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Correct way to get new services (fibre and EV charge cable) into/out of existing house

  • 19-10-2022 10:09am
    Registered Users Posts: 30,961 ✭✭✭✭

    I've a 1980s detached house, block construction with cavity (100+100+100), where the cavity has ~38mm aeroboard (polystyrene stuff) on the outer face of the inner leaf.

    I think it has strip foundations with suspended floors in most of the ground floor - I've been under the floor in one of the rooms and there's a ~2ft void with sort of dry gravelly concrete stuff (dry mix?).

    The plan is to externally insulate (down to foundation level) and bead-fill the remainder of the cavity.

    Before that, I need to have installed:

    • Fibre broadband.
    • EV charge point, on a pedestal out on the driveway

    Should I have any concerns about how these installations are done, either generally or with respect to the insulation plan?

    The EV charge point people propose to bring an armoured cable out through the front wall at just under external ground level (that level is about mid-wall in one of the front rooms, these rooms provide a windowless semi-basement we use for storage, and that's where the consumer unit is).

    The fibre people, well...who knows what they're going to do when they turn up. I suspect just drill through my gable end and clip the fibre to the wall.

    I don't know how existing services come into the house.

    Should I use the opportunity to get some kind of hockey-stick duct run under the foundations? The ground is fairly loose outside, flowerbeds and gravel. Could I route a duct through one of the wall vents that's currently aerating the suspended floors?

    Are there specific building regs governing this?

    Is there a particular type of professional I should engage to ensure I am having it done right?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,519 ✭✭✭Yellow_Fern

    The fibre ONT requires electricity and an ethernet cable. Most retrofit installs are poor. Have you any telecom box? I am not sure where your fibre comes in but if you had one with an existing with cat5e, you can make the cat53 POE so youd have no electricity requirements. I did that on a retrofit and it means no cable clipped to the wall outside or inside.

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,961 ✭✭✭✭Lumen

    OK, forgive my ignorance. The ONT is like an ADSL model but with an optical input, right? And it normally goes on the inside face of an outside wall?

    I don't really mind having cable clipped to the inside wall, or having an extra box. My hallway has a load of gear in it like scanners and printers so that's normal for me, in fact I favour access and serviceability.

    I'm more concerned with the cable/fibre whatever on the outside wall getting buried under external insulation when I get that done subsequently, because if for any reason that needs stuff done to it, it would disrupt the render and insulation, and from what I understand of external insulation it needs to be kept fairly pristine, unlike with a regular block cavity where you can just drill holes through as required and fill with sealant.

    I don't know what a telecom box is. I can find no physical infrastructure relating to my POTS/DSL service.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,519 ✭✭✭Yellow_Fern

    I think in most retrofits it is put on the inside of an outer wall. It can be in a telecom box too provided the box isnt exposed. In my set up, the cat5e goes to under the stairs where I have a patch panel, switch and router. You can see Telecom boxes for sale on Irish building websites. That should give you an idea.

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,961 ✭✭✭✭Lumen

    Do you have a view/opinion on how to get services in and out i.e. through the wall individually, through the wall in a duct (with some kind of grommet?), or under the foundation? Is retrofitting ducts under foundations even possible or practical?

    So, for instance, I could put in a new duct, say through the wall above the DPC, seal it around the perimeter (outside) and then use grommets around each service cable that goes through the duct?

    Does that make sense? Am I talking gibberish?

    It seems like this ought to be solved problem.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,519 ✭✭✭Yellow_Fern

    I am not sure if retrofitting ducts in the foundations is possible. Ideally you want to run several Cat 6 in a flexible ducting pipe. Ideally youd use grommets like these from proclima I think most are not so thorough and just use expanding foam which is not as durable and will leak air if moved. I think you will see very neat high performance solutions in new passive houses. In retrofits, the quality is less sadly. Dont assume the external insultation will do it well. You have to find a solution that you want and direct them to make it happen.

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