Anyone who has dealt with Ethernet cables knows what it is like when a locking clip breaks and the cable constantly pops loose afterwards. Is there an easy DIY way to fix the cable, or is it simply better to replace it?

Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.

Photo courtesy of tlsmith1000.

The Question

SuperUser reader T… wants to know how to repair an Ethernet cable with a broken locking clip:

I have a 10 meter long Ethernet cable. One plug has the little locking clip missing, just like the part outlined in the red ellipse in the following picture.

How can I fix it? Is this something I should even attempt to fix myself, or is it better to replace the cable?

Is there an easy DIY fix that T… can employ, or should the cable be replaced with a new one instead?

The Answer

SuperUser contributors GrossT and user55325 have the answer for us. First up, GrossT:

If you don’t want to replace the cable or install a new jack, you have a few options:

1. Glue it into a coupler or a short extension like the ones shown below (with the coupler you will need another short run of cable on the other side):

2. Repair it with a zip tie. Use this guide for instructions:

Followed by the answer from user55325:

It’s entirely possible to cut off the plug and install a new one, but you will need a crimping tool. It’s about $15. The thing is, your local store will probably charge you more than $15 for a cable – even if you buy it online, it’ll probably be close to that when you take shipping into account. Therefore, it’s cost-effective in my opinion, even if you only need it occasionally (and those pieces tend to break somewhat frequently, in my experience).

Also, if you ever need to run large amounts of cable, it’s much cheaper to buy it in bulk and cut it yourself.

Don’t forget to match the plug type to the wire type – stranded or solid (in your case, the wire is almost certainly stranded).

As you can see, there is more than one way to repair a cable if you are up to tackling a quick bit of DIY work. Interested in more repair options? Then make sure to read through all the replies left on the discussion thread linked below!

Have something to add to the explanation? Sound off in the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.

Akemi Iwaya
Akemi Iwaya has been part of the How-To Geek/LifeSavvy Media team since 2009. She has previously written under the pen name "Asian Angel" and was a Lifehacker intern before joining How-To Geek/LifeSavvy Media. She has been quoted as an authoritative source by ZDNet Worldwide.
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