Would you accept this ethernet cable termination?

My daughter purchased a newly-constructed home from a large national builder. The wiring/cable/security contractor installed a central wiring structure box with ethernet and coax cables to various locations in the house. At the walk-through inspection, we observed that the cat6 ethernet cable terminal plugs were crimped inadequately (in my opinion). Would you accept this work? The subcontractor’s lead technician stated that this was “no big deal” and that no correction was needed.

If the contractor refuses to re-install the connectors, I will do this myself, making sure that the jackets extend into the modular plugs to be crimped correctly.

How would you test these cables (and coax cables as well)? Southwire VDV Cable Mapper? Just wait until devices are connected (computer, router, switches) and test local network speed?

See photos below. Note that the none of the cable jackets extend to the crimp point in the modular plugs.

This is what I would like:

I wouldn’t accept it.
I am sure it would be fine if the cables were never touched in the future but that is doubtful.

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Certainly not the best job I have seen but it’s not worth losing a house over. If you want to replace them yourself I suggest using the EZ-Jacks.. You do need the special crimper for these pass trough RZ-45 jacks. And a cable stripper.

Another more professional way to wire the cabinet is to install a patch pannel:

If I were you I would consider installing a POE switch with some WiFi Access points. Hardwire stationary devices like the home entertainment center, game consoles, etc. If there aren’t enough ethernet connections in an office or AV cabinet you might want to install an AP with build inn switch.


I think this is an amateur job. I would want the runs terminated to a panel and run patch cables from there. Either way, those shown in your photos are not done correctly.


Agree this is amateur.

Also agree that they should be ok
if not touched frequently, (like in a
patch panel as suggested)

You can test the coax and cat 6
with an inexpensive “meter” like this

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I would test each cable to ensure they provide (at least some) connectivity. If you have broadband in the hub, hook up an ethernet switch and connect a device by ethernet to each ethernet drop to see if they all connect to internet.

Given the shoddy workmanship, I would not be surprised if there are additional problems with the wiring. Best to check. And if there are problems, that would make your ‘request’ to fix things a more effective demand, IMO.

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those look like crimps that I would not have been happy to have for Cat5 and 10Mbit.

Given those crimps I would assume they haven’t been tested to see if they are good enough for Cat6 speed service. I’d also assume that they have treated the cables badly, might have tight bends, staples through the cables, other mistreatment of the cables that Cat6 really can’t deal with. It’s also super odd to see one different colour cable - are the cables all Cat6? is it proper cable for in wall, or is it cable that is supposed to be used between the computer and the wall?

I would be suspicious of the security system and any other wiring they did too.

When you test the cables make sure all 8 wires get tested - computers can be super forgiving and do pretty well with just some of them, but if it’s not right now, you will never get the wiring contractor to fix it in 5 years when you decide you want to use some power over ethernet gear.

Good luck - buying a newly built home is delightful and annoying.

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That’s a good call out @Cbales to “test 8 wires”

Recall cat 6 (and all the siblings) has 4 pair,
AND Ethernet only uses 2…

I would not accept it but only you know what was specified and the chances of the individual accepting your request and redoing the work.

RJ45 connectors, ideally, should not be crimped on to solid cable - although we all know that it totally “works”. Instead, solid cable should be punched down onto jacks and patch cables used to connect to the equipment. The cost vs convenience of having a patch system is totally worth it.

As for testing, I wholeheartedly agree with @occam. I would go further and ensure you are getting 1000Mb/s (gigabit) links on each cable. I had some connections once that would only work at 100Mb/s because some of the pairs weren’t properly terminated. Your mac will be able to confirm that it is seeing a gigabit switch in the network section in system preferences.

As as been already pointed out, there is no way you should ever crimp the in-wall cable runs: those should be terminated in a patch panel. (Also, I think that hand-crimping Cat6 takes it out of spec - not completely sure about that; there’s a reason I didn’t muck about with layer 1 stuff :slight_smile: )

Take a deep breath after reading some of the comments predicting doom.

No the connectors are not crimped up to spec and if you would test this wiring for performance they would not reach their theoretical speed. If your only concern is connecting to the internet via a a Cable ISP you will never notice the difference.

