A while back, I received a call from a client after a robbery asking me if I could help him access footage from the camera, as he was unable to. We discovered he hadn’t had power going to the camera for months because of faulty wiring.
While setting up a security camera, ensure that your camera is powered with a reliable power supply. A huge part of installing a security camera revolves around ensuring it is powered around the clock. A security camera has to work 24/7.
Different types of security cameras require different powering methods, such as wireless or POE.
Steps to Power a Security Camera
The following are tips and ways to install a power supply for your security camera. For our first method, we will be focusing on POE. (Power over Ethernet)
You’ll need various tools and supplies to power a security camera. The tools and suppliers differ based on the type of security camera you are using.
- Power over Ethernet (PoE) injector
- Ethernet or power cable
- Fish tape
For wired security cameras, you will be able to power up the security cameras and make the system reliable by trying the steps below:
Find the Correct Camera Location
Finding the right place to locate the camera is necessary, as the more accessible the location is, the more easily it can be installed and powered. Identify the security camera location that is not only accessible to you but also not reachable to trespassers or outsiders.
Make sure the security camera has a good view of the area, is protected from weather, and nothing interferes in its way. This will ensure that the power supply given to the camera is not exposed to sunlight or rain.
Assess the Wires’ Route
After marking the location, you need to determine and decide the route for the cables and wires to assess the path the security camera data and power will pass. (1)
Remember this rule of thumb; the more distance there is, the more difficult the power source installation is and the more vulnerable it is.
So, we suggest you choose a short route for the cables and wires to power up the security camera, which is conveniently buried into the walls or ground. Measure the cable length required for the camera, making the installation process easier.
Obtain a Cable
After determining the route, the next step is to get the material ready for the cables. Although there are different ways to power up the security camera, you’ll need a Cat6 or Cat5 cable for a PoE security camera.
Ensure the cable is long enough to be connected to the nearest hub, plug, or swath end. Through this, you can power the security camera with the Ethernet network cable and make the power reliable.
Remember to use good cables that power your security camera uninterruptedly and provide you with data simultaneously. Don’t forget to protect the cables by following the next step.
This is key to making the power source reliable and your security camera stable against any damage. Since power is the fundamental element for the security camera, ensuring the cables are protected will make your system robust.
Don’t hesitate to invest in good-quality wires and shields! The difference may not be visible and observed firsthand, but protecting the cables is necessary to make the security camera durable for the long term.
You can use different conduits to protect your cables:
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
- Flexible Metal Conduit
- Electrical Non-Metallic Tubing
- Intermediate Metal Conduit
- Electrical Metallic Tubing
Obtain the conduits best fit as per the needs, considering the weather conditions, wild animals, or kids near your location.
Tip: If you decide not to use conduits, make sure you leave drip loops. It will prevent water from entering the power outlets.
Mark the holes for entering the cables and drill holes in the identified positions. By drilling, you can power the security camera through walls, ceilings, sidings, etc.
Drill where the outlet is determined to be, and analyze the inside to ensure no obstructions. Ensure the drilled hole is wide and suitable enough for the wires and cables to fit.
If you chose a Cat5 or Cat6 Ethernet cable for the security camera, drill the hole from the camera to the router or network video recorder. If the length is longer, you can add a PoE injector that adds power to the Ethernet cable.
Remember to drill holes with less effort and slowly to avoid making extra space that affects the cable’s longevity. Also, avoid drilling in an exterior wall to strengthen the resilience against external conditions.
Setup Cable Protection
Insert the cables in the conduits that will safeguard them from wild animals, trespassers, children, birds, and extreme weather. This will ensure that the cables work non-stop and for a longer time.
Conceal the wires inside the conduits either outside in plain sight, or bury them after covering them up with the conduits. If the camera is a few feet away from the power source, bury the power cables in wire ducts.
When using PVC conduits, bury the cables at a minimum of 18 inches and 6 inches deep while using metal conduits. Ensure that the cable protectors’ ends are also covered to protect them from weather conditions, vandalism, and external damage.
Install the Wires
The second last step of powering the security camera is to pull the wires. You might need another person; one will ensure the wires are even, and the other will pull the wires. This will protect the wires from damage to the outer material and the cables.
Pull the wires slowly to make sure that the wires are not entangled. Follow the following simple steps:
- Attach one end of bare wires or the conduit to the fish tape
- Twist the tape to make sure its sticks and is attached correctly
- One person must fish the security camera wires from one end to the end.
- Pull the wires by one person standing at the end.
Attach the Cables with Power Supply and Camera
You’re almost done powering the security camera! Once the wires are fished, the last step is to draw them toward the power supply source. Connect the cables with the camera and then the power source.
For this step to be done successfully, don’t forget to follow your security camera’s device instructions for more details.
You may want to check the video below;
Best Way to Wire the Security Camera to a Power Source
If you have an analog camera, it’s best to use a version of the 3-wire to transmit data and supply power through the same cable line. The RG59 cable is much more robust than ethernet cables and can be reliably used for longer distances. Here are some tips.
- Ensure the power source has enough power to support the cameras, even at night when night vision turns on.
- Keep the cable length as short as possible. This will make it easier to run wires and minimize power loss due to the resistance of the wire.
- Protecting the wires from direct sunlight may harden the wire’s insulation, causing it to break easily and exposing the core to the elements.
- Use cable concealers to hide the wires.
The best way to wire a security camera to a power source is to use a PoE-enabled camera and a PoE switch. PoE, or power over ethernet, is a way to supply power to a camera via an ethernet cable, the same cable through which a camera transfers data. However, ethernet cables have a limited length. (2)
(1) route for the cables – https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/cable-route
(2) transfers data – https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/d/datatran.htm
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