Bury Ethernet Cable: A Closer Look


About Bury Ethernet Cable, A wired network comes with speed and security, unlike a wireless network. 

It also has a high resistance to electromagnetic interference. Anyone who wishes to extend their network across two buildings should consider a wired network. 

However, you will need to choose the cable for outdoor use. 

When a data cable gets wet, it gets a higher attenuation that could impact its performance in the field. 

That’s because a wet data cable lacks the proper electrical composition due to the presence of another conductive element, water, between the pairs or singles. 

Conduits and direct buried cables come into use to avoid such a problem.

Then how to use them and bury ethernet cables? Let’s get into it.

Table of Contents

Ethernet Cable

Caption: Ethernet Cable

Burying Ethernet Cable Options

The following are some of the burying cable internet options that users can choose from.

Using underground burial cable

An underground burial cable is one which you can install beneath the surface as long as it’s placed inside a conduit. Without the conduit, the cable cannot withstand the elements underground.

Therefore, to get the best results when using standard Cat-6 ethernet cables outside, ensure that you place the cables in a conduit structure like a PVC or plastic pipe. 

Generally, PE cable jackets have better water resistance features than their PVC counterparts. But a CPE cable jacket offers even more water resistance capabilities than PE and PVC.

Nonetheless, this jacket may stop being water resistant after a certain period, but water can ultimately get into the core of the cable when exposed for too long.

The cables have polymer gel or water-blocking fillers to prevent infiltration. Also, the gap separating the two conductors in a pair and the shields are essential to the overall cable balance in terms of NEXT and RL performance, which can affect system stability. 

Nonetheless, the best kind of protection would be to run your cables via a conduit, despite it eliminating the convenience aspect of direct burial cabling. But conduits are also commonly filled with water, leading to new problems.

Cables in conduit

Cables in conduit

Using Direct Burial Exterior Ethernet Cables

Such a cable enables users to bury them without adding conduits. They are more expensive but are well-designed for outdoor use.

These cables can also come with a PVC jacket, just like their outdoor counterparts, despite having a different setup inside. 

  1. Gel-filled – The manufacturer inserts a gel into the cable to fill crevices. The waterproof gel inserted into the cable oozes throughout the framework, filling up all the cracks and holes while still coating all the conductors inside. The process also helps to protect the wires from external elements like water, thereby preventing any damage to the cable conductors.
  2. SAP-treated yarn – It is a kind of yarn or fiber that manufacturers treat using SAP (Super Absorbent Polymer). If something pours through the cable, these fibers absorb moisture and prevent water from reaching the cable’s innards.
  3. Waterproof tape – The waterproof tape wrapped around the conductors within the cables provides an additional layer of protection against things like moisture. 
  4. PET tape – It shares the same characteristics as its polyester counterpart. First, get wrap-around conductors with PET tape. Then, an additional layer of Mylar tape gets placed above PET to provide extra shielding. Often, people use such a construction for shielded ethernet cables and waterproof tape and gel methods.
  5. Interior splines – Users can also find direct cables with additional protection features, such as sturdy interior splines meant to prevent accidental crushing or specialized armor that will stop pests like underground rodents from biting into the cables. 

Aside from sealing against moisture, these cables often have protection against RF (Radio Frequency) interference. 

Direct burial cables

Direct burial cables

What Makes Outdoor-rated Or Direct Burial Cables Different?

A standard indoor ethernet cable with a strong PVC jacket is ideal for conventional connection settings.

However, it’s not an ideal choice for outdoor runs since PVC can become brittle and break down when exposed to elements and UV rays from the sun.

Cables made for outdoor use, or direct burial are waterproof and meant to withstand prolonged exposure to cold. 

Temperature-resistant and UV-resistant

They also come with a unique UV-resistant PVC jacket capable of handling temperatures as low as -20° or a PE (Polyethylene) UV-resistant jacket made out of thermoplastic, which can handle temperatures of -40°.

Further, some direct-burial cables come with a thermoset jacket, which offers ideal protection in extremely high temperatures.


Usually, manufacturers make outdoor ethernet cables using the same process as indoor cables, except for their resilient waterproof jackets.

They are also not adapted for underground use unless they are within a conduit. On the other hand, direct burial cables can still get compromised in the long run if placed in wet underground soil.

For this reason, their design is different from conventional ethernet cables and has extra internal protection. 

Strict tests

However, for a cable to be direct-burial worthy, a third party must do all the testing and ratings. Why? We need to verify that the cable has the mechanical attributes needed to withstand the rigors and demands of being outdoors and underground. 

