PoE Troubleshooting Guide: Common Problems and Solutions

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a revolutionary technology which can transfer power and data over a cable to network device. In PoE, there are three entities- a powered device (PD), PoE cable, and power sourcing equipment. This is widely used in various data networks across industries, retail chains, traffic control systems, and other diverse applications. Here, you can power a device using PSE and without the need for external electrical supplies. This works quite well where there is no power grid or frequent power cuts. It also works well for PoS, NFC, and other such standalone applications. However, at times, PoE may not function. What do we do in such cases? Here are some common PoE-related issues and their solutions.

PoE Switches

Some Common PoE Issues and How to Troubleshoot Them

Some of the most common PoE devices (powering) in a network include PoE switches and media converters which are PSEs. Then there are PoE extenders and cables which serve as channels and help extend the length of transmission. PDs are the connected devices such as IP phones, cameras, computers, PoS terminals, wireless access points, and more. If PoE stops working, PDs simply shut off. Hence, if need to find the reason for its failure by troubleshooting. Here are some relevant pointers.

  • Insufficient Power - First, check the powering switch, its power management configuration, and if it's working properly. If that is fine, then check the cabling, their connected ports, and if the connections are correct. Also check if there is required amount of power supply. If both these are functioning well, one needs to check the powered device such as camera or phone. This is a basic and logical sequence for troubleshooting. If the PD simply shuts off or reboots intermittently, it may be because it is not getting the required amount of power over the cable or from PSE. Also, some devices may consume more power in certain fully functional modes such as zoomed-in camera mode, pan-tilt mode in cameras, and more. One needs to set the power requirement accordingly.

  • Cable Length - At time the geographical transmission distance could be an issue. Usually 100 meters is a comfortable range for most PoE devices. However, if this distance increases, it may lead to signal losses over the cable, reduced speed of transmission, and so on which may lead to intermittent power loss. In case of the distance issue, using a PoE extender or a PoE powered Switch can be used. Long-Range PoE switch might also help.

  • Incorrect Port or Wiring - At times, some ports may be faulty. Check all the connected ports and switch of all the device which are not available to get powered. This is because while one PSE can power multiple PDs, all the connected PDs may not be available for powering. Try changing the ports and see if the PD is powered. If the device gets powered, this may prove a faulty port. You also need to check for the wiring and if it is properly connected or not. If it is incorrect then PoE devices may not work at all.

  • Network Configuration - Choosing the right PoE switch that is compatible is necessary. So check for quality, compatibility, and configuration before you install one. The same applies for most PoE devices. In case of frequent issues, consider upgrading your devices to higher versions and scale up the network.

  • Incompatible Devices - If a device is not compatible as per the PoE Standards, it may not work as per the requirement. For troubleshooting this issue, you need to check the device's specifications and make sure that it is compatible with the PoE standard.

  • Overheating - In PoE devices overheating is caused due to improper ventilation. You should keep an eye on the device's temperature as per the suggested range. This way you can easily troubleshoot this issue.
PoE Switches

If you are looking to upgrade your network via fiber optics or expanding it using PoE sourcing equipment and cables, ensure you source these devices from reliable and certified suppliers. VERSITRON offers various types of network devices that are compatible with Ethernet as well as fiber optic networks. These include PoE switches, PoE media converters, PoE extenders, and more which are configured for different application environments. These can also be customized to suit specific client requirements.

Rich Tull

R.W. Tull is the President of Versitron, a prominent technology company specializing in innovative solutions for data communication and networking. With extensive experience in the industry, R.W. Tull leads the company's strategic vision and oversees its day-to-day operations.  With a deep understanding of data communication technologies and networking systems, R.W. Tull has played a pivotal role in driving Versitron's success.

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