We have 3/16" wire rope (1/8" covered to 3/16") that will be going through several poles. Something like this:

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How can I protect the vinyl coating from being cut if/when it rubs against the hole edge? This should also cover the hole so that water doesn't go into the pole.


  • you will not be able to prevent water ingress. Either provide for it, or expect to have a post that's full of water and then freezes. You'd be amazed at the jacking power of ice, the post will drain itself once it cracks. Jan 23, 2018 at 17:38
  • I would drill a weep hole at the ground level if set in concrete.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 29, 2018 at 14:38

2 Answers 2


A quick Google search using various terms eventually resulted in using "hole protector sleeves for 3/16 wire rope" leading to many links, one of which is Amazon: VistaView Stainless Steel Protector Sleeves for 1/8", 5/32" or 3/16" Cable Railing

Being stainless steel, they are pricey and as Harper noted, unlikely to prevent water intrusion. One could use a silicone sealer when performing the installation to improve that aspect, but it's not going to be permanent or one-hundred percent effective. Temperature changes will pull humid air in over time.

You did not reference that the protection had to be done after the cabling is installed, and that's a good aspect, as I found zero links for after-install grommets or protection.

wire rope protector


I suggest buying vinyl tubing with an inside diameter large enough to accommodate the rubber coated steel rope. Be sure that the steel rope is loose in the tubing to allow for the possibility of expansion and contraction. Drill your holes in the metal poles sized for the outside diameter of the tubing. Cut the tubing in sections long enough that about half an inch or so sticks out on either side.

If you make the holes in the pipe so the tubing is a tight fit you should not have problems with either the tubing moving over the course of time or water infiltration but you will have a difficult time pushing the tubing through both holes in the pipe. If you make the holes a larger diameter, say an eighth of an inch larger than the outside diameter of the tubing, it will ease the installation of the tubing but at an increased risk of the tubing moving and/or water entering through the gap. To prevent this from happening use a good adhesive (epoxy?) to hold the tubing in place and seal the gap to keep out water. Remember that the correct adhesive used properly can be very reliable but the wrong adhesive or the right adhesive used incorrectly can be practically useless. A thin steel rod may be very useful to guide the tubing through the metal posts between the holes.

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