A direct-burial cable must have a rugged jacket that can survive circumstances such as installation on top of a rock, getting trampled, or long-term contact with liquids such as water without getting ripped apart or affecting its performance.

These cables earn a UL rating once a cable passes crush-resistance and water absorption tests. Another requirement is that it must be PLTC-rated, which involves passing the UL-1685 flame test.

Installation ways

Installing Ethernet cables outside is straightforward if you use the right cabling.

The only precaution one has to take is to place lightning or surge protectors at each end because ethernet cables tend to attract lightning strikes.

Direct-burial cabling is a bit more complicated. You must first ensure that you don’t hit pipes or utility wires when digging your trench.

In most cases, the best thing would be to contact local authorities or utility companies before embarking on the process.

To avoid interference, you must also ensure that your ethernet cable is at least 6 to 8 inches away from power lines. The depth should be within this range as well.

And unfortunately, burying the cable does not mean it will automatically eliminate or lessen that risk.

Therefore, you still should install surge protectors to help protect the cables from lightning strikes and prevent various kinds of damage to indoor equipment.

Dusty Ethernet Cables

Dusty Ethernet Cables

Tips for Burying Direct Burial Cables

You must consider some factors if you’re planning to bury ethernet cables, like the cable you intend to use, the conduit, and cable placement.

Have a Plan Before Running the Cables

You have to plan the direction you’re running the cable outside. For instance, if you’re outside and near power lines or other network cables, you cannot afford to run your cables parallel to them. They have to go in a perpendicular direction.

Direct Bury or Install Conduit

As mentioned above, you can use two main options to bury an ethernet cable, traditional and direct burial. The former, however, requires a running conduit.

Those using PVC piping may still have to add sealants on each connecting point, which could pose a risk because any moisture inside the conduit could mess up your cable. Also, don’t start digging until you’re certain there are no obstacles. 

Installation Environment

Your local installation environment also plays a critical role in determining the direct burial cable specs you require. You have to consider factors like local climate.

For example, is it a dry area? If so, how dry can it get? Also, consider whether you will be laying your cabling near rivers, lakes, or ponds.

Remember that a harsh local environment will require more expensive and higher-rated cabling. It would be best to decide which cable jacket and insulation can meet your needs. 

Cable Jacketing

There are two main options when picking your cable jacketing, PVC and PE. The former can withstand temperatures ranging from negative 20 degrees Celsius to about 70 degrees Celsius.

On the other hand, even though PE jackets are a bit more expensive, they are more stable over a wide range of temperatures. For example, you can use them in temperatures below -40 degrees Celsius.

So, if you’re in an area prone to harsh winters and don’t want to risk damaging your cables, you should opt for PE jackets. Nonetheless, PVC jackets can still work fine in warmer environments and cost less.

Wire Insulation

The direct-burial cable you use is an aggregate of several wires within waterproof layers. Varying levels of water resistance mean different strengths and weaknesses.

As mentioned, if you’re installing your cable in a wet location next to water sources, you can try gel-based cabling since it’s a much safer choice.

On the other hand, if you’re installing a DBC in a generally dry area, tape-shielded cables will offer you more adequate waterproofing features and will be much easier to deal with.

Power and Data Requirements

If you want to transmit data and power via your cables, you can use PoE or Power over ethernet to reduce the number of cables you have to use.

Doing so can help save on electrical hardware and various installation costs. The PoE also allows power and data transmission to supported devices.

For instance, security cameras sometimes use PoE for quite some time now, but we are steadily beginning to see quite a few pieces of hardware supporting the technology.

Are you planning to bury an ethernet cable to transmit PoE directly?

Then you want to consider using a Cat6a cable. Although technically speaking, a range of ethernet cables like the Cat5e and Cat6a cables support PoE over ethernet, and the Cat6a is specially adapted for PoE use.

The Cat6a also has a larger diameter, especially compared to the Cat5e. The latter is also more prone to power loss, making them less effective, which can become a major problem if you intend to bury a long section of cable.

When directly burying your Cat6 cables, you should also ensure that your cables are rated suitable specifically for outside use.

Considering the environment before running the cables

Considering the environment before running the cables


Exterior-grade ethernet cables come with waterproof features that allow burying the cables in the ground without needing a conduit.

However, if you’re not burying your cable, make sure you go for a waterproof Cat6 cable with a UV-protected jacket to help prevent any damage from direct sunlight exposure.

That is a very important aspect when running a cable on the side of a house or across its roof.

Finding the right ethernet cable to use outdoors can be challenging. The information above can help you make the right decision for your situation. In case you have any queries feel free to contact Cloom Tech.