Duct and Conduit Introduction
The general purpose of conduit, or duct, is to provide a clear, protected pathway for a cable, or for smaller conduits, sometimes called innerducts. Advances in cable technologies, as well as the expense of repairing sensitive cable materials like fiber optic cable, have driven preferences for protective conduit over that of direct burial. Polyethylene (PE) conduit provides mechanical protection to fragile cable materials like fiber optic and coaxial cables, as well as protection from moisture or chemicals and even, in some cases, animals. Furthermore, the permanent pathway provided by conduit also facilitates replacement projects or future installations of additional cable or duct.
Buried conduit evolved from terracotta tile, cast concrete and Transite to plastics in the 1960s. Originally, PVC was utilized, but ultimately, PE has emerged as the material of choice due to its distinct advantages in installation options, versatility and toughness.
PE conduit can be installed below ground by a variety of methods, including open trench, plowing, continuous trenching and directional drilling. Also, its flexibility and availability in continuous coiled lengths facilitates installation into existing conduits or ducts as innerduct. In addition PE conduit provides many above ground or aerial options.
PE conduit serves two primary industries: communications (telephone, CATV, data transmission) and electrical (power transmission).
In the communications industry, the advent of fiber optic cable has had a tremendous impact due to its significantly higher data-carrying capacity, particularly due to the explosion of the Internet. In telecommunications service (phone, data transmission), fiber optic cable is used, along with traditional copper cable. In cable television service (CATV), fiber optic is also growing rapidly in addition to (or replacing) coaxial cable. This progression toward fiber optic cable has made the need for protection more critical, since these materials are highly sensitive to moisture and mechanical stress. Damage can be very expensive in terms of interrupted service and replacement costs. Also, these cables are installed in very long, continuous runs which require a clear, protected pathway, as well as a leak-free system for air-assisted (“blow-in”) installations. In addition to fiber optic, coaxial cables have seen improvements to increase bandwidth, making these materials more mechanically sensitive.
In the electrical industry, a critical requirement is on maintaining uninterrupted service, as consumers and businesses are even less tolerant of power outages than they are of phone or CATV service interruptions. Although many direct-buried power cable systems are designed for 30- or 40-year lifetimes, they are susceptible to external influences like rock impingement and often require frequent repairs. Conduit is finding favor over direct burial in these applications due to improved protection, but it must be continuous and facilitate quick repair operations. PE conduit is used to carry both primary (substation to transformer) and secondary (transformer to end-user) cables. Some of these installations also contain fiber optic cables placed alongside the power cables to connect with load-monitoring sensors located throughout the network.
Flexible PE conduit can be wound onto reels several thousand feet long, does not require manufactured bends, and can be easily navigated around unexpected obstructions (in the ground or within existing ducts), simplifying installation. The few joints that are required can be made reliably through a number of options. PE conduit is suitable for all methods of duct and cable installation, including trenching, direct plow and installation into existing main pathways (conduit pulling, sliplining and pipe bursting). Also, the flexible nature of PE conduit facilitates directional bore installations to breach obstacles like rivers or highways. Cable can consistently be pulled or blown into PE duct in great distances and at fast rates due to its low coefficient of friction. Special PE products and accessories are also available for above ground or aerial applications.
Services offered include, but are not limited to:
- Data Network Cabling Installation (ethernet cabling) using Cat 5, Cat5e, and Cat 6 cable installation
- Voice / Telephone Wiring & Cabling Installation
- Structured Cabling Design & Implementation
- Fiber Optic installation
- Data Wiring & Network Installation
- WiFi / Wireless Network Installation | WLAN Networking Setup | Access Point Installer
- Security Camera Installation (CCTV, IP Security Cameras, Wireless Cameras, & Video Surveillance Install)
- POS cabling
- VoIP Wiring
- Network Cabling Design
- Green Data Cabling
- Coax Cabling
- Plenum Cabling
Contact us today for free network wiring & cabling estimates for new construction, office relocations, office remodels, office expansions, data centers, server rooms, central offices, computer rooms, enterprise, medium business, small business, network backbones, metro area networks, campus networks, underground networks, and multi-story buildings.