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Breather Drain Plugs

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Breather drain plugs allow moisture to exit a hazardous area enclosure without compromising the Exd/Exe certification of the enclosure or putting it at risk of dust ingress.

Designed to meet Zone 1/Zone 2 requirements and with Zone 21/22 dust protection, breather drains are also called breather vent plugs and conduit plugs.

Cable Systems stock a wide range of breather drain plugs from manufacturers including Eaton Crouse-Hinds (Raxton CT/CV and Redapt DP-E Series breather drains) and Hubbell/Hawke breather drains.


How do breather drain plugs work?

The breather drain plug is installed using a hex key at the lowest point in the enclosure. From here, it allows air to circulate in order to achieve several beneficial outcomes:

  • Equalise pressure inside and outside the enclosure
  • Allow humid air to escape the enclosure
  • Release liquid moisture through the conduit plug

At the same time, the breather vent contains a dust-proof membrane which allows moisture out, but will not allow dust to enter the enclosure.


What do breather drain plugs do?

We know what breather drains do in terms of equalising pressure and exhausting moisture, but why is this important in explosive area electrical enclosures?

Enclosures are often subject to extreme temperature changes, which can allow moisture to condense inside the enclosure, leading to the accumulation of liquid water. Heat from the equipment itself can also have an effect on the humidity of the enclosed air.

Over time, excess humidity inside the enclosure can cause corrosion, while liquid condensation can trigger electrical shorts. By releasing excess humidity to the enclosure's external environment, breather drains are highly effective in preventing these risks.


Types of breather drain plugs

While the functionality of breather drain plugs is based on the same common principle, there are some variations to choose between.

Some of the characteristics you can specify for your breather drain plugs include:

  • Material (metallic vs. nylon construction)
  • Thread type
  • Thread length

Different breather drains may also comply with different levels of certification, including Zone 1 and Zone 2 hazardous areas, IP66 ingress protection, and standards such as ATEX, IECEx and INMETRO.


Complying with industry standards

Cable Systems breather drain plugs are manufactured by recognised industry-leading brands in full compliance with international standards for explosive atmospheres.

This includes IEC/EN 60079-0, which specifies the general requirements for equipment to be used in explosive environments.

Each product's standards and compliance are listed in full on the downloadable datasheets, which can be accessed via the Cable Systems website at any time and/or saved to your own device for future reference.


Learn more about breather drains

For an excellent overview of breather drain plugs and how they work, visit our Redapt DP-E Series Breather Drains page, and navigate to the 'Videos' tab.

Here you'll find a three-minute introduction to the Redapt DP-E Series, which explains the basic principles with the use of some simple graphics.

It's a great way to familiarise yourself with breather drains and conduit plugs, their installation and the reasons why they are so important in electrical enclosures for explosive settings.

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An Exe Breather/Drain Plug is designed to:

effectively drain any moisture build-up present within the enclosure whilst allowing air in the enclosure to breathe with the surrounding atmosphere minimising moisture build up within the enclosure.

Fastened by means of an allen key the Drain Plug should be fitted at the lowest point of the enclosure.