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Question Trouble With New House Networking - Wall Jack Issues

wanderica

Senior member
Oct 2, 2005
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So I've just closed on a new house, and for the first time, have a whole house wired for ethernet. There are 9 total cables terminating in a low voltage wall box (7 for rooms with wall jacks, and 2 behind ceiling plates for WAPs). All RJ45 connectors are terminated using the 568B standard on both ends.

Equipment:
Terrible cable company modem - verified working via direct connect

TPLink Router (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007B60SCG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1) - verified working via direct connect.

TPlink 16 port POE switch (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0721V1TGV/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1) - verified working via direct connect.

I have the modem feeding into the router which is plugged into port 1 of the switch. Plugging a laptop directly into any other port on the switch works great. However, using one of the wall RJ45 jacks results in no connection. No lights on the switch, no local networking, no nothing. It's almost as if every single cable in the house is bad, and I find that hard to believe.

What am I missing here? Is it possible that there is a secondary junction box that is turned off or faulty and I just haven't found it? Have I got my switch somehow configured wrong? I'm stuck here. Next step is to go to lowes tomorrow and pickup a tester, but I'm almost sure the cables are going to carry no signal as the switch does not detect them. I've even tried replacing connectors just in case, but no luck. Please tell me I'm missing something simple here. I love a wired connection, but without working cables, I can't even get my WAPs working.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
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Last edited:

wanderica

Senior member
Oct 2, 2005
218
42
91
Sorry I wasn't clear there. That's with a device connected. Modem -> Router -> switch. All wall jacks appear to terminate at the low voltage box in individual runs, and are plugged into the switch properly. With a laptop, I've plugged into every single wall outlet, and get no connectivity.
 

SamirD

Golden Member
Jun 12, 2019
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www.huntsvillecarscene.com
If you've already re-terminated ends, this is going to be a nightmare as the 'electrical contractor' who wired this as usual didn't know jack about ethernet and probably broke enough rules that it will never work and all the runs will need to be re-run. Since your house is brand new, re-working this should be covered under your new house warranty, but the contractor will fight you on it hard because it's going to cost a bundle to do it. I would first get a toning tool and see if the wires even make it where they're supposed to be.
 
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ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
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If you've already re-terminated ends, this is going to be a nightmare as the 'electrical contractor' who wired this as usual didn't know jack about ethernet and probably broke enough rules that it will never work and all the runs will need to be re-run. Since your house is brand new, re-working this should be covered under your new house warranty, but the contractor will fight you on it hard because it's going to cost a bundle to do it. I would first get a toning tool and see if the wires even make it where they're supposed to be.
I wouldn't call it a lost cause quite yet. But is agree, get a quality tone generator, cable tester, depending on jacks maybe a punch down tool
 

wanderica

Senior member
Oct 2, 2005
218
42
91
Thanks for the replies guys. I was afraid you'd all say that. The plan is to stop by Lowe's on the way home from work this afternoon, and pick up the cheapest line tester I can find, and get to work this afternoon checking connectivity.

I'll be sure to take some pics while I'm at it just in case the issue doesn't present itself. It doesn't bode well that no one has mentioned the switch itself. I gotta say, I was really hoping someone would chime in with, "Oh, that's easy. Just flip the 'Fix Everything' button to on." At any rate, I'll check some wires and update later today. Thanks again!
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
33,915
12,704
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Thanks for the replies guys. I was afraid you'd all say that. The plan is to stop by Lowe's on the way home from work this afternoon, and pick up the cheapest line tester I can find, and get to work this afternoon checking connectivity.

I'll be sure to take some pics while I'm at it just in case the issue doesn't present itself. It doesn't bode well that no one has mentioned the switch itself. I gotta say, I was really hoping someone would chime in with, "Oh, that's easy. Just flip the 'Fix Everything' button to on." At any rate, I'll check some wires and update later today. Thanks again!
Take pics of wall jacks, take a wall plate off and get pics of terminations.

Nobody mentioned the switch because you said ALL the runs are not lighting up. So it's probably something physical layer-wise that the installer did wrong. It could be something easy, like you open a wall plate and the cable is just sitting there not terminated.
 

bbhaag

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2011
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Man this could be a tough one to diagnose because you have nine wires. One in each room and two in the ceiling and you said that all nine terminate in a junction box. I was thinking that maybe hidden behind the drywall was a junction box were some yahoo connected all the wires together and then ran them down to your box but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

Are you sure they are terminated correctly to 568b? Also I like Ch33zw1z's idea of pulling off the wall plates to see what's going on behind them.
 
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wanderica

Senior member
Oct 2, 2005
218
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Long day yesterday, and I'm sorry for not updating sooner, but I did get some work done on it last night. It is definitely in the wiring somewhere. I've tested the signal on every wire, and they are all dead. I pulled the wall plates, and verified that they are correct (568B standard at both ends). I even took a few pics, but I'm not sure they're all that helpful at this point. The four unended cables at the top are run under the house and go outside for security cameras the owner may wish to install.

