November 20, 2009
| by Julie Jacobson
Any pro, savvy do-it-yourselfer or unwired consumer will tell you: The best way to futureproof your home is to run conduit behind the walls.
Is fiber the wave of the future? Hard to tell, but you can always play it safe and run conduit now and cable later.
The eXapath system from Homepath Products is installed much like a wall stud, but it’s hollow so it can accommodate (and protect) cables both now and in the future.
The conduit runs from floor to ceiling, penetrating either the basement or the attic (or crawl space), and then is channeled to a central distribution point.
The conduit is simple to install and it accommodates horizontal runs of electrical wiring.
eXapath principal Mike Hines says that each conduit costs roughly $100 installed. “In a well-appointed 2,500-square-foot house,” he says, “you’d probably end up with 20 to 25 pieces, so the installed cost would end up between $2,000 and $3,000.”
The company also notes the following benefits of the system:
-Hidden neatly behind drywall
-3 square inches of volume to handle many cables
-Easily add outlets before or after drywall
-Reusable throughout life of the home
-Infinite ability to upgrade cabling
-Position outlets at any vertical point along conduit
-Use common tools for installation
-Built-in center column v-grooves make drilling more accurate
-External side-lobe v-grooves enable creation of channels for horizontal passing of line voltage wiring
-Integrate seamlessly with common construction materials and practices.
Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.