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Discuss Coax Cable Insulation Damaged, Copper visible, Cable can't be easily replaced I think in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

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Delran

DIY
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Hi,

I'd really appreciate your help. This is in Europe. I have no electrical knowledge and very little construction/DIY knowledge. I know electricians / cable-provider-technicians can measure coax signal strength at the outlet with a specialized device.

A cable is damaged right down by the floor in an apartment. I'm assuming it's a coax cable. It just comes out of the floor near the wall and then goes up a few inches and then goes into the wall. I'm not used to coax cables being laid openly like that, I'd expect them to be just in the wall, safe and secure.
Above this piece of cable, further up on the wall - about 2.5 feet higher, there is a Coax outlet. From that outlet you can see another cable going further up into the wall.

The coax cable got damaged right where it comes out of the floor, maybe 0.5mm from the floor. I can see the copper insulation ripped open, maybe 0.4inch wide. I fear that I can't get any slack when I would try to pull the cable up, it seems taut. I have no idea where/how the cable is running below the floor.

I don't have internet there yet at all, so I can't test how well/badly it would work now. I need to decide now what to do about this because electricians are already coming for unrelated reasons. I would not need to pay for the repair. It would be good not to have to open up the wall/floor.

Steady and reliable internet is really important to me and I do not want a connection which's reliability suffers from a bad signal. There are heating pipes right by the cable, probably copper pipes.

I don't think this cable can be easily replaced at all, it seems to be cemented into the wall and from the state of things I am assuming it goes somewhere weird under the floorboard and it's not properly done at all. A friend (not an electrician, not an expert) said he thinks it would be a lot of trouble to replace that cable.

What would be best to do here, please? I read that you can basically flick together two pieces of coax cable professionally with the right adapters - I would ask an electrician to do that. But is this connecting piece even insulated? Would I cause just more signal loss by paying an electrician to install an F-female to F-female connector "bridge" for that small break - compared to just leaving as is and putting some liquid electrical tape on it?

Maybe the electrician has not much experience with coax cables for internet. Is there anything I need to tell him to make sure the fix will work well for internet purposes?

Thank you for your time.
 
TL;DR
Apartment: Coax cable damaged, copper torn ~0.4in diameter. Cable goes out from floorboard into wall, then up to coax outlet. Cable maybe cemented into wall and who knows whats going on in the floor. I fear there is no slack. Want stable/reliable internet form this outlet. Can't test internet atm.

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Lucien Nunes

Lucien Nunes

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Arms
It's hard to see the extent of the damage. Inside the braided copper shield should be a plastic dielectric, like ordinary cable insulation but possibly with air spaces inside or made of foam. Inside that is the copper centre conductor. If the dielectric is mainly intact and you cannot see the centre conductor, and a reasonable amount of the shield is unbroken, the cable will probably work fine. If the centre conductor is broken or the dielectric so badly damaged that the centre conductor is not insulated from the shield, that is not good.

Fitting in inline connector does not seriously affect the signal if done properly. There is a small amount of loss but unless the cable is already near the limit of what is acceptable, it probably won't make any difference. However, some of the cable buried in the floor would have to be exposed, to fit a connector. If a repair was needed, I would probably repair by soldering and microsurgery.
 
D

Delran

DIY
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
@Lucien Nunes Thank you for taking the time to reply, it was very helpful.

The electrician was here today (for an unrelated matter) and had a look. He said the cable should be fine, because the copper centre conductor (copied your words) is ok. I asked him about insulation repair, and he (I think without charging me) put on some cable insulation. Like a half cable, so you can put/slide it over another cable, just the outside rubber part. Then he fixed it into place with a little adapter thingy and a nail, so that the new half-cable thing stays on the old cable. He said he's only doing this because this is not a power cable. I do not know if this provides any electric insulation to signal noise. Maybe it is just a bit of physical insulation to have some protection there.

He also initially offered to put Acryl on it, but he didn't have it in the car, so he couldn't do it.

I'm now thinking of buying something from Amazon, pulling down that half-cable thing, and putting something (silicone or acryl) on the little hole myself and then to re-apply his half-cable thing. My non-electrician friend recommended "Bathroom silicone" a while ago because it prevents moisture.

However, I just looked up a bathroom silicone on Amazon (Den Braven Sanitary Silicone, Anti-Fungal, Waterproof, Made in Germany), and it says "this is not like ordinary construction silicone, this is not good to be used on materials that can corrode, like copper" - so it seems i should not put that on the ripped open copper mesh?

What should I do here? Should I just leave the whole thing as the electrician did it today, or should I put something (acryl/silicone) on there to protect it from moisture? Do I need to protect this from corrosion?

Thanks again.
 
telectrix

telectrix

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i would leave as is and see if anything connected works OK. if so, then leave it alone. any problems, then go into it a bit deeper ... "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
 
A

Avo Mk8

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I agree with telectrix - leave well alone unless you later discover a problem with its operation.
If the cable goes to the socket above it would most likely be for a terrestrial TV antenna if in the UK.
Delran, you mention the internet. Am I missing something? Surely this cable has no relation to the internet?
 
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pc1966

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If it is cable TX coax that can also be for internet (as Virgin provides in the UK).

But I agree with the above - check to see if there is a problem first, otherwise some PVC tape to keep any further damp, etc, out is probably sufficient.
 
H

h901

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Just leave it as it is. If you really want to protect against moisture then use some self-amalgamating tape.
 
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