was looking for some advice on a cabling job we had completed in our office.
Its cat6 (well they used cat6 faceplates and cable). I've posted an image
Of about 30 points, 3 don't work at all (fail on even my cheap continuity
tester). I'm guessing these have wires out at the back of the faceplates.
The others allow connection over the network but having looked at how
they've been terminated and from what I've seen before elsewhere it doesn't
look good/right to me.
We use a lot of high end IT equipment and I'm worried that giga-bit ethernet
will not run over this. Would appreciate an opinion on how good/bad it looks
from limited info I can give before I get them back and before I pay for
whats been done.
If you want somebody to say it looks like crap, I'll say it. It looks
like crap. Ir still may pass certification.
Since my Pentascanner can't certify Cat6 cable, I don't certify Cat6
installations as a rule. If I get asked to provide and certify 6, I
have to borrow a different tester or install it without
certifications. Just because I'm not certifying doesn't mean it
wouldn't pass certification, because all cable is installed the same
way and at least it will pass continuity.
If you didn't specify certification in your bid, you have a problem.
You can ask the original installers to certify, which they may be
unable to, or you can get another vendor to certify, which will cost
you more than if the first vendor does it.
I guess the best thing you can do is sit down wih you vendor and
express your concerns about the quality of the work and the inability
to pass even a basic test. Give him a chance to make it right and
then decide if you want to have it certified only after they pass
BTW the flat quote to certify 30 cables is 8 man hours. This would be
to certify and repair any issues but pulling new cables. Materials
Brian wrote in part:
Ack! I see 'way too much untwist and looping.
Pairs should be kept tightly twinned.
Looks like an electrician job.
Possibly crossed the whites.
The shorter runs might still do gig.
Where you have no-connect, you have an easily made case.
For the rest, it might be a fight. IMHO, they all need proper
What was the specification given to the installer ?
This job was not done by a cabling installer, or at least not someone
that have any idea how to do the job.
If there is no specification, you should not expect all outlets to be
Correct this is very poor installation quality, but if you didn't
specify the quality you want !
I don't want to be rude, but if you use high quality equipment you
should also have ordered high quality cabling system and installation.
My best advice is to hire a new installer to rip out this and install a
decent system that will meet your needs. I know this will be a pain now
but will save you a lot of pain in the years to come.
This is bad.
Please ask the installer to see a copy of the suppliers installation
instructions for each component.
I am quite sure that he has neglected the instructions:
- Pinching of the cable where the cable tie is attached ( pinched cables
has to be swapped out)
- Untwisting more than necessary (the pairs can not be "retwisted" cable
has to be swapped out)
- It seams that the wall box is not deep enough for the connector
It might be cheaper for him to remove everything him self and not send
you a invoice for the job.
I guess that you live in the UK due to the outlet, you should know that
the European/UK cabling standard (EN50173-1/-2) says that you can not
expect that all outlets work, and there is no requirement to test
installations of this size.
You have a weak case if you don't go the route of suppliers instructions.
thanks for all the advice.
The spec we gave was for a cat6 cabling installation and we were happy
enough with the brand of panel/modules being used. I had (foolishly) assumed
there were certain practices to be followed with this type of work - e.g
amount of outer cover that can be removed etc. Should we really specify to
the them we want these practices to be followed? Was assured the engineer
had 10 years experience in doing data installations, when its looking like
this was his first time doing it.
Is its really the case in UK that we could be left with 10% of the sockets
not working at all, and still be expected to pay for the work? Seems like a
crazy rule - what if they were all in the same small room?!
Anyway, leasons learned. Its telling that the patch panel (which we can see)
is very tidy whereas the bits we couldn't see are a mess.
There are no requirements for the installation in the EN50173-1/-2
standard only design requirements.
Work is ingoing to rewrite EN50174-1/-2 that has requirements for
planning and installation. It will take a at least 6 month before that
Yes, request to see suppliers design and installation guidelines before
allowing the product to be installed.
If he has done this type of job for 10 year you are not the only one
The conformance clause says something like "this is based on a
statistical approach of performance modeling" that means that the
majority of outlets should work.
There ARE certain practices to be followed. But for data, at least in the US,
there's no code inspection and/or permitting process so anyone can claim to do a
data job. But I'm not sure I'd want an electrical code type of process in the US
as data changes at light speed compared to the electrical industry. I think the
electrical code tends to be revised every 3 years and most municipalities are
using the code as approved 3 to 6 years earlier. With data this would be a joke.
Wow, I don't know how you work on either side of the pond, but if I do
a job, I expect ALL jacks to work and pass certification if
certificaion is required. My last 65 jack job had one cable that
didn't pass NEXT on 7&8 on a voice cable and that exception was
allowed. Everything else was tested until it passed. There was a
spare cable pulled to the location of the failure, and I could have
changed it out if it had been asked.
If most of this installation was into the double gang shallow surface
mount boxes pictured, I would have not liked handling Cat6 cable.
Cat 5e 350 Mhz cable would have worked and the cable has less bulk and
is easier to work with. There is still no excuse for the sloppiness
of the job, but this is a job I would have only done out of hunger.
Carl Navarro skrev:
If I hire a quality installer and gives him a quality scope of work
document I also expect everything to work.
But here there were no specification, that means that the installer only
has to deliverer the bare minimum of the international ISO/IEC 11801
cabling standard or the UK EN 50173-1/-2 cabling standard.
