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  1. News
  2. Increased safety in natural gas distribution vaults

Increased safety in natural gas distribution vaults

  • Business news

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Over 75 million residential and 5 million commercial customers enjoy natural gas services at present (Yahoo! Finance). Unfortunately, a large amount of the gas distribution infrastructure that utilities rely on are aging and in need of upgrades.

One such utility, located in the western US, recently turned to Roxtec for help after a recent safety audit revealed issues in a majority of their newly constructed regulator and filter vaults. The utility previously relied on spray foam and other sealing products in an attempt to seal gas pipe and SCADA conduit penetrations, however these products ultimately failed. As a result of pipe and conduit seals leaking, maintenance crews were dispatched regularly to various vault locations to address rain and groundwater-related flooding.

The pain broken down

The pain resulting from these leaking pipe & conduit seals ran deeper than occasionally having to pump water from a vault. Taking a closer look at the breakdown below, it is clear that much can go wrong if pipes and conduit penetrations are not properly sealed.

  • Call-outs for personnel and pump trucks to empty the flooded vaults incur unwanted expenses
  • There can be high disposal costs associated if the collected water is deemed contaminated 
  • High moisture levels in the vaults cause substantial corrosion on steel supports and hardware which can become safety hazards  
  • Corrosion decreases vault equipment and station service life
  • Corrosion Increases frequency for maintenance and replacement parts
  • Water in vaults require extra time and clearing before accessing
  • Water in vaults degrade the working environment for service and inspection personnel

Roxtec offers a solution

Working closely with the utility, the Roxtec team suggested a standard set of custom round seals that would fit the need of each vault variation. The seals are not only a watertight solution, but also offer gas tightness and animal mitigation. The seals offer a relatively quick installation and can be applied in running water.

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Roxtec UG™ seals resist constant water pressure

Using a high quality sealing solution such as Roxtec means you are protected for the long run and proactively avoiding costly failures.  A common problem with many spray foams and plastic seals is that they are, at best, temporary fixes, and at worst, not meant to be used as seals in the first place.  The assumption is by using non-conventional products, a utility or contractor can save time, when in reality, these products can threaten both budgets and safety.

For more information about the subject, please contact Karl Mosbacher, Global Segment Manager at Roxtec.