How to Fix Ethernet Cable with Limited or No Connectivity

How to Fix Ethernet Cable with Limited or No ConnectivityEthernet cables form the backbone of any network. A cabled network represents the most reliable foundation for setting up a network infrastructure because of the high speeds and less likelihood of failure. Additionally, you have fewer points to troubleshoot in case of a problem with a cabled network as compared to others.

Ethernet Cables aren’t Foolproof

Being less prone to failure doesn’t make ethernet cables foolproof. These cable can be twisted, have broken clips, or get pinched during transportation. The result is a poor connectivity or no connectivity at all. You have to do something when this happens.

To Repair or Replace?

When you have a problem with ethernet cables, you have two options: to repair the cable or replace it entirely. The problem might arise from an accidental cut by the drywall guy, a situation whereby any attempt to repair the cable can’t improve the situation. Instead, it will make it worse. This is because repairing the cable requires you to remove the outer plastic covering, which exposes wires to moisture. This leads to corrosion.

Repairing the cable might also distort the electrical characteristics, which doesn’t improve the situation.

Before you start thinking of how to fix ethernet cable and looking for mistakes made by the drywall guy, you need to test the cable first.

Termination Faults

Studies show that up to 90 percent of all cable issues arise due to poor termination. Even though you are an expert at how to fix ethernet cable, a faulty crimping tool might let you down. For instance, the blade on the crimping tool might be too dull to strip the cover appropriately.

The problem might also be as simple as a broken spring on one of the modular connectors, preventing proper connection to the network jack. All these factors lead to a bad termination. You can detect a bad termination easily by use of a Time-Domain Reflectometer (TDR) cable tester. This tool characterizes and locates faults in your ethernet cable.

This tester can help you determine several issues regarding the problem at hand:

  • Know if you have a cable problem in the first place.
  • Identify the pair that is faulty.
  • Determine how far away the fault is from one end of the cable.

The result of the test will help you decide how to fix ethernet cable without wasting time. You will know whether to take out your crimping tool or to order for a new cable.

If you ran a 200ft Category 5e Ethernet cable and the TDR tester shows an open or a short at or near the 200ft point, you have reason to smile. This is because all you need is to terminate the cable afresh. On the other hand, if the tester shows you have a short at 100ft; it’s time to order for a new cable.

What do You Need for Termination?

If the results show you are a victim of bad termination, you need to terminate afresh. You need a package of RJ-45 CAT 5e modular connectors and an RJ-45 crimping tool.

Before you terminate the cable, make sure you understand your wiring scheme. Keep in mind two wiring standards exist when terminating straight-through cables. These are the T568A and T568B. You also need to understand that crossover cables use different wirings at either end.

You know the cable wiring scheme by looking at wire arrangements through the transparent plugs at the end. After you are sure of the scheme, go ahead and terminate the cable.

After terminating the cable, retest it to see whether you still have an issue with connectivity.

Take a look at the  Cable Prowler™ video below. This TDR combines the functions of a high-end cable tester and length measurement tester, with the capability to identify link status, link capability, and PoE detection. All of this is in full color and with internal memory to save and print results.

Photos courtesy of Bradford Whipple and Platinum Tools.