I was hoping to rerun the Ethernet (Cat 5e) cable from the main panel to one of the rooms. The plan is to attach the new cable to the old one in the room and then pull the old cable from the panel slowly.

I removed the wall jack in the room. Then I tried pulling the cable slightly to see if it moves or not. It is not moving at all. Either it is stuck or attached to something in the junction box.

Does anyone have any suggestion as to how I can let the cable loose?

Here how it looks. Let me note that the coax cable is there as well and it is not moving either. enter image description here

  • 1
    There might be a clamp holding the cables where they come into the box. Try pushing the cables up. Possible they clamped/staple to studs inside walls. Do you know if they were added before or after finishing the walls?
    – crip659
    Oct 15 at 14:43
  • Is the cable damaged? Why replace it?
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 15 at 15:43
  • 1
    @JPhi1618 From the way that jack looks, it was not a high-quality installation (the ends should have been broken off by the punch tool, not left sticking out) and it may have other issues. Oct 15 at 16:08
  • 2
    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact, well it certainly took someone a few tries to get it punched down, but that's why I'm asking. Maybe its punched down in the wrong order, or just done very poorly. Rather than run new cable, re-do all terminations a re-test.
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 15 at 16:12
  • 3
    forget about using the old cable to pull the new cable ... it's a dead end idea
    – jsotola
    Oct 15 at 17:25

In general, there are two ways of running cables.

  • During construction or major remodeling - When cables are installed while walls are open, they are often secured in some fashion to studs and other parts of the building. This is required for electrical wiring. This is optional (generally) for low voltage wiring, but often done in order to keep the cables out of the way while drywall is installed, etc. If that's the case then you have pretty much no hope of using the old cable to pull a new cable.

  • After the walls are finished - In this case, the old cables will not be secured at all, except possibly at the ends via clamps on each junction box.

My hunch is the first possibility - i.e., builder ran coax and ethernet cables to every room, which is relatively cheap & easy during initial construction. In addition to both cables being present (most people I know who add cables to an existing house only run one or the other type, not both), the use of a full junction box instead of a "box eliminator" also points to this likely being an original installation with physically secured cables rather than a later installation with loose cables.

As noted by JPhi1618, the problem may just be the termination (jacks on the ends). Get a real punch tool like:

trendnet punch tool

and some new Cat 5e jacks and redo the ends. If the cable doesn't have any breaks, that should be as good as a new cable.

  • That doesn't look like CAT5E ethernet cable. If you want Gbit ethernet, it might be better to rewire - ethernet cable is cheap. Oct 15 at 22:00
  • 1
    Even if not stapled, cable that's been run around corners through holes in studs will not "just pull out" so the basic plan to do that is flawed. Re-terminating (with decent quality jacks) is a good plan, since replacement at this point is all the hassle of doing the run completely new - either ripping drywall and repairing or fussing with a new path that can be fished...
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 16 at 13:16

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