Network cabling mistakes are among the most frustrating problems to deal with. Troubleshooting them post-factum tends to be very disruptive of daily business operations, as they involve temporary loss of connectivity, checking cables that are routed through walls, floors and ceilings and so on.

What are the most common mistakes that you need to avoid throughout this process?

Here is our top 5... 

No Cable Management

Cable Management is an activity that routinely gets ignored, postponed or done half-heartedly. Poor cable management results in frequent patchwork, sub-optimum use of switching equipment, and downtimes that are longer than they need to be.Implementing cable management techniques at the start can result in tremendous cost savings, and devising a set of good cable management measures right from the planning stage is the best way to ensure early implementation.

Leaving Unused Cables Around

It’s very tempting to leave patch cables connected, even though there is no longer any device at the other end. Unused patch cables complicate maintenance, both at the physical layer and at the logical layer.

Unused cables are also easily tangled and easy to yank accidentally and with a great deal of force, which can damage connectors or patch panels. If a cable is not used, it should be removed – period.

Ignoring Installation Requirements

Superficially, network cabling seems little more than a tedious matter of running cables from one plug to another.

However, many problems arise in practice, with cabling standards, building codes and legal requirements mandating parameters like bend radius, shielding and distance to other types of cable.

Ignoring these requirements is not only a performance and reliability problem but also be a legal problem as it also presents a tripping/fall hazard.

Not Provisioning for Maintenance and Replacement

Every setup is great while it works, but the true test of a piece of infrastructure’s flexibility and long-term reliability is how easy it is to maintain and repair. Failing to make provisions for maintenance and replacement postpones this true test for what is typically the worst possible moment.

Common examples of failure to plan for maintenance and replacement include:

Running cables through areas that are difficult to access or service

Not leaving room for removing cables, so that cables need to be left in place when changing or moving equipment, increasing clutter and cabling costs.

Failing to provision and implement cable management rules in non-critical sections, leading to lengthy troubleshooting procedures when disaster strikes.

Ignoring Known Problems

Many system problems in a company network were once localized issues that seemed innocent enough.Left unchecked, these problems tend to expand. As soon as you identify a problem, you should draft a resolution plan, identify any potential mitigation options, and put in place a solid roadmap to resolution.

It was hard to limit this post to 5 mistakes, especially since it was created out of the things our engineers and technicians at TCS see every day. Cabling mistakes are more common than you might believe and more costly.

This is why we always advise working with professionals. You should entrust your cabling work only to people with a proven track record of success.If you want to make sure your office is free of cabling mistakes, contact us for a FREE, no-obligation survey.