Do you need to isolate unshielded ethernet cables?

Heidi Hanson 2 months ago updated by Shaun A Kranish (Principal) 1 month ago 1

I have a hardwired ethernet system set up in my house. The electricians used unshielded cat 5 ethernet cables. I am curious if it is necessary to isolate this cable from my grounded router.


Hi Heidi,

With the unshielded cords, there is nothing that can be isolated.  We use the Ethernet isolator for shielded cables in situations where both ends of the shielded cable would be plugged-into an Ethernet port that is groundable and already grounded.  Connecting a cable to two such devices would normally cause a ground loop, so we isolate that.  But in your case with unshielded wire there is no way to create a ground loop - there is nothing that can be isolated.