By Lonnie Clove
10 years ago, a technician for a major cable TV company was attempting to repair a damaged underground cable television conduit. While in the open trench, he noticed how difficult it was to repair the broken PVC pipe with the existing products and equipment used for such repairs.
The technician began to question, “Why is the repair process so difficult? Isn’t there a product that could easily, quickly, and completely repair a broken PVC pipe without sawing a piece of conduit in half, or having to use duct tape or wire ties to hold the repaired pipe together? Or in most cases, is there a way to avoid disconnecting service, pulling the cables out, digging the pipe up 30 feet in each direction, making the proper repair, and then pulling in new cable to complete the repair? Why are such small breaks causing so many wasted hours?”
He thought to himself, “There must be a better way!”
The result of this technician’s thoughts led to the development and creation of the unique self-locking, snap-together line of split conduit products belonging to Conduit Repair Systems, Inc.
Over the past 10 years, Conduit Repair Systems, Inc. has become one of the leaders in split conduit products. With split conduit, split couplings, split sweeps and conduit repair kits ranging in sizes from 1-inch to 6-inch in size, Conduit Repair Systems, Inc. has a line of products to meet the needs of electric utilities, electrical contractors and cable TV companies. And with the recent introduction of 4-inch C-Duct and EZ-Wire Duct surface raceway, CRS is rapidly adding telephone companies to their customer base.
Designed originally as conduit repair products, these revolutionary products have since found many other applications because of their versatility. Not only are they great for repairs, they have also been very useful in enclosing short runs of fiber optics and other existing cables, relocating existing cables or wiring, running up the side of utility poles, transferring overhead service to underground, and a number of other specialized uses.
Lonnie Clove, chief executive officer of Conduit Repair Systems, said, “One of the key factors in our rapid growth has been that the product has a much wider use than the cable TV market we had first anticipated. Today our products are not only being used by cable TV companies, but also by the nation’s leading power companies, many municipal power providers, electrical contractors, telephone companies, and many other firms with underground distribution networks.”
Conduit Repair Systems considers themselves the leader in split conduit products for many reasons. Their sales pitch consists of the following:
- Their split duct’s unique snap-together design makes their split duct easier to use than their competitors’.
- Their split conduit snaps and locks together without the use of clamps, cable ties, tape or glue.
- Because they manufacture fittings and adapter couplings, you can cut the split duct to whatever length you need to make a repair, rather than being limited to the length of a split conduit product with belled ends. Conduit Repair Systems sells repair kits with either 2 feet, 5 feet or 10 feet of split conduit along with the fittings you need to make your repair. Additionally, you can get their split conduit in 10-foot lengths in bulk orders.
- Conduit Repair Systems produces other accessories such as split sweeps in 24- and 36-inch radiuses in 45- and 90-degree bends in order to meet all of your repair needs.
- Their split conduit can be made watertight.
- CRS’s split conduit can be used with HDPE using an adhesive designed for bonding PVC to HDPE.
- Their products are manufactured using the highest quality UL approved materials.
- They pride themselves on providing the best customer service in the industry.
The difference between us and our competitors is our unique patented snap-together design and the ability to cut the split conduit to the exact length you need to make your repair. Our competitors may offer a partial solution to your problem, but we offer the easiest, most efficient widest used split conduit on the market,” said Clove. “Additionally, once the conduit is snapped together, it is as good as the original pipe.”
The process of using the product for repairs is relatively simple: cut away the broken pipe making sure that the edges are clean and square, repair the damaged cable if necessary, cut the split conduit pieces to fit the damaged area, snap the two pieces of split conduit together, and snap the split adapter couplings on each end of the repair.
“The high durability and ease of fast ‘snap’ installation of CRS’ split duct conduit has impressed many of our customers,” said Marc Savage, OSP manager of Teltek Sales, a distributor of the company’s products based in Philadelphia, PA. “These qualities are what appeal to our end-users in comparison to standard split conduit.”
With the amount of underground distribution infrastructure in place throughout the world, backhoes and other equipment can cause major damage to underground networks. In the past, utilities of all types generally had to disconnect service until the repairs were complete, causing lost revenue and unhappy customers.
During this downtime, if the conduit was broken but the cable itself was not damaged, crews would have to disconnect service, pull the cable out so the broken pipe could be repaired, and then re-run the cable so service could be reinstated. Now with the snap together split conduit, the damaged pipe can be cut away and the split pipe snapped into place, saving many hours of labor and service downtime.
With the snap together split conduit, this should eliminate most repair situations that cause extended service outages, pulling and re-running cable to make the repair, and should also help crews be more efficient and ultimately allow for more satisfied customers.
Repairs are not the only use for the split duct. Other uses include enclosing short runs of fiber optics, and in new growth areas where service sometimes must be moved from overhead to underground. In both of these instances, the split conduit can be laid open-faced in the ground. Cable can then be laid carefully into the pipe and easily enclosed by snapping the other half of the conduit into place. This prevents service disconnection and unnecessary handling and pulling of delicate cables such as fiber optics.
Other products by CRS include split couplings, split adapter couplings, split 45- and 90-degree sweeps, and prepackaged conduit repair kits. All of their products are schedule 40 or type C PVC products and have been specifically designed for power and communications applications.
CRS’s products use UL approved plastic and conform to all NEMA standards. Additionally, CRS’s split conduit products can be made watertight when properly installed following their installation instructions.
“Our prepackaged repair kits have been one of our hottest items,” said Clove. “The repair kits come with the split pipe and split adapter couplings necessary to handle most small repair projects. Our customers like the convenience of warehousing and transporting a small prepackaged kit that will fix many of their smaller repairs.”
For customers who use large quantities of the split conduit products, the product is sold in bulk in 10-foot lengths. Bulk shipments generally ship on a pallet and can be delivered anywhere in the continental United States within five business days.
Another benefit of working with Conduit Repair Systems is their commitment to customer satisfaction. "We are committed to saving our customers time and money by reducing the amount of labor required to perform a repair or relocate lines and by minimizing down time of the customer’s network,” said Clove. "Our customers have saved millions of dollars by using our products.”
In addition, Jerry Brewer of Sunflower Broadband said, "We had an emergency repair that needed immediate attention, and Conduit Repair Systems responded. The product arrived on time, and it was easy to use. We have developed a long-term relationship with CRS because they are committed to helping us with our special needs."
CRS’s products are available in 1¼-inch, 1½-inch, 2-inch, 2½-inch, 3-inch, 4-inch, 5-inch, and 6-inch sizes in Schedule 40, and 4-inch in Type C for telephone companies.
“CRS’ products are one of a kind,” said Clove. “Nowhere else can you find products like these.”