Contractor installed cat 5e instead of cat6 - AVS Forum
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Devin Clancy's Avatar Devin Clancy 06:33 PM 06-10-2014
I am closing on a newly constructed house this Thursday. Today I had a home inspector walk through with me and I noticed that the Ethernet package used cat 5e instead of the cat 6 I paid for.

It will obviously be a big pain to fix this now that the drywall is sealed up. Theoretically I could live with it since I only have gigabit Ethernet and the runs are short. My question for the forum is what would you accept as a "make good" from the builder to live with this kind of mistake on a $2500 structured wiring package?

AV_Integrated's Avatar AV_Integrated 07:48 PM 06-10-2014
This is very tough. You have to decide if you really want to live with it or not.

If you really are fine with it, then you need to decide how to proceed.

The builder will want to give you the difference between 'standard' and 'cat-6'. That's going to be their statement... their bottom line. Not a penny more.

In which case, I strongly suggest that you tell them that you have a contract which calls for cat-6 to be installed and insist, 100%, that they give you the exact product under contract.

Depending on how many runs that is, it could easily amount to $5,000+ worth of work that is necessary to open up the walls, pull the existing cabling, and reinstall using cat-6.

In fact, I strongly suggest that you go to a third party of some sort and get a quote on that exact number since you have a day to do so. Then, perhaps, you can come to some better agreement on that particular pricing.

I would make sure that you let them know right now that you are extremely unhappy with this error that is likely to cost you thousands of dollars to correct for.

I know when I wired my last house, I was actually on-site myself and marked all the wire-pull locations personally and the installer double checked every single wire which was pulled for me.

I hope you have good luck with this, but understand that the builder is not in the business to give you one penny if they don't have to or have a way out... and they may.
SMHarman's Avatar SMHarman 09:13 PM 06-10-2014

^ Good advice

Another thing to add could be the compromise somewhere in the middle.  Clearly they owe you $100 a roll saved on the cheaper cable.

 

Next, do you really need CAT6 or do you want to move in and keep your walls in shape.  There is not much that will not run well over Cat5e.

 

Perhaps you need them to go back and repull Cat6 to the locations at TVs where you will have HDBaseT Baluns for 1080/2160 (in time) TV.  But for most other locations 5 will do the job just fine for many years to come, and is often easier to work with.

 

I'd ask for what AV_Integrated said and anticipate that will likely never happen without a big fight.  Then shoot for.

*  Cost savings

*  Repull of CAT6 to n key locations where you really need it.

*  Compensation to make up for the fact it should be in all locations.

 

Are you contractor grade move in ready or fitted out move in ready.  The wall repairs and repainting will cost way more than the cable change and take time and make mess.


jautor's Avatar jautor 09:13 PM 06-10-2014
But know that it's likely you will never notice the difference - that anything we'd expect to show up in residential AV / networking for the foreseeable future will probably work fine on cat5e - as that's what has been installed in any new home in the last decade (roughly).

That said, do what AV_Integrated said and push for as much as you can get - the delta install "cost" is the absolute FLOOR of what you should get from them. If anything, look for other upgrades you can "trade" which they can do that you can't easily... Things with high labor cost that they may be able to easily absorb as they have crews available. Example - in my house the incorrect slate tile was installed in small areas around the house - the subcontractor delivered / installed the wrong material (using a more expensive, but very similar colored material). On my behalf the project manager argued with the sub, and since I was fine with the small difference in color - they got a bunch of stone sealant work "thrown in" that I was probably going to do, and would have cost me several hundred bucks... Win.
Glimmie's Avatar Glimmie 12:42 AM 06-11-2014
Simple!

Tell them it's free or you will force them to replace it as per the contract. It's going to cost them at least 4x to replace. The cheapest option is for the incompetent contractor to walk away.

p.s. make sure you get a release so they cant file a lein.
Mr.Tim's Avatar Mr.Tim 04:50 AM 06-11-2014
Golden Rule.. He who has the Gold, makes the Rules.

I had a much larger issue which seemed impossible to resolve. Then I called the bank. They said 'no problem' and stopped releasing funds. The problem was solved within a day or two after that.

While I feel jauter is probably correct and you will be fine, it's not what you want or paid for. That's like saying you wanted a red room and they painted it white.. then want to give you the difference in cost between the white paint and the red paint. What good is that? You want a red room-- you have to pay the cost of the entire gallon of paint, not the difference in cost-- and you have to pay somebody to paint the room.

I'd pay them for the materials they installed and that's about it. Or they can install the correct materials and get the contract price.

Tim
Skytrooper's Avatar Skytrooper 05:27 AM 06-12-2014
Like others said, 5E will probably be all you ever need. If it were my house, I would of been keeping a eye on them, especially when it comes to my wiring.
Devin Clancy's Avatar Devin Clancy 01:21 PM 06-12-2014
Well, I am very pleasantly surprised that the builder (and their wiring subcontractor) did the right thing and fixed everything quickly -- nearly in time for closing.

