Gilles' Outlet

September 30, 2007

lnstalling a Cable Jack

Filed under: House Remodelling — Gilles @ 5:38 am

A cable jack is installed.

 
Skill Level: 1 (Very Basic) Time Taken: About 5 minutes

New houses are usually pre-wired for cable, phone, Cat5e network… In old houses, it is sometimes necessary to add  new cable jack.

The materials for this project. From left to right:

  • A box of "no tool" type cable connectors. There are two kind of connectors: the ones which require a special tool to be installed (the connector is pressed in place onto the cable) and the tool-less ones,
  • A cable jack designed for in-wall box mount,
  • A face plate.

These items were purchased at the local Home Depot.

Left: The box for the cable jack has already been installed and the cable was already pulled.

The cable was cut so there is about 5” of play. 

Right: I used a sharp utility knife to remove the first layer of insulation (the black plastic). I exposed a little less than 1” of the conductor.

It is critical to not cut deeper than the insulation. If so, you will cut the wire and the jack may not function.

Left: I use a pair of cutting pliers to cut the outer wire mesh. I cut the mesh so only 1/4” was left. Again, I made sure not to damage the central conductor.

Right: I used wire stripper to remove the insulation protecting the central connector.

Left: I ensured that no part of the wire mesh was in contact with the central connector (aka no short circuit).

I twisted a cable connector onto the wire end. I made sure that it was locked in tight.

Right: Detail of the connector: the central conductor protrudes about 1/2”.

I visually inspected the work to make sure no wire mesh was in contact with the central conductor (no short circuit).

Left: I treated the connector nut onto the back of the jack and screwed it tight. I hand tightened the connection. I did not use any wrench or tool to avoid over-tightening.

Right: I carefully folded the cable into the box avoiding to bend it or kink it. I threaded the screws provided with the jack and tighten them using a flat screwdriver.

I positioned the face plate and threaded the provided screws. I tighten the screws with a flat screwdriver.

That is all there is to do. The next step is to test the newly installed jack.

NOTE: I have witnessed cable company technicians install new cable jacks. They do not go through all this trouble. The just drill a hole in one of the wall, all the way through, pass the cable into it and install a connector at the end of the cable. This practice creates a large cold air draft through the hole, not to mention an easy way in for bugs. It is a shame, provided that this operation only took about 5 minutes, time to take pictures included.

To avoid the air draft, I plugged the hole in the wall with insulating expanding foam, installed an electrical box and threaded the cable through it. The foam makes the hole air tight and the box, besides being required by electrical code, makes it a little harder for bugs to go inside the house.

Tools Used:

  • Flat Screwdriver
  • Utility Knife
  • Wire cutter

Materials Used:

  • One "no tool" cable connector
  • One cable jack
  • One face plate

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