WetLink Penetrator Assembly Guide

Introduction

The WetLink Penetrator (WLP) is our next-generation solution for low-cost, high pressure, high reliability sealing of electrical cables. The WetLink Penetrator is easy to assemble and doesn’t require any adhesives, potting compounds, or rubber molding.

The full WLP product line supports sealing of cables from 3.7mm up to 9.8mm in diameter. This guide will show you how to assemble a WetLink Penetrator onto a compatible cable using our WLP assembly tools or common hand tools.

Parts and Tools

You Will Need

Please refer to the “Choosing the Correct Tools” section below for tool compatibility information.

You will also need:

  • A 1/4 inch (6.3mm) drive ratchet or torque wrench
  • A way to secure the WetLink Assembly Block. This could be: a vice or 2x 6mm bolts or 2x M6X1.0 thread bolts

We highly recommend using the WLP tools for assembly. We’ve designed these tools for ease of assembly, especially if you’ll be putting together more than a few. If the WLP tools are not available, assembly can also be completed using common hand tools. Please refer to the “Choosing the Correct Tools” section below for compatible tool sizes.

Choosing the Correct Tools

Use the “Compatible Tools” table below to find the correct tool sizes for the WetLink Penetrator you are assembling. Locate the correct row in the table by matching the “Seal Size” and “Bulkhead Size” columns to the WetLink Penetrator you are using.

Plug Wrench: The compatible Plug Wrench is listed in the “Plug Wrench” column.

Hand Tools: The compatible hand tool sizes for the Bulkhead and Plug are listed in the “Bulkhead/Nut Flat Size” column and the “Plug Hex Size” column respectively.

Compatible Tools

Seal SizeBulkhead SizeBulkhead WrenchBulkhead/Nut Flat SizeBulkhead Installation TorquePlug WrenchPlug Hex SizePlug Installation Torque
4.5M06WL-M06-BULKHEAD-WRENCH12 mm1 N⋅mWLP-11MM-PLUG-WRENCH11 mm14 N⋅m
4.5M10WL-M10-BULKHEAD-WRENCH16 mm3.5 N⋅mWLP-11MM-PLUG-WRENCH11 mm14 N⋅m
5.5, 6.5, 7.5, 8.5M10WL-M10-BULKHEAD-WRENCH16 mm3.5 N⋅mWLP-14MM-PLUG-WRENCH14 mm14 N⋅m
9.5M14WL-M14-BULKHEAD-WRENCH20 mm3.5 N⋅mWLP-18MM-PLUG-WRENCH18 mm20 N⋅m
* The WetLink Penetrator Assembly Block is compatible with all WetLink Penetrator sizes

Parts of a WetLink Penetrator

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Parts of a Cable

wlp-how-to-chs-parts_of_cable

Prepping the Cable

The cable jacket must be properly stripped prior to assembly. Please visit our Cable Jacket Stripping Guide for information on how to properly strip cable for use with WetLink Penetrators.

The basic guidelines for properly stripping cable for WetLink Penetrators are:

  • The cable jacket must be cut straight across, perpendicular to the cable. A straight, perpendicular cut is necessary to allow the cable to seat fully into the penetrator and ensure proper performance.
  • Cable shielding, wrapping, and fillers must be removed cleanly. Any loose shielding, wrapping, or fillers may prevent the cable from seating fully in the penetrator or interfere with the seal.
  • Avoid damaging the conductor insulation. Accidentally cutting the insulation may lead to shorts between the conductors.

The following picture shows examples of improperly stripped cables.

wlp-cab-strip-4-panel-bad

The next picture shows examples of properly stripped cables.

wlp-cab-strip-4-panel-good

Assembly

Cross section of an assembled WetLink Penetrator.

Cross section of an assembled WetLink Penetrator.

Install the Plug and Seal Onto Cable

1. Slide the plug onto the cable with the threads pointed towards the stripped end of the cable.

Plug installed on the cable.

Plug installed on the cable.

2. Slide the seal onto the cable. The seal has a flat end and a tapered end, make sure the tapered end is pointing towards the stripped end of the cable.

Plug tapered end.

Plug tapered end.

Plug and seal installed on the cable.

Plug and seal installed on the cable.

Prepping the Conductors

The next step involves inserting the conductors through the bulkhead. This sometimes may be difficult, especially if the cable has many conductors. It is important not to force the conductors through the bulkhead to avoid damaging the conductor insulation or the conductor itself. Below are some useful methods for easily inserting the conductors through the bulkhead without damage.

