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In our house, coax cable comes from the utility in a rear alley, then is joined to a separate cable that enters the house on the second floor. Here's a photo:

coax cable join on exterior brick wall

enter image description here

The black cable on the left comes from the utility; the beige cable on the right enters the house.

This is in a place with a fairly harsh climate: -20℃ in winter to +30℃ in summer is perfectly normal, annual snowfall and rainfall are both plentiful, and we get lots of sunshine, high humidity, low humidity, freezing rain, and thunderstorms. Hurricanes and volcanoes are not a concern.

Is this standard practice for coax cable? More importantly, is it weatherproof?

If not: is it my responsibility to fix, or the cable company's? (I'm in Montreal, Canada, and the cable company is Vidéotron.) The cable from the utility is new, having been replaced in Aug 2017 after a storm. The cable entering the house is not new, but it doesn't appear to be in terrible condition.

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    On a side note, you should lose the caulk and get that brick repointed. Someone did a real hatchet job on that. Looks like old mortar so go easy on the portland cement. – JimmyJames Jun 25 '18 at 15:21
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    Your pics don't actually show any cable entering the house. What we're looking at is just an in-line connector with a grounding wire - all external. You'll need to follow that beige cable to see where it actually enters the house. – brhans Jun 25 '18 at 16:37
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    Yeah, you don't show where it enters the house. – Hot Licks Jun 25 '18 at 22:13
  • It's as weatherproof as the rest of your house tuckpointed with caulk. The white cable is your responsibility to maintain. A drip loop isn't really necessary if it immediately descends (it'd be more for strain relief). It works doesn't it, so what's the question? Yes, it's standard practice for an underpaid installer to hang it like crap, but the white cable is your problem. – Mazura Jun 25 '18 at 22:58
  • @Mazura - A drip loop is definitely necessary at the point where the cable passes through the wall. – Hot Licks Jun 26 '18 at 0:36
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I don't think it matters all that much. I can't find a minimum operating temp for coax, but most wires tend to list -20C as their minimum, and that's mostly for bending reasons. So if it got hit in the middle of winter, maybe it might get damaged. Maybe...

As far as weatherproof... What you have in your picture is the grounding block. I have plenty of coax connections exposed to the elements. I've not seen them experience anything bad from it. More modern installs tend to put this inside a plastic box but I had a satellite dish with a block like that and it was fully exposed as well.

If I were you, however, I would check the wire going into the house. My bet is it's RG59. If you're looking to improve this you could

  1. Replace the RG59 with RG6 (quad shield if you can get it). You'll get a better signal, which is important for things like cable modems.
  2. Put it in conduit. PVC electrical conduit is cheap and if you can limit exposure to the elements it's worth the effort.
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The connectors shown in the image are "contemporary technology" and have sealing gaskets incorporated into the design. The tool used for applying the connectors ensures good sealing. The outer metal may corrode slightly but not sufficiently to impair performance.

As the connectors are today's products, it's also likely that the cable is already RG-6. The frequencies used for the multitude of channels in a cable television system requires RG-6 to reduce signal loss caused by RG-59 at higher frequencies.

In my previous years as a cable television installer, then service tech, I often pondered the lack of PVC protection. The logic is that for all of the installations performed, cheap wire is less expensive than PVC or other protective devices, but a homeowner can certainly provide such materials pre-installed for the cable installer to use.

With respect to the elements, the key feature is that the cable has a drip loop prior to entering any hole through the structure. Condensation and precipitation has to run down the loop and fall off, rather than be guided into the hole by a cable run vertically above the entry hole.

Such entries are usually plugged with Duct-Seal, while some homeowners will use caulk or silicone sealing. Duct-Seal is paintable, and much easier to remove than caulk should the installation have to be re-done.

  • Yep, the drip loop is critical. – Hot Licks Jun 25 '18 at 22:14
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I don't know standards for installing a cable TV service in Canada but in US normally we mount a house box to protect splitters and ground block from weather.

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