Outdoor and Direct Burial Cables

At PI Manufacturing, we often get asked what the difference between our standard Cat5e / Cat6 bulk cable vs our outdoor and direct burial cables. In this article, we'll break down the differences and how each type of cable is constructed.

As the name suggests, outdoor rated cables are designed to be used outdoors, where it can withstand the elements. Unlike their indoor counterparts, outdoor cables are constructed with jackets that offer UV protection to prevent degradation over time. Direct burial cables can also be used outdoors, but has the added feature of allowing it to be buried under dirt without the use of conduit.

Temperature Rating

The temperature is important when using outdoor rated cables. Since these cables will be used outside in the elements, it needs to be able to withstand different types of temperatures, whether hot or cold. Standard PVC cables can only withstand a temperature down to -20°, while outdoor rated cables use a PE (Polyethylene) jacket that can withstand temperatures down to -40°C.

Direct Burial Cables

Although outdoor rated cables can be buried in the dirt with a conduit, direct burial cables are designed for that purpose. Direct burial cables featured waterproofing features that prevent moisture damage. 3 different types of waterproofing are provided:

  • 1. A waterproofing gel is used inside that oozes and coats the internal wires inside.
  • 2. A waterproof tape is used to prevent water from causing damage.
  • 3. A PET tape is used to wrap around the internal wires. A secondary mylar tape is then added to cover the PET tape to add shielding.

The following part numbers offered by PI Manufacturing are outdoor rated:
  • 1. CP-350-SD-OTD-1 - 1000ft Bare Copper 24AWG CMX Cat5e Bulk Cable, UV Resistant, Solid Wire - Black
  • 2. CP-350-SD-OTD-2 - 1000ft Bare Copper 24AWG CMXF Cat5e Bulk Cable, Flooded Core (Gel-Filled) Direct Burial, Solid Wire - Black
  • 3. CP-C6-SD-OTD-1 - 1000ft Bare Copper 23AWG CMX Cat6 Bulk Cable, 4 Pair Solid, UV Jacketed for Outdoor Use - Black
  • 4. CP-C6-SD-OTD-2 - 1000ft Bare Copper 23AWG CMXF Cat6 Bulk Cable, 4 Pair Solid, Full Flooded (Gel-Filled) Direct Burial - Black

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