They admitted the mistake and had the wire repulled and have nearly finished drywall repair. Simply put, they never have residential orders for cat6, so they missed it on the work order. (Granted they didn't believe me until they pulled the order... But it was all handled for me quickly and honestly.)

So I am thrilled with the outcome and glad I didn't have to figure out how to fight them. For some reason they also installed an In-wall HDMI run that I didn't order too.

Thanks for the advice everyone.
ifor's Avatar ifor 09:17 PM 06-12-2014
Did they leave the cat5e in place or did they yank it out?
Devin Clancy's Avatar Devin Clancy 08:43 PM 06-13-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifor View Post
Did they leave the cat5e in place or did they yank it out?
Yanked it out. (Or at least cut off the ends at the home run!)
BPTTV's Avatar BPTTV 08:49 PM 06-13-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devin Clancy View Post
I am closing on a newly constructed house this Thursday. Today I had a home inspector walk through with me and I noticed that the Ethernet package used cat 5e instead of the cat 6 I paid for.

It will obviously be a big pain to fix this now that the drywall is sealed up. Theoretically I could live with it since I only have gigabit Ethernet and the runs are short. My question for the forum is what would you accept as a "make good" from the builder to live with this kind of mistake on a $2500 structured wiring package?
Gigabit will still use the 5E....standards are based on 100m limit...if you have a 328ft run, it may not do 1GB but will do at least 100MB...the fastest you will see on the Internet will be much lower than that....unless you plan to run multiple streams of video over the cable at the same time, or have 1000 workstations logging into a server, you will never see the need for 1GB...but I have seen 5E work with 1GB on runs much shorter than 100m.
bluewaves's Avatar bluewaves 09:12 PM 06-14-2014
Good to hear you got it fixed.

In situations like this remember that the specs you agree to with the builder are a contract, they have a legal obligation to oblige, if they don't or give you a hard time, contact your lawyer and the bank, when the money disappears things get fixed fast
ctviggen's Avatar ctviggen 08:12 AM 06-15-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post
But know that it's likely you will never notice the difference - that anything we'd expect to show up in residential AV / networking for the foreseeable future will probably work fine on cat5e - as that's what has been installed in any new home in the last decade (roughly).
It depends on what you're doing. I had a HT computer on cat5e and I had to upgrade to cat6. The HT computer couldn't record and play multiple HD streams at once, and I can record/play 5 of those at the same time with my HD homeruns. If you're not doing that, you might not notice much difference. However, if you backup a lot or move large video files, you will.
jautor's Avatar jautor 12:36 PM 06-15-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctviggen View Post
It depends on what you're doing. I had a HT computer on cat5e and I had to upgrade to cat6. The HT computer couldn't record and play multiple HD streams at once, and I can record/play 5 of those at the same time with my HD homeruns. If you're not doing that, you might not notice much difference. However, if you backup a lot or move large video files, you will.
That wasn't likely your problem. Cat5e will run Gigabit Ethernet just fine. A poor connection / termination is more likely the cause, if changing the cable even mattered.
ctviggen's Avatar ctviggen 08:00 AM 06-24-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post
That wasn't likely your problem. Cat5e will run Gigabit Ethernet just fine. A poor connection / termination is more likely the cause, if changing the cable even mattered.
I installed the network myself. I installed both the cat5e and cat6 cables. I've never experienced 1 Gigabit over cat5e. Can you tell me how that's done? As soon as I connect a cat5e cable to my switch, it senses 100mbit and I never get 1 gigabit. The computer and the switch both saw 100 mbits for the cat5e cable and 1 gigabit for the cat6 cable. In my situation, the cat6 was much faster and stopped all the dropouts I was experiencing. Unfortunately, there's no way for me to test this, as I sold that house. I'm going to install another network in the "new" house I bought, but I'll use a mixed cat5e/cat6 cable setup again and have anything that needs speed on the cat6.
jautor's Avatar jautor 09:17 AM 06-24-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctviggen View Post
I installed the network myself. I installed both the cat5e and cat6 cables. I've never experienced 1 Gigabit over cat5e. Can you tell me how that's done?
Wire all eight conductors and test them...

Gigabit Ethernet was designed to run over cat5e, there's no magic here. The difference between 1Gb and 100Mb Ethernet is that 1Gb requires four pairs - whereas 10/100Mb could run on two pairs. And since a 1Gb device is backwards-compatible, if it can't connect at 1Gb (for whatever reason - most likely a faulty/missing wire in the other two pairs), it will simply connect at 100Mb.

I'm running 1Gb all over my house, and it's all cat5e.


Jeff
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