How To Properly Repair Damaged Conductor Caused By Spacer Dampers

Spacer dampers, designed to provide proper damping of wind-induced vibrations for bundled conductor lines, have been around for more than 50 years and like most hardware exposed to the elements, needs to be replaced at some point in time. Most often, replacing old spacer dampers is as easy as swapping out the old unit for a new one. Unfortunately, however, there will be instances where removing the old spacer damper reveals damaged conductor underneath which must be properly corrected.

As seen in the photos below, spacer dampers can create varying degrees of conductor damage grouped into 3 categories; mild abrasion, damaged strands and severely damaged strands.

Repairing conductor with damaged and/or severed strands requires a process that restores full tension and ampacity to the conductor and the best method to accomplish this is an engineered mechanical shunt.

Our CRU series (Conductor Repair Unit) is the safest and quickest permanent system to restore 100% electrical and mechanical properties to damaged conductors, on energized lines at any voltage while avoiding the need for a service interruption. As with all of our products, this unit will install in only 6-8 minutes, which obviously decreases lineman safety risk.

With corona free design and our patented “Constant Clamp Force System”, transmission class CRU ClampStar® units designed to accommodate conductors sized from 1272 kcmil – 2515 kcmil allows carts to easily cross over (see image below). Full tension is achieved with these ClampStar devices if the conductor core is intact, which is likely the case with spacer-damper replacement. Click here to see an animated installation video.

Smaller diameter conductors utilize a different style ClampStar® that can be seen by clicking here.

For conductors with severe strand damage including some wear on the core, and broken strands, similar to what’s shown in the images above, it may be necessary to use a longer ClampStar® unit in order to achieve full tension. The CRU part number format for the above shown style allows for this. The following part # CRU-1631-16-04 means that there’s a 4” clearance in the center of the unit with a total of 16 keepers (8 on each side). Changing the 04 to 08 will produce a unit with an 8” clearance between the left and right side.