Handholes are underground vaults that provide access to fiber optic cable and other utilities for splicing & repairs.
They are often called pull boxes, splice boxes, underground enclosures or vaults.
Four basic decisions are required when ordering handholes:
- Tier Rating
- Constructed of sand, aggregate and a bonding material, usually resin
- Heaviest for its size; requires a backhoe & crew to set and move
- Extremely durable and cost effective but shipping cost could be a factor
- Resistant to water, chemicals and UV
- Non metallic, non-conductive
- Rated for Tier 15 to 22
Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer (FRP)
- Constructed of high-strength fiberglass & resin for the box, then bonded to a polymer concrete support ring & lid
- Lighter than polymer concrete by about 30%
- Can be moved by two people but will require a backhoe & crew to set
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
- The lightest weight - typically 50 - 75% lighter than polymer concrete
- Easily managed by two people to move and set
- Despite its weight, still constructed to have up to a Tier 22 rating and with a few modifications can achieve an H-20 rating
- HDPE material can be drilled, allowing for modification in the field
Advanced Composite Material
- 40 to 60% lighter weight than polymer concrete
- Can be easily moved in a pickup truck and set by two people
- Drillable material
- Stackable for shipping
Light Duty: Pedestrian traffic only
Tier 5: Sidewalk applications with occasional non-deliberate vehicular traffic
Tier 8: Sidewalk applications with non-deliberate vehicular traffic
Tier 15: Driveway, parking lot and off-roadway applications mostly free from heavy vehicle traffic
Tier 22: Driveway, parking lot and off-roadway applications with occasional non-deliberate heavy vehicular traffic
AASHTO H-20: Deliberate vehicular traffic applications
Complete details on tier rating here.
Tier rating information and image courtesy of Martin Enterprises.
Consider these options when selecting the appropriate handhole for your application
Nameplates. Choose your company name for the nameplate, or the more generic labels of "communication," "telecom" or "utilities".
EMS Markers. A built-in EMS marker allows a locator to find the handhole when it's buried under landscaping, snow, etc.
Easy-Locate System. An easily accessible port in the lid of the handhole that provides a ground bar for easy toning of the entire network.
Interior Rack Mounts. Support and organize slack cable or splice closures.
Many sizes are available, ranging from 12 x 12 x 12" to 48 x 60 x 48"
Most common in telecom:
- 17 x 30 x 24"
- 24 x 36 x 24"
- 48 x 36 x 36"
Our 30,000 sq. ft warehouse is stocked with the best-selling handholes.
High-Density Polypropylene HDPE
Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic FRP
Advanced Composite Material AC
Polymer Concrete PC
Watch our video for more details on handholes