Insightful Ideas for Running Data Cables in the Outdoors

Installing data cables can be a pain if you don't apply proper data cabling management. Therefore, if you are running data cables for your client, you want to do it in such a way that makes maintenance easy for the customer. It isn't much of a problem if the data cabling project is primarily indoors because the cables stay away from weather and other environmental elements. However, if you are running cabling on the outside of a building, then it is vital to come up with ingenious data cabling strategies. Doing so will ensure that the cables are safe and thereby reducing the frequency of maintenance or repair visits. This article highlights tips for running data cables outside.

Always Run Two Cables -- If your client needs an internet connection in their office or residence, then it is apparent that you need to run a single cable. However, you need to ask yourself a few questions before you start the project. What is the cost of running one cable compared to two wires? What are your client's plans? How much work is involved in running two data cables? Since data cables are not expensive, your client will not feel the change in the cost of running two cables.

Moreover, since these cables are on the outside, you will already have a spare cable in place if one is damaged. Additionally, office and residential spaces get reconfigured and might require additional connectivity. Therefore, it is better to run an extra data cable instead of one.

Use Zip-Ties on Drip Loop Points -- As mentioned earlier, outdoor data cabling exposes the cable to the elements. For instance, condensation is a major problem for data cables on the outdoors. It is the reason why electricians create drip loops in areas where wires are prone to condensation. However, a drip loop alone is not enough because the water will settle at the edge of the loop for a while before dripping to the ground. Over time, water that collects at the side softens the cable making it easy to tear. You can prevent this by using a zip-tie at each drip loop point. When water reaches the loop, it will settle on the zip-tie before dripping down.

Don't Seal Bottom of a Conduit Box -- When sealing external conduit boxes, you might be tempted to seal all four sides completely. While this may seem like a good idea, it poses a risk to the inside cables. If the caulk at the top wears out first, then water will get in and settle inside the box since the caulk at the bottom is still intact. Therefore, ensure that you leave space on the bottom side of a conduit box so that water that gets in can drip out with ease. It will prevent water accumulation inside the box.