26 Jun OFFICIAL BRIEF | Review of a Way to Install a New Network Rack and Tips
First of all common sense is always first! Do keep to codes with BICSI standards and electrical codes but when we install with some rigid techs we must remember the golden rule. The customer is always right, work with the IT staff that you are cabling for. Include them on the plan and keep them updated with new information. Of course at times too much information floods the client and with a new installation for a new company or new office their time is needed in other areas. All this being said and years of experiences one thing on any install should be the “norm”…..Communication is KEY.
Okay, we got that out of our system! Wasn’t this about mounting a network rack? Here are some common tips and we will drag this on forever but the main points. Watch our 2 minute video below as well.
#1 – Pick a location.
Typically a server room or a closet is preferred. These following pictures are from a network cable installation in New Jersey over the summer we did.
The location was a office that had a grown into a server room with a huge rack. The rack did not provide much space for movement behind and we were updating the office from CAT5e to CAT6. Small side note, when we can we install CAT 6, as pretty much the parts are the same cost and labor for pulling the wiring. The client then has the option to upgrade their network at any time down the road. As of writing this CAT 8 is almost about to rolled out and most networks seems to still be strolling down the internet highway at CAT5e.
So in this office we close, with the client, the middle of the wall for ease of the IT staff there. Pick a location with studs, enough to anchor your rack.
Remember ten years down the road someone is going to try to place a UPS or some heavy equipment on top of the rack….they always do. Mounting into just drywall will cause a huge mess and let’s not focus too much on even code.
Placement of a backboard helps distribute the weight nicely. Drill into the studs to attach the back board and then with a paddle bit drill mount holes for the actual rack. Using toggle bolts to anchor the rack into the back board.
This does use some support from the drywall but remember the studs are holding most of the weight. Not pictured, but we prefer to have a white colored backboard and some techs swear by black.
#2 – Run the new cabling and give yourself plenty of slack.
The picture above shows a great length for the termination to come. We can put a service loop in the ceiling or mount it into the wall. Really just depends on how much room you have. The key is a service loop, typically we prefer a 6 foot loop. What is that for? Ever have a network that expanded? Need to take the patch panels off and some slack to punch down some new wiring…..you get the point. When you have the service loop untangle and cut off some more of the extra cabling like pictured below.
Any tech that wants to have pulled the exact wire length down the foot is wasting time and time is money. Our waste is down to 5% on wiring typically on a project. The excess wiring is reused on service calls. A tech or team that has exact lengths again is wasting time…….we are not saying to be sloppy but we all have seen runs to short.
PS – Give yourself some slack at the workstation or jack areas. You never know when you might need to service them.
#3 – Button it up!
Terminate the wiring into the patch panel and use cable management as much as you can. Even like pictured below, Velcro and a handful of d-rings worked nice for this client. We love using the raceway and cable ladders or trays…..but medium size to small business clients are more tight with budget needs.
Clean up the install area and run your certification reports.
We prefer to run reports on each wire we pull and hand them off to the customer. Low Voltage Cooper wiring many times will pass continuation tests with low end testers but the higher end testers will test the wiring up to 3 levels. Call it peace of mind, and professional!
This video pretty sums up the install that we just wrote about, take 2 minutes and please share it as well.
Thank you for taking the time to read and best of luck with your network cabling installation project!
Any questions….call Bridge Cable (877)832-1206