How to run network data cable correctly?

I just came back from a support call on Saturday to repair a burnt network cable at a client site. At first I wasn’t sure what the user meant when she said cable was burnt and I felt bad for her because she was without computer access for 2 days.

One of our technical specialists was dispatched onsite to take a look. He started trying to fix the cable by taping loose wires to the wall. This worked temporarily for a day but on the next day user was down again. He came back and cut the defective wire through the flooring down to the basement but didn’t have any tools to finish the job. He went with the business owner to a neighborhood hardware store and they purchased RJ45 crimpers, pliers, and wall plates to plug in patch cable to. However, they purchased the wrong pieces and instead got parts for RJ11 – phones. They called it a day and left the cut cables dangling in the basement for Monday.

Fortunately, NickA had all the cabling tools needed to finish the job. We have the crimpers, ends, cables, and line testers. We went in on the weekend to complete the job. We did have to go back to the hardware store with the business owner to return the RJ11 wall plate and replace that with CAT5E RJ45. After that, I was done in a few minutes, tested network connectivity, and everyone was happy we didn’t spend the weekend clearing mouse droppings in the basement where the cable was pulled.

Some lessons learned include 1) having the appropriate tools for the job, and 2) keep constant communications open to update sponsors.

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