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Can Ethernet Cable Run Next To Electrical

Can Ethernet Cable Run Next To Electrical? [Here’s How]

Are you having Electrical Cable next to Ethernet? If you have, I’m sure your mind is packed with lots of questions.

The main concern is safety. So it is essential to know everything regarding that matter.

So, Can Ethernet Cable Run Next To Electrical?

YES! You can run an Ethernet Cable next to Ethernet, which is shielded, but even then, you should be a little aware and keep 8 inches between them. The non-shielded cables can lose data and bandwidth when running next to the power cables.

Power cables near PoE cables can cause fires and heating. You need to be aware and take the necessary precautions.

Let’s read all the other safety measures that you should keep in your mind to secure everything.

How Far Apart Should Electrical and Ethernet Be?

You may not believe it, but the cable distance is critical. The NEC has specific distance guidelines for running Ethernet and power cables together.

Depending on the cable type, you don’t keep it closer than two inches; anything more intimate than that means you’re violating safety codes, and also, you’re risking data loss. 

Here is the guideline to follow:

  • Unshielded ethernet cables can’t be closer than 8 inches to a 120V or 240V household electrical cable.
  • The lower voltage of your household cables can be moved closer if the Ethernet cables are shielded, but not closer than 2 inches.

This is the National Electric Code (NEC) specified for running two cables together.

Even a shielded cable can have some problems blocking EMI when a 120 V power cable is 2 inches away.

If both data protection and safety are concerns, keep the cables 8 inches apart.

How To Run Ethernet Next To Electrical Cable Safely?

If the Ethernet cable is shielded, you can run it next to electrical cables, but even then, you should keep 8in between them.

The Non-shielded ones can lose data and bandwidth when you run them next to power cables, and if the PoE cables are too close to power cables, they can cause fires.

So, assuming that the Ethernet cable is shielded, you can run the two cables together. However, there are a few things you need to be aware of, and there are some issues that you might face while running the cables together.

You might think it is simple to run the cables together, but it is not. It might be accessible when you run long lengths of cable, run them next to each other or even wind or twist them together.

Still, the electricity on the power line can cause interference that degrades the quality of the Ethernet signal.

These four steps should be kept in mind to run the Ethernet next To Electrical Cable Safely:

1. Shielding

First, look if all the cables are shielded Cat5 and 6 cables, because this practice allows interference.

If you want to overcome this issue, you can use ethernet cables with a thin foil jacket that will protect the cables from interference.

Data integrity and network speed will be compromised without this shielding.

2. Gap of 2 Inches

Keep close attention between the distances, don’t close the cables close to one another to touch each other.

Otherwise, you may encounter issues with data loss and voltage.

3. Move The Appliances Out Of The Way

Power cables are not your only concern. The power cables are most likely running items; you don’t want to run any device near it. If not, the resultant noise will create significant interference.

Can I Run Ethernet and Power in the Same Conduit?

Current spikes that appliances vacuum cleaners & microwaves can interfere with Ethernet cable’s magnetic field, introducing unwanted network errors.

Furthermore, an electrical short could easily affect the ethernet cable, causing many problems, so I disagree with this practice.

Yes! You can run Ethernet and power in the same conduit using the shielded cables. As suggested above, try and keep the cables 8 inches apart.

Nonetheless, some locations are pretty strict about this issue. They won’t allow the users to run power and Ethernet cables through the same conduit.

You need to check your local building/apartment code before you process, and if they adhere to the regulations of NEC, which are mentioned above, you’re good to go.

Can I Run Cat5 Next to the Electrical?

Before answering the question, let us know about Ca5 or category 5 is a network cable that consists of four twisted pairs of copper wire terminated by RJ-45 connectors.

Cat 5 cables are mainly used for business networks, but you can also use them for home connections. This cable provides a transmission speed of up to 100 Mbps.

While a shielded Cat5/6 cable is designed to protect itself from outside interference, it is still not recommended to run parallel with your electrical wiring. Typically, electricity runs down one stud, and Cat5/6 is run down a different stud.

Can You Run CAT6 next to Electrical?

Cat 6 cable (Cat 6) is a twisted pair cable that is backward compatible with Category 5/5e and Category 3 cable specifications for Ethernet and other network physical layers.

CAT6 must fulfill more stringent crosstalk and system noise criteria than Cat 5 and Cat 5e. CAT6, even the “unshielded,” is very resistant to electrical interference.

It can carry very high-speed data while emitting little or no interference, as it can carry very high-speed data while producing little or no interference. So, the answer is yes! You can run CAT6 next to Electrical.


So, that’s all on how Ethernet Cable Run next To Electrical cables. I hope you liked the article; if you’ve any questions, let us know in the comment section below.