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Cat5 mains cable?

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by daninthemix, Aug 1, 2003.

  1. daninthemix

    daninthemix
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    Dear all...

    I was thinking of using Cat5 UTP as mains cable - terminate with a fuse-less IEC and decent mains plug etc...but I'm not sure if one run of Cat5 would provide enough current. Cat5 is rated at 26AWG - but I'm not sure if that's per pin or aggregate? If the latter, I would definitely need at least two runs for both positive and negative, and that's a bit impractical...I like the idea of this though because of RFI rejection inherent with twisted pair design, and this stuff is cheap!

    Anybody have any input on this?

    Cheers...
     
  2. RichardH

    RichardH
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    My iniital reacion is NO! But I'm no expert - I'd certainly think you'd need several runs of it.

    If you're after building some cheap mains cables, then I still have some shielded 3 core cable (which is also twisted, as it 'appens) left over from the group buy earlier in the year. I've got 0.75, 1.5 and 2.5mm stuff. I've also got some decent MK plugs and Schuerter IEC sockets, plus some ferrite cores - all the guff you need to build the TNT Merlino and twisted snake cables. I'm not trying to make a profit here - if you do want some, it will all be at cost, as was the original group buy - I'm just the idiot who organised it and got left with too much cable :rolleyes:
     
  3. Exeter Man

    Exeter Man
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    daninthemix,

    Using CAT5 as mains cable doesn't sound ideal to me. Even if it was OK in theory, it just doesn't 'feel' right.

    Regards
     
  4. daninthemix

    daninthemix
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    Cheers chaps. I was hoping to do this dirt cheap so as to 'see' whether its worthwhile...essentially I need a 10meter very high current cable to run form my cooker (30amp) spur, which is short and clean compared to my ring mains, and of course higher ampage.

    I shall check out the TNT thing in more detail and let you know if I need any cable!!
     
  5. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Even if you double/triple up the cable for current carrying capacity, I think the insulation is the main diference - CAT5 isn't designed to insulate against mains voltages IIRC.

    When an electrical installation is tested, they use a tester that generates 500v to check insulation resistance. It has to be above 2meg ohms IIRC. All new installs should be above infinity, and so should CAT5 in this case.

    Gary.
     
  6. matblack

    matblack
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    Please don't try this!

    The cores in CAT5 will not take mains current and at high power like a cooker the whole thing will just melt!

    Matt
     
  7. daninthemix

    daninthemix
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    Hmm. Not such a good idea then... I might resurrect the idea later on if I can get a load of Teflon extruded copper or silver of able voltage handling ability...

    Thanks all for the info!
     

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