The “Gasket” Nightmare

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I was a project engineer working for a Building Automation Solutions company about twenty years ago. It was my first experience working with electrical and control junction boxes which housed all the required controllers, terminal blocks, networking devices, circuit breakers, power supplies etc.

Back then, it was very laborious and time-consuming to install the equipment inside the junction boxes as all the internal and field wiring were needed as well in order to complete the working installation. This was then followed by the need to request for the end user to witness and approve the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT), Site Acceptance Test, and Testing & Commissioning etc. before we could wrap up the project and finally invoice the client accordingly.

My “nightmare” happened two months into a completed project when several previously-installed outdoor “Weather Proof” IP 66 junction boxes were found with rainwater seeping into the panel that destroyed the electrical/electronic components.

Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the rubber gasket which was supposed to keep the water and dust out of the junction boxes was made of inferior material. The problem was compounded after constant exposure to adverse weather elements in those two months after installation works were completed.

On hindsight, the failure of the gasket had resulted in the need to replace all the damaged components as well as the need to re-install the junction box and re-arrange all the required testing.

As a result of this incident, the end user lost confidence with the rest of the working Junction Boxes and we needed to replace all the installed outdoor “Weather Proof” IP 66 junction boxes so as to regain the customer’s faith in our products.

Thus, when Phoenix Contact first launched the new innovation of Clipsafe Ex Junction Boxes, the very first thing I examined was the gasket. I am relieved to learn that the gasket is of superior quality and has been put through rigorous testing and certification regimes. Thus, I am convinced and assured that similar incidents like my previous encounter will not repeat itself. I will be proud when I promote these Junction Boxes that will address my customers’ needs.

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