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The Do’s & Don’ts of Installing Ethernet Cable Wiring

Installing Ethernet cables is an interesting activity. But at the same time, it is also an intricate and possibly difficult job for those who are new to networking. Ethernet cable installation you need to pay attention to particular details because doing otherwise could later cause trouble and your network might not function as intended. For example, if you are installing Cat6a cables in dropped ceilings or relatively fragile spaces, you have to make sure that they can handle the weight of the thick Cat6a cables.

To help new networking engineers or DIY networking enthusiasts, this article explains what you should do and what you shouldn’t do to make the installation easy and the result perfect. So, let’s start.

Do’s

There are innumerable things that you can do while installing ethernet network cables. Not all of those procedures are recommended. And here are the recommended procedures you should carry out to make the installation simple, quick, and functional.

Plan and design the installation

Before you begin installing the cables, it is extremely important to plan and decide where the cables will be run. It will help you to measure and cut the cable at appropriate lengths. And depending on the spaces where you will be running the cable, planning the installation will help you in calculating the possible risks, such as crossing the cables at other electrical or data cables. 

The expert network engineer even creates a sketch of the plan – just in case he/she forgets the plan. 

Keep the cables neat and tidy

This may seem like an obvious technique but surprisingly, not a lot of network engineers follow it. Keep the cables tidy. That is a simple instruction but it makes a huge difference in making the installation process easy and effortless. Because it is common for the cables to get tangled, which can affect their performance if they suffer sharp bends and twists. Therefore buy the cables with a good quality wooden spool or with an easy-pull box. Almost all ethernet cables including cat5e and cat6 come in easy-pull boxes.

Use colors to keep the cables organized

Ethernet cables come in different colors. For example, the premium quality Cat6a cables are available in up to six colors and so are the Cat6 cables. You can use these color schemes to keep the installation process hassle-free and tidy. It will help you to easily identify the cable while running it.

Use velcro ties to bundle the cables

Managing the cables is important. It saves time and ensures safe and functioning installation. And the good ole velcro ties are perfect for bundling the cables. Because the cables should not be bundled tightly – more about it in the next part. 

Dont’s

Note that these are not the only procedures you should watch out for. These are some of the precautions you should follow and there are more precautions specific to different types of networks.

Don’t bundle the cables too tight

Bundling the cables is important because it allows clean and organized installation and functioning of the network. But if the cables are bundled too tightly, they will react to electromagnetic interference and crosstalk which will result in poor signal transmission.

Don’t run the cables parallel to other electrical cables


Again, electromagnetic interference and crosstalk will badly affect the signal transmission if they are laid parallel to electrical cables. Therefore, avoid doing that and cross them perpendicular to each other, if necessary, to reduce as much EMI and Crosstalk as possible.

Don’t use long cables

Speed of data transmission on ethernet cables has a major relationship with the run length of the cable. The longer the cable run, the slower the transmission speed. Therefore, decide the length of the cable run wisely and avoid using cable lengths longer than recommended. For example,  Cat6 cables perform at optimum capacity over a distance of 1000 feet. And the same distance is recommended for almost all ethernet network cables.

Don’t run the cables in spaces with extreme temperatures

Ethernet cables can sustain extreme temperatures to a certain degree but if the temperatures exceed the designed endurance capacity of the cable, it can catch fire or perform poorly due to extremely low temperatures. Therefore, run the cables in their designed spaces or use insulators if you must install them in otherwise not recommended spaces. 

Don’t leave the terminated cable exposed

The exposed ends of a terminated cable are prone to corrosion. It will perform poorly and eventually it will break. So, no exposed ends on a cable. Always keep them protected with at least a Teflon tap.

Conclusion

These are some of the important procedures you should and shouldn’t follow during ethernet cable installation. However, there are most tips and techniques you can follow but these will hopefully enable you to carry out a decent ethernet network cable installation. 

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