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August 25, 2021

When to use a 5 inch steel square outlet box

Aug 25, 2021, 00:04 AM by Eaton Crouse-Hinds

There are multiple outlet boxes and covers on the market today, but not all are ideal for low voltage cable installation. 

Today, there are more and more building specifications calling for cat 6a cables to support VoIP, CCTV, data networks, fire alarms and similar devices. Plus, there is a continued need to visually differentiate between fire and communication cabling, conduit and outlet boxes. 

These specifications can be found on both new and retrofit projects, such as education, government, healthcare, hospitals and commercial buildings.  

When selecting the right outlet box to meet these specifications, it is critical to understand the requirements of the cat 6A cable and the application-specific color coding. 

While the standard 4” and 4-11/16” outlet boxes can accommodate multiple conduit and cable sizes, they don’t properly allow for the minimum bend radius of cat 6a cables. The cat 6a cables are heavier and less flexible than their counterparts and require a larger outlet box to help ensure the minimum bend radius.   

This is where the 5” square outlet box comes to the rescue. A 5” steel square box is designed to support the need for larger capacity cable and conduit terminations.  It can easily accommodate the 6a cables with the proper bend radius of at least 1 inch as per ANSI/TIA-568.0-D. 

Regarding application-specific color-coding specifications, many manufactures offer painted outlet boxes. However, they often are made-to-order and result in longer lead-times.  

Eaton offers the Crouse-Hinds series 5” steel square outlet box to meet the requirements for cat 6a cables and painted boxes. This solution provides a larger cubic capacity of 67 cubic inches and is designed to accommodate cat 5, 5e, 6 and 6A cables, as well as Rigid/IMC cables and EMT conduit. These boxes are stocked in a natural finish, red for fire applications and blue for data and communications.  

Plus, the Crouse-Hinds series adapter plate, model TP5CP, accommodates the use of readily available 4" square box covers, mud rings and tile rings.