  • Twist the conductors into a tight, neat bundle.
  • wlp-assem-4
  • Twist the bulkhead onto the conductors. Some cables have conductors that are already twisted, try turning the bulkhead in the direction of the twist as you insert the conductors through the bulkhead.
  • wlp-assem-twist-bulkhead
  • Tape the tip of the conductors. Wrap a small piece of tape around the conductors to keep them together as you insert the conductors through the bulkhead.
  • wlp-assem-tape-conductors
  • Install heat shrink around the conductors. Install a small piece of heat shrink around the conductors to keep them together as you insert the conductors through the bulkhead.
  • wlp-assem-heat-shrink-conductors

Forcing the wires through the bulkhead without proper preparation may result in damage to the insulation or conductors, which will affect performance or compromise the watertight seal.
wlp-assem-conductor-damage

Installing into the Bulkhead

Insert the conductors and cable into the penetrator bulkhead. Make sure the cable jacket sits firmly and fully into the bulkhead. The cable jacket should be seated against the cable jacket seat.

Cross section showing cable jacket sitting fully against cable jacket seat.

Cross section showing cable jacket sitting fully against cable jacket seat.

Inserting wires and cable into the bulkhead.

Inserting wires and cable into the bulkhead.

2. Slide the seal and plug down and insert them into the penetrator bulkhead. Use your fingers to thread the plug into the bulkhead. Make sure the cable jacket stays firmly seated against the cable jacket seat while doing so. It helps to gently pull on the wires while tightening the plug to ensure the cable stays seated against the jacket seat. Tighten until finger tight.

Plug and seal installed in bulkhead.

Plug and seal installed in bulkhead.

Failure to seat the cable fully against the jacket seat will compromise performance of the watertight seal.

Completing the Assembly

The rest of the assembly process can be completed using either the recommended WLP Tools or with common hand tools:

Using WLP Tools

For this step you will need:

  • Compatible Plug Wrench (refer to the “Choosing the Correct Tools” section above)
  • 1/4 inch (6.3mm) drive ratchet or torque wrench
  • WLP Assembly Block
  • A vice or 2x 6mm diameter bolts or 2x M6X1.0 thread bolts

1. Secure the WLP Assembly Block to a table or work surface using a vice.

WLP Assembly Block secured with a vice.

WLP Assembly Block secured with a vice.

The WLP Assembly Block can also be secured using 6mm bolts with the side-mounting through holes.

WLP Assembly Block side mounting holes.

WLP Assembly Block side mounting holes.

Or with M6X1.0 thread bolts into the underside threaded mounting holes.

WLP Assembly Block underside mounting holes.

WLP Assembly Block underside mounting holes.

2. Insert the bulkhead with installed cable, plug, and seal into the appropriate space in the Assembly Block. The spaces are labeled according to the bulkhead size. The wires extending from the bulkhead should feed through and come out of the bottom of the Assembly Block.

Bulkhead in Assembly Block.

Bulkhead in Assembly Block.

3. Attach the Plug Wrench onto a 1/4 inch (6.3mm) drive ratchet or torque wrench.

Plug wrench on ratchet.

Plug wrench on ratchet.

4. Tighten the plug using the Plug Wrench and ratchet until it bottoms out into the bulkhead with no gap, then turn an additional 1/16th of a turn. If using a torque wrench, the correct installation torque is provided in the “Plug Installation Torque” column of the Compatible Tools table.

Tightening the plug with Plug Wrench and ratchet.

Tightening the plug with Plug Wrench and ratchet.

Alternatively, the Plug Wrench can be turned by hand using the included lever bar.

Tightening the plug with Plug Wrench and lever bar.

Tightening the plug with Plug Wrench and lever bar.

Using Hand Tools

For this step you will need compatible hand tools for the size of WetLink Penetrator you are assembling. Refer to the “Choosing the Correct Tools” section above to select a compatible open ended wrench for both the bulkhead and plug.

1. Use an open-ended wrench to hold the penetrator bulkhead while tightening the plug.

2. Use another open-ended wrench to tighten the plug. Tighten the plug until it bottoms out into the bulkhead with no gap, then turn an additional 1/16th of a turn.

Using hand tools.

Using hand tools.

Reusing a WetLink Penetrator

WetLink Penetrators are reusable. We recommend the Wetlink Penetrator Bulkhead and Plug be reused no more than 3 times to maintain performance. When reinstalling a WetLink Penetrator onto a cable, the seal must be replaced and the penetrator should be installed on a previously uncompressed section of cable jacket. Replacement WLP Seals are available here.

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