Use rip cord to remove encapsulant from buried enclosures

Encapsulant is difficult to remove from a re-enterable closure, especially when wire or cable of small diameter is used. In re-entering the closure, the installer must be careful to ensure that the conductors or fibers are not damaged during the procedure; this can be time-consuming and painstaking work.

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Samuel M. Whitson,

Carolina Com-Tec

Problem

Encapsulant is difficult to remove from a re-enterable closure, especially when wire or cable of small diameter is used. In re-entering the closure, the installer must be careful to ensure that the conductors or fibers are not damaged during the procedure; this can be time-consuming and painstaking work.

Solution

When sealing or resealing a closure, install a rip cord of mule tape, Kevlar, or lacing cord around the splice bundle before applying the encapsulant. If you install the rip cord in a spiral pattern, it will be quick and easy to re-enter the closure; just pull the rip cord to break through and loosen the encapsulant.

Procedure

With the closure open, complete the splice or splices, whether copper or fiber, in accordance with locally accepted specifications.

1)Take rip-cord material--mule tape, a strip of Kevlar, or lacing cord--and, starting at one end of the splice or bundle, wrap the splice or bundle in a spiral. Take four or five turns around the bundle per foot of length.

2) Run the end of the rip cord through the filling hole to the outside of the closure.

3) Place a funnel in the filling hole and fill the closed closure with encapsulant. Place the plug in the filling hole.

4) When the closure needs to be re-entered, the installer can safely and easily remove the cured encapsulant, saving both time and effort, by pulling the rip cord, loosening the encapsulant, and then removing the loose material by hand.

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Click here to enlarge image

A rip cord around the splice or splice bundle runs out the filling hole of the closure. When the closure is re-entered, the rip cord is pulled, loosening and stripping away the cured encapsulant without damaging the wires or cables.

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Click here to enlarge image

Samuel M. Whitson is a project manager for Carolina Com-Tec (Statesville, NC). His installer tip received an honorable mention in the Installer Tips Contest at Cabling Installation Expo `96, held in Charlotte, NC, last October.

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