How to “activate” a cable outlet

Last week, I showed you how we rearranged our living room. I also mentioned that we hit one snag.

What happened is that Sean swapped the placement of the TV and the couch. We are lucky enough to have a cable outlet on each of the walls in the living room. We previously had it plugged in on the left, but now we can easily plug it in on the right side. Or, so we thought.

Sean moved everything and plugged in the tv in its new spot and…. nothing happened. Ditto internet. I called Comcast (our internet/cable provider) and after being told to wait 30 minutes (nothing happened still) we finally connected to someone that informed us that that outlet wasn’t activated and that we would have to have a technician come out and activate it.

This was annoying because:

  1. We wanted to watch TV NOW!
  2. Technician visit = $$$
  3. Technicians tend to lead to an appointment “between twelve and four” meaning I’d end up having to take a half day off work.

So, I hung up angrily and we rigged up this:

long cable cord

But as I told you before, I really like this new layout. I want it to work. So I went to work on Monday and proceeded to try Googling it. Google had lots of forums with people mostly complaining about Comcast, but little actual help. So, I decided to run it by a Mr. Fix-it coworker. I explained to him that I wanted to activate an outlet. He asked me if I had seen a bundle of coaxial cables- probably with a splitter or two. He said they might be near my electric box, but I knew that it must be the big random bundle of cords in my porch closet!

So apparently, a cable cord can only hold a certain number of out wires. Mine can hold two and had two that were just… dangling. So, I randomly picked one to unscrew and screwed in the other. I then tested the internet in the new outlet… no change. I was starting to think that maybe Mr. Fix it was wrong. So, I tried the other un-attached cable, with low hopes.

activate a cable outlet

activate a cable outlet

activate a cable outlet

activate a cable outlet

Magically, I got the internet box to light up the winning combo! By some miracle, it worked!

So, no, you don’t have to pay your cable provider to activate an outlet. Find the bundle of cords, and plug in one of the loose cords into an output plug. Boom! You should have power!

activate a cable outlet

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