Do Electricians Install Data Cables?
While data cables may rely on electricity, do you need to get an electrician to install data cables? Technically, yes, an electrician can install data cables. But the best option, if you value expertise and a quality service, is to go straight to a network specialist.
Are Electricians & Network Specialists the Same?
Both skilled professions, which require qualifications, electricians and network specialists are very different technicians. Typically, electricians work within sections of the industry which relate to high voltage cables – such as lighting and heating – whereas network specialists work with low voltage cables, such as data cables.
As a result, both professions require very different equipment, and the most important tool required for testing data cables is a cable certification tester. These are expensive pieces of kit, easily running into thousands of pounds, so it doesn’t make sense for an electrician to carry them. Instead, if they were to take on installing data cabling, it’s likely they would only have a multimeter or a network cable tester. These devices, which are much cheaper than a cable certification tester, lack any depth of testing and will likely result in a poor install.
Additionally, electricians are less well-versed in the data cable standards put in place by industry bodies such as ISO, BSI and TIA/EIA. This situation means that not only will your data cabling be installed less efficiently – such as using excessively long cables – but there’s a significant risk of the system failing any quality/performance tests.
Testing and Certification
A well installed system of data cabling should serve you well for many years, but there’s always the risk of problems occurring. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to ensure that your data cables come with a warranty, and the good news is these warranties can often be in place for 25 years. However, for these warranties to be honoured, your data cables need to have been installed by accredited installers who have provided proof of the system’s integrity.
As previously mentioned, a cable certification tester is crucial when it comes to verifying the safety and quality of your data cables. These devices run in-depth tests (such as Wiremap, NEXT and signal efficiency) and provide certified documents which establish whether data cables have been installed correctly. And it’s these documents which can be used to both demonstrate that your structured cabling is safe and efficient, but also qualify it for warranty benefits.
Electricians running data cables – Final Thoughts
When it comes to data cable installations, it pays to align yourself with expertise. Sure, you could employ an electrician to install your data cables but, unless they subcontract it out to a network specialist, you’re going to find yourself with a sub-par installation. Instead, it makes sense to align yourself with a network specialist.
Thanks to their extensive training and understanding of data cabling standards, a network specialist will ensure your data cables are installed correctly. This provides you with two main payoffs: data cables which deliver high performance and the peace of mind provided by a manufacturer’s warranty.