Can Ethernet Cables Get Hot? (What You Should Know)

Ethernet cables can get hot, but it’s important to recognize that this is a sign of a problem.

There are things you can do about it, but you need to troubleshoot the situation first.

Here, we’ll go over the reasons why an ethernet cable might be getting hot and what to do about it.

Here’s If Ethernet Cables Can Get Hot:

It’s possible for an Ethernet cable to get hot if there is a problem with the device or connection at either end of the cable. However, ethernet cables are low-voltage cables and you normally won’t have issues with ethernet cables running hot.

Ethernet Cables

Is It Normal for Ethernet Cables to Get Hot?

An Ethernet cable that feels hot or otherwise unusually warm is usually not a normal condition. In fact, it’s generally a sign that there is something wrong with the cable itself or with its connection points.

The cable itself may be defective: If you feel that your Ethernet cable is too hot on one end, then it could indicate a problem with the insulation or wiring inside. This could mean that you need to replace the entire length of cable in order to fix this issue, which can be expensive and time-consuming!

If you have a networking problem, it might not just be limited to your computer. Your router could also be overheating due to issues with its software and hardware—but if this happens, you may notice that all devices connected through your router are affected.

If neither end of your network appears to be working correctly, consider checking these items:

  • Your cables might not be connected properly. This can happen if they’re bent too much or if there’s dirt in between them that prevents their contacts from making contact when fully inserted into their ports on each side of the connection point (usually near where they plug into power sources). Check that all connections are firm and tight before moving on.
  • If both ends are plugged securely into power sources but one still won’t work properly, try swapping out cables; chances are something has gone wrong with one particular piece rather than anything else along the way because most problems will affect multiple devices simultaneously when they occur.

Can You Run an Ethernet Cable Through a Hot Environment?

If you’re running an ethernet cable through a hot environment, there are some things you should know.

Ethernet cables can get hot or even melt if exposed to high temperatures for too long.

The best way to keep your cables from getting damaged is by using a temperature-sensitive cable that’s designed for use in extreme temperatures (like those found on the engine of a car).

You may need to drill through the floor of your house or other structure in order to run an ethernet cable through. If so, be sure that you protect yourself with proper safety equipment before doing so.

Before running any electrical wires—including ethernet cables—through walls and floors, it’s important that you consult with an electrician first. This ensures that everything will be done professionally and safely.

Can You Run an Ethernet Cable Though a Heating Duct?

Yes, with some caveats. Typically, Ethernet cables can easily be run through most types of ducts and conduits without issue.

In fact, this practice is common in many commercial settings where a cable connection must be moved from one place to another without having to tear out walls or ceilings.

However, if the cable is damaged or worn in any way (e.g., if it has been cut or otherwise compromised), then it may not be safe to run through a heating duct or any other type of restricted space that could potentially trap heat around the wires inside the conduit itself.

What Can Cause an Ethernet Cable to Get Hot?

If your Ethernet cables are getting hot, it could be for one of several reasons. The first thing to check is whether the cable itself is faulty or has been installed incorrectly. If at all possible, have a certified electrician check out the installation before you begin any troubleshooting steps yourself.

If there isn’t anything obvious causing this issue (such as an incorrect connection), then it’s time to look elsewhere for answers. There are several potential causes of overheating in an Ethernet cable that can cause high temperatures in the wires:

  • Excessive current draw from connected devices
  • Too many things sharing the same cable (multiple devices on one port)
  • Bad connectors or cables themselves

External Sources That Heat Up Ethernet Cables

You should also be aware of the external sources that can cause your Ethernet cables to heat. These include:

  • Electrical Outlet – If you plug your Ethernet cable into an outlet and it gets warm, then there’s no need to worry. As long as it’s not getting hot enough to melt or catch fire, then the cause is probably just a normal electrical current heating up the cable.
  • Lightning – If lightning strikes near where you have plugged in your network equipment, it will send a massive surge of electricity through these wires and into any devices connected to them. This could very well lead to damage or outright destruction for anything connected at that time—and may even result in fire if something catches on fire due to this power surge. However, this is highly unlikely unless there was already some kind of problem with how well insulated those wires were from each other.

How To Protect Against Ethernet Cable Heating Up?

The easiest way to protect against Ethernet cable heating up is simply to use the right kind of cable. The most important factors when choosing a cable are:

  • The environment in which you’re going to be using it (electricity, water, etc.)
  • Whether or not you need a specific length or type of cable (twisted pair vs. coaxial)
  • The amperage rating of your device(s) that will be plugged into it (power or data)

Check out our blog here about do extension cords reduce power?

Can Heat Damage an Ethernet Cable?

Heat can definitely damage an Ethernet cable. In fact, heat is one of the main reasons why a cable might fail during use.

As you may know, Ethernet cables carry data from your computer or router to your modem and/or router—and it’s important for them to be able to do so reliably for as long as possible.

If there’s any sort of issue with the connection speed or signal quality along the way, then something needs replacing immediately before any serious problems occur.

Heat causes all sorts of damage on its own: it makes rubber brittle, causes certain plastics to become less flexible and more rigid over time (which means they’ll break more easily), and even changes electrical conductors’ ability to transmit signals accurately after prolonged exposure at high temperatures.

What to Do If an Ethernet Cable Gets Hot?

If you notice a cable getting hot, it’s probably time to get a new one. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell whether an Ethernet cable is damaged just by looking at it.

You should always check for damage anyway, since it could be dangerous to use a partially broken cable.

If the Ethernet cable is okay and still getting hot after being connected for a while, then you need to replace it with a new one.

If the computer or router doesn’t have any symptoms of overheating—like shutting off unexpectedly or failing—then replacing that part wouldn’t help much anyway.

Can You Use a Hot Ethernet Cable?

If your Ethernet cable is hot or warm, you can safely use it.

However, if the cable is cool to the touch and/or quite cold (less than 10 degrees Celsius), you should replace it immediately for safety reasons.

If there’s a burning smell coming from your Ethernet cable and/or it has become discolored due to heat damage, then throw away any hot cables immediately (and call an electrician).

If a damaged Ethernet cord is left plugged in for an extended period of time without being repaired or replaced by an expert, there’s a chance that power surges could occur and cause irreparable damage to nearby electronics—like monitors or computers—due to voltage fluctuations caused by such surges.


It’s clear that hot ethernet cables can be a major problem for your network. The most likely reasons for hot cables are poor design, degradation of the materials used in their construction, and inadequate ventilation around the cable run.

To protect against these problems, keep your cables away from sources of heat like radiators or HVAC vents, and make sure you use quality cable components that are designed to resist heat degradation.

It’s also important to monitor the temperature of your cables on a regular basis to ensure they aren’t getting too hot; if they are getting too hot, it could be a sign that something is wrong with them or their environment.

It’s best to replace these cables as soon as possible before they cause irreparable damage to other parts of your network.

Read our blog here about extension cords getting hot.


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