|Question: Can I
bury CAT 5 cable?
Standard PVC Jacketed CAT 5 Cable is not specifically designed
to be buried in the ground, although it is done quite often with
or without the use of any kind of protective conduit.
There are now varieties of CAT 5 Cable that
are being manufactured to be buried in the ground without having
to be protected by conduit. This type of cable also generally
has UV protection for the benefit of those who run the cable on
top of the ground for temporary purposes. There are even
varieties of Cable that have special layers of insulating
material, waterproofing layers, and in some cases flame
It should be noted that this type of
direct-burial CAT 5 Cable is considerably more expensive than
However, if you choose to bury standard CAT 5
Cable, the cable should be enclosed in some type of water-tight
conduit, and the conduit should be buried, rather than direct
burial of the cable itself. If this is done, the cable is less
likely to be exposed to environmental extremes that might
adversely affect its performance.
If the cable is buried by itself, you should
take the minimum protective measure of using PVC or metal
conduit coming away from each structure by at least a few feet.
This will reduce the chance of cutting the cable unintentionally
while digging near the cable. It will also provide a good visual
marker for where the cable is buried. Remember to follow local
codes governing installation of this type of cable, and be sure
to maintain the required degree of separation between electrical
cables in the ground, if applicable.
If the cable is direct buried without any
protective covering, be certain that the cable is packed around
a layer of fine dirt or sand, rather than gravel or any other
rough-edged material that could easily penetrate the jacket and
compromise the cable.
CAT 5 Cable is very durable, and if you follow
the basic guidelines we have just discussed you should have a
That being said, many customers have chosen to
direct bury CAT 5E Cable, and have done so with no ill effect.
Some of our customers have reported runs of CAT 5 and CAT 5E
Cable still operating perfectly in the ground after 7-10 years
of service. So please use your own judgment in this matter.
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