Animals Cause Electrical Outages

– FST is a Permanent Protective Solution –

A regional electrical cooperative in North Carolina has for years experienced electrical outages due to squirrels chewing cables in riser poles. Squirrels apparently don’t know the difference between conduit or riser pole openings versus voids in trees, and will naturally investigate these openings.

Squirrels need to chew on wood—or what they might think is wood—to keep their teeth sharp and in good working condition. Because riser poles and conduits on the side of wooden utility poles contain jacketed power cables, these cables are often exposed to squirrels and the inevitable damage their chewing causes.

Open-ended conduits and risers leave an enticing void for squirrels to enter. The squirrels then chew the jackets, which can cause either an immediate outage or a future failure by removing the protective jacket, exposing the inner layers, and weakening the cable.

Most utilities have no solution for keeping squirrels out of pole openings. Some power companies use duct putty or aerosol cans of cheap spray foam to plug the riser pole openings, but these ineffective products sag, dry out, and are damaged by the sun.

Squirrel chews caused outage

Squirrel chews caused outage

Investigating the cause of the outage

Investigating the cause of the outage

The remains of the squirrel that caused the outage.

The remains of the squirrel that caused the outage.

High-performance Polywater® FST foam duct sealant is a closed-cell foam that was specifically formulated for sealing conduit and riser pole openings. FST is a dense foam packaged in a cartridge that can be deployed from a standard high-ratio caulking gun that utility crews commonly carry, meaning there is no need to purchase a special tool. Squirrels will not chew through an FST seal.

Once deployed in the top of the riser pole or conduit, Polywater® FST is not exposed to the sun, so it leaves a permanent protective barrier against squirrels. Watertight FST seals also prevent water from entering underground conduit systems.

Animal outages are costly and frustrating, but can be easily prevented by sealing openings with Polywater® FST Foam.

For more information on installation or technical specifications please visit the FST web page.

Link to FST Foam Duct Sealant


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