Weatherproofing 101 for First-Time Installers

When we talk about “weatherproofing,” you probably think we’re going to talk about satellite dishes. Not today. It’s time we focused on weatherproofing installations that require joining two pieces of split copper cables. These situations can be a problem for first-time amateur installers. Some of them don’t know that they have to protect this connection from moisture. This usually leads to corrosion and shorting at this point. Solid Signal shows you how to prevent this with this informative post about weatherproofing.

The Connection in Question…

…Has two pieces of split copper cables snapped together. You make this by cutting back on a small part of each of the cable’s protective coating. This exposes the copper wire at the core. These two pieces of copper need to be connected to keep the signal going throughout your installation. In outdoor installations, these connections can become damaged by moisture from rain, sleet, and snow. You’ll need to weatherproof this connection, and Solid Signal knows the best way to do that.

Since we’re on the subject of weatherproofing, these butt connectors are weatherproofed. Yes, I already mentioned that they are watertight, but that’s not the only weather these devices resist. Most splices have a protective coating that helps prevent fading and cracking caused by prolonged UV exposure. Keep in mind that this UV-resistance fades over time. It’s best to know how many hours these splices are rated for so you know when to replace them.

Weatherproofing Solutions

3M Weatherproof Butt Connector 16-14 Gauge Blue 25 Pack (3M62-NBM-A-25)

When protecting joined cables, professional installers use something called butt connectors, aka splices. In most cases, these weatherproofing devices resemble a nylon sleeve with insulating material on the inside. Both ends of the cut cables are placed inside this splice and it’s snapped shut around the connection. These weatherproofing kits provide a moisture-resistant, weatherproofed seal that allows the signal to travel from one split copper wire to the next.

CommScope Connector and Splice Weatherproofing Kit (221213)

While butt connectors are common, there are other types of splices. Some connections can be protected with a specialized type of weatherproof tape. This butyl rubber tape comes in various sizes and is designed to prevent moisture and the elements from eventually damaging your connection. This can be a reliable way to weatherproof certain connections.

CommScope 3/8

A cold shrink weatherproofing kit can be a great weatherproofing option for some connections. These typically use some type of open-ended rubber sleeve to house the connection. These sleeves have been expanded by the manufacturer and placed on a removable plastic core. Once that core is removed, the plastic tubing shrinks around the cables that are joined or terminated. Generally speaking, this is how a cold shrink his insulates and weatherproofs he wire.

We Know What You’re Thinking…

…Which type of weatherproofing solution do I need? Well, it all depends on your installation, of course. If you’re a do-it-yourself installer who’s never had to weatherproof a connection, you can always ask us which solution you need. One easy way to do this is to post your question on our Support from Solid Signal Facebook page. We made it for you to do just that, ask questions and get answers from our experts. You can also get a product recommendation by giving our tech team a call at 877-312-4547.

Oh! One More Thing…

…I have to mention weatherproofing satellite dishes. Well, technically I’m mentioning it a second time in this post, but it’s important. At the risk of making a Game of Thrones reference, winter is coming. Satellite dish owners living in the “snow belt” have something to be concerned about. Snow and ice accumulate on your dish and interrupt your satellite reception. You probably already know this, but why haven’t you done anything about it?

Solid Signal has an easy solution for keeping the snow and ice from collecting on your dish. It’s called a satellite dish heater, and fall is the best time to get one and install it. Don’t believe me? Then take it from Stuart Sweet who wrote this well-crafted piece about the importance of dish heaters. Bottom line: if you own a dish and live in the snow belt, you need one of these and we have them. Give us a call at 877-312-4547 and get one before the first snow falls.