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Cable and Bus;

Cables in Manholes,
Arial Cables, Raceways,
Bus Duct, Testing
Dexther A. Adigue
Cables in Manhole
• An electrical cable is an assembly of one or
more wires running side by side or bundled, which is
used to carry electric current.
• Manhole - More accurately termed a splicing
chamber or cable vault, is an opening in the
underground system where workers may enter to
install cables or other equipment, and to make
connections and test.
• The distance between manholes depends on many
conditions, but they are seldom over 500 ft. apart.
• They should be designed so that the cables may be
readily racked around the manhole and they
should allow sufficient space for a splicer to work.
• Manholes are generally built of reinforced concrete
or brick and the covers are made of steel.
• Water can accumulate at the bottom of manholes.
If the soil is normal, natural drainage will easily
• It is a good practice to provide a concrete floor
and a sump(well) where the water can collect and
drain off into a sewer or some part of the ground
• In many cases, the bottom of the manhole is
excavated and filled with stones to make a dry well.
Pulling cable through a conduit

• When installing a cable into an underground

o Avoid unnecessary cable crossing in the manholes
o Avoid obstructing other empty ducts
o Keep the cables cool and safely distant from other cables.
o To protect the cable from injury during installation, the cable is usually
greased lightly.
Arc-proofing cables
• Where more than one high-voltage cable passes
through a manhole, the splices are fire-proofed with
a covering of sand and cement, or some fire proof

• For safety, a drain wire is wound around the tape

and connected to the ground.
Aerial Cables
• Aerial cable consists of fully insulated
conductors suspended above the ground. This type
of installation is used increasingly, generally for
replacing open wiring, where it provides greater
safety and reliability and requires less space.
• Aerial cables may be either self-
supporting or messenger-supported. They may be
attached to pole lines or structures. Self-supporting
aerial cables have high tensile strength for this
application. Cables may be messenger-supported
either by spirally wrapping a steel band around the
cables and the messenger or by pulling the cable
through rings suspended from the messenger.

• Self-supporting cable is suitable for only relatively
short distances, with spans in the range of 100-150
feet. Messenger-supported cable can span
relatively large distances, of over 1000 feet,
depending on the weight of the cable and the
tensile strength of the messenger. For this reason,
aerial cable that must span relatively large
distances usually consists of aluminum conductors
to reduce the weight of the cable assembly.
Advantages of Aerial Cables
• Relative immunity to short circuits
• Can stand in close proximity to trees/buildings and
will not generate sparks if touched.
• Simpler installation
• More aesthetically appealing.
• Significantly improved safety for linespersons
• Electricity theft is made harder, and more obvious
to detect.
• Less required maintenance and necessary
inspections of lines.
• Improved reliability in comparison with both bare
conductor overhead systems and underground
Disadvantages of Aerial Cables
• Additional cost for the cable itself.
• Insulation degrades due to sun exposure,
• Shorter spans and more poles due to increased
• Can lead to much longer repair times for
• Older installations are known to cause fires in areas
where falling large trees or branches regularly
cause breaks in lines and or in insulation leading to
short circuits which can then lead to burning
insulation dripping to ground and starting ground
• Failure modes through punctures, electrical
tracking, and erosion.
• Conductor Continuity
Tests for conductor continuity can include a simple
check with an ohmmeter. This test determines if the
conductors complete an electrical circuit by ensuring the
conductor metal has not been broken.

• Dielectric Condition of the Cable

The electrical integrity of the system dielectric can
be measured by the use of ohmmeters or megohm meters
for insulation resistance. A more complex highvoltage dc
test, commonly referred to as a dc high- pot test, can also
be done to evaluate “leakage currents.”
• Metallic Shield Condition
For shielded cables, the metallic component of the
insulation shield of jacketed cables can be tested for its
condition. A continuity test can be accomplished with an
ohmmeter or megohm meter tester. A more complex test
arrangement is required to measure the value of the shield

• Jacket Integrity
Insulating jackets of directly-buried or water-
submerged cables can be tested for insulation resistance
(IR). It may be possible to test integrity of conductive,
nonmetallic jackets or sheaths.
Interpretation of Results
• Acceptable: A mega ohm meter reading of 50 mega
ohms or higher should be considered acceptable.

• Investigate: A mega ohm meter reading of 2 to 50 mega

ohms may be used for deciding when to investigate the
cable installation. These readings are usually associated
with long circuit lengths, moisture, or contamination.
Ends of conductors that are dirty or damp may need to
be cleaned and dried.

• Unacceptable: Readings less than 2 mega ohms will

most likely indicate damaged insulation or severe test
• 1. For your opinion, What is more suitable to be used
in Philippines, Cables in manholes or Aerial Cables?
• 2. Give 3 Advantage and Disadvantage of aerial
cables. Explain.
• 3. In testing the insulation resistance of cables:
o What must be the resistance between the conductor and
insulator for it to be considered acceptable?
o What must be the resistance between the conductor and
insulator for it to be considered under investigation?
o What must be the resistance between the conductor and
insulator for it to be considered unacceptable?