What is the Difference Between a Pull Box and a Handhole?

Pull boxes are installed in conduit systems to allow wires to pass effortlessly, without putting undue stress on their insulation or conductors. They allow conductors to be easily pulled across long distances without placing an excessive strain on either.

They protect electrical systems from damage and tampering. Commonly referred to as underground handholes or junction boxes, these structures are essential in providing underground utility infrastructure with adequate security and functionality.


Pull boxes are junction boxes used with EMT and other conduit wiring systems to facilitate pulling wires through. Constructed of metal with a removable cover, pull boxes are strategically located along runs of conduit where there are more than four bends, aiding grounding of conduit and wires as well as pulling processes.

There are various types of pull boxes, each defined by how wires enter and exit them. Straight pull boxes connect conduit carrying wires on opposing sides of the box for linear pulling action through conduit; other pull boxes may allow U-pulling, as well as being installed at intervals along a long straight wire pull to make pulling easier.

Handholes are shallow metal structures buried underground that provide easy access points for installing, maintaining and repairing utility cables or conduits. Each handhole is specifically designed to accommodate a certain number of cables or conduits and is equipped with gaskets and seals to prevent water infiltration or contaminants entering through it. Many also come equipped with load ratings which indicate its capacity to withstand external forces like vehicle or soil pressure; many also feature multiple compartments to segregate different utility services.


Handholes are designed to make cable pulling and routing underground utility cables and conduits simpler by offering small chambers that workers can open or close when installing or maintaining underground utility cables and conduits. Handholes are typically strategically placed along routes for ease of accessing electrical, telecomms, CATV, traffic signal wires and equipment. Constructed of durable materials to protect cables and conduits from environmental factors like moisture and debris while offering security by restricting personnel entry or vandalism or theft, handholes offer much needed ease and speed of cable pulling/routing operations.

Handholes come in all sizes, load ratings and configurations imaginable. Precast concrete communication handhole units are an ideal way to install telecom and traffic signals; their galvanized steel treadplate cover comes standard with ID plates for ID verification as well as pentahead locking capabilities for additional security. They even feature four-inch duct terminators slots built right into their sidewalls to accommodate other sizes of duct.

Manholes are larger than handholes and allow workers to perform inspections, repairs and maintenance on underground utility tunnels, maintenance shafts and sewer systems. A conflict manhole connects two separate manholes at different levels via connecting pipes or lift stations – regardless of size or purpose both must be properly installed and maintained for their optimal functionality and safety.


Manholes are large openings in the ground that allow people and equipment to access sewer, water, electric, gas, and telephone lines. You’ll often find these beneath roads, sidewalks, or public spaces; manholes also prove useful for maintaining underground utilities by giving workers direct access without excavation required for repair and maintenance work.

Manholes often come equipped with multiple compartments to accommodate different utility services, which makes cable splicing and termination simple as well as routing within the structure – particularly helpful for fiber optic applications where these safeguards protect delicate cables from damage or interference.

Additionally, many manholes are constructed of cast iron or concrete to remain inexpensive while being strong enough to withstand traffic and other forces. Furthermore, these materials make manholes difficult for unauthorised individuals without proper tools to remove without permission; an important feature that protects manholes against theft due to their high scrap metal content value; this issue becomes especially severe in areas with strong demand for Chinese steel products.

Manholes should be identified with their owners or utility agencies they serve, labeled with their owner/agency names and numbers, tracked for utility services they deliver and to detect misplacement or tampering attempts. Finally, most manholes are circular as this shape provides greater strength with less material requirements (smaller surface area means reduced cast iron needs).


Handholes are essential components in utility systems as they offer convenient locations for splicing and terminating cables, enabling technicians to access underground utilities easily for installation, maintenance and repair work, protecting cables and conduits from moisture, corrosion, mechanical damage and environmental hazards. There is an assortment of sizes and designs of handholes depending on what utility type is being installed – all constructed of sturdy materials that withstand weather elements and extremes in climate.

Handholes constructed for construction purposes often feature predesigned openings to accommodate future conduit system additions and upgrades. This could take the form of a manhole cover, inspection chamber or polymer concrete box; additionally they may feature locking mechanisms to restrict unauthorised entry.

Telecommunications professionals use handhole enclosures, or “handholes,” to house fiber optic cables. Unlike most telecom equipment, handholes are bottomless so crews working on installation and maintenance can access them easily; additionally, their removable lid allows workers to open or close them as necessary – an especially helpful feature when installing fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks underground; additionally they’re often marked or color coded to indicate what utility they contain so technicians can identify them quickly and navigate them efficiently.