Patch panel termination

sw_ross

Senior Member
Location
NoDak
I have never terminated a patch panel, only terminated the "other end" of the cat5 (rj45's and keystone jacks).

This hotel lobby remodel has a patch panel on their rack that half terminated with cat5 runs that are abandoned. There is a new IT guy that was hired. He is overwhelmed with getting oriented in his new position, so they have asked me to do all the cat5 terminating while he gets his "stuff" together.

He says I can remove the cat5's that are currently terminated to this existing patch panel and terminate our new runs to it.
Is that true? Can you pull out the "punch down" terminations and then re-punch you new terminations?
 

sw_ross

Senior Member
Location
NoDak
That's the plan according to the IT guy.
Re-use the spots that are currently punched down by the abandoned cat5 runs.
 

sw_ross

Senior Member
Location
NoDak
When you punch down your termination, whether it be on a keystone jack or a patch panel, is it possible to remove the wires and re-use the device, punching down a second time?
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
Patch panels can be reused. Just be careful when removing the old wires not to damage the metal "teeth". You can use a spudger to pull the wires out one at a time.

 

Crolie4

Member
Location
US Fargo ND
Occupation
Apprentice Electrician
Ive done it. Just be careful and use a knife or something to remove bits of wires.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

GMc

Senior Member
As long as your new cabling is Cat5 you will be fine but if you are running Cat6 you should be using the appropriate punch blocks or keystones.
 

d0nut

Member
Location
Omaha, NE
Depending on how many new cables you have, it may take longer and be more expensive to try to reuse the old patch panels rather than just buy a new patch panel, cut the cables from the old panel and reterminate the active cables to your new patch panel. You could give the IT guy the old patch panel to clean up when he gets time.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I say yes, you can pull and re-use a punch-down block as long as you pull straight out.

Having said that, I find they often add unnecessary chances for mis-wires when cables can be more directly terminated.

What I mean is why use a patch panel and jumpers when cables can plug directly into a switch or router?

Unless you're in a situation where cabling is regularly re-configured, what's the advantage?
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
I say yes, you can pull and re-use a punch-down block as long as you pull straight out.

Having said that, I find they often add unnecessary chances for mis-wires when cables can be more directly terminated.

What I mean is why use a patch panel and jumpers when cables can plug directly into a switch or router?

Unless you're in a situation where cabling is regularly re-configured, what's the advantage?
You mean crimp plugs on the ends of the cables instead of using a patch panel? GOD NO! YOU NEVER WANT TO FIELD TERMINATE CABLES WITH PLUGS UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!! I don't care how good you think you are, they always are going to be problematic somehow.

As to the original question, yes, just pull the old cables off and punch down the new ones. But make sure you do it right. What is there might not be acceptable.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
You mean crimp plugs on the ends of the cables instead of using a patch panel? GOD NO! YOU NEVER WANT TO FIELD TERMINATE CABLES WITH PLUGS UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!! I don't care how good you think you are, they always are going to be problematic somehow.
You mean when terminating them, or later? Example?
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
You mean when terminating them, or later? Example?
Not sure what you mean. I'm just talking about pressing plugs on cables to connect the cables directly to equipment. The problems are having to know the 568A and 568B color codes and which to use, high incidence and cost of having to re-do plugs because the conductors are messed up or not installed properly. You only find that out when you do your testing and you have to figure out what end the problem is on. Then there is the problem of intermittents. With jacks and patch panels you can look at them and see what has been miswired and fix it. They are well marked so problems don't happen nearly as easily.

I dont think "plugs" are a thing.
As an apprentice, you need to understand that RJ45 is not a "thing" but has become slang for an 8 position, 8 contact plug. The thing that you press or crimp on the end of a data or voice cable is a plug that connects to a jack.

I've heard people with particularly low intelligence call them "ice cubes".

There are RJ11, RJ14 that are 6 position 4 and 6 contact plugs as well as the RJ31X alarm jack that takes an 8 position, 8 contact plug.

-Hal
 
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petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
If you are going to redo a bunch of them I think you are better off just using new blocks. They are cheap. The tool for removing the conductors from punch down blocks is not all that easy to use. It is more oriented towards repair of one or a few conductors, rather than wholesale changes and reuse.

You might even be better just buying a termination panel that has a crap load of RJ45 receptacles already there so you can bring in cables that are already terminated.
 
Not sure what you mean. I'm just talking about pressing plugs on cables to connect the cables directly to equipment.
IME, most network people work have many colorful things to say if they found a bundle of cables coming out of the ceiling with plugs on them (starting with "Who's the cheap b*$*td who couldn't afford a patch panel?"). And with a patch panel you'll have close to no intermittents because once installed because nothing moves. Then there's the fun of terminating plenum cable onto plugs.....

As an apprentice, you need to understand that RJ45 is not a "thing" but has become slang for an 8 position, 8 contact plug.
YES! That's one thing that really bugs me. Sure, everyone calls them RJ45s, but some know it's the wrong name.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Not sure what you mean. I'm just talking about pressing plugs on cables to connect the cables directly to equipment. The problems are having to know the 568A and 568B color codes and which to use, high incidence and cost of having to re-do plugs because the conductors are messed up or not installed properly. You only find that out when you do your testing and you have to figure out what end the problem is on. Then there is the problem of intermittents. With jacks and patch panels you can look at them and see what has been miswired and fix it. They are well marked so problems don't happen nearly as easily.
Well, I do know both color standards, which to use, and when and why. That doesn't depend on whether you're terminating to a patch panel or plugs; you still have to be consistent and match what's already in use, if adding to an existing installation. What matters most is that both ends of each run are wired the same, unless you're making a crossover cable, of course.

Last decent-sized job I did was in a large home. I addition to two home-runs to the NID, I ran four CAT-6 cables to each of seven locations, terminated to keystones (and one coax and one blank insert) in each 6-port plate. I originally quoted the job using the customer's patch panel, and using 28 jumpers between the patch panel and the switch. In a business,

When he asked about cutting the costs, I suggested what you dislike, plugging the runs directly into the switch, and omitting the extra terminations required for using the patch panel. Besides, every caveat you mentioned equally applies whether you're terminating on punch-down jacks or on plugs: you must use the same standard and get every conductor correct.

My son and I got the runs pulled in one afternoon (single-story house, typical crawl-space work, switch in garage) and I personally made every connection the next day, 28 jacks and 32 plugs, tested every one, and all 100% passed. Maybe I'm weird (moi?), but mis-wiring almost anything just about never happen with me, even if you find it to be common-place.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
YES! That's one thing that really bugs me. Sure, everyone calls them RJ45s, but some know it's the wrong name.
Right or wrong around here that's what everyone calls them. When we order them from the supply house we order RJ45 plugs and that's what they send us. Even manufacturers label them as RJ45 plugs.

 
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