It is imperative to test a new network cable after the installation with cable testing tools. Many things can go wrong during the installation process such as cables being damaged, insulation can break and connections may not be properly terminated. In addition, electrical disturbance and environmental components can also affect network execution. Most times, after completing a network installation project, it is a requirement to produce a report stating that each and every cable passes the many parameters required. Cable testing ensures the customer that all work has been done to required standard. Testing of network cables will also prevent the client calling down the road to say he tried to patch a new port and the connection is not working, therefore it must be a bad cable.
Network cable testing largely depends on the purpose of the cabling. For instance, if it is a telephone cable, it will require less parameters during the tests, but if it is Category 5e or Category 6 data cable, it will require a detailed series of tests to ensure that it will be able to cover the needed data rate. The tests are much more stringent at this level.
Smaller, cheaper cable testers consist of a wire mapping tool which is used for ensuring that the pairs of cable are properly connected for the pin out system in use. These individual cable testers are not costly and can save a lot of time. The tool can be used to check for open pairs, swaps and shorts. Open pairs are wires that are not joined at the end. This is usually as a result of wires on either end that are not pushed all the way into the terminating pins. The smaller testers can also check for continuity and weather a cable is patched into a switch port.
A higher grade cable tester can be used to test the length of the cable. Although, there are detailed specs for all kinds of cable work, it varies based on the type of cable in use and the type of network for installation. This is why it is good practice to be careful not to exceed the limit of cable permitted for a networking project. It may look alright when designing on paper, but there is a need to check it out after the installation is completed. Network cable testing will ensure that the cable is up to the required standard.
Most often than not, when installing network cables, there is always degradation of signals as it is being transmitted along the cable lines. This condition is known as attenuation. When it increases in a network connection, signals can be lost. This is very common on faster networks. Cable testing with a good tester can be used to detect this fault whenever it happens.
It is very important to test all network cables after installation to ensure that all the cables are properly installed and terminated and that the installation will be able to deliver the level of data speed and quality required. All cable regardless of how small the job is should be tested. It does not make sense to leave yourself open to cabling problems and call backs by not testing. It also gives your company a much more professional reputation.
The tests mentioned above and many more are where a network cable testing tool is needed to validate the installations. There are other tools apart from the tester, but the cable tester is the most important. The investment in a cable tester will save you money and time in the long run. It will also keep your clients very happy and elevate your company’s reputation to the next level.