The network itself is up and running now, but I can't use any of the house's wiring, and I have to plug my access points directly into the switch, but can at least verify it's in the house wiring itself. I have it in as a warranty claim with the builder, who, so far, is very easy to deal with. We will see where this goes. I'm eager to see what the actual issue is!

At this point, I've even considered it may be in the attic (no ladder to get up there yet). The house came with a single motion sensor and a crappy 2002 model security panel which I had replaced with a different company of my choosing. I think the builder is partnered with a company that wants to come in and sell you all kinds of "extras" including setting up your wifi access points, hanging your TVs, and finishing the security system installation. Is it possible there's a punch-down block somewhere else that is unplugged? It would certainly be like a dishonest security company to do something designed to make you reliant on them, after all.Terminated Cat5e.jpgRouter-Switch.jpgPunch-Down 2.jpgPunch-Down 1.jpg
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
33,915
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1. How did you "test the signal" on each run?
- Get a tone generator to do this, if you don't have one already. This is like a continuity tester and will confirm base level signal end to end

2. Yes, the runs could be cut or "terminated" somewhere else. The tone generator will help determine if the cabling works end to end, and if not, gotta find where the cables go

3. Side note. Cabling is either solid copper (aka riser), or stranded (aka patch). Solid copper cable should be punched into keystones, stranded should be crimped with RJ45 heads. So depending on what type of cabling is installed, one end may need to be redone. Now's the time to get it right. I say side note, cuz this is unlikely to be the cause of a completely dead cable, unless they just didn't crimp the RJ45 heads at all.
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
33,915
12,704
146
You said new build and the network was part of the build? Have builder fix it.
Looks like that's what he's planning on. But anything you can do to "prove" the problem will help your case. Just don't change anything until you determine where the problem is, and engage the builder in the meantime.
 

Hans Gruber

Golden Member
Dec 23, 2006
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I have this tone meter. Anything that looks like the one I have is the same thing, just different colors. They work well. Watch youtube for tutorial on how to use. Basically you want to connect a Cat5e or better to a jack in any room. Connect the other end to the rectangular box. Take the probe and go to your network home base box where all the wires come out. Put it on probe mode and connect the corresponding wire to the end of the probe. You should see 8 green lights that repeat over and over down from 1 through 8.

I think the OP's connection is working, he just doesn't realize he needs to feed it with a live connection. I think he is putting a live connection in various rooms and assuming all the rooms are connected to each other instead of the network drop location. Everything starts at your network hub which is your 1st pic on the left. You could simply plug those 8 ethernet ends into your switch and then the modem. That should light up your main rooms. A tone meter is a very handy tool to have.

 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
85,593
9,685
126
I have this tone meter. Anything that looks like the one I have is the same thing, just different colors. They work well. Watch youtube for tutorial on how to use. Basically you want to connect a Cat5e or better to a jack in any room. Connect the other end to the rectangular box. Take the probe and go to your network home base box where all the wires come out. Put it on probe mode and connect the corresponding wire to the end of the probe. You should see 8 green lights that repeat over and over down from 1 through 8.

I think the OP's connection is working, he just doesn't realize he needs to feed it with a live connection. I think he is putting a live connection in various rooms and assuming all the rooms are connected to each other instead of the network drop location. Everything starts at your network hub which is your 1st pic on the left. You could simply plug those 8 ethernet ends into your switch and then the modem. That should light up your main rooms. A tone meter is a very handy tool to have.

Post 3 shows op knows what he is doing.
 

Hans Gruber

Golden Member
Dec 23, 2006
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Post 3 shows op knows what he is doing.
Post #12 says otherwise. The 1st image clearly shows the network box with a bunch of wires not connected to a switch. The 2nd image in post #12 clearly shows a switch with yellow network cables but with no blue wires as indicated by image #1. If we are talking Cat 5/5e/6 or better. Those would be straight lines and cannot connect from room to room.

We need to see a picture with all the blue networking cables with the RJ45 attached to a switch. Without that, I can guess that is the reason why the OP's network is not lighting up.
 
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ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
33,915
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Post #12 says otherwise. The 1st image clearly shows the network box with a bunch of wires not connected to a switch. The 2nd image in post #12 clearly shows a switch with yellow network cables but with no blue wires as indicated by image #1. If we are talking Cat 5/5e/6 or better. Those would be straight lines and cannot connect from room to room.

We need to see a picture with all the blue networking cables with the RJ45 attached to a switch. Without that, I can guess that is the reason why the OP's network is not lighting up.
And something on the other end of the run to activate the switch port.

