Important For Preparation To Install Your Security/Home Automation System
What follows is data on what you want to do in the preparation phase of installing a UL approved Security/Home Automation system. It is important that you purchase all your electric and hand tools well in advance of your beginning date. All right, you have your tools organized and on hand. The very next thing you need to do is to get the wiring you will need expressly for the security/home automation system.
Choice of Cable
The type of wire you will need to have on hand is at least two boxes of Cat 5e twisted pair cable. There are four twisted pair (TP) in a Cat 5e cable. These are utilized expressly on keypads and touch screens. Since you have a total of eight conductors in each Cat5e cable, you will have enough connection points at each location. You will also need multiple “speed bags” of stranded 4-conductor alarm wire. Two of the wires will be used for carrying 12Vdc power to components when required and the other two wires will be utilized for security zones.
Pull Your Cabling From A Box?
Some installers pull security wiring from a box, however I have found speed bags a God send in terms of saved time and labor. If you have a medium to large size house you will be pulling cable from multiple bags at a time. Perhaps you will pull from as many as eight speed bags at a time. Even though you are going to pull quite a bit of wiring through your walls associated with your alarm and home automation system, you will get by with just these two types of cable. Structured wiring, home theater, central vacuum, and whole-house stereo require several different types of cable, however this article does not cover those systems.
It is very significant you prepare yourself and any workman that may be helping you when the time arrives to install your systems. It is worthwhile that you do not get ahead of yourself because problems can come up if you do. Normally speaking you want to show up with all your wiring, tools, and helpers when the framing has been completed. The plumber will have already come and gone having concluded his rough-in. You are now waiting for the electrician to complete his job. You absolutely cannot install your low-voltage cable until the electrical contractor has come and gone. The rationalization for that is you want to install your cables as far away from his high-voltage wiring as feasible. If your wires end up too close to high-voltage wires, you will pick up energy from attenuation which might manifest itself as interference in your electronic equipment.
Identify Your Components
To install this alarm system you must first be able to identify the various electronics and connectors required to finish the job. Once you have gathered all these together you must grasp the overall design of a typical system so that you can begin to lay out your own plan. After you have layed out the plan view for your house, the next step is to install the appropriate wire throughout the walls to each zone originating typically in an electronics closet.
Make Certain The Windows And Doors Are In
Another important consideration is to make certain all the doors and windows have been installed. You can not install security contacts to doors and windows if they have not been installed. If you are like most home owners you will be performing the rough-in work for several systems at the same time. You will be pulling cable for structured wiring, security / home automation, whole-house stereo, whole-house intercom, video cameras, central vacuum, and the list goes on. It is essential to have at least one and hopefully two helpers on the job helping you with the labor.
Drill Lots Of Holes
By now you have organized a plan on drilling your holes in the framing studs which will lead from each section of the structure back to the location of your home automation controller. If all you will be installing is security wires then 3/4 inch holes will do very nicely, thank you very much. Obviously your security wires are much smaller in diameter than the holes you are drilling, however as you bring bundles of security wires together from each corner of the house, that 3/4 inch hole may not be big enough.
Installing Several Systems
It has been my experience that when home owners are contemplating one system for their new or remodeled home, they are probably considering other technologies as well. It would be in your best interest to have installation manuals on each system you would like to include in your home. Read them all then buy your electronics, special tools, and cabling so that they are all on the job in advance of your scheduled start date.