Can premises indoor copper cables be exposed to water?

January 9, 2023

Indoor-rated communications cables are intended for dry locations and thus feature minimal moisture-blocking ability. Water and other liquid contaminants can soak into the cable materials, potentially altering the transmission properties of the cable, particularly those with metallic conductors. Effects may be immediately evident or exhibited later as the water or contaminant degrades the cable materials over time. In addition, the National Electrical Code (NEC) requires that indoor communications cables be “listed” for the application and marked with the listing. Exposure to liquid contaminants, including water, may alter the fire resistance and/or smoke generation properties of the cable, which are defined by the NEC listing.

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