What life does outdoor cat 6 cable have?

Posted on 2013-06-27
Last Modified: 2013-07-14
I live in the UK

What life does outdoor cat 6 cable have?
Any point putting it in inside a garden hose?


I may run it all overground through a hedge in a private garden.
Some of it may be buried BUT I will get an electrician to do that.
Question by:fcek
LVL 22

Accepted Solution

David Atkin earned 143 total points
ID: 39280994

It all depends on the conditions really.

You will need External Steal wire armored cable if you are going to run it underground. It could be quite expensive.  You can get the External Cat6 but its not made for going underground, its more for running the cables outside a property and then back in again.

Another thing to keep in mind is that animals like to chew on them. You could put it in a garden hose but I wouldn't recommend it.

Can I ask what it is for?

Author Comment

ID: 39281057
Current situation - country location.  Two buildings each getting broadband delivered via what looks like a non satellite dish.  It collects a signal from a mast in the mountains.   = two bills.

The buildings are approx 30 meters apart.  This is too far for a wireless repeater to be of any reliable use I think.

I would really like to run a cable through the bottom of a hedge.  Its not high voltage. The owners are easy going and are willing to replace the cable every few years.

Going under ground for part of it looks like being a lot of trouble.

Any comments?
LVL 62

Assisted Solution

by:☠ MASQ ☠
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 72 total points
ID: 39281143
If you're going to plan regular replacement then bury it in a pipe & use external grade cable which is waterproof - but as scorpio says "chewable". if you're running power you can get them buried in the same pipe!  External cable buired and unprotected should last 5-10 years if undamaged by any kind of interference.

Garden hoses won't work as most degrade suprisingly quickly once in damp soil.  There are some hoses designed for burying for irrigation or heatsinks but they're not the ones you'll generally come across in Homebase!

Depends on the distance but 15mm int diameter plastic piping - either the type you use for domestic plumbing in straight moulded lengths or on a roll will bury nicely and allow simple replacment.once buried

Otherwise you could look at direct bury cat6 cable but it's costly at around £3 per metre (and usually sold in minimum lengths of around 10m) it's armoured and shielded - but will still fail if an unwitting gardener puts a spade through it because you've not buried it deep enough!

You can hire an impressing looking trench cutter for less than £100/day (like a mini-JCB digger!) to cut a channel & unless you've got concrete/tarmac to dig up easily cut a 30m trench in a day (and still have time to ride around on it with a hard hat on impressing everyone!)
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Assisted Solution

by:Robert Saylor
Robert Saylor earned 72 total points
ID: 39281276
If you are going to run cable underground your best bet is to run fiber. It's a little more costly then ethernet but would provide a faster building to building connection. You would need two receiving fiber devices at both locations then 2 switches capable of fiber.

Author Comment

ID: 39281331
Any need for a repeater if its cat 5 or 6 and less than 330 feet?
Is there signal loss at <330 feet ?
LVL 44

Assisted Solution

Darr247 earned 71 total points
ID: 39281945
> The buildings are approx 30 meters apart.
This is too far for a wireless repeater to be of any reliable use I think.
Not really... especially if you have clear line of sight between the locations and a somewhat directional antenna is used at both ends. e.g. a couple Buffalo routers, each running DD-WRT and having a semi-directional antenna such as L-Com's RE09P-RSP patch antenna... those focus all the signal on one side, into a fairly-wide wedge (about 70 degrees) so aiming them isn't critical, and they work fine through regular window glass, so they don't really even need to be mounted outside.

Anyway... network cabling is low voltage (even if carrying PoE it should be under 50 volts)... and plastic conduit should work fine if you can't find cable rated for direct-burial.
LVL 50

Assisted Solution

by:Don Johnston
Don Johnston earned 71 total points
ID: 39282189
The buildings are approx 30 meters apart.  This is too far for a wireless repeater to be of any reliable use I think.

I put in one of these for a customer that had buildings 1,000' apart.

As I recall, it was about $150 total.

Assisted Solution

pgstephan earned 71 total points
ID: 39303428
I don't think Fibre is a suitable solution here, since you'll need 2 optical transceivers and active devices on both ends to support fibre transceivers. I don't know how much budget you've got, but you may not really need that.

I'd recommend the plastic pipe (plumbing) one of 15mm and a waterproof CAT6 cable inside.

CAT6 will allow you to run for 100 meters with no problems (sometimes a bit over 100 meters). And I guess the bandwidth across that line won't be high anyway, so you really won't need a fibre connectivity.

You know what you may want to consider too? You may want to consider a local caching solution (just a server with a caching application on it). This will be useful since users in general access mostly the same web content so instead of receiving repetitive content, you can keep that local and you'll have your internet more available for the users.
LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:David Atkin
David Atkin earned 143 total points
ID: 39306462
I would also agree that Fibre is a little much - You would also need a splicing kit or fibre crimps.

A wireless link between the two buildings isn't a bad idea.  You can get two wireless CPE's for about £150.  Configuration is fairly simple, just align them and setup a point to point bridge.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39325249
Thanks everyone.

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