Member Discussion

Exterior Cable Chase Options?

I was asked to advise an option for recabling an apartment complex undergoing an exterior renovation. This would involve cable TV/internet and or phone/sat. Each unit currently has an incoming service line on each patio about waist high. The incoming cable goes to a distribution panel in each laundry room on the first floor.

Current cabling is all over the place, the result of about 40 years of patching, disconnects, new tenants etc. The thought was to bring the service from the providers to the end of each building (about 8 units per building) and run some type of chase at the border between the brick and siding, and then drop a conduit down to each patio. This is outside my expertise, but I thought this brain trust might know of an option.

The siding is goint to be replaced with Hardy planks and the brick will be painted. The suggested chase would need to be paintable as well. I don't know if there is any type of square tubing either PVC or metal that might work for this what other options might exist. I've been told that running cable through the attic might be impossible to get the service down an interior wall to the laundry room.

thanks in advance

I worked on a job where the building owner had run external cable installed in standard downspout guttering fixtures. It looked something like this:

They used a vinyl type that was hung in 25' foot segments. They used standard butt-joint connectors to join segments together.

I'm not sure it is code compliant in all areas, and there was enough static electricity build-up to start a grass fire while pulling cable, but it was water-tite, durable, and it looked pretty good.

It sounds like you are looking for what is called "Wireway" or "Exterior Wire Duct" in the electrical industry. To my knowledge, 4x4 is the smallest size you can get in NEMA 3R:

Hoffman Wireway

This is probably bigger than what you want, in which case you'll probably have to use conduit and paint it.