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Cat6 cable, is it safe to drill holes through the joists ?

Ivor_Biggern

Established Member
I'm not sure if this is the right forum, feel free to move it if it's in the wrong place.

We have BT Infinity broadband, the master socket and the Openworld box is in the hall downstairs. I need a hard wire connection upstairs for my PC and TV. I think i've got 2 options, the first one is to run a Cat6 cable from the Openworld box, up the corner of the hall and into the landing above then run it along the joists to the room where it needs to go. Because of the way the joists run i would need to drill small holes in each of the joists fairly close to the edge of them, is that safe to do, would it affect the joists strength and integrity ?

The other option i guess is to ask BT if they will move the whole lot from the wall downstairs to upstairs.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

PsyVision

Distinguished Member
yes you can drill them, there are rules on what size compared to the total joist size (i think), how spaced from the top and bottom they should be etc though
 

Harkon321

Prominent Member
You are not meant to drill near the edges of joists but I've taken the view that a certain degree of common sense needs to be used. Drilling or notching big enough for one cat6 cable isn't realistically going to affect the structure of the house.
 

Alex Brock

Established Member
In my opinion you'd spend more time notching than you would drilling. Let alone the fact that when drilled you don't need to clip the cable down so it doesn't get trapped by a floorboard, or screwed through by a floorboard fixing. If you're drilling through the joist anyway, why would you do it near the edge when the middle is such a bigger target?
 

Harkon321

Prominent Member
Sorry to clarify. Drill through the middle of the joist. I meant that you're meant to avoid the end of the joists (as oppose to the edges). I think it's something like avoid the last 30cm. But again, a hole big enough for cat6 cable wouldn't concern me in the slightest.
 

Alex Brock

Established Member
Sorry harkon I misunderstood what you meant. It's true a hole the size of 1 cat 6 cable isn't going to do anything to the structure. If it's anymore than that I'd do it by the book. Everyone knows what insurance companies are like if anything goes wrong.
 

28061

Established Member
My builders drilled holes as thick as nigh thighs through the joists on my new house without question - to accommodate bundles of cat6, coax and speaker cables.
 

Alex Brock

Established Member
As long as they followed the building and electrical regs then the bigger the hole the easier the cable pull. I'll always drill as few and as small as practical, as long as it's within the regs.
 

dracthelad

Established Member
The guide posted by Alex is spot on and would not affect the joist structure. So for a cat 6 cable you can drill the neutral axis (ie centre line of the joist) upto 1/4 the joist depth if between 0.25 and 0.4 of the span from the supported ends. This means a 200mm deep joist can have a 50mm(!) hole cut through the centreline for pipes etc.
 

Minty

Prominent Member
Rather then going internally, could you go externally. I mean drill a small hole outside and take the cable up the wall and then drill back in again.
If this is possible I would do that. Buy always remembering that both holes should point downwards so that any water running along the cable would not come into the house.

HTH

M
 

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