Home Wiring: Top Tips on What to Look for In a New Home
If you're looking for a new home, you know that home buying is
exciting and stressful in equal measures. A property purchase might
be the largest investment you ever make, so it is important to
invest wisely. One advantage of buying a newly built property is
that the wiring should meet the electrical, communication, and
entertainment needs of today's lifestyles, as well as being
adaptable to future developments.
Before buying a new home, ask for details of the home wiring
- Wiring configuration. "Daisy-chain"
wiring, where the wiring is run from one room to the next, is not
appropriate for modern home wiring. All outlets should be wired
directly from a centrally located structured wiring box.
- Electrical wiring coverage. Check
how many electrical outlets the property has and where they are
- Surge protection. New homes should
have a whole house surge protection network that includes transient
voltage surge suppression (TVSS) devices at the service entrance as
well as point-of-use TVSS devices located behind major appliances,
PCs, and entertainment centers. This is critical to prevent damage
caused by surges in power such as those from lightning or from a
faulty component on the circuit.
- Home telephone wiring. Each
telephone outlet should be connected to the central panel by a
unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cable. All telephone wiring should be
Category 5e (Cat5e) cable comprised of 4 twisted pairs of "solid"
copper cable. The structured wiring panel inside the house should
be connected to the Demarc box outside the property by a Cat5e
cable. Each telephone outlet should be connected to the structured
wiring panel with a 4-pair Cat5e cable.
- Home data wiring. A modern home
needs a local area network (LAN), which enables all computers in
the network to share other devices such as a printer, and allows
data to be stored centrally so that each workstation does not
necessarily need its own hard disk, and stored data and application
packages can be retrieved from any workstation. Wireless offers
convenience but does not have the same level of speed, security, or
reliability offered by wired home data networks.
- Video distribution. Any TV source
should be viewable in any room of the house. RG6 coaxial cable
should connect all video sources to the central structured wiring
panel and two RG6 cables should connect to each TV location. TV and
Internet outlets should also be available at the video locations to
allow for pay-per-view or other services.
Remember, even if you do not have a high-tech lifestyle, you may
want to sell your home one day. Having a full structured wiring
package makes your home much more marketable in the future because
the home wiring can be adapted to incorporate new technologies with
About the author:
Karin has worked as a
freelancer for over ten years, writing informatively about a wide
range of subjects. She has a PhD and a background in education and
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