Any problem running outdoor speaker & AC wire in same conduit?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chang Cho, Aug 14, 2001.

  1. Chang Cho

    Chang Cho Auditioning

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    Technical question: I'm having landscaping done on the new home, and had planned on having some outdoor speakers. I wanted 3/4 inch PVC conduit run from the house to the outdoor volume control, and then another conduit from there to the speakers. Well, due to a communication problem with the contractor, there is no conduit from the house to the volume control. However, there is an adjacent conduit that was run for an AC outlet that we can try to use for both the power wires and the speaker wires. We cannot run another conduit at this time since concrete has already been poured. The speaker wire is 12 gauge low voltage wiring that was recommended to me. This can be directly buried in the ground, but this is also not an option as it would have to be run above ground on the concrete for part of the distance, and this is rather unsightly.
    So, my question is is there any significant problem (i.e. sonically) running the speaker wiring right next to a power line?
    Thanks and hoping the answer is no.
    Chang
     
  2. Mike LS

    Mike LS Supporting Actor

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    When you say AC wire, I guess you mean a standard 110 outlet?
    If so, I wouldn't run it in the conduit.....you need to seperate your electrical cables and speaker cables as much as possible. And when you do find it neccessary to run them in close proximity, you definatly don't want them running parallel to each other.....to cut down on possible interferance, you'd want them running across each other.
    So in your case, you'd be running your speaker wire parallel (within an inch) of a power wire......not usually a good idea.
    Granted, you may not have a problem with it, but chances are good that you will.
     
  3. Chang Cho

    Chang Cho Auditioning

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    Thanks for the reply.
    The interference problem would manifest as what--humming or buzzing from the speakers? Is there any way to shield the wire that might prevent this? I may have try it anyways to see what results. Eventually I may have to choose between an AC outlet or outdoor speakers (as I had originally planned, anyways.)
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  4. Robert Fellows

    Robert Fellows Stunt Coordinator

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    Chang Cho:
    You probably won't have a problem running speaker wire next to power lines. Speaker wires are at a "high" potential, i.e. already amplified.
    Where humming problems usually occur is when a power line is run adjacent to a "low level" line, i.e. a patch cord. Low level lines pick up a little hum, then the hum is amplified and sent to your speakers...where you hear it.
     
  5. Gene Severn

    Gene Severn Stunt Coordinator

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    It is a BAD idea to run speaker wire in the same conduit with ANY AC wiring, besides being against the NEC (National Electrical Code). God forbid a short developed between the cables, you would be sending 115 VAC into your receiver. A separate conduit is requires for all low voltage wiring such as phone, cable TV, control, and audio. Besides the safety factor, the 60Hz. hom pickup would be tremendous!!!
     
  6. Mike LS

    Mike LS Supporting Actor

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    Yes...if you did experence interferance, it would be in some form of hum or buz from your speakers that would change with the volume.
    You could try running them together outside the conduit for a test to see if you might have problems.
    I wouldn't worry as much about ruining equipment or starting fires....the chances of a solid piece of 12-2 wire shorting out and affecting your equipment are slim to none.
    Another thing to think about is what might be plugged into the outlet your running. That can have a lot to do with things.
     

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