Smart Home & Appliances forum

Resolved Question

Existing Home Cat5 Wiring HELP!!!!!!

by vegaskoop / December 17, 2012 3:34 AM PST

Hello All,
The home I currently live in was built in 2005. It is a two story home with approximately 12 phone jacks. I do not have any type of "smart panel", just a box on the outside of the house where all the lines (phone, tv) come into the house. I recently pulled the plates off my phone lines to determine if cat5 had been ran. What I found is confusing for me. In all the rooms there are (2) lines behind the plate. Both appear to be cat5e (as printed on the wire - TIA/EIA 568-B.2). So instead of just one blue cable housing 4 pairs I have two blue cable's housing 4 pairs each. What is connected to the phone jack is one pair from one of the housings and one pair from the other housing. The colors connected are white and white/blue.

On my first floor we have a coat closet. Inside that closet is coaxial, power and phone line. Behind this phone line plate is only one set of 4 pairs instead of 2 sets of 4 pairs like the rest of the house.

I don't understand why I have what appear to be 2 cat5 lines in all the rooms.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

vegaskoop has chosen the best answer to their question. View answer
Answer This Ask For Clarification
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Existing Home Cat5 Wiring HELP!!!!!!
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Existing Home Cat5 Wiring HELP!!!!!!
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Best Answer chosen by vegaskoop

Collapse -
2 wires is all that is needed for a phone.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 17, 2012 6:36 AM PST

And we could use cat5 for the phone so no big mystery there. If you wanted to run a network you have to wire it as needed. There are a lot of tutorials about proper pairs to what pins on the Ethernet jack so you couldn't be asking about that?

Collapse -
Thanks Bob
by vegaskoop / December 17, 2012 6:52 AM PST

thank you for taking the time to respond Bob! I have done a ton of research on-line and found plenty of diagrams once I'm ready to terminate the phone jack.

My confusion surrounds the reason I have, what appear to be, 2 cat5 lines in each room. If there was just one cat5 line I would feel more comfortable with the idea of each room was a home run from the main source. But that second line leads me to believe it connects to the next room. Does that make sense? I was hoping to get some feedback before spending the money to have a pro come out and look. I have a great picture but can't seem to find a way to upload.

thank you in advance to anyone who responds to my posts!!


Collapse -
First some humor.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 17, 2012 7:13 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks Bob

"The nice thing about standards is there are so many to choose from." - Unknown.

As you know your Ethernet over twisted pair is a "home run" technology it is indeed a little bizarre to see what you have.

However it would be possible to leverage what's in the wall if we remember our basic networking classes. That is, there could be a source for all this cat5 in a closet and if there is only one run to the first room then we have to think about what we could do to use the next run.

Let's say we put the internet gear in that closet. Mind you that I'll set it all up as if I was doing this and see if you follow.

1. The cable modem (dsl, cable or other) goes in that closet that feeds that first run.
2. Now in the first room I have a choice to make.
a) I don't need a jack there which means I splice it to the next run.
b) I install the usual router+WiFi box there and that uses the cat5 from the closet with the cable modem and that cat5 from the cable modem goes into the WAN port.

3. To continue to the next room if I used option 2b I wire from the second run to a LAN port of the router. Other devices in that room can go to the other LAN ports or be WiFi.

4. At the second run it's just a port on the router+WiFi LAN so either it goes to a PC/device or to an UPLINK port of a simple Switched Hub. Just like in the first room we use other ports on the Switched Hub for devices and if we want to continue to the next room where step 4 repeats for a maximum of 4 or 5 times.

Hope this helps,

Collapse -
I need that!
by vegaskoop / December 17, 2012 8:12 AM PST
In reply to: First some humor.

thanks again Bob. What you said does make sense.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions


$16,000 used SUVs

Whether you like your SUVs cute or capable, or some blend of the two, we've got a wide variety of choices in Roadshow's first collection of Editors' Used Picks.