It’s not uncommon for our quality manager, Brad Carpenter, to get questions about storing pipe gaskets outside or in the bed of a truck and on today’s episode of Press-Seal U, he’s going to give you some tips on proper storage and care.
How to Store Pipe Gaskets
The storage of pipe gaskets can be critical to keep it performing at its highest level based off of the material it’s made from. Materials pipe gaskets or pre-lubricated gaskets include, but are not limited to:
So for a pipe gasket made from polyisoprene, you’re not going to have quite the same UV resistance as you would an EPDM material. And it’s this UV resistance of EPDM that makes it an ideal rubber material for the automotive market, but is just as easily utilized in the underground infrastructure market.
And although the EPDM material is UV resistant, we always recommend storing them, as with all gaskets or connectors, in their original packaging.
Additionally, storing them in a non-stress state is best. In other words, hanging them off of a manhole as you see in the video or storing them on a hook in your precast plant is strongly discouraged by Press-Seal.
Often times you will see an RFS gasket installed on a box culvert and then left there until it is ready for use out in the field. Sometimes these gaskets can be exposed to the elements for several years and this creates two very serious performance problems.
- Every material has a limit on the time they are UV resistant and can begin to deteriorate if left in the elements for too long
- With regards to the RFS, the internal lubricant will slowly flow downward towards the bottom of the gasket and inevitably lower the ability to roll into the joint and most likely will increase your homing forces
Do I Have to Store Boot Connectors the Same Way?
Boot connectors are commonly made of these same materials and they too can lose performance capabilities if left in the elements for too long. Elements such as high temperatures, sun exposure, extreme low temperatures and even electrical exposure such as generators that can create an ozone element are all enemies to the rubber material.
We mentioned not hanging pipe gaskets from a hook or rod because of the stressed state they will be put into if left hanging. The same goes for boot connectors like the Kwik Seal or Direct Drive or any boot connector – because they’re all still made of the same rubber material.
So in closing, three simple steps for keeping your gaskets or connectors in ideal shape are:
- Leave in original packaging
- Move to pipe/structure
- Install in the field