Article Courtesy of Jimmy Ash, Tool & Line Services Representative and American Polywater.

You’ve been there, in a vault filled with leaky conduits and water and gas all around you. These are not exactly safe or ideal conditions! Maybe, you’ve been on a pole, looking down at an unsealed riser, wondering if you should seal it up. We, at Gresco and American Polywater, say “Seal it like you mean it!”

Did you know that in the United States there are between 3000 to 4000 underground utility “events” annually? Some examples include manhole covers being launched into the air and smoking and/or fires in URD structures. Additionally, animals and rodent intrusion can cause damage and failure to an electrical system. Methane, hydrogen and other gases are typically present in URD Structures and are dangerous, if concentrated. Off-gassing occurs from cracks in secondary wiring, which can cause arcing and lead to catastrophic underground events.

Water presents another danger as it exacerbates any problems arising from aging infrastructure. Tests have shown that preventing the flow of liquids and gases through conduits and cracks allows these dangers to dissipate in a vault. 

Bottomline, sealing and minimizing the movement of gas and water is the answer to prevention and should be a major part of your maintenance program.

American Polywater offers chemical (foam) and mechanical seals ideal for stopping gases and water. Polywater foams are closed-cell, durable, and re-enterable. These foams are currently used throughout the nation with verifiable results, both in commercial and utility applications. Our Polywater/Hauff-Technik mechanical seals are stainless steel, tough, and designed to stop gases and water.

Polywater AFT is perfect for riser and ground level conduit sealing where lower levels of gas and water flow are present. It comes in a convenient spray can – shake it, spray it, and seal it! AFT is quick reacting and offers the durability of closed cell foam. It is tested compatible with all cable jackets and self-extinguishes. 

Polywater FST, blocks 22 feet of water head pressure and is best suited for underground vaults and heavy-duty applications where there are large flows of gases and water. Polywater FST comes in a convenient kit, is compatible with all cable jackets, and is self-extinguishing.  

Our Polywater/Hauff-Technik mechanical seals are the latest product designed for those who prefer mechanical seals. These seals meet IEEE/ICC and NESC recommendations. They are stainless steel seals with EPDM rubber compressed and are customized to perfectly fit the cable and conduit sizes. Polywater/Hauff-Technik not only has products for cable/conduit sealing, but also mechanical devices for sleeved penetrations.

Our aim is to provide safety to all of those involved in utility work. Our time tested and proven products will not only help you achieve safer work environments, but will help you get more life out of your infrastructure. Just remember to “Seal it like you Mean it!”

Contact your Gresco sales team for more information and for samples!