Ethernet cable attracting lightning

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I ran about 200 ft of ethernet cable around the back of my house from my computer room to my bedroom, to stream netflicks. I tried wireless but I got tired of constant signal lossl and movie break-ups, hence the reason for direct wiring . The cable is run in 3/4 grey pvc buried about 5 to 6 inches underground. It will only be connected on both ends(router and pc) only when I'm watching movies otherwise it will be just hanging there doing nothing with NO juice flowing threw it. My question pertains to lightning- I just found out ethernet cables attract lightning AFTER I ran the cable, Do I have to worry about this cable attracting lightning and causing a fire in my home? Obviously I dont want to fry any of my components and they are all connected to surge protectors, but I am more worried about a house fire more than anything else, plus like I said before the cable will be dead most of the time only connected when being used. I live in Central florida so lightning is part of daily life down here. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated---Last thing I want to do is remove all that cable I just buried but safety is very important...
 

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  • #2
vk6kro
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It doesn't sound like it is high risk, but there are no guarantees with lightning.

It is inside a plastic pipe and buried in the ground so it couldn't get much safer than that.

More likely your house would be hit directly if the lightning was going to hit something. That is a lot higher than the plastic pipe and lightning tends to hit the highest object around.

Having said that, I have seen a modem that was blown to bits by a lightning strike near underground telephone wires.

If you wanted to go to extremes, maybe you could get some heavy duty Aluminum foil and lay it over the plastic pipe and just bury it enough to keep it in place.

You could also use optocouplers at each end of the wire, but that seems a bit too paranoid.
 
  • #3
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Let me ask you this, being the cable will be disconnected most of the time at both ends especially during a storm, will that lessen the chance of lightning actually being attracted by the cat5?
 
  • #4
vk6kro
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It can't hurt to disconnect the wires.

However the problem isn't that the cable will somehow attract the lightning. It can't do that. But if lightning happens to strike the ground nearby, maybe you could get a breakdown in the plastic, perhaps at one of the joins.

I just can't see there being a problem, though. As I said, your house would probably get hit first, so that should cheer you up. :)
 
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MY HOUSE GETTING HIT WOULD DEFINITELY NOT CHEER ME UP! But I understand what your saying,,maybe I'm a little on the paranoid side...........or alot.. Thanks vk6kro.
 
  • #6
fss
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Use plenum-rated cable and it shouldn't burn if it even came to that. ...if you're that paranoid.
 
  • #7
DaveC426913
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Unrelated, but: 200 feet is approaching the limit for that type of cable. (100 metres is recommended limit, but that's under ideal conditions.) Haved you checked your signal strength?
 
  • #8
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Actually I've streamed several movies- one that was almost three hours long, and had no signal loss or any negative issues whatsoever.
 

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