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What colors of ground cable are there?

Ground cables come in many different sizes, types and colors. Since ground cables (the word says it all) are usually laid in the ground, over time the colors will always darken and eventually often turn black. Currently, most ground cables sold to consumers are gray in color.

But if we look at network operators like Enexis, Liander, Stedin or the telecom companies like KPN, Ziggo, Tele2 there are also other colors. These companies also lay ground cables, but they tend to have different colors.

Why are there different colors of ground cables?

On the one hand this is due to the application. So what the ground cables are used for. But also to be recognizable in the ground. Many telecom companies have their own colors. KPN has mostly blue and Ziggo mostly green.

For electricity we also have different colors. For example, low voltage < 400V is often gray and medium voltage >10,000V is often gray or red.

The older cables often from before 1980 are often all black. This is because at that time a layer of tar was applied to the sheath to protect the cable from groundwater. Internally, these cables also have a lead jacket. Which was then braided with a kind of rope which was then smeared with tar. So if the cable is really old, it can happen that you only see the lead sheath and that the rope has decayed. If you come across such cables it is always wise to call an expert from the network company to ask if he can indicate which cable you have encountered. They can then also tell you right away what to do to avoid any danger in further excavation.

Since most cables are very old you should never just touch them. The cable may already be damaged, but it can also be damaged by moving the cable. You should never do this. With medium voltage cables this can even be deadly.

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