But and basic cable tester or tone generator, used properly, should verify the run as well
 
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wanderica

Senior member
Oct 2, 2005
218
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91
Thanks for all the replies everyone! I have indeed tested the runs with a tone meter. I'm pretty sure I overpaid for it, but I wanted it immediately.


This is the one I picked up yesterday. It's a puzzle for sure. I've tested with an actual tone generator at this point, and get nothing. Since every single wire is dead, I'm thinking there must be another junction somewhere. Likely in the attic before dropping the cables down through the wall. Since it was all likely done before the drywall went up, however, I'm not sure I want to know how bad the fix is going to be. I should hear back from the builder today, and hopefully they can help me track this down a little easier.
 
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wanderica

Senior member
Oct 2, 2005
218
42
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Post #12 says otherwise. The 1st image clearly shows the network box with a bunch of wires not connected to a switch. The 2nd image in post #12 clearly shows a switch with yellow network cables but with no blue wires as indicated by image #1. If we are talking Cat 5/5e/6 or better. Those would be straight lines and cannot connect from room to room.

We need to see a picture with all the blue networking cables with the RJ45 attached to a switch. Without that, I can guess that is the reason why the OP's network is not lighting up.
I've worked a help desk myself, and I completely understand not skipping the simple things when troubleshooting. Thanks for pointing that out. I'm not there to take a picture to prove it to you at the moment, so you'll have to take my word for it, but the switch was connected to all 9 lines, just not when that pic was snapped. Modem into WAN, LAN into Port 1 of the switch, then all 9 lines connected to ports 2-10. This configuration produces no activity on the switch except for port 1 which is receiving a signal from the router.

Currently, I have only a WAP plugged into port 2 to get internet, and it works fine. Plugging directly into any port from a laptop with a known working patch cable works great. As I said in my previous post, though, I've now tested all lines with a tone generator, and no lines work.
 

Hans Gruber

Golden Member
Dec 23, 2006
1,195
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I've worked a help desk myself, and I completely understand not skipping the simple things when troubleshooting. Thanks for pointing that out. I'm not there to take a picture to prove it to you at the moment, so you'll have to take my word for it, but the switch was connected to all 9 lines, just not when that pic was snapped. Modem into WAN, LAN into Port 1 of the switch, then all 9 lines connected to ports 2-10. This configuration produces no activity on the switch except for port 1 which is receiving a signal from the router.

Currently, I have only a WAP plugged into port 2 to get internet, and it works fine. Plugging directly into any port from a laptop with a known working patch cable works great. As I said in my previous post, though, I've now tested all lines with a tone generator, and no lines work.
In that case. Have the builder fix it. The builder is required to warranty the new house for at least 1 year from the purchase date. I would even give the builder the bill for your tester that you bought at Lowes.
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
33,915
12,704
146
Thanks for all the replies everyone! I have indeed tested the runs with a tone meter. I'm pretty sure I overpaid for it, but I wanted it immediately.


This is the one I picked up yesterday. It's a puzzle for sure. I've tested with an actual tone generator at this point, and get nothing. Since every single wire is dead, I'm thinking there must be another junction somewhere. Likely in the attic before dropping the cables down through the wall. Since it was all likely done before the drywall went up, however, I'm not sure I want to know how bad the fix is going to be. I should hear back from the builder today, and hopefully they can help me track this down a little easier.
Yep, they probably ran two lengths for each run and joined them in a box somewhere, or didn't. Bit it's on them to fix with. But you may end up with a patch panel or two somewhere in the house and patch cables joining them. Just don't let them "splice" it like those damn phone guys like to do
 

bbhaag

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2011
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Yep, they probably ran two lengths for each run and joined them in a box somewhere, or didn't. Bit it's on them to fix with. But you may end up with a patch panel or two somewhere in the house and patch cables joining them. Just don't let them "splice" it like those damn phone guys like to do
Oh god that would be awful wouldn't it? I hate to say it but that was my initial "gut feeling" after reading the OPs posts. Hopefully that is not the case and it's something simple he is just overlooking. I guess worst comes to worst and it does come to improper wiring behind the drywall then the contractor is on the hook because it's a new construction so at least the OP won't have to deal with it.....hopefully. We all know how contractors can be when it comes to things like this.
 

wanderica

Senior member
Oct 2, 2005
218
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91
Again, thanks so much for all the help here. As it turns out, the solution was very simple, if a little annoying. I was put in contact by the builder with the company that was used to run all of the cables. The contractor that had the job of running all of the Cat5 cable, had an employee (and I quote), "that had a bad crimping tool." Now I reterminated two of the lines to test this exact scenario, and as unlikely as it seems, it was the two lines that were behind ceiling plates intended for WAPs, so I assumed that I had a larger issue. Lesson learned. Next time, redo all of the lines myself.

I'm happy to report that every line is working after reterminating the lines at the low voltage box, and my network is working beautifully. thankfully there was no super involved or expensive solution, just a tool that wasn't broken.
 
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