NICE AND EASY: Can you take the weather boots off a SWM splitter?

One of the things you’ll notice when you look at this DIRECTV SWM splitter is that it comes with weather boots. They are those black things covering up the connectors. This is pretty rare in the world of splitters, and over the years I’ve been asked numerous times if they’re really needed. Here’s the simple answer.

You can take them off if…

Yes you can remove the weather boots. Of course you would want to leave them on if you’re using the splitter outside. If you’re using the splitter inside, feel free to remove them if they offend you in some way.

Why do they come with weather boots anyway?

All DIRECTV infrastructure equipment comes with weather boots. It’s been their standard pretty much since day one. Installers are allowed to use splitters outdoors as long as they are not exposed to direct sunlight or potential rain. Sunlight can crack the rubber boots and cause uneven expansion of the connectors. And of course you don’t want any water getting in those splitters. That would be… bad.

So, you can put splitters under eaves or in other similarly shaded areas. And when you do, you should use weather boots. Yes, a well-placed splitter shouldn’t get any water on it anyway, but why take a chance. They give you the weather boots anyway, right?

Why would you take the weather boots off?

I’ve been messing around with DIRECTV stuff for a lot of years. For most of them I never removed the weather boots. And I wish I had, at least for some of the test installations I’d done. Because it can be hard to connect a cable with those boots in place. It can be even harder to disconnect it. The other thing is that I’ve sometimes needed weather boots and not had them. I’ve bought them from Solid Signal when I’ve needed them, of course. Looking back it seems silly since I’ve got dozens of weather boots on indoor splitters. I just never really thought about it.

Installing DIRECTV equipment really isn’t super hard, but I’ll admit that it could have been easier if I had taken weather boots off in a couple of areas.

Should you take weather boots off other equipment?

AT&T’s SWM30 comes with weather boots. Some of their other equipment, like their amplifiers and taps, don’t. I would say, feel free to remove weather boots from anything that’s going to be completely inside.  If you’re using the SWM Expander, you’ll need to remove them from the connections anyway.

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About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.