Be very glad that there is already ethernet in the house!

My advice:
Test the wiring with this basic tester it will show you if there is a break in the wiring and if the ends a properly terminated. If that turns out “ok” start using it and only replace the connectors if you are experiencing trouble.

See my other reply about the hardware I would use to build your home network.


No I wouldn’t accept it. I agree that testing for high speed is critical and reject or make them redo any that are out of spec.

This is what a contractor needs to certify Ethernet wiring.

Fluke Networks 4285109 Model DSX-5000 120 Cable Analyzer Module, Set of CAT 6A/Class EA Permanent Link Adaptors https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DGHAOM8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_IT8xEb94EFYAS

Oy, how does a normal person deal with the difference between a $14 cable tester, and a $11,000 cable tester. I have guesses, but no real ideas.

You may be able to rent one, or you could (with luck) find an outfit which uses them to test their installations, and pay them to test your installation. Good luck.

I could show you even worse crimping jobs, for phone and Ethernet, done by the local telco, where the jacket doesn’t even enter the shell. We’ve lived here over 40 years and have had Ethernet for over 20 and have never had a connection fail. It’s in the wall and the wires aren’t strained. Corrosion is more of a potential issue. I have had ethernet “patch” cables fail, but they have been in-room and subject to abuse.


What @tomalmy said…

I use the pocketethernet tester one in combination with the basic cable tester. It allows me to determine the distance to a possible break in a cable, length, termination, POE voltage, DHCP and a bunch of other things. Handy to have and don’t want to spend the big money on a real deal Fluke.

This is great! I love it when a company innovates by leveraging the incredible processor and display device we now all have in our pockets, which allows so much more functionality out of the gate and in the future via easy app updates. Thanks for sharing I’m buying one of these now.

Below is some follow-up for all who replied, and thank you!

My apology for the delayed response; my wife and I helped my daughter move into the newly-constructed home and have been busy with move-in activities, complicated by the Covid-19 situation.

Pictures of the (almost) completed structure panel wiring:

[Above] The orange tubes are conduits to the outside cable/fiber connection, the attic and the crawl space beneath the house. Synology RT2600 router is mounted above the structure box. Inside the box are a 12-port Cable Matters patch panel, 8-port Netgear switch and modem for the gigabit fiber connection from CenturyLink.

[Above] On the left is the 12-port Cable Matters patch panel. A bundle of 4 Cat 6 ethernet cables enters the back of the patch panel from above, another 4 cables from below. Unused coax cables are tucked away at the top of the structure box.

I removed the poorly-installed RJ45 terminals and connected all of the ethernet cables in the patch panel. The fiber optic cable was installed through the conduit from outside the house, connected to the modem pictured. Synology RT2600AC router is mounted on the wall above the structure box. A second wi-fi access point (Eero version 1, left over from a previous home, now set up in bridge mode) was placed downstairs, connected by cat6 ethernet. Wi-fi coverage throughout the house is excellent.

@MacExpert, @Mpacker, @ACautionaryTale, @evanfuchs - thank you for the patch panel suggestion. The Cable Matters 12-port patch panel is excellent.

@occam, @csf111, @OogieM - The ethernet cables were tested with a Southwire Cable Mapper; all tested OK.

@SpivR, @MacExpert - I would love to have a Pockethernet tester and will consider buying one. For this project there was not enough time to buy from the European source.

@Cbales - Yes, we declined to purchase more services (security system, home automation, distributed audio, etc.) from the builder’s home wiring partner firm. I think we made the right choice to install the basic package of ethernet cabling in various locations, the structure box and the conduits. Coax cables were also installed as part of this basic package, but these will be unused as my daughter has elected to use streaming services (Hulu, Youtube TV) rather than traditional cable company content.

This installation was timely. The internet service provider (Centurylink in the Raleigh NC area) installed the gigabit fiber connection only a few days before my daughter was required to work from home due to the CV-19 restrictions. She now has a good internet connection and reliable home network perfect for her needs.

Thanks again for all who replied. I learned a great deal from this project.