I am about to install a backup generator about 40m away from my house. There is no question what cables to run for the AC current (which will be 230V 50Hz up to 30A) — doubled 10AWG (6mm2) to keep resistance at acceptable levels at such distance.

But I do want to run a data cable along the AC cables: this will be needed for remote control of the generator, surveillance camera and what not. Obviously it would struggle to perform side by side with the AC cables so it will need to be shielded (STP, not UTP).

Setting aside any regulations/standards that would prohibit doing this, will STP cable work? Where would be the best place for it in the pack — in the middle (A), at the edge (B), or elsehow?:

enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ Usually power and data are separated in tubes or cable tray with a separator. This isn't an option? \$\endgroup\$ – Jeroen3 May 22 '19 at 14:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Usually is correct, in the US data cables and power MUST NOT be together in the same conduit (tube). \$\endgroup\$ – Wendall May 22 '19 at 14:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jeroen3 I would need to buy and bury 2 conduits instead of 1. Just wondering if there is sufficient technical (vs regulatory) reason for it. \$\endgroup\$ – Greendrake May 22 '19 at 20:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Greendrake The technical reason is that in case of a fire, the power cables can short with the data cables, causing more collateral damages. \$\endgroup\$ – Jeroen3 May 23 '19 at 6:51

Do not install power cable next to communications cable.

  1. This is against the electrical code in most countries. In Australia, our Wiring Rules (AS 3000) specifically require power and communications cables to be physically separated, either by barriers or by distance.

  2. If the power cable is damaged, and shorts to the communications cable, then the communications cable will be energized to the power voltage (i.e. 110 VAC or 230 VAC.) Communications devices are not designed to handle this voltage and may become live, posing a personnel safety hazard to anyone who touches them (i.e. you may kill someone.)


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.