How to Wire and Install a Cat 5 Keystone Jack

Written by raul avenir
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How to Wire and Install a Cat 5 Keystone Jack
A CAT-5 cable (ethernet image by Victor B from

Cat-5 cable is also known as Ethernet cable or Category 5 cable; this is a current industry standard for telephone and network wiring. Cat-5 cables contain four pairs of 24-gauge twisted copper wire pairs, terminating in a Keystone jack. A Keystone jack is a female connector used in local area networks (LANs). It is a standardised, snap-in package for mounting low-voltage electrical jacks into a Keystone wall plate. Wiring and installing a Cat-5 Keystone jack might seem to be a technical task, but the procedure is quite simple and straightforward. Learn how to wire a Keystone jack and save yourself some money.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • CAT-5 or 5e cable
  • Network cable jacket stripper
  • Keystone jacks
  • Wall plates

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  1. 1

    Remove one inch of outer covering from the end of the CAT-5E cable with a cable jacket stripper to expose the coloured twisted wire pairs inside. Remove or pry-off the cover of the Keystone jack.

  2. 2

    Place all eight wires into the centre of the jack; from there, lay each colour-coded wire over its corresponding colour-coded slot on top of the Keystone jack. Use the plastic "punch down" header that came with the jack to press the wires into the connectors. Read the instructions that came with the Keystone jack to determine whether the wires connect straight out of the back or at a 90-degree angle. The individual wires must remain twisted together to within 1/2-inch of their connection point to the jack for the data cable to work correctly.

  3. 3

    Replace the top cover of the Keystone jack. Place the Keystone jack into the wall plate from the back. Push the bottom of the jack to fasten the bottom latch, then push the top of the jack in until you hear a click. Fasten the wall plate firmly to the wall with the retaining screws.

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