Network Cabling and the Not-So-Proverbial Rat’s Nest

Mark Berry May 16, 2011

I decided to upgrade the in-wall cables in my home office from Category 5 to Category 6. Not a big deal since the conduit is already there, right? Well I wasn’t counting on this.

Last fall I successfully eradicated a mouse infestation in the garage, or so I thought. Turns out the mice had been not just in the garage, but in the ceiling too. The pictures tell the story.

Network wiring 001
Opened ceiling box to find the bottom of the mouse den. The low-voltage ring I used before did nothing to protect the jacks. To their credit, they kept right on working.

Network wiring 002
Grocery bag full of stuff pulled out of ceiling. Yes, that is a sock.

Network wiring 003
You can imagine why the ceiling is stained. Be glad you cannot smell this.

Network wiring 009
Pulled out a big chunk of ceiling wallboard, vacuumed in between joists, then installed new wallboard and painted. This time I’m using high-voltage boxes, not just low-voltage rings, so even if the mice return, they won’t be directly on top of the jacks.

Network wiring 010
Shiny new Nordx Cat6 jacks. Oops, got some paint on that cable!

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