Do Coax Cables Go Bad: Common Reasons Why Coax Cables Go Bad

If you are new to the world of the internet, phone, and electric management, you probably ask yourself a question. The question is, “do coax cables go bad?”

Ask any electrician, and they will tell you that coax cables go bad. This article will teach many things regarding coax cables, from common coax cable damages to prevention techniques. 

The Four Types Of Damage That Causes Coax Cables To Go Bad

Causes Coax Cables To Go Bad

There are four possible reasons to blame for why your coax cable has gone wrong. 

1.1Coax Cables Go BadHeat damage 

The melting points of coax cables are 150 degrees F. These low melting points mean that a coax cable will go wrong when it is near a heat source for a long time. This is because the plastic on the coax cable will melt, and the components will shift out of place. 

1.2 Coax Cables Go BadWater damage

Also, coax cables can go wrong due to water damage. Like many electrical-based objects, persuade cables are not functional when they are subject to water, and water can affect the electrical wiring of a coax cable.

1.3 Coax Cables Go BadPhysical damage

  Likewise, coax cables can go wrong from physical damage. The outer surface of a coax cable is delicate. Since it is tender, a coax cable can go wrong when you throw it around without a care. It would help if you kept the coax cables in a straight position.

Even the slightest bend in a coax cable can break its inner components. To sum up, you should never bend or step on a coax cable, or else it will go wrong.

1.4 Coax Cables Go BadConnector damage 

Adding on, coax cables can go wrong from conductor damage. Coax cables have a connector on both ends, and Connectors transfer radio waves carrying information from one source to another.

So, if you break either connector on the coax cable, the coax cable is bad.

However, you can replace the connectors on the coax cable, and if you choose to do this, then the coax cable can still be suitable. 

However, What Is The Main Reason That Causes A Coax Cable To Go Bad?

Causes A Coax Cable To Go Bad

Remember, coax cables are delicate. It would help if you kept your coax cable in a straight position.

By repeatedly negatively deranging your coax cable, its components will shift around and break down.

Precisely, the tube that encases the coax cable and all of its wiring might move or break.

After this, the wiring in the coax cable will become brittle and break.

Bad Coaxial Cable Symptoms

Below are the two main symptoms indicating a bad coaxial cable.

  1. A poor internet connection – If you begin to note that the sound or picture on your device is fuzzy, distorted, or simply of poor quality, this could be an indicator that your coaxial cable is faulty.
  2.  No access to the internet – if the devices you’ve connected indicate that there’s no signal being received, this could also indicate that you have a faulty coaxial cable.

However, with coaxial cables, you don’t have to guess whether the cable is faulty, you could simply test it to find out.

How to Test a Coaxial Cable?

There are a number of methods you can employ to test your coaxial cable.

Test a Coaxial Cable With a Multimeter

An electrical multimeter can measure the abilities of multiple pieces of electronic equipment using many different calculations.

First off, you can use your electronic multimeter to do a resistance check on your coax cable.

The electronic multimeter administers a voltage test of the coax cable’s shield and cable components in this check.

A resistance test will give you an answer in hectometers or hms.

Secondly, you can use your electronic multimeter to do a capacitance check. The electronic multimeter will administer a capacity check of the coax cable’s shell and conductor in this check.

A capacitance check will tell you calculations in picofarads of pf.

Lastly, you can use your electronic multimeter to do an inductance check. The electronic multimeter will administer a capacity check of the coax cable’s shield and line this check.

An inductance check will discuss solutions in nanohenry, or NH, and in Ohm.

Test your Coaxial Cable With an Ohmmeter

You can use an ohmeter to measure the level of resistance in the circuit. All you need to do is connect your ohmmeter to your cable.

If the cable is okay, the readings should read low to medium resistance, which is about 75 ohms to 100 ohms.

However, if you have a faulty cable, the readings will appear out of range therefore indicating you need to replace your current coaxial cables.


Caption: Ohmmeter

Test your Coaxial Cable Using a Continuity Tester

Today, coaxial cables are the core of numerous data transmission systems. Continuity testers are among the best tools you could use to check if your coaxial cable is breaking or wearing off. 

Begin by setting up the alligator clip on your continuity tester to make contact with a bare wire at one end of your coaxial cable. Then, touch the tip of your continuity tester to the other bare wire on the end of the coaxial cable.

If the continuity tester detects continuity, it will make an audible beeping sound. However, if the continuity tester fails to detect any continuity, it will remain silent.

Test your Coaxial Cable Using a Coaxial Cable Tester

First, make sure to turn off the power to the device you plan on transmitting through. Then, attach one end of your coaxial cable to the output and the other end to the input on the cable tester.

Lastly, simply turn on your coaxial cable tester and observe the strength of the connection.

 Coaxial Cable Tester

Caption: Coaxial Cable Tester

If the signal is weak, you can try moving your cable to see if you get a better connection. And if you still get a weak connection this is an indicator that you might have a faulty coaxial cable. 

In case the connection is strong, your coaxial cable tester might be faulty; double-check by attempting to test another cable just to be sure.

Signs To Check If Your Coax Cable Goes Bad

  • You can see the wiring inside the coax cable.
  • The wiring in the coax cable breaks down. 
  • The plastic tubing also referred to as the rubber shield of the coax cable, breaks down. You might be able to see earlier signs of the rubber shield of a coax cable starting to go bad. You might be able to predict this when you see the rubber shield on your coax cable start to lose its color or become thinner. 
  • The connectors on the ends of the coax cable have rust, chips, or some of its missing components. 
  •  Often, you will see a green color, indicating that corrosion has occurred on the coax cable’s connectors. 
  • The connectors are weak. If you gently twist the connectors on your coax cable and they feel loose, then they are weak.

  One of the earliest detections to see if your coax cable goes wrong is if they were bad before you use it. Many different companies today make coax cables.

However, not all coax cables are high quality. Do the above methods of inspection first, and be sure not to buy a weak coax cable. 

Coax Cables Go Bad–How To Maintain Your Coax Cable

As you have read above, it’s easy for a coax cable to go wrong. To ensure that your coax cable can be used for a long time, there are two things that you can do.

To start, make sure that you install a coax cable correctly. Secondly, you should avoid unnecessary moving your coax cable once it has been installed. 

Tips For Buying Coaxial Cables

If you have a faulty cable constantly interrupting your internet connection, you might need to replace it. Therefore, it’s best to be prepared to choose the ideal coaxial cable. Below are some tips to assist you.

  • Look for a cable with pressure-fitted ends. Such ends, compared to others (molded ends), tend to last longer and don’t easily fray. Also, they don’t cause RF leaks when tugged, stepped on, or pulled.
  • Look for a cable with a screw-on connector. Often, cables with push-on connectors don’t make good connections and could cause breakups when you’re watching shows on your device.
  • Find a cable that is RG-6 rated. Such a rating indicates that the cable is thicker and of better quality. The material type (copper, gold, copper, platinum, or solver) doesn’t really matter because this is normally just a thin layer over the connector. 
  • Find a coaxial cable that is quad-shielded, as the shielding makes the cable more robust and the signal stronger.


One of the earliest detections to see if your coax cable has gone wrong is to see if they were terrible before using them.

Many different companies today make cables, and however, not all coax cables are made of high quality. Be sure not to buy a weak coax cable by doing the above methods of inspection first.

Hey, I am John, General manager of Cloom and OurPCB.

I am a responsible, intelligent and experienced business professional with an extensive background in the electronics industry.

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