Data Shielding for 4 Circuit and 3 Circuit Systems
The questions of the ability of communications cables to lay in the panel base with the modular electrical system comes up often with the increased use of Category 5 and Category 6 communication systems. The good news is that Category 5 and Category 6 cables can be safely placed in the base of the panels with the modular electrical system.
There is a standard called the TIA/EIA- 569-A, Commercial Building Standard for Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces. This Standard was developed by the Telecommunications Industry Association and it addresses requirements for installing telecom cabling in buildings. Their most recent revision, dated Feb. 20, 1998, clarifies the require-ments for installing telecom cables in furniture. Sec. 126.96.36.199.1 states. “Furniture pathways often run parallel to power race-ways; floor and ceiling interfaces are often divided into power and telecommunications. In such cases, separation shall be provided to meet the requirements of clause 10.3.” Sec 10.3.1 states, “Co-installation of telecommunications cable and power cable is governed by applicable electrical code for safety. For minimum separations requirements of telecommu-nications cable from typical branch circuits (120/240V, 20A), Article 800-52 of ANSI/NFPA 70 shall be applied…”
NFPA 70 is National Electrical Code and Sec. 800.133 (A) (2) Other Applications (previously was Sec. 800-52 (a) (1) Open Conductors) states, “Communications wires and cables shall be separated at least 2 inches from conductors of any electric light, power…circuits.
Exception No. 1: Where either (1) all of the conductors of the electric light, power, Class 1, or non-power-limited fire alarm are in a raceway or in metal-sheathed, metal-clad, nonmetallic-sheathed, Type AC or Type UF cables…”
The definition of raceway in the National Electrical Code, Section 100 is: “An enclosed channel of metal or nonmetallic materials designed expressly for holding wires, cables, or busbars, with additional functions as permitted in the Code. Raceways include, but are not limited to, rigid metal conduit, rigid nonmetallic conduit, intermediate metal conduit, liquid-tight flexible conduit, flexible metallic tubing, flexible metal conduit, electrical non-metallic tubing, electrical metallic tubing, under-floor raceways, cellular concrete floor raceways, cellular metal floor raceways, surface raceways, wireways, and busways.”