Those standards has no default requirements for testing or function,
these shall be in the specification of work (that dose not exist in this
There are many high quality installers available, but they often lose
jobs to installers like this one that is cheap and bad. So customers get
what they ask for.
Whatever. There are very few jobs I won't sign my name to. (Most of
those are changeouts or repairs for someone else's work) Doing a
half-assed job is unacceptable at whatever price the customer paid.
I am not trying to say that installers should not do quality work, in
general customers are lucky as quality installers does a much better job
than what they was asked to do.
If you read the European standard, the first thing you will see is that
there are no specification for a Cat6 channel, Cat6 is only about
So if the customer asked for Cat6 and got Cat6 components installed as
we have seen, the installer has done what the customer asked for.
This is already beyond the standard that doesn't require the use of
This installation might not meet the requirements for Class E as a Cat6
channel is called international and in Europe.
In general customers and installers think the the standards holds a lot
of requirements and assures a correct installation, this is not the case.
Nearly all customers will have additional requirements beyond what the
CablingGuy wrote in part:
Really? I don't have the European standard, and believed
there was only one Cat6: TIA/EIA 568-B.2-1 .
Somewhat delayed and in contrast to previous Cat5/5e stds,
it _does_ contain component specs and an interoperability
requirement. But the channel and "permanent link"
requirements have _NOT_ been dropped.
It may be a small point, but I would then interpret "Cat6
wiring" or "wiring to Cat6" as requiring all of Cat6
requirements to be met, including channel performance.
If the wording was "Wiring with Cat6 components" or "Wiring
using Cat6 part", then just about any technique would meet
Contract disputes happen because people had different
expectations. Knowing the other had different expectations
or fraud is not required but a handy way of deciding.
I agree. I don't consider a job complete until everything works. All
of my installations include testing, with a copy of the results being
provided to the customer. I can't imagine having the ba**s to hand a
customer test results indicating that some cables failed the test, and
at the same time telling them that I'm done.
Even if it passed certification, I wouldn't want anyone looking at the
pictured installation and thinking that I had anything to do with it.
Robert Redelmeier skrev:
You are wrong :-)
The Cat name is controlled by ISO/IEC JTC1 WG3 that is writing the
international cabling standards.
ISO/IEC uses the Cat name for components.
The Class name is used to describe the preformance of the channel
So a Class E channel can be build with Cat6 components.
That is correct also for the international and European standard.
There are requirements for channel and permanent link and the outlet at
But as I have said before it is based on a statistical model, that means
that the customer should not expect every outlet to be functional.
If the customer wants all outlets tested and passing all electrical
requirements that should be specified in the scope of work.
The international and European standards can not be used that way.
Cat6 means components only, if you take minimum compliant Cat6
components and join them correct, it is not 100% sure that they will
meet ClassE/Cat6 performance.
A good tender/scope of work and quality plan should avoids disputes.
Quality systems with warranty is another safe way to go.
The permitting process (or lack of) varies widely depending on the local
jurisdiction. Some areas have no permit requirements, some have very
stringent permit requirements.
Some areas require all contractors to be licensed and/or certified,
sometimes requiring a contractor to have a license for each city/county
in their service area, especially areas that have decided that the
permit process makes a good revenue stream.
The level of inspection varies widely, and probably does not include
functional testing in most jurisdictions, but if anything, the inspection
should cover physical installation practices, with attention to compliance
with fire codes, and NEC article 800, although in some areas more concerned
with revenue, the inspection process may be an exchange of a check for a
I have heard that New York City, and the Washington DC area are especially
stringent, probably New Jersey and Chicago as well. Areas with heavy
union influence may tend to have stringent requirements as a way of forcing
the use of union labor.
California now requires all low voltage installers to be licensed
electricians, as well as all electrical installers, which has created a
serious backlog as the (IBEW run) training programs are seriously
overloaded. They have had to push the effective date back several times
as a result.
It has also created some interesting situations, such as a installer
with 20+ years experience being forced to become an apprentice in a
IBEW program in order to continue his profession. He is teaching the
classes related to low voltage installation practices in that very same
Electrical codes (and building and plumbing codes) are Minimum standards
relating to life safety. There is nothing to prevent a customer from
specifying requirements in excess of code compliance.
The final say on code compliance in any installation is the local
Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), ie: the local inspector. He or she
is the person who makes the decision on if a particular installation
meets minimum code requirements. In general, they do not have the power
to force you to to upgrade an installation beyond those requirements set
forth in the currently adopted codes (and local additions/revisions)
for their jurisdiction, or in the approved plans if the installation
was specificly reviewed and approved. They also do not have the power
to force an installation in excess of code requirements to be downgraded.
OK, Cat 6 components installed according to the appropriate
instructions. I go agree that it is possible to install everything
properly and have it not work to the full spec. It should, though,
pass continuity tests. Since gigabit only requires Cat 5e, and will
likely work at Cat 5 except in the most extreme case, even a poor
Cat 6 installation should be able to do gigabit.
Among other Cat 6 requirements is one on the amount of untwist in
the pairs. If that is done there is a very good chance it will
work as designed. Even so, it will likely work at 10baseT and
there is a reasonable chance at 100baseTX even if the untwist is
excessive. Without continuity it likely won't work with anything.
Not without continuity in the wires through to the connectors.
It might work with Cat5 components if the channel meet Cat5E channel
This is only in the TIA standard, not in the International or European.
Her you have to install according to suppliers instruction.