Does it matter if you run speaker wire through the same holes as electrical wires?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Brian Beecher, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. Brian Beecher

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    Quick question- does it hurt to run the speaker and electrical wires through the same holes instead of drilling double holes through everything? I don't want to run into any problems with the wires touching each other but if it doesn't matter I'll put them through together. I don't know to much about the workings of wiring and what causes interference or other problems, so thanks for the info. The speaker wire is 12awg and I also have 1 sub cable. Thanks again!
     
  2. Don.l

    Don.l Stunt Coordinator

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    I've always heard that you should cross data and speaker wire at 90 degree angles and they should not run together. I know that's how I did mine. I have seperate outlets for electric and speakers. I'm sure someone on hear will correct me though.

    Don
     
  3. chris_everett

    chris_everett Second Unit

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    According to code, you can't have low and high voltage in the same box, unless there is a seperator between them. As for just running the lines, I would not put them through the same hole in a stud or something. You probably won't have interference on speaker lines, but I would not take the chance.
     
  4. BruceSpielbauer

    BruceSpielbauer Second Unit

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    The above responses are correct. I am not an expert, but I have done a lot of electric wiring and also a lot of low voltage (audio, video, phone, and computer networking) wiring. I have also read parts of the NEC (National Electrical Code).

    You should always keep any OTHER type of wiring separate from electric wiring as much as possible. The more separation, the better.

    You should not try to "share" a hole in a stud, or any hole through a wall, or any outlet box or any conduit, or any junction box in any manner. Keep all HIGH VOLTAGE separate, no matter what. Keep all high voltage electric as a complete separate entity. Violating this can cause serious problems, ranging from interference, to ground loop issues, to a very serious fire hazard or risk of serious electric shock (which can in turn lead to serious injury or death, of course).

    If you are using conduit, keep them a safe distance away from each other. If not, keep those wires a safe distance away from each other. If and when they absolutely must cross paths (which sometimes simply must occur), run them at a 90 degree angle from each other, even if they are both enclosed in conduit. If they must terminate close to each other (which also sometimes occurs), try to maximize the distance, and try to minimize the area where the two are "close" together.

    Even if you were to violate these legal requirements, and you manage to avoid a fire, you are truly asking for major interference, where the electric signal suddenly causes your video to display bizarre interference or noise, or analog snow or "jitters" or digital pixellization and breakup. If it is audio, you are asking for weird hums. Then, imagine the frustration of realizing you must now rip wallboard completely apart to try to fix a problem you could have easily avoided, by drilling a few new holes.

    -Bruce
     
  5. Brian Beecher

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    Hey guys, thanks a lot for the answers. I'll make sure I follow these guidelines. Avoiding serious injury and/or death would also be a good thing. Thanks again!

    Brian
     
  6. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    When I was doing mine I found a statement in the Electrical code which basically states keep data away from AC by at least 2 inches wherever possible and cross at 90 degree
     
  7. Kyle McCabe

    Kyle McCabe Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian,

    As the other guys have all stated, it's best not to run the wires together. Power cables do cause interference with other cables, but that shouldn't be the main concern. The biggest problem is heat. Especially, if there are other cables cluttered around them. This can lead to a fire! Be safe, man!

    Regards,

    Kyle McCabe
     

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