentials to ensure their work is done correctly.
  • Excessive Bundling-Placing multiple cable bundles over each other or over bundling the cables causes performance degradation. Additionally, network cable technicians bundle the related cables together in the appropriate groups.
  • Incorrect twisting of cable- Trained low voltage professionals ensure that data cables are twisted properly in order to prevent electromagnetic interference (EMI) from external sources. This will hinder network performance and slow speeds of data drastically. They preserve the same density of twists in the cable pairs till its termination for horizontal and backbone twisted-pair cabling is applicable. 
  • Incorrect placement of cable- Network cable technicians are trained on the specific places to avoid when installing. They are mindful of avoiding the route over equipment and other patch panel ports.  They avoid areas of condensation and direct sunlight.  These are some factors that contribute to safety purposes and preservation.
  • Incorrect running of cable-The magnetic field generated by the low voltage running through the cable is a vital aspect of the communications chain. Running unshielded cabling in parallel with electrical cables, disrupts the magnetic field and communication.  Running cable near “noisy” devices and fixtures such a fluorescent lighting, motors, and similar items can shed electrical or magnetic interference that can damage your network infrastructure. 
  • Incompliance with laws/codes/ordinances- Similar to how network cable technicians follow American National Standards Institute  (ANSI) accredited BICSI and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), electricians typically follow the standards from the National Electrical  Manufacturers Association (NEMA).  Failure to adhere to laws and codes greatly increases danger risks to safety personnel.  Incompliance of local codes related to network cabling may also lead to fines and potentially cause you to replace your cabling entirely.

 In one case as you can read on our blog here about the story of Peak Hosting who suffered terrible losses due to some very bad cabling. 

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Low voltage or network cable installation is a specialized field that requires extensive training, education, and multitude of specifications and techniques.  In summary, substituting electricians for network cable technicians does not save your business any money nor will it provide you with a strong network.  Electronic technicians and electricians are not educated on the standards of cabling specifications and requirements, so many are not trained for proper design, install or work with telecommunications or network cable.  Proper network cable installation by certified network cable technicians not only ensures a high performing network, but is usually backed with a product warranty.   

Teledata proudly partners with some of the leading manufacturers of network cable like Commscope that warrants their products and installations for a 25 year period.  Additionally, Teledata offers a service maintenance program that moves, adds or changes entire systems or components, technical support and management assistance. If you are considering expanding your network capabilities, trust a certified team to design, install, and support the growth of your network infrastructure. 

 

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fiber optic cabling, voice and data cabling, copper cable, network infrastructure, modular data cable, construction, low voltage, Las Vegas infrastructure solution

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