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Cold hearted cables.

Extreme cold is brutal on field and telephone cable. Insulation turns stiff and brittle. It cracks and breaks open if cables are handled too roughly. Once that happens, moisture seeps into the wire conductors and causes a short.

Certain places on a cable are especially vulnerable to cracking in the cold. These include field ties and splices, and kinks and crimps in the line.

Low temperatures also shrink and stiffen wire conductors, making them more liable to break.

Not only is cold cable more likely to crack, it's also stiff and harder to handle. A reel of cable may even freeze into its coiled shape.

The remedy for cold cable is a warm shelter and careful handling. Together they protect cable from damage and make it easier to control.

Take tightly coiled cable, unwind it into bigger coils, and store it where it's warm before taking it out in the cold. That'll reduce the risk of a pinch or break.

And don't forget to handle cold cable carefully. Slow and easy is the way when you pay out, reel in or flex cable. That helps to avoid cracking the insulation.

If you have to splice or repair cable, use cold weather tape, NSN 5970-00-723-5413, which comes in a 108-ft roll. This tape holds fast in cold weather and can be used without being warmed up. Most other friction and rubber tapes don't hold as well in extreme cold.

One more reminder: Metal connectors and receptacles shrink in the cold, making cable connections stubborn. Here again, take care when you hook up or unhook cables. Rough stuff just invites damage.
COPYRIGHT 2004 PS Magazine
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:PS, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2004
Previous Article:Withstanding the cold.
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