Deteriorating Underground Electric Cables can be Restored

Underground buried electric cables are susceptible to degradation from “water tree” – tiny branch like structures that grow within the cable under the influence of the cable’s electric field.

The source of the water that is responsible for water tree growth  is not from floods or high water table but rather the humidity of the air and the dampness of soil.  New materials and manufacturing processes have been used to create cable more resistive water tree damage.  Unfortunately billions of feet of underground cable have been laid before the nature of this problem had been identified and understood.

Polymer injection point from a transformer.

Polymer injection point from a transformer.

Dow Corning introduced a process for addressing premature failing cables.  The process involves injecting a specialized fluid into the cables filling the voids between the cable strands.  The fluid repels water molecules and fills the cable casing with a polymer.

We are currently working with the UtilX Corporation, a Washington based firm that specializes in this injection process.  They will access approximately two miles of our underground cable through the eight transformers located throughout the property.  The work is expected to last for a month but is expected to extend the life of the cable by many years.

This entry was posted in Condo Management.