Troubleshooting Common PoE Errors and Solutions

Andy Chen


In a PoE power supply system, the essential components are the Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE), the Powered Device (PD), and the PoE cables. When issues arise with PoE, it often manifests as the PoE switch failing to provide power, resulting in the powered devices ceasing to function. These failures can stem from various factors, including hardware and software-related issues. This article aims to help you accurately identify the root causes of PoE errors and minimize troubleshooting time. We will discuss three common PoE faults and provide troubleshooting methods for Power over Ethernet.

PoE Error 1: PoE Switch Fails to Provide Power

One of the most frequently encountered PoE errors is when a PoE-powered device (PD) fails to boot up due to issues with PoE components or incorrect configuration commands. Follow the steps below to address this problem:

Step 1: Verify PoE IEEE Standards and Power Modes of PSE and PD

Ensure that both the Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE) and PD comply with PoE IEEE standards. It's important to note that non-standard PoE switches, also known as passive PoE switches, deliver power over Ethernet lines at a fixed voltage, regardless of whether the terminal device supports PoE or not. Improperly prepared passive PoE switches may damage the terminal devices. Additionally, the power modes of PSE and PD can contribute to PoE faults. There are three PoE modes: Alternative A, Alternative B, and 4-pair delivery. If a PD supports only PoE mode B power delivery while the PoE switch is based on Alternative A, they will not work together. Confirm the power supply modes of PSE and PD with the vendor.

Step 2: Check the PoE Cabling

Mismatched Ethernet cables and PoE ports can result in network failures. Furthermore, PoE failures can occur if the cable has hardware faults or fails to meet necessary standards. Therefore, it's highly recommended to ensure that the Ethernet cable supports PoE and is functioning properly before connecting the powered device.

Step 3: Verify Sufficient PoE Power

In theory, the PSE device interface can automatically detect the connected PD. If the power supply is insufficient, the PD will not receive power. Make sure that the power required to run the PDs does not exceed the power budget of the PoE network switch. If a PSE detects that the PD's power class falls within its capacity, it will power on the PD.

Step 4: Check PoE Power Management Configuration

Verify whether the switch interface has automatic PoE power management configuration enabled. If not, you will need to manually deliver PoE power to the connected PDs through the PoE network switch interfaces.

PoE Error 2:  Intermittent Power Loss or Reloads of a PoE PD

What if a functioning PD experiences intermittent power loss or reloads? These situations may arise due to insufficient power supply and poor-quality PoE cables.

Step 1: Check Whether PoE Power Is Sufficient

A PD can power off or reload intermittently if the PSE's output power is insufficient to support all PDs operating at full power consumption. This can cause the PoE switch to fail to provide power. Take IP cameras as an example. During testing of extended functions such as Pan-Tilt-Zoom, heaters, or wipers, the PD may consume significantly more power than during normal operation. If no additional power is available, the camera may get stuck in a continuous boot cycle. To troubleshoot this PoE fault, measure the power requirements of the IP camera during startup and use an appropriate PSE to provide sufficient power.

Step 2: Check the PoE Cabling

If the Ethernet cable used in a PoE link is over 100 meters or has power loss due to the material and resistance of the cable itself, the PD would not get sufficient power, causing issues like network failure or latency. If the cables are not qualified, it will lead to PoE faults as well.

PoE Error 3: Inconsistent Powering of PDs on the Same PSE

If some PDs are receiving power while others connected to the same PSE are not, follow the tips below:

Step 1: Check if PDs Are Available on Other Ports

Determine whether the issue lies with specific ports on the PSE. Disconnect the PoE cable between the Ethernet switch port and the non-powered PDs. If the PDs receive power when connected to other PoE ports, it indicates a problem with specific ports. Verify if the port is shut down or error-disabled using configuration commands. If so, enable PoE functions through the appropriate command.

Step 2: Check the PoE Power

If newly added PDs to PSE ports are not powering on, it may indicate that the PoE switch's power budget is depleted. Ensure that the remaining PoE power in the PSE is equal to or greater than the maximum output required by the connected PDs. Additionally, limit the per-port current to safe levels and consider using additional PSE devices if necessary.

PoE Error 4: PoE Cameras Not Powered

If your camera cannot be powered on while using a PoE Switch or PoE injector, you may follow the tips below to solve your problems.

Step 1: Verify Camera Compatibility with PoE Switch/Injector

Check the compatibility requirements of your camera with the PoE switch or PoE injector. Ensure that the specifications of the PoE switch or injector align with the camera's requirements.

Step 2: Check if the Camera Is Fully Connected to the PoE Switch/PoE Injector

Inspect the PoE port lights on thePoE switch or PoE injector to confirm if the camera is fully connected. If the lights are not illuminated, try plugging the camera into other ports and using a different Ethernet cable. Also, check if the PoE port of the switch is damaged or rusty. You can test this by connecting the camera to other functioning PoE ports.

Step 3: Check if the PoE Module of the Camera Gets Power

If the camera's PoE module is not receiving power, use a DC adapter with the correct output voltage to power the camera. Make sure the DC/AC adapter is available and compatible. Typically, the adapter has an indicator light that indicates the presence of power. Some IP cameras support both DC and AC power supply ports, such as DC12V/2A and AC 24V/3A. Verify that the adapter's specifications match those of the camera.


The four errors mentioned above basically cover the problems that PoE switches are often prone to. If you meet other problems in the process of using PoE switches, you can contact Linovision IT experts for answers. Linovision not only provides you with cost-effective and excellent quality PoE switches but also provides a series of technical support services to ensure your after-sales worry-free.