How to Bury Coaxial Cable Underground

Written by emily patterson
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How to Bury Coaxial Cable Underground
Coaxial cable end. (cable connector image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com)

Coaxial cable is used to carry data such as video and sound from one place to another. A homeowner may want to have an outlet in an outbuilding like a garage or pool house and not want the cable above ground. In addition to being a neater installation method, burying helps protect the cable from the elements and accidental breaks. Rodents rarely cause problems with underground cable.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Coaxial cable such as Direct Bury RG6, long enough for one continuous run
  • Shovel
  • Sand (if soil is rocky)
  • Pressure-treated wood or metal plates (if soil is rocky)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Dig a trench at least 24 inches deep (the depth called for by the National Electric Code) and as straight as possible from beginning to end, avoiding sharp curves. Place the soil on one side of the trench for replacement after the cable is buried later.

  2. 2

    Measure the length of the cable run. Make sure you have enough cable for one continuous run to avoid outside splices. Leave a little slack on both ends to avoid stretching or straining the cable. If the soil is rocky, add two inches of sand to the trench before laying the cable.

  3. 3

    Lay the cable and cover it with the excavated soil. If the soil is rocky, add another two inches of sand on top of the cable and place pressure-treated wood or metal plates over the cable to protect it from shifting rocks before backfilling the trench.

Tips and warnings

  • Check the beginning and ending sections of the cable annually for signs of deterioration of the cable coating such as brittleness, softness or cracks. Replace the cable if it appears damaged.
  • Before digging, check with your town hall or other local authorities for potential conflict with underground gas, water or electrical lines. Do not bury the cable in marshy or constantly wet soil.

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