Should you bury your antenna and satellite cable?

Not everyone likes to see big black cables. As a matter of fact, having your cables exposed can be unsafe and if they’re just laying on the ground there’s a risk you could accidentally cut them. (Believe me folks, it’s happened to me.) So, burial grade cable is a good option for satellite and antenna use.

What’s different about burial grade cable?

Burial-grade cable is designed to do two things. First of all, the rubber sheath of the cable is designed to be more tolerant of the conditions found in a burial condition. Dirt tends to be in general wetter than air, and there can be intrusive forces like insects. The sheath is tougher in order to make sure that it can withstand those forces.

In addition, burial grade cable should not leach harmful chemicals into the ground. Similar to plenum-rated cable, burial-grade cable should not create an environmental hazard as it decays over time.

Can’t you just bury regular cable?

Yes you can but in general it will not last as long. It may be against local environmental ordinances as well. It’s better to use the right cable for the job.

Your options for burial-rated cable

Strangely, there aren’t a lot of options for burial-rated cable. The best option, and in some cases the only option, is our burial-rated RG6 from Perfect Vision.  This reel of cable is perfect for burial applications. It has a solid copper center conductor which makes it perfect for all cabling, including something that requires power. It comes in a reel that works with our EnviroReel system but if you don’t have an EnviroReel you can use it separately.

This cable has a black outer sheath. You might be familiar with burial cables with an orange sheath, which were once common. However, it’s far more common today to have a black sheath, which holds up better over time due to the construction of the sheath.

How to use burial-rated cable

You can dig a trench and simply lay the cable in it. It’s generally a good idea to go at least a foot down to make sure that random events don’t expose the cable as easily.

Personally I prefer to run cables through 3/4″ PVC instead of running them right on the ground. This provides a little more protection from random digging. A shovel will cut through most forms of cable pretty easily but you won’t be able to dig through PVC. This also gives you a little more space if you want to run a second cable through there at the same time. If you think that you’ll want even more flexibility, plan on 1″ or 2″ PVC instead. I would recommend burying larger PVC pipes lower so there’s even less chance that you’ll dig through them.

IMPORTANT: Check before you dig!

Even if you’re very familiar with your property, it’s always a good idea to call before you dig. You should know for sure where the water, electrical, and gas lines are. Many cities have a free “dig alert” service which will help you identify all the utility lines that are buried where you’re planning on putting your cable. No, none of them should be as high as one feet from ground level. This is a case of “better safe than sorry” and it’s really worth it… especially if the service is free

Get the best cables from Solid Signal

No matter what kind of cable you need, you’ll get the best results by shopping the great selection of wire and cable at Solid Signal. We have thousands of hard-to-find items that you won’t be able to get at larger sites. Not only that, our team is standing by on the phone to answer your questions. Call our US-based call center at 877-312-4547 during East Coast business hours and you’ll get all the help you need!

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 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.