Labor premium for CAT6 vs. CAT5e

As a subcontractor, I've been asked for labor quote on a CAT6 installation. Though I have never used CAT6 cable, I understand that the cable construction and termination methods are different. I found a reference in this group to a 15-55% increase in labor for terminating CAT6 cable. Can anyone provide an experience-based estimate of the increase in labor, with a narrower margin?

Reply to
Michael Quinlan
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If it's you're first cat6 job, I would agree that yes, there will probably be a little learning curve to deal with, for lack of a better term. But it also depends on which brand of cable you are using. The cables that have the hard plastic 'I' Beam or cross beam in the center, a definitely slower to work with when it comes to terminating, though the brand of patch panel and whether or not it's modular jack panels, or punch down style, will also effect how much (or little) moving to Cat6 will effect your installation time. But if the cable that you are using has the flat tape (General Gable for example) or nothing for pair separation (most low end Cat6), installation time won't be any different than Cat5. I've found after about 2 small (less than 20 drops) jobs, my Cat 6 jack termination regardless of cable, is just about the same as with Cat5. The patch panel end is still a little slower, but I'm still working out some issues with cable dressing on the back of the rack, so that was a factor. To give numbers....hmmm....I don't think I'd put over a 15-20% premium for Cat6, if that. I'd crack the whip on my installers to work more efficiently; get the product reps out to do a little on-site training and that kind of thing.


Reply to
jtodd5 dot 1

The cables are a bit thicker, so you may find it more labor intensive to pull in tight spots. Otherwise, as far as pulling is concerned, there is no difference. The jacks and patch panels are different though. Although it depends on the actual jack design, it does take some extra time to deal with tighter twists and maybe even bonded pairs. Some jack designs are so horrible that you'd either have to pick another type or add significant time premium, some do require more concentration as the color scheme is different from a CAT5E jacks that looks the same, so figure some training time. Patch panels are tight spots by design, so you'll spend more time dressing the cables it as well as, again, dealing with the tighter twists or bonds. In general, provided you have a good design jack, if you estimate your job by itemized unit costs, don't add anything to pulling and throw an extra

25% time for your terminations/testing to compensate for slower terminations and dressing up.

Good luck!

Reply to
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