Run these wires/cables under carpet

Re-arranging some furniture and things and need to re-run some wires around to do so, but I don’t want eyesores. I have

1.)coaxial cable
2.) an ethernet cable
3.)telephone wire.

Is it safe to have these underneath carpet?

I cannot find any of this information in the NEC book, hence why I am asking here.

1.)I assume they don’t carry enough current to cause a fire, is this true? Any risk of fire from any of the above listed?

2.)If they run together , will they cause interference with each other? If so is there a type of shielding I should look for? If so, any recommendations on brand or type?

3.)If it is safe to do so, does anyone have any tips on how to fish them underneath the carpet, besides avoiding high traffic? I have ideas, but always looking for other opinions.


Of those three, the only one that carries a significant current is the phone wire. It’s “low voltage” (less than 110V house current) but enough current to charge the battery in a cordless handset.

They won’t cause interference with each other, but none of them are the correct shape to run under carpet, and if this carpet is walked on, the ethernet and coax are not going to respond well to the squishing. The coax, when deformed, is no longer properly coaxial, and the network cable when squashed will mess up the twists of the unshielded pairs. Also, if you squash any of them enough to short them out internally various bad things could happen. At a minimum, they’d no longer work. Ring voltage on a phone line and POE (Power Over Ethernet) voltage (though you probably don’t have POE) are high enough voltage enough to be worrisome in a short situation.

On the other hand, if this is a decorative carpet in a spot not walked on, go for it.

As an alternative, you could try Wire Channel. Depending on where you place it, it could be virtually undetectable. Available at your local home improvement store.

Another option might be to run them all the way around the room, at the edge of the carpet where it meets the wall. Depending on how the edge of the carpet is tacked down, you might just be able to jam the cable in place without having to pull up the carpet. Running them under where people will walk will be visible, feelable with your feet, and, once people step on them enough, ruin the cables so they don’t work any more.

Yes, run them around the skirting board.

Put them in something like this, and lay the carpet over it.

Depending on the size cord protector you get, you may need to use a box cutter or utility knife to open one or both of the “side” channels. Be careful and use a new blade - the rubbery stuff is meant to withstand years of being walked on, so it can be a bit challenging to cut. You can probably get the coax and Cat5 in the center pre-split channel without much trouble. There won’t be any trouble interference wise with running the cables together for a few feet. Modern coax has four layers of shielding, and Cat5/Cat6 is built to be inherently immune to interference thanks to the internal twisting of the wires. Good phone cable is also twisted pair.

As noted above, coax will get squashed pretty quickly when walked on. I can say from personal experience that Cat5 cable will be ruined faster than you may expect - after a few months in a very low-traffic area in my living room, the cable jacket was split in several spots, leaving the individual wires to get chafed.

Thanks for the responses!

I actually had some wire channels laying around in the garage so after cleaning those up I put it to good use. I heeded the advice you’ve all given me, so I tucked some around the room underneath a baseboard, slightly under a carpet in some spots only maybe a foot or two of cat5 sticking out and for the parts I couldn’t tuck I was able to slide it under with the wire channel thingy. I taped the cords to the end (so the little cat 5 tab and prong/wire in the coaxial wouldn’t get damaged) and slide them under). Kind of on an angle to avoid the tack strip where the come out, but nobody will be the wiser. all of them except part of the cat5 stick out, but thats easy enough to deal with that section if it does have problems. Thanks for the advice!! I like to double check with others that have experience in stuff to make sure I don’t miss something, no matter how frivolous.:cool: