View Full Version : Can cat6 survive outside?

18-06-2005, 09:51 PM
I know you are not supposed to expose network cables to the elements, but does anyone know if cat5 or cat6 can handle it? My friend really needs a home network so he doesn't have to kick his family off the net to use their ADSL connection, but his room is seperate from the main house & is made from metal panels so wireless will be no good. His phone cable goes over his roof & he hasn't had any trouble with that.

18-06-2005, 09:59 PM
he should be fine. if in doubt install the cable(s) in a tube (garden hose).

overhead cables are normall ok, underground ones tend to get all the problems.

18-06-2005, 10:45 PM
If the outer sheath is black it will probably be OK, otherwise the UV rays from the sun will probably destroy it.

Graham L
19-06-2005, 12:42 PM
The telephone cable will be proper outside stuff. (I hope).

The insulation common network twisted pair cable is not designed for use outside, though it will last a fair time before it disintegrates.

I'd be more concerned about moisture absorption. To beat both things, thread it inside some black alkathene pipe. The light stuff used for trickle irrigation would be fine... it doesn't have to handle pressure ...and that's very cheap. Getting the cable into a pipe can be tricky so use a string to pull it through. If you can't drop the string through with an attached weight (because you haven't got a high building) I've used a piece of rag which will slide through and a vacuum cleaner.

19-06-2005, 04:32 PM
Plumbing pipe works well to thread it through. The blue stuff.

19-06-2005, 05:41 PM
A friend of mine did a 30m cable run outside with CAT5 cable (from one building to another), by cable-tieing it to a support wire. It was supposed to be a tempoary measure, but somehow was kept there for almost 9 months - no problems whatsoever, except the fact that it wasn't exceedingly fast when 30 computers were trying to access the network at once.

19-06-2005, 09:55 PM
you can get external rated cables of literally any type if you choose. And you'll find that you can get external rated cat5e/6 for cheaper from an electrical wholesaler than internal rated cat5e/6 from DSE

There are two major types, and General Cable does both:
1) extra sheath
2) integrated sheath

extra sheath is a bit more flexible than integrated sheath and UV and moisture resistent and can be used pretty much anywhere. It's just bog standard cat5e/6 with an extra sheath

integrated sheath is fairly solid, holds its shape, UV resistent and moisture-tight, but by law should not be used within the foundation line of a building as the sheath *can* be flammable

The other thing to be wary of is stringing cable along between buildings up in the air as apposed to trenching them. Wind can build up static electricity on the wire, the pd being enough to nuke the devices at either end. Citylink lost a lot of switches on their ethernet based metropolitan network before they realised this. So either trench it, or ground it. With phonelines it's not as much of an issue, as phones are fairly simple and resilient.

19-06-2005, 11:03 PM
I use a cat6 cable from the house to my garage where I 'live'. This works fine, the cable just runs down the side of the fence :)

Some garden tubing to shield it would be ideal, but I'll be honest, Im slack :p