So what is the big deal about an outdoor burial cable installation or even aerial cable?
Outdoor burial cable or underground outdoor cable can be a real task for most installers. For one thing you need people to dig or a good machine to dig a trench. Outdoor Cat6 cable is not easy to install because of all the work necessary to make the underground cable installation a success.
Not just the digging part for the cable but the cable itself. Some non-professional installers think they can use indoor cable like Cat5e or Cat6. This is a big mistake. Outdoor cable if exposed to the sunlight needs UV protection, and burial cable needs moisture and water protection. There are several types of burial cable some of which have good moisture blocking and others not as good. Cable with water block tape is very common and used in may installations, but if in this writers opinion, I were going through all the trouble of burying and making holes in the ground and doing all this labor one thing is for certain I don’t want to do it again. So, what would I use? Nothing les then Gel filled direct burial cable. This is probably the maximum protection you can get today. Gel filled cable is much heavier in weight then regular cable like Cat5e or Cat6 indoor cable. The Gel is a jelly like substance the resists the moisture but is a little sloppy to use. You have to clean off the cable ends real good before you can make a clean connection. The additional cost and the way you have to work with a messy cable is some of the reasons why installers may use the tape wrapped cable. But with all the added trouble and cost it is a better choice than the water block tape or others.
Some installers are getting lured by a cheaper Cat5e or Cat6 cable which the copper core is not solid copper which is necessary for true Cat5e or Cat6. This imported stuff has CCA or CCS as the conductor instead of copper. CCA is Copper Clad Aluminum and CCS is Copper Clad Steel. The CCA is very prone to nicks and when it hits the air will oxidize. Think twice before you use these types of Cat5e or Cat6 and may have to dig it up again.