outdoor wiring

Cabling-Design.com FREE cabling and networking Helpdesk
 Question by Cris Daniluk posted 29 Oct 2001
 outdoor wiring
I would like to connect two near buildings together via Cat5e. The buildings are about 60 feet apart, but the landscape makes it impossible to consider stringing any sort of wire. Rather than go wireless, we'd like to consider running the Cat5 along the ground from one building to the other. We have access to equipment to stitch the line up to 3 feet deep. The path between the two is entirely dirt, with the exception of an interconnecting sidewalk.

What are some concerns we should look at when we do this, and can we resolve them? Specifically:

This is in Ohio and thus the frost will extend past 3 feet. Will the cold temperatures affect the signal?

Conduit is an obvious must. What should we use? Is simple 1" PVC pipe sufficient? Should metal conduit be used?

Since this is going to connect two buildings, do we need to use plenum to satisfy fire code?

Is there anything else we should be thinking about in considering this type of solution?
 Answer by Roman Kitaev posted 02 Nov 2001

In this case there are basically two options:

(1) Using outside Cat5 cable
Do not use normal UTP cable. It is not designed to withstand the outside environment. Also, you have to install special Cat5 protectors on this cable to protect the system from potential electrical hazards.

If PVC pipe wil withstand the frost, then it's OK. Metal conduit is also OK and it shall be grounded from two sides.

(2) Using outside fiber cable
You also may use dielectric outside fiber cable. In this case, you will not need any protectors, but may require to buy some converters to go from copper to fiber.

Hope it helps

Best regards
Roman Kitaev, RCDD

Click here to see the expert's profile
Back to the current page of questions | Back to all the questions
Back to Cabling-Design.com HELPDESK | Ask your question
Residential Cabling Guide

Home Cabling Guide

Finally, an instantly downloadable book that saves you thousands in home improvement dollars! Enjoy living in 21st century technology-advanced home while increasing its selling value and competitive advantage on the real estate market. Whether your cabling is for home office or high-tech leisure, you can wire your home yourself or learn "wirish" to speak with your cabling contractors in their language!

Learn more ...