Nowadays, Ethernet cables are essential because if you’re an internet-savvy person, an Ethernet connection is more suitable than an unstable wireless connection.
But what if you have to run the ethernet outside? Because it will be in touch with water, sunlight, and other elements.
So, Can Ethernet Cables Get Wet?
YES, an Ethernet cable can get wet if it is not waterproof. If an indoor-rated ethernet cable is exposed outside, it will get wet and damaged over time. However, an outdoor-rated ethernet cable has a thick jacket that protects it from water and keeps it safe internally.
If an Ethernet cable gets wet externally, there is no problem, but the wires will be damaged if water somehow gets inside the cable.
Thus, outdoor-rated ethernet cables are made to protect the cable from outside rain or water, UV rays, dirt, and so many other things.
Although if you drop water accidentally on your ethernet cable, it is not a big issue, but the issue arrives when the cable is exposed outside and has to endure the rain.
What Happens If an Ethernet Cable Gets Wet?
It is painful to think of a wet ethernet cable. If your ethernet cable gets wet externally, there are no issues with it, but the problem occurs when the cable has to survive rain for a long period, and then the jacket gets damaged.
Through that damaged jacket, water can easily pass, damaging the twisted pairs, and you get connection errors, return loss, and other issues. This can be a worst-case scenario for anyone.
This especially happens when you use an indoor-rated ethernet cable outside your house.
The best idea is to use an outdoor-rated ethernet cable, which is waterproof and can survive extreme weather conditions.
Here is a video you can watch how water is coming from an indoor-rated ethernet cable that was run outside.
Are All Ethernet Cable Waterproof?
NO! Every type of ethernet cable might not be waterproof; mostly indoor-rated ethernet cables are not waterproof, whereas if you select outdoor-ethernet cables, they will be waterproof and weatherproof.
So if you have to run your ethernet cable outside, exposed to sun, rainwater, and more, then you should always go with an outdoor-rated ethernet cable.
And if you want to bury your ethernet cable, then the direct burial ethernet cables are best for burying, and you should buy this too.
Are Waterproof Ethernet Cables Expensive?
Now, let’s talk about the price; the price occurs in our mind when we talk about specialized things. So are waterproof outdoor-rated ethernet cables expensive?
The price of outdoor-rated ethernet cables depends on brands, quality, wire, length, etc. But, generally, outdoor-rated waterproof ethernet cables are slightly more costly than normal ones.
Also, different manufacturers offer various features for weatherproofing your cable; thus, the price can increase and decrease on that factor too.
Can You Protect an Indoor-Rated Ethernet Cable from Rain?
Protecting an indoor-rated cable outdoors can be difficult because the jackets of indoor-rated ethernet cables are made with PVC, which is not suitable outdoors and can get damaged over time if exposed to rainwater, sun, and others.
But, if you’re on a budget and have already run your cable, you might be picky while changing the cable. So I have a few ideas, but I think replacing the cable completely is better than having the indoor-rated ethernet.
To protect your indoor-rated ethernet cable from rainwater, you may use a solid conduit or pathway and bury it underground with proper sealing at both ends.
But, this will also cost you a few bucks for the conduit, and there is a ton of hard work, which I’ve mentioned here in this particular post.
So looking at the overall cost and work, it is better to change your indoor-rated ethernet with a new outdoor-rated ethernet cable.
I have talked a lot about the cable, but it is important that you make sure the connectors of your ethernet cables don’t get wet, as the connectors are not waterproof. If the connectors get wet, try to clean and dry them and only use the cable.