Ethernet cable installation can be a daunting task if you are doing it for the first time. If you make a mistake, it can be disastrous and a major safety hazard. If you have done it in the past, you can also read on to maybe learn a few tricks which could help you to smoothly install ethernet network cables.
DO’s of installing Ethernet cables
There are certain things that can ensure a smooth, safe, and efficient network cable installation, if followed. These are, however, not the only tips and tricks for installing cables.
Plan your network
It is very important that you plan and design your network in advance. This will save you time, energy, and money. Networking engineers always say, ‘measure twice, cut once’. This is true and it means that if you plan and design your network, you will save yourself from trouble during the later stages of the installation.
Planning your network means that you should brainstorm and make notes of the spaces along which you will run the cables. You should also calculate the total length of cable you will need and the spots where you will connect it with your devices.
To calculate the total length of the required cable, you can run a measuring tape along the lines where the cable will be run. Then sum up the total and you will get your cable length requirement.
Follow the safety precautions
Never ever ignore the safety precautions. This is very important because it can mean the difference between life and death. The basic safety precautions you should follow are: Use plenum-rated cables in plenum spaces and riser-rated cables in riser spaces.
All of the cables you buy should come with a safety manual. Read it and carry out the installation accordingly.
Utilize color codes
Ethernet cables come in different colors. Blue, green, yellow, and white, to name a few. Different colors are used to easily identify the application of the cables. For example, yellow ethernet cables are used for PoE connections.
If you properly utilize this color code, you will have a stress-free ethernet cable network in the long run.
Do a trial cable run
If you are new to ethernet network cabling, you should consider doing a trial run. Before you embark on the actual installation, run just a couple of cables in a room. That way, you can judge your preparation in advance and make improvements or changes, if required.
Use adjustable ties to bundle your cables
If you bundle up ethernet network cables too tightly, their performance could be affected by EMI and external noise. That is why you should never tie your cables too tightly. You can use adjustable ties such as velcro, to do that.
Keep it tidy
When you are working with a bunch of cables, the likelihood of them tangling up is pretty high. It will slow you down and the cables can be damaged, if twisted hard. That is why pull out just enough cable to work with.
Don’ts of installing Ethernet Cables
Apart from the aforementioned tips and tricks that you should follow, there are a few other tricks that you should avoid.
Don’t run the cables at long lengths
The performance of ethernet network cables is greatly impacted by the run length of the cables. If you run your cables at more than the standard lengths, the data transmission speed will be more affected by EMI, crosstalk, and the resistance of the conductor.
Therefore, consider keeping the cable run lengths short.
Don’t run cables in humid and extreme environments
If you run cables in a space that is damp throughout the year or is extremely hot/cold, your cables will age at faster speeds. You should make sure that the spaces where you will be running the cable can maintain moderate environmental conditions.
If that is not possible, you can insulate the cable with external protective sheaths.
Don’t bundle too many cables
If you bundle up too many cables together, the potential of EMI and external noise will skyrocket. The performance of your connections will decrease drastically. In too tightly bundled cables, the risk of fire hazards is also higher as compared to loosely bundled cables.
Don’t leave bare cable exposed
When you are terminating cables in ethernet connectors, do not strip the cable jacket too much. Because if bare conductor wires are left exposed to the atmosphere, they can corrode and damage your whole cable network.
Apart from these tips and tricks, a flawless ethernet cable installation requires quality equipment and cables. Make sure you buy premium quality networking cables and equipment to set up a reliable local area network.