Advice on external CAT6 connection for extending in future


Active Member
I am renovating my house which includes a full re-wire and running CAT6 throughout.

I am taking the opportunity to futureproof for potential developments such as a garden room/office/garage. I am trying to understand the options available that would make it easy to run some CAT6 to one of these developments that will have no disruption inside the property.

I am thinking of running 2 length of external grade CAT6 from the central patch panel through an external wall that will terminate, be fixed to and accessible from this wall which can then be extended using an RJ45 coupler in future. Does this sound suitable? What should I be looking at to protect/cover this?

The alternative solution I can think of is to have 2 lengths that are long enough to run to a new location but I'm not keen on this idea as it means storing the cables in something much bigger.

Are there any other solutions that I have missed?


Distinguished Member
When new building are being constructed, we often instruct that ducting is installed between them to facilitate whatever cabling we like to be installed at future date (depending on physical constraints like the cross section of the duct, size and number of cables and so on.) It also makes it easier to replace in the future.

There are some professional cabling guys lurk in this forums, so you might wait to see what ideas they have.

Personally, I prefer fiber optic rather than copper cables between buildings to reduce the number electrically conductive paths, but for a domestic install, this is probably less of a big deal, especially if the out buildings are served off the same supply as the main premises. But again, see what the professionals have to say, (as I'm not a professional electrician.)

UTP cable is designed for permanent installation is usually "solid core" and designed to be terminated onto IDC "punch down" blocks, not plugs. Plugs are designed to be crimped onto "standed" AKA "patch" cable not solid core. There are special plugs designed to be rimped onto solid core cable, so if you go that way watch out you buy the correct style of plugs for the cable type you are using.

If you are using UTP, then an alternative to the sort of inline coupler you have linked would be to dress off both internal and external cable ends onto co-located RJ45 sockets then cross connect them with patchcords. Functionally it's the same, it's more of an aesthetic decision as to which you prefer the look of if they are going to be visible. Another alternative would be to use and IDC inline coupler such as this Junction Box / Inline Coupler IDC for CAT5E / CAT6 which saves mucking about with sockets, plugs and patchcords, but it's a pretty much permanent connection once done. Again, functionally the same as previous options and is more or less an aesthetic/convenince choice. I like IDC coupler boxes that have some lugs on them that avail them being screwed to something rather than just dangling on the cable ends. I guess some adhesive could do the jab also.

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