What is the cable compound?

A cable compound is a material, usually petroleum-based, used to fill an electrical cable to limit intrusion from water and to provide extra insulation. Numerous types of cable including electrical and phone lines can be filled with cable compounds by manufacturers and installers to protect the integrity of the line. The cable is also tightly jacketed to add another layer of insulation and protection and to increase the duration between maintenance sessions, as the cable should remain stable and durable for an extended period of time with the extra protection

Cable compounds can come in the form of viscous oils, waxes, or gels. Some gel compounds are known as “icky-pick,” a reference in part to their unpleasant flavor, which is designed to deter animals that might otherwise nibble into electrical cabling. Animal damage can be expensive to repair and in some cases causes serious problems with the line, because it may create shorts and other malfunctions. Moisture can also be a significant issue, especially in areas with corrosive rain or high salt content in the air, as this can eat through outer insulation and expose the interior of the cable

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