All You Need To Know About Direct Burial Cables

Ethernet Cables are designed for use in all kinds of scenarios. The ones that are used in indoor plenum spaces are known as plenum ethernet cables. Similarly, Riser cables are the ones that are used in indoor vertical rising spaces. And Ethernet cables that are installed beneath the surface or that are “buried” in the ground are called direct burial cables.

Direct burial ethernet cables are extremely useful for all kinds of networking setups. Because you always need to bury your cables in outdoor environments. In such situations, you need a high-quality, gel-filled direct burial ethernet cable


Direct Burial Cable Jackets

Direct burial cables are meant for installation in underground spaces. Therefore,  these cables should have thick jackets – jackets that can withstand burial in the ground either inside the conduit or directly. The thick jacket prevents damage by microorganisms and other bio-organisms. To add another layer of protection against waterproofing, the direct burial cables come with either waterproof tape or a flooded gel core.

If not run with other electric wires, installation in the underground spaces aka direct burial provide these cables sufficient protection against crosstalk and electromagnetic interference.

The jackets also have top-notch protection against water.


Types of Direct Burial Cable

Most commonly available direct burial cables are the following:


    • Cat5e Direct Burial Gel-Filled
    • Cat6 Direct Burial Gel-Filled

Let’s explore properties of the each.


Cat5e Direct Burial Gel-Filled

As far as data rates are concerned, the fifth generation or category Cat5e cable renders a maximum data transfer rate of 1 Gbps and a minimum data transfer rate of 100 Mbps. The maximum and minimum data transfer rates are valid if the cable run is up to 50 meters (164 feet) and up to 100 meters (328) feet respectively. The Cat5e Direct Burial Gel-Filled ethernet cable has a bandwidth capacity of 350 MHz.

The Cat5e Direct Burial Gel-Filled has as many as 8 pure copper conductors that are tightly bundled together in 4 twisted pairs. Remember, pure copper conductors are only the approved types of conductors for cable installation in government places.

You can gauge the performance of the pure copper conductors from the fact that they suffer from less attenuation (loss of signal strength). With less attenuation and more bandwidth, the signal quality remains top-notch throughout the intended run. Another great advantage of pure copper conductors over copper-clad aluminum is that the former converts more energy into signals. The conductors run 24 AWG.


Cat6 Direct Burial Gel-Filled

The Cat6 Direct Burial Gel-Filled cable belongs to the 6th generation of ethernet cable that supports data transfer rates of 10 Gbps for cable runs of up to 50 meters and 1 Gbps for cable runs up to 100 meters. Our Cat6 Direct Burial Gel-Filled cable has a bandwidth of 550 MHz (way more than industry standards for Cat6 cables).

This specific cable has pure copper conductors that are tightly bundled together in 4 twisted pairs and they run 23 AWG. As mentioned above, for installation in government offices, you are only allowed to install cables with pure copper conductors.

Remember, you are not authorized to use a direct burial cable in indoor spaces because these cables do not have fire-retardant properties. Therefore, a direct burial cable must not run more than 50 feet before termination in any indoor structure.