I'm running some basic lines at a factory and I have basic training on punchdowns and where I am allowed to run the cable(in this case, CAT5e/6). I need to run a maximum of about 200 feet of cable.

Is it better to put my box of cable at my start point and actually pull it? Or, should I cut my overestimated length and 'unspool' it on my scissorlift/ladder as I move around the factory?

  • 1
    Don't take it wrong, but professional cable deployment requires thorough knowledge, a nicely done job and error-free certification of the plant.
    – Zac67
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 20:59
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    I don't think we can give you an answer without seeing where the cable is run. There's no "right" answer here. Whatever makes most sense.
    – Ron Trunk
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 21:01
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    Pull-from-box is the industry norm. The process does require two people -- one pulling, and the other feeding from the box. I've watched this done with 16 boxes at a time. The key is making sure nothing gets kinked or snagged (and thus ripped open)
    – Ricky
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 22:10

2 Answers 2


The usual way to do this is once you have properly set up your pathways (see ANSI/TIA/EIA 569 Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces) is to have a pull-string. You use the pull-string to pull the cabling from the WAO to the TR, or vice versa, from the loops in the box of cable. A part of what you pull is another pull-string. You are supposed to leave a 10' service loop at each end.

Remember that exceeding the maximum pulling tension or the minimum bend radius (see ANSI/TIA/EIA 568 Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard) can permanently damage the solid-core cable that you use for horizontal cabling. Removing the cable from the box first, it is easy to exceed the minimum bend radius by kinking the cable. The solid-core cable is much more fragile than the stranded cable that you use for patch cables.

Cable installation should really be left to a certified professional with the proper experience and tools. For example, do you have the correct (read expensive) cable tester than can test each cable to meet the full test suite for the cable category? A certified installer will test each cable, correct any problems, and provide you with a full report for each cable.

  • Thank you all for your answers and comments. I'm 1 of 2 members of the IT department for a small company, won't be getting help from my teammate, and these runs will be for a camera system that is not mission critical. The owners know the lines won't be certified and are OK with it, these are kind of 'practice runs' before we buy certifying equipment. As Jonathanjo recommended I'll just have to be careful.
    – Cand3r
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 15:02
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    If you're going to do this, I'd suggest renting a really good certifying tester for a few days and learning how to do it. Costs a few £hundred for a week. You'll know how good or bad a job you've done on your few cables, and you'll be a really well-educated client when you're paying for others to do it.
    – jonathanjo
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 19:57

I entirely agree with previous answer that you really want a professional outfit with the correct test gear to properly pull, terminate, label and test each wire. And redo anything that fails certs. You have to make sure you have good specifications though, and many of the expensive test manufacturers will provide good sample contracts (which more or less specify you use one of their testers.) Many of the specs the cables have to satisfy are terribly difficult to explain, never mind measure, but you need them if you want to run your cables anywhere near the spec (for distance and speed).

Most Pull-It-Cheap outfits skimp dreadfully in my experience, and it's an incredible amount of effort to get them to fix things or make good the labelling or testing.

If for whatever reason you can't get a fully professional outfit, in my opinion the next best are the people who will actually use it: ie the client's IT team or similar people, who are interested in how well it works, and who can take the time to do it at least carefully.

Just some experience from the field.

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