You may find yourself wondering how deep fiber optic cable goes. This is an important question because you don’t want construction workers digging up your new line and ripping it apart. Luckily, there are ways you can find out how deep the fiber optic cable goes before digging starts.
With some research, you can understand more about what it takes to bury fiber optics and the different types of burial methods. The article below explores how deep is fiber optic cable buried and the best practices when laying new threads, so read on for more information.
What is a fiber optic cable?
Fiber optic cables are long strands of fragile glass fibers that carry information for long distances. The diameter of each fiber is about the width of a human hair and can transmit signals over long distances with little to no data loss. These cables are used for internet infrastructure, communications networks, and cable TV.
They can also use them for other types of data communication, like sensors, medical imaging, and research equipment. Because of their unique properties, they are chosen over copper wire for many applications where distance is a factor.
How Deep is Fiber Optic Cable Buried?
Fiber optics are buried underground in an open trench or a cable duct. The depth of the cable varies depending on the environment in which it is placed. Factors like temperature and soil type can affect the decision to bury the cable deeper or shallower.
In general, the deeper the cable is buried, the more protection from outside elements it has. You don’t want to go too deep, as fiber optics have a maximum recommended burial depth. For example, there are different burial depths for cables laid in various soil types. The line can be buried 10-15 feet deep in sand, while they can plant it at least 24 inches in clay.
Types of Cable Burial
There are a few different types of cable burial. They include:
- Direct Burial – The cable is laid directly into the ground without any conduit or other protection in direct burial. This method is most common in rural areas or outside of a city. Natural burial is suitable for a dry environment with sandy soil and low water or animal damage risk.
- Indirect Burial – In indirect burial, workers lay the cable in a protective tube-like conduit. The conduit protects the cable from the elements, rodents, and critters. Indirect burial is suitable for all environments and soil types.
- Cable Drag – Cable drag is a unique cable burial used to deploy large cables. It involves pulling the cable behind a specially designed vehicle and pushing it into the ground when it reaches a certain depth.
How to Find Out How Deep is Fiber Optic Cable Buried?
There are a few ways you can figure out how deep is fiber optic cable buried. The first is to contact your local cable company and request that they send out a locator crew to survey the area. The team will use special equipment to find the cable, including ground-penetrating radar, EM, and electrical locating equipment.
Another option would be to hire a contractor to perform a cable survey. This will cost a little bit more money but will be done by professionals who know precisely what they’re doing. You can also use an online cable map to find out the location of the fiber optic cable in your area.
These mapping websites will show you the path of the fiber optic cable and where to find it buried in the ground.You can also search for your address on this map and see where the line is in relation to your home.
Strategies for Better Communication and Safer Boring
Communication is critical when burying fiber optic cables. The contractor should let you know where they plan to bury the cable so you can avoid digging in those areas. Here are some suggestions for better communication and safer boring:
- Mark the cable routes
- Mark the cable routes on the ground with paint or flags so you can avoid digging in those areas. Some contractors will mark the ends of the cable, so you can see where they end and avoid searching near those ends.
- Install conduit – If you know where the cable is going to be, you can ask the contractor to install a conduit where they will bury the cable. This will make it easier to avoid digging in those areas in the future.
- Bury the cable at least 24 inches deep – The FCC requires that contractors bury the cable at least 24 inches deep to avoid hitting the cable and disrupting service. This will also make it easier to avoid digging in those areas in the future.
How is fiber optic cable buried?
After deciding where the cable needs to go and where it will be buried, the contractors will dig up the ground. They will either use a backhoe and shovel, or a machine called a “pig” that digs the trench.
Once the channel is dug, the contractor will pull the cable through the canal and tie it off at the ends. They will then cover the cable with dirt to bury it. Once the line is buried, it is relatively easy to maintain.
You can find out where the cable is buried by looking at an online cable map. These maps will show you the path of the fiber optic cable and where it is buried in the ground. You can also search for your address on this map and see where the line is about your home.
How deep do they bury internet lines?
The depth of the internet lines that go into your home varies depending on a few factors. If the cable is in an open trench, the contractor will probably bury it at least 24 inches deep. However, if the line is in a buried duct or inside a concrete pad, the contractor will usually suppress the cable much deeper.
You can also find the depth of the internet lines by using an online cable map or contacting your local cable company. For example, the contractor in New York City buries the lines up to 16 feet deep, while contractors in Dallas bury the lines about 12 feet deep.
What is the code for burying fiber optic cable?
The National Electrical Code (NEC) specifies burying fiber optic cables’ depth and location requirements. The NEC code is commonly used by utilities, contractors, and other engineers that bury cables in the ground. They will use the NEC code to determine where to plant the cable and how deep it should go.
The NEC code has several requirements for burying fiber optic cable. The contractor must ensure these requirements are met before burying the cable. They include:
- Burying the cable at least 24 inches below the ground will prevent the contractor from digging up the cable and disrupting service.
- Keeping the cable away from high-traffic areas
- If the cable is in a high-traffic area, it will get damaged and break more easily.
Fiber optic cables are buried underground in an open trench or a cable duct. The depth of the line varies depending on the environment in which it is placed. There are a few different types of cable burial. The contractor will need to let you know where they plan to bury the cable so you can avoid digging in those areas.
The contractor will dig up the ground, pulling the thread through the trench and covering it with dirt to bury it. Once the cable is buried, it is relatively easy to maintain. You can find out where the line is buried by looking at an online cable map.