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What Is a Wiring Closet?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

A wiring closet is a room, often a fairly small room, located in the building for a company or other service, which holds much of the data panels and wiring for that location. This is, essentially, the hub of the company or building to which various computers and other systems are connected. Some large buildings with multiple floors can require a separate room on each floor for wiring purposes, though this depends on the distances between equipment and the room. A wiring closet can house a number of different types of connections and wires, including various data cords, video monitoring wires, and wiring for security and alarm systems.

While the layout of a wiring closet is typically chosen and created by an information technology (IT) or networking professional, they often have certain characteristics in common. These rooms usually hold a number of racks or panels on which equipment can be mounted, to which various cables are then connected. The cables often run from the wiring closet throughout the rest of the building or floor, and connect to computers, video monitors, and other pieces of equipment. This can be done through the walls and floors of the building, though some cables may be visible as well.

A wireless router, which is often located in a wiring closet.
A wireless router, which is often located in a wiring closet.

A wiring closet often appears overwhelming to many people, especially those without extensive networking or IT training, due to the large number of wires that may be present in such a room. To help alleviate some of this initial confusion, these wires are often color-coded and organized to make the layout simpler to understand. This makes it easier for a person who did not initially set up the wiring closet to come in and make repairs or changes as needed. Wireless routers or hubs may also be located in this room, to allow all networking functions to be performed at a single location.

Though the term “wiring closet” may indicate a very small room, these rooms and are often designed with enough space for a single table and chair. This allows an IT or networking professional to easily set up a computer and other equipment for running diagnostics and repairs on equipment in the room. Data cables running from panels in this type of room often connect to dozens of computers, and can run to various rooms throughout a single floor of a building. Security and alarm wiring also typically connect to a wiring closet, and the room is usually locked, with admittance granted only to authorized security or networking personnel.

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    • A wireless router, which is often located in a wiring closet.
      By: Scanrail
      A wireless router, which is often located in a wiring closet.