Wire Raceways and Wire Ducts Tips

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What are the three types of cable raceways?

Three Types of Cable Raceways

According to Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a regulating agency for cable management products, there are three different types of cable raceways -- plenum, risers and general purpose. It is helpful to know the differences between them when shopping for wire management products.

  • A raceway marked "plenum" is for use in ducts, plenums or other spaces used for environmental air when used to enclose optical fiber cables marked OFNP or communications cable marked CMP or CMP-OF. Plenum is a space, in a building, between the real ceiling and the dropped ceiling often used as an air duct for heating and air conditioning. It is also filled with electrical, telephone and network wires. Plenum raceways use a fire retardant coating that must comply with local building codes.
  • A raceway marked "riser" is suitable for installation in risers when used to enclose optical fiber cable marked OFNP and OFNR or communications cable marked CMP, CMP-OF, CMR or CMR-OF.
  • A raceway with neither the marking "plenum" nor "riser" is suitable for general purpose use.

What are some wire duct tools on the market?

Wire Duct Tools

When you are installing wire duct, there are tools on the market designed specifically to help you. Here are some examples of wire duct tools designed for Panduit Panduct wiring duct and what they do, courtesy of Panduit:

  • Wiring duct cutting tool: a hand-held duct cutting tool that allows you to create a smooth cut when cutting wiring ducts, covers and heat shrink tubing
  • Wiring duct finger cutting tool: hand-held cutting tool that removes individual fingers or panels on the wiring duct
  • Wiring duct notching tool: used to notch the duct sidewall down to the scoreline for easier finger breakouts
  • Nylon rivet installation tool: used to install rivets into the wiring duct

What is a good way to route cables inexpensively?

Free Space Optics Broadband

Cable raceways will get you just so far, until you need to run something to another building, across the street or across the lot. In that case, you need to either run a cable which will probably be a lot of trouble or you can use Free Space Optics technology. Send and receive data, voice, or video at up to 2.5 Gbps up to 4 km with no cables or radio transmissions. These units work with a variety of other vendor's equipment. They can be placed either on rooftops to transmit from one building to another or through a window.

How can I control cables and make it look good?

SAF and Corner Duct Raceways

Designing a home theater that has the SAF (spouse acceptance factor) can be challenging, especially when he or she sees all of those ugly wires and immediately envisions disaster when they are chewed on by the dog or the baby.

A corner duct raceway may be just the solution to your aesthetic and safety challenge. Not only do corner duct raceways keep your cables safe from little hands, paws and teeth, but they can look good while doing it.

Corner wire ducts fit into the corner of your floor and wall or ceiling and wall. The most creative customers have even enhanced the value of their home by using it as crown molding. It can be painted to blend and poof, you have a high SAF, a safe and happy family and the home theater you have always dreamed of!

What is another solution like a wire raceway and cable duct?

Raised Floors and Wire Raceways and Wire Ducts

You have heard of raising the roof - how about raising the floor?

If you are struggling with the loose wires and cable organization of your office by providing a single solution for both your wiring and outlet needs.

By using a product like the power floor, you eliminate the need for seperate contractors to give you a raised floor beneath which your wiring and cabling can run and all of the outlets your ever changing office needs. The panels can be easily changed out and reconfigured. The concept of the raised floor is an innovative use of the cable raceway or wireduct product.

What are some cable raceways for the office?

Panduit and Wiremold Raceways for the Office

Panduit and Wiremold are both top wire management companies that offer products such as cable raceways. Here is an example of some raceways for your office, courtesy of Panduit and Wiremold:

  • Panduit Pan-Way Office Furniture Raceway: routes, protects and conceals copper, voice, video, fiber optic and power cabling. It is intended to make upgrades and equipment moves easier. It routes cable along the often unused top part of the office partition. It is designed to work with major office furniture panels and results in an almost invisible solution. Includes a one-piece hinge and tamper resistant closure that prevents access to cables.
  • Wiremold Low Voltage Surface Raceways: designed with a flexible hinge for easy installation and frequent opening and closing. A self-locking latch offers wire security. Surface raceways are used in schools, hospitals and offices to guide cables to each workstation. Raceways can be custom cut and painted to match the decor of the room. They are available in 5-, 6-, and 8-foot lengths.

What is an electrical raceway?

Electrical Raceway Hides Wire

Gone are the days when a boom box and two attached speakers made up the sound system in your living room. Speakers for a home theater system in the new millennium consist of several speakers positioned all around your living room to create surround sound. And with all these speakers, sometimes more than six, come lots and lots of speaker wires.

There are electrical raceways or wiring raceways available to protect and conceal wires with the added bonus of blending into your walls. Your wire is fed through these products with triangular corners that tuck into your wall crevices and look like crown molding or baseboards. They offer a finished appearance while hiding your wires.

What is a wire raceway?

What is a wire raceway?

What is a wire raceway?

A terrific wiring and cabling solution, that's what!

Raceways are an affordable way to run wires and cabling throughout residential, commercial or industrial environments. Of course, you need to make sure you are selecting the right product for the right application. Not every raceway is made for multi faceted applications.

Take the panduit raceway, for example. Although useful in many environments, it can only hold, guide and protect wires up to 300 volts and its made of plastic rather than metal. This makes it very versatile, but it might not be the right choice for a truly industrial environment like a mechanics shop or a military industrial area.

How can I protect cables in an industrial environment?

Industrial Cord Covers

Have you just moved into a new office area?

Perhaps you have a more industrial environment into which you are incorporating computer systems and now you have the problem of delicate wiring going every which way to connect your new technology.

Who knows what the office configuration is ultimately going to be, but you need to temporarily protect your cables from pedestrian traffic. Drop over cable covers are a versatile solution to a problem like this. Not only are they built to be strong, they are segmented and can be attached together to be as long or as short as you need. They also come in various strengths to accomodate pedestrian and wheels (if you have vehicles in your area).

They may not be pretty, but they will do the job. You will need to come up with a longer term cable organization plan, but these will get you through.

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Lynne Christen