Wirestops®/ Waterstops

The Primary Seal for Concrete Joints

Little has changed in sealing technology for concrete structural joints since the introduction of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) waterstops in the 1940’s. Today, most structural joints still rely on this sixty year old technology to prevent fluid passage through the joint. However, each year millions of dollars are spent on secondary waterproofing products to stop resulting leaks. The problem is that conventional waterstops are severely limited in their ability to provide a continuous barrier against liquid penetration through the joint. They are difficult to install and secure properly, easily displaced during concrete placement, and prone to failure during joint expansion or separation.

A New Solution

In response to these problems, Paul Murphy Plastics Company has developed WIRESTOP, a patented product, which represents an improvement on PVC waterstop technology that meets the engineer’s requirements for an effective primary joint sealing system. The secret of WIRESTOP’s performance is a series of continuous galvanized steel wire loops along both edges of the waterstop which provide a completely self-contained attachment system for tying WIRESTOP to the reinforcing bars. The quick, inexpensive, accurate fastening ensures WIRESTOP’s proper positioning and holds it securely in place during the heavy load strain of the pouring concrete.

The WIRESTOP loops are an integral part of the PVC waterstop, so there are no holes for the fluid to penetrate.

This is in sharp contrast to conventional waterstops, which are installed by inserting “hog rings” or other devices through the waterstop into drilled or punched holes.

Even if the hog rings are not torn out due to the weight of the pouring concrete, a common occurrence, the holes inevitably become sources for subsequent leakage through the waterstop.

A New Level Of Performance:

Because it is firmly anchored by the integral wire loops, WIRESTOP stands up to the stresses of concrete placement. During consolidation, the vibrator heads can be positioned closer to the WATERSTOP sealed joint, ensuring stronger concrete matrices in this critical area.

An added benefit is provided by the fact that wet concrete flows freely through and around the WIRESTOP loops during placement and consolidation. This produces a strong mechanical bond between the WIRESTOP and the cured concrete on both sides of the joint, creating a watertight seal throughout the joint’s range of movement.

A Proven Technology:

WIRESTOP has been proven in thousands of joints on hundreds of critical projects, including treatment plants, dams, tanks, retention structures, nuclear waste containment vaults, tunnels, and many others. It is the modern answer to the structural engineer’s long-standing need for an effective, economical primary joint sealing system.


Wirestops®/ Waterstops Projects

Wirestop Loops:

  • Ensure accurate waterstop location prior to concrete placement, no seal displacement during placement, and an exceptionally strong mechanical bond to the concrete after placement.
  • Increase Job site productivity by eliminating hole drilling and application of fastening devices. Easy to install, even in hard to reach areas.

Wirestop Joint:

  • Eliminates water seepage for load strains up to 50 psi and joint separations to 1/2″ when tested to the American Concrete Institute method.
  • Allows closer positionioning of bibrator heads during colsolidation operations to create stronger concreate matrices in critical joint areas.
  • Provides the strongest possible bond and long-lasting seal through its unique combination of continues wire looops, edge design and surface rubs.

Wirestop Material:

  • High quality virgin PVC is custom compounded by Paul Murphy Plastics company for use in WIRESTOP.  This material delivers an optimum combination of tensile strength (14.5 MPa or 2110 psi)  and elongation (346%) to accommodate joint expansion and contraction
  • Custom material composition and smooth end cuts permit quick, strong splices on-site.  Factory assembled and tested junction sections are also available.
  • WIRESTOP’s performance is supported by Paul Murphy Plastics Company’s more than thirty years of plastics industry experience, including workshops and job-site assistance programs.


Wirestops®/ Waterstops Projects


WIRESTOP’s performance has been treated by an independent certified laboratory and shown to meet or exceed the following standards:

  • American Concrete Institute Water tightness Test (Zero water leakage standard)
  • Bureau of Reclamation
  • Canadian General Standards Board 41-GP-35M
  • Corps of Engineers CRD-C572-74
  • Department of Agriculture – Soil Conservation Service
  • Federal Standards 601
  • Ontario Hydro Standards M-264M-80
  • Tennessee Valley Authority Spec. PF 1026

As well as other various state Highway and/or Public Works Departments.American Concrete Institute Watertightness Test:

Test were performed by an independent certified test laboratory in accordance with the ACI test method for testing PVC Waterstops.

Conventional WaterstopWirestop Waterstop
Closed Condition
10 PSI
25 PSI
50 PSI
No Water Leakage
0.016 gal/ft/day
0.028 gal/ft/day
No Water Leakage
No Water Leakage
No Water Leakage
Joint Opened 1/8″
10 PSI
25 PSI
50 PSI
0.017 gal/ft/day
0.066 gal/ft/day
0.095 gal/ft/day
No Water Leakage
No Water Leakage
No Water Leakage
Joint Opened 1/2″
10 PSI
25 PSI
50 PSI
0.138 gal/ft/day
0.332 gal/ft/day
0.343 gal/ft/day
No Water Leakage
No Water Leakage
No Water Leakage
Joint Reclosed
50 PSI
0.281 gal/ft/dayNo Water Leakage

Applications which rely on Wirestop as the primary concrete joint sealant include:

  • Primary and secondary waste water treatment plants (sewage)
  • Foundations, basements, and retaining walls
  • Dams, hydroelectric facilities, canals, raceways, and locks
  • