Neat-O: Clean Wiring, Documentation in 2 Utility Rooms

Dealer sets up two utility rooms for line voltage and low voltage with complete documentation posted on walls.

Neat-O: Clean Wiring, Documentation in 2 Utility Rooms
Jason Knott · July 17, 2009

These two utility rooms are so clean you can eat off the floors.

The homeowners of this 30,000-square-foot masterpiece in central New Jersey require all guests to remove their shoes before entering.

Integrated Home Solutions (IHS) in Branchburg, N.J. is responsible for the cleanliness of the floors, the wiring and the documentation in these separate utility rooms (one for high-voltage and one for low-voltage).

The house was struck by lightning in August 2007, frying most of the equipment. But with solid documentation in place, IHS was able to quickly rebuild the system.

“We are meticulous with everything, and you have to be with a home this size,” says IHS president Bob Romano.

The system includes more than 12 Crestron TPS-1700 and TPS-2000 touchscreens for complete control of:

  • HVAC
  • Lighting
  • Audio/video
  • Security
  • Automated shades in the gym
  • A waterfall in the spa room
  • A miniature train set that travels the perimeter of the gaming room

Both utility rooms have ample space for technicians to completely encircle the racks. The homeowners even leave a chair in the room for IHS techs. The A/V racks sit in the center of the low-voltage room with an industrial cable management tray above them. Cables drop vertically from the cable tray into the rack.

Multiroom audio, networking and lighting control enclosures are located around the perimeter. There are documentation pages mounted next to each enclosure for technicians to refer to.

“We try as much as we can to keep the same people on the job,” says Romano. “That doesn’t always happen. The way around that is to have sufficient documentation. For example, when somebody goes on vacation, you can’t shut the job down for a week. That’s why we keep good documentation so we can transition the job from one technician to another if we need to during that absence.”

IHS uses a rough-in specialist to pull all the low-voltage and high-voltage wiring.

“Our rough-in guy sets the tone for the entire company on where things should be located,” says Romano.

IHS had the cable company bring trunk lines all the way to the house, which sits about a half-mile from the street.

“There are so many times that the cable company will only bring RG-6 to the house,” Romano says. “I wanted RG-11 brought all the way to the house so I could put a spectrum analyzer on it and gauge the dB losses. Nine out of 10 times if there is trouble, it’s out at the street. The more you start cutting and splitting the signal, the greater the risk for signal degradation.

“And we have a lot of video that is being moved around inside this house. I wanted to start with 100 percent signal strength. The client paid extra to have it done, but it was worth it.”

Fiber was run between the barn and home for video streaming.

  About the Author

Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at [email protected]

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  Article Topics

News · Installation · Neat-O · Wire and Cable · All Topics
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