How to Wire Ethernet Wall Plates

Written by phil altshuler
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How to Wire Ethernet Wall Plates
You can wire an Ethernet wall jack in your home. (ethernet cable 4 image by BlueMiniu from

An Ethernet wall plate contains an RJ-45 jack that is designed to accept cat-5, cat-5e and cat-6 cables, also known as Ethernet cables, as they're used to connect computers and other peripheral equipment to a network. The cat-5, cat-5e and cat-6 designations signify the maximum frequency that each cable can handle. Most household applications use cat-5e cable. It's rated from 1 to 100 megahertz, or MHZ, and is more than adequate for home networks.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Wall plate with RJ-45 jack
  • Utility knife
  • Cable cutter

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  1. 1

    Pull the cable out of the wall a minimum of 6 inches. Use the utility knife to trim the outer insulation at least 2 inches. If any of the wires are cut or nicked during the trimming process, use the cable cutter to cut off the end and try again.

  2. 2

    Untwist the four pairs of wires. The connector is colour-coded to match the wire location. Do not strip the ends of the wires. The jack will pierce the insulation when it's inserted in its slot.

  3. 3

    Insert one of the wires into its corresponding slot. Some connectors require the ends of the wires to be bent at 90-degree angles as they're inserted. Follow the instructions that come with the jack.

  4. 4

    Push the wire down into its slot with the small plastic tool that comes with the jack. Repeat for the remaining seven wires.

  5. 5

    Place the plastic caps that come with the jack over the wires and snap in place. Insert the jack into the cover plate; it will latch in place when it's inserted properly.

  6. 6

    Push the cable back into the wall opening and secure the cover plate to the wall.

Tips and warnings

  • Double-check the wire colours to make sure they,re in the right slots. It's easy to make an error; the wires are small and there is not a lot of room in which to work.

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