How to Run Ethernet Cables Through Your House

Rachel and I just bought a house and we hired an electrical company to ground our house and I asked them to run ethernet through the house. They offered their services at a super affordable price, but as a result, we were left with some shoddy work. And with a tight timeline and COVID restrictions going on, we just wanted them to ground the house and get them out of there. After about a month of us living inside the house, I’m finally able to start catching up on cleaning their messy work. So that’s what we’re covering today.

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How to Run Ethernet Cables Through Your House

If your house is finished, there is no easy answer. You’re going to need to drill holes in your walls, fish the wire, add connectors and then screw them onto the wall. It’s a pretty tedious process but since most of us rely on a solid internet connection. I’d say it’s pretty worth it.

The Best Time to Run Ethernet Cables through House

Any time you plan on adding pot lights, outlets or any electrical work this is when you should think about other stuff you’d want to add to your house like; ethernet cables, coaxial cables, etc. Because when you’re cutting holes in your wall and what not if patchwork is required you can do it all at once.

For our scenario the electrical company we hired to ground our house had to drill a bunch of holes in our walls already, so adding an ethernet cable technically shouldn’t be too difficult. So I’m grateful that they’ve done the hard work of fishing the cables through the walls. But it’s left with me to finish the other 40% of the work so that what I’ll be able to walk you through here.

This process was a headache and a half so if you’re doing this yourself or still have the contractors in your vicinity to tell them what to use. I’d highly recommend buying/using cables with the RJ-45 connector molded on. Because as you’ll see below it takes awhile to get this setup and theres a high margin of error.


Equipment Used

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Optional but Helpful Equipment

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How to Connect RJ-45 Head to Ethernet Cable

If you’re in the predicament of having ethernet cables without the head there are a variety of ethernet connectors out there (push-through, punch-down, etc.) all of them which… suck! So if you’re like me and don’t have any of those tools the best connector to use are these Snap-in Ethernet Clips.

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Strip Your Ethernet Cable

Ideally, you’d use cable strippers to take off the cable jacket. But in this case, I couldn’t find them so I just used scissors. It’s fine cause the individual wires usually have a protective mesh to cover it all and then the pairs are wrapped in foil. But it’s best practice to use a cable stripper like this.

Aim for about 3/4 of an inch cause then you wont have too much excess wires but it doesn’t really matter as long as you think you’ll be able to get those wires into the correct spots.

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Insert the ethernet wires in pairs

So based on your region or something there are different ways to wire the ethernet cable apparently. For our house, we got a cat-6 ethernet cable and the supposed wiring code is called: T568A. I’m not sure what the difference between them is but this was helpful to figure out what I should use. I’m pretty sure that T568A is the most common ethernet wiring code so when in doubt just use that.

The colouring code for that is:

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Blue + White (Blue)

Green + White (Green)

Orange + White (Orange)

Brown + White (Brown)

Use the Plastic Cover to Push the Wires In

So the cover is a great tool to use to help push the ethernet wire pairs in. You’ll know you’ve done it correctly when you see the little metal bits showing. The connectors I had had two cutting for each wire as shown below.

This took about ten minutes a connector to do. I had no tools so it can definitely be quicker with more practice and better tools but nonetheless it gets the job done.

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Repeat for the 4 Ethernet Pairs

Once you get all the ethernet cables in you’re pretty much good to go! It technically works once all those wires are in so all you need to do to clip it in is hook the back in the divet and then push it in. You’ll hear a click cause they have these clips on the side. It’s supposed to keep it corrosion free and be a pretty secure connection but I guess only time will tell.

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Test Your Wiring

So provided you have internet in your house set-up already the easiest way to test it is to just plug your computer in! We have a 2018 MacBook Pro so unfortunately there’s not actual ethernet jack so I needed to use a USB-C hub to make sure everything was groovy.

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Turned off wifi, connected the ethernet cable (via USB-C hub), test out a couple of sites and obviously a speed test (aiming for 1000 Mbps). Everything looks good so we can make it permanent now

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Install the Wall Plates

So as you can see with the hole our electrical guys made are a little too big. And there’s no way for me to really screw the plates onto anything. So something I’d recommend getting are these. They’re good cause our walls are pretty shallow and these are only at max 2.5 inches deep so that works for us. So I’d recommend these for anything you need that doesn’t involve high voltage.

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I just kinda assumed all wall plates and ethernet connectors were universal but boy was I wrong. They are so variable and so different among manufacturers its tough to figure out what will fit. So if you’re choosing your own pieces I’d recommend sticking with the same manufacturer/seller. but if not this is what I used and they fit with each other!

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Push the excess wire within the wall (dunno if this is proper practice lol but its what I did) then attach the plate on to the plastic mount and you’re good to go!

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Resources

  • https://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/7431/how-do-i-run-cat-6-cable-in-existing-drywall
  • https://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/7270/how-do-i-run-ethernet-cable-through-a-wall-cavity
  • https://forums.redflagdeals.com/running-ethernet-cable-finished-home-2081015/
  • https://www.wikihow.com/Install-Cabling-in-a-Pre-Built-Home
  • https://www.reddit.com/r/DIY/comments/2c3tom/how_easy_is_it_to_put_an_ethernet_cable_through_a/
  • https://lifehacker.com/how-to-wire-your-house-with-cat5-or-cat6-ethernet-cable-480020760

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