Keep your connectors tight and you’ll be fine all season

With the changing of the seasons, it’s a good idea to take a look at all your outdoor connections. Whether you’re “winterizing,” “summerizing,” or just being smart, there’s no time like the present to check those vital coaxial connections into your home.

Coaxial cables power your entertainment world

The simple RG6 cable, or ones very similar to it, have been powering home entertainment for decades. Coaxial cables were used first for over-the-air TV antennas, and then later for cable TV and satellite. Now, they’re used to move internet service throughout your home.

Bad things can happen to good cables

It doesn’t matter if “it looks tight.” Now is the time to go check that every connection is tight. Connectors can get loose from swelling and contracting due to temperature change. They can get loose due to being moved. They can corrode. Anything can happen.

Even if you think that everything is great in your home theater, think of it as “spring cleaning” no matter what season it is. And, it’s not just coaxial cables that need your attention.

Here’s a short list of tasks you might want to think about:

  • Using a 7/16″ open-end wrench, gently snug the end of every F connector to the point where it won’t respond to gentle pressure.
  • Push in every RCA cable gently.
  • Using very light pressure, pull on every bare wire connection to see if it comes loose. If it does, re-attach it.
  • Unscrew the thumbscrews on VGA and other legacy connectors to make sure they detach properly, then wipe the screws with a little WD-40. Spray the WD-40 on a cloth first, don’t spray on the connector. Finally, reconnect them.
  • Check cables with strain reliefs to make sure they are not cracked.
  • With all your devices turned off, gently tap power cables to make sure they are firmly plugged in and that they will not fall out.

While you’re there, take a good look at your home theater. If you’re like most of us, you’ve double- and triple-wired things because you weren’t sure what you would need. At last count I have removed over 30 RCA cables from my home theater. It’s also probably time to get rid of optical cables and coax audio cables.

While you’re at it, bundle cables together with Solid Signal’s cable wraps. You’ll be able to find the cables you need easily and they won’t turn into a tangled mess.

Replacing coaxial cables

In general, you should replace any coaxial cables that show any signs of wear at all. It’s smart to use Solid Signal’s made-to-order coaxial cables. We can make custom cables for you in lengths from 1 to 500 feet.

When you get a cable from Solid Signal, you’re getting a cable with solid copper center conductor and two compression connectors. You won’t find this kind of cable at a home store. It’s custom-made by experts to your specifications. It’s also designed to work with every installation, from cable modems to satellite to antennas and everything in between. Most cables you find at home stores will not work with anything that carries power and that means most amplified antennas won’t work with them.

If you need help choosing the right cable, call us at 888-233-7563 or, if it’s after East Coast business hours, fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you, usually within one business day.

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.