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Cable Management

What Is Cable Management?

Cable management is the practice of organizing cables so they're neat and protected against harm. Originally developed in the electrical industry, the proliferation of computers created a nightmare situation with tens, hundreds and even thousands of cables connecting equipment and peripherals.  

In response, the industry developed numerous wire management solutions including equipment racks, raceways, protective looms and zip ties.  

Why You Should Invest in Cable Organizer Products

As anyone who owns a personal computer, TV or sound system knows, no matter how carefully you lay cables, they twist around one another in no time at all. Even if you have only a few wires leading to peripherals like printers, hard drives, modems and keyboards, it’s a given that they will be wound around the other wires when you try and remove one.

The problem is worse when it comes to equipment rooms, servers and telecommunications. Apart from the issue of tangled wires, the load placed on individual connectors by snarled wires has the potential to damage equipment ports and connectors, break cable wires and cause intermittent connection faults.  

Managing Cables in the Office

Keep your office neat by hiding cables coming into the office with conduits, raceways and cable managers. If practical, hide them behind walls, ceilings or floors. Use flexible conduits to bring power cords to your desk and hide cables on surfaces with desk cable management products. Lay all cables neatly and use cable clips and supports at regular intervals. Keep permanent and temporary cables separate if possible as you don't want to undo entire cable bundles simply to remove or replace a single cable. Use cable holders, removable sleeving and cable organizers for temporary cables.  

Cable Management in Equipment Rooms

Equipment rooms have thousands of cables, so it's essential to plan the installation carefully. Use enclosures to logically group equipment. Some organizations keep servers in one enclosure and switches in another, but it may help to group interconnected equipment to minimize cabling. Use cable trays and ladders to bring cables from the floor or ceiling to individual racks. At each rack, use flexible ring cable managers to keep cables neat and reduce stress on individual cables. The open design of ring managers means it's relatively easy to add or remove cabling. Run interconnecting cables from one enclosure to another using cable ducts located in the floor or roof plenum chamber. Keep power cables short by installing power strips inside each enclosure.  

When laying cables, take specific care to run cables parallel to each other and keep them in place with clips or zip ties for easy removal later. Avoid twisting cables because this makes it almost impossible to remove them without disturbing the entire bundle.  

Personal Cable Management

In offices and commercial environments, it's generally considered acceptable to see some cables lying around. However, they're unsightly in the home, especially around your TV, home theater and audio systems. Flexible cable management systems allow you to hide these cables. Where practical, you can fasten cable management systems behind cabinets or under tabletops using an adhesive-backed tray. If you plan to make changes later, use racks with removable Velcro securing straps or zippers so it's easy to add new wires. Hide Ethernet and other interconnecting cables in wall partitions or use low-profile cable channels hidden under moldings.

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