Preventing Bug, Wildlife & Water Intrusion
Telecommunications enclosures face a number of issues in the field, but one that can be easily guarded against from a design standpoint is bug, wildlife and water intrusion.
These types of intrusions can cause various issues for a provider. Some bugs invade equipment inside the enclosure and build colonies that can cause equipment to fail. Others, such as spiders and wasps, don’t pose a danger to the equipment but can potentially harm technicians working in the enclosure. Wildlife is much the same–rats and mice may invade an enclosure and chew through wiring. Snakes could then invade the cabinet or shelter in search of prey and attack unsuspecting workers.
And, of course, water inside a cabinet can cause costly damage to equipment and fiber optics.
Enclosure manufacturers can help network providers avoid these unwanted intrusions by designing and building in a variety of safeguards.
Here is how American Products designs solutions to help prevent unwanted intrusion into an enclosure.
Enclosures designed for outdoor locations will usually have a ventilation system built in. This allows air to circulate throughout the interior to help control the inside temperature, which helps equipment function properly. Some cabinets/shelters have active systems, which include a powered fan to pull air in, while others have passive systems, where air circulates through without the help of a fan.
Regardless the method of getting air into the enclosure, the openings provide opportunities for bugs to enter, even if the opening is covered with louvres.
American Products counters that with a very simple, but highly effective solution–a bug screen. This helps ensure that no insects can get into the ventilation openings.
Even shut, an improperly sealed door can let in bugs and water.
At American Products, we put a gasket around every outdoor enclosure’s door frame. When the door is shut, it compresses the gasket and forms a seal around the door. As long as the door is properly shut and fastened each time, no insects or water will be getting in via the doorway.
Wires, cables and fiber optics need to go in and out of the enclosure to provide service to customers. Whether they’re going in through the bottom or side of the product, American Products designs in a variety of safeguards to help prevent intrusions.
One way we do that is with a special sleeve on shelters. We designed the sleeve to go all the way to the shelter’s pad. We also encourage our customers to use expanding telecom foam in openings as an extra precaution.
In addition, for side entry, we offer a variety of choices for knockouts and/or wall plates to meet the customer’s particular cable entry needs.
With the knockouts, the customer can take out just the pieces they need to run their cables through. Customers can insert a cable sealing gland that fills the hole and grips the cable, sealing it while also providing strain relief. On some models, we provide wall plates for customers to run their cables through, then fill in the gaps around the cable with rubber inserts.
The seams along the corners of the walls and where the roof is attached provide prime points for entry if the enclosure isn’t assembled and sealed correctly.
In every cabinet, our team uses CAD to design each enclosure with as few seams/components as possible. The cabinet parts are then cut to exact specifications using CNC-controlled machines. For assembly, the team will mechanically fasten components and/or apply a continuous weld to hold the cabinet together.
On shelter roofs, we apply a double-sided sealing tape between the walls and roof and bolt it all together. This creates a solid seal that allows nothing in. In addition, if the roof is large enough to need “sections,” such as with a shelter, we design them to have as few panels as possible to mitigate seams. We finish it with a rubberized roof coating, which adds a second layer of protection against the elements, as well as a solar radiant barrier.
In the end, American Products craftsmanship helps assure network providers their equipment is safe from bugs, wildlife and water intrusion in the field. In addition to our designs, we have the ability to test all of our products for water intrusion to NEMA 250 standard at types 3R and 4. This helps us ensure that when we come up with a new design or partner with a new customer, we can test our design and building on-site to ensure proper sealing.
If you’re interested in learning more about American Products telecommunications enclosures and how they can protect your valuable equipment, contact the American Products specialists at 417.323.6312 now.
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