I want to build a Home Media Network for my new house that will have mass storage (probably about 16TB for movies and all that), that I can hardwire throughout the house using Ethernet ports, and then have separate Ethernet ports for my internet (wireless signal is not strong in our house as we have to use data from our cell phones thanks to a lack of other options).

I've basically went and mapped where I want things to go and how to get to those spots, but this is a new house build and unfortunately, my builder put the drywall up before structured cabling was able to go in, so here I am. Therein lies the issue because their electrician did the basic structured cabling of phone and TV, but I have no idea what goes where and how. See the attached picture of the various cables coming out the side of the house.

I figured this should've gone to a distribution panel and only had a single set of wires from each going outside, so

  1. is what I have legitimate (for US Code),
  2. if not, what can I do to correct it?
  3. Can anyone tell me what it is thats coming out of the wall here? I figure that black is for TV, Blue is for Internet and White is phone, but I really have no idea.

Thanks for the input!

enter image description here

  • 1
    "Wireless is not strong..." then get a different Wifi router, or add repeaters. And aside from the need to use conduits for external wiring in general, tossing wires and conduits all over the exterior will ruin your resale value. Do it the right way even if that requires professional help. Jan 25, 2017 at 16:12
  • Please add a picture showing the cut end of the cable. Right now my guesses are blue is a cat5/6 cable, the black is likely RG6 coax for TV, the white might also be RG6 since it comes out that same hole, or it might be more cat5/6
    – Tyson
    Jan 25, 2017 at 16:24
  • 2
    Also it's pretty normal to have the setup pictured for builder grade cable/internet pre-wire. Wire tracers/toners are tools that are pretty inexpensively available for identifying which wire goes where. I also agree with @CarlWitthoft when you add to this system, do it right. Fish wires that need to be fished, don't run ANY cables on the outside of the house to get from point A to point B , it will hurt resale value.
    – Tyson
    Jan 25, 2017 at 16:31
  • 1
    Also can you see those cables where they exit in the basement ceiling? (I.e. This same corner of the house, but inside) Is that are of the basement finished or unfinished?
    – Tyson
    Jan 25, 2017 at 16:46
  • Not to mention, cause leaks. Jan 25, 2017 at 16:58

2 Answers 2


If this were my house, I'd figure out where those cables are on the other side of that wall, and pull them back into the house, patch the holes, and arrange connections inside.

  • Your telephone runs are going to be terminated together, for whatever landline service you get. The telephone provider should provide a Network connection jack.
  • Your TV lines will get connected to your service provider's equipment (when you get one) or antenna/amplifier/splitter.
  • Your Ethernet drops will get connected to a switch or router connected to your Internet providers equipment. (perhaps that cell box you mention)

The only outside gear should be that provided by the service providers, and they will bring wires inside the house to your connections.

The electrical codes really don't say much about low voltage wiring, which this all is. You can run wires in walls, provide connection plates, etc. Do it safely and sensibly.

To figure out what goes where, look into signal tracers as mentioned in other comments.


Almost assuredly, the white and black cables are your CATV and the blue cable is phone (not point out the obvious). Your CATV will be direct runs to each wall plate and the colors probably are designated for upstairs and downstairs. You're telephone cabling is going to be in series, meaning that they just went from one jack to the next. So if you look inside the box of the jack located nearest the exterior entry point you will likely find the end of that cable. But, since your telephone jacks are likely in series, it is not necessary to locate that cable, only to get a new cable into any one of the telephone wall boxes.

In addition this tool will be helpful in accomplishing this task.

Klein Scout Pro 2

  • It is standard practice in most phone companies, though not necessarily electrical contractors, to make each station (phone outlet) a home run to the SNI (Standard Network Interface). A blue jacket usually signifies a 4-pair twisted pair cat 5 cable, which would be a bit much for POTS, which is generally provided with relatively inexpensive cat 3 cable. It's pretty obvious from the OP's picture that this contractor really scrimped on the phone cabling, possibly because hard-wired telephones are quickly becoming archaic.
    – BillDOe
    Mar 1, 2017 at 21:19

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