How To Determine Coaxial Cable Interference And Troubleshooting It – The Definitive Guide

Are you looking for authentic information about coaxial cable interference and troubleshooting? If so, you are at the right place. Coaxial cable interference can happen because of cable’s physical damage, electrical issues and many more.

You have to follow some prevention measures to troubleshoot coaxial cable interference. No matter for which purpose you use a coaxial cable, interference is a big problem everywhere.

Let’s understand this minor issue with a vast impact and how to cure it in detail in this article. So, without more delay let’s explore.

What Is Coaxial Cable Interference?

Coaxial cable interference means having issues with vivid signal transmission due to several causes. If you are having flashy images in your TV, ghostly and snowy pictures or no picture display at all it might be caused by coax cable interference.

In a nutshell, if there are internal issues in your coaxial cable or external factors that cause harm to your coaxial cable is called interference.

What Is The Most Common Cause For Failure Of Coaxial Cables (Bad Coaxial Cable Symptoms)

The most common causes for failure of coaxial cables are, penetrated or damaged coaxial cable cover, Getting in touch with water, melt down inside wiring, damaged central conductor etc.

However, every TV reception problem is not really a bad coaxial cable issue. Sometimes it might be possible your antenna is not enough to get the signals. Or maybe your broadcasting station is dealing with stuff.

There are some common symptoms by which you can tell you are having problems with your coaxial cable. Let’s see the common ones.

Coaxial Cable Interference
Coaxial Cable

How To Ensure The Problem Is In The Coaxial Cable

To be sure about your coax cable issue you have to run a manual test.

Turn on your television and go through several channels. If you are having flashy/snowy images with a particular channel and the others are just fine, then the issue isn’t the coax cable.

Maybe that specific channel has got signal transmission problems from the broadcasting center.

But, if you can see every other channel is doing the same, then you need to check your coaxial cable connection as soon as possible.

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Possible Reasons Of Coaxial Cable Interference

Let’s discuss some possible reasons for coaxial cable interference.

  • Physical Damage By Bending Or Twisting

I understand your house is not a flat area. But while cabling with coaxial cable inside your house you have to be a little careful. Coaxial cables are constructed with a hard cover on for protection.

This cable shield surely doesn’t have enough flexibility to bend too much. While cabling to the corners of the wall do not bend the cable at a corner with less than 3 inches of radius.

If you do so it may break the cable from inside and you won’t even know because of the rubber cable shield. Maybe the cover isn’t penetrated but cornering, twisting and too much bending will indeed cause harm to coaxial cables.

  • Coming In Contact With Water

It is very well known to all that cabling items get corroded coming in contact with water. You should be very careful while cabling about water. Make sure your coaxial cable doesn’t get in contact with water.

Water corrosion is often seen in coaxial cable set up outside the house. Rain water or in stormy weather coaxial cables can get affected very easily. Getting in touch with water your get radio frequency interference.

One way to solve this problem is protecting your coaxial cable from water by doing effective cabling. Another best way to do it is choosing the best type of cable like, RG-6 “Quad Shield” cable.

If you choose a crap coaxial cable it is going to fail anyway in no time. So, be wise and choose the perfect type of cable at the beginning.

  • Damage Done While Securing The Coaxial Cable

Coaxial cable interference can also happen while securing the cable with cable stapler. There are different types of cable stapler available in the market. Usually cable staplers that have ¼ inches staples are not suitable for securing coax cables.

These staples are very short and keep no space between the cable and the staple. So the cable is crushed and the internal materials break. That’s why interference can take place.

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Use a cable stapler that must secure the coaxial cable but do not crush it through. Usually bigger cable staplers work great in this case.

  • Electrical Interference Caused By Electrical Wires

Installing coaxial cable near electrical cables can cause interference. You know coaxial cables deal with RF or Radio Frequencies. Radio frequency gets affected if they get near to electrical radiation.

So, while setting up coaxial cables you must do it far from electrical wires. That means, telephone wiring, computer or television cables included in electrical wires.

If you do not have any other option than installing coaxial cable near electrical wirings, make sure you do it by maintaining at least a distance of six inches to avoid electromagnetic interference. Otherwise the radio frequency energy would get interfered and you won’t receive any signals.

  • Damaged Central Conductor

A very common but rarely understood issue about coaxial cable interference is a damaged central conductor. It is profound that you should go for a full copper center conductor which is a perfect conductor for coaxial cables.

However, sometimes the copper conductor comes out corroded. A central conductor in any coax cable is the main source of transmission. When it is damaged you end up getting a lot of interference.

So, check your central conductor as well as the whole cable.

Why Coaxial Cable Goes Bad

How to Avoid Coax Cable Problems – Troubleshooting

Cod cutters often think dealing with coaxial cable interference is a massive fact. But you can save yourself from that hassle if you are a little smart from the beginning. First of all, inspect if your coax connector is in the right port. Then move on for the others.

Now, let’s see how you can troubleshoot coaxial cable interference.

Look For Full Copper Central Conductor Coaxial Cable

Never choose a cheap Copper Clad Copper coaxial cable just to save a few bucks. Generally they are thinner cable and can’t help you for the long run.

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Always choose Full Copper center conductor coax or CCA and CCS coaxial cable. These are the high quality cables in terms of choosing a coaxial cable for an extended usage. For instance, RG-6 “Quad Shield” cable would be the best choice.

Avoid Twisting And Bending The Coaxial Cable

While installing the cable make sure there is no bend or twist remaining. Take an assistant who can hold the bundle and help to spread it without knots.

Check The Coax Leakage Before Installing

Look for leakages or holes in the cable before securing it to the connection.

Cover The Penetrated Part Very Well

If you can see a penetration make sure you cover it and no water can get in touch with the cable. Foil shielding is considered a good option; however for more security you should exchange the cable with a newer one.

Choose Bigger Cable Stapler That Are More Of A Fastener

Use bigger cable staplers that do not crush the internal component of the coaxial cable. It should leave a little space for the cable to breath while still securing it.

Do Not Install Coax Near Electrical Wirings

Electromagnetic interference causes a lot  of problems for coaxial cables. So, try to distant the electrical cables from the coaxial cable.


As you have come this far I guess now you understand coaxial cable interference and troubleshooting clearly. If you are dealing with the interference issue apply the effective troubleshooting methods stated above.

And if you are going to buy new coax, get the best copper central one to avoid all the mess at the very beginning.

Let us know your thoughts about this guide in the comment section below. Happy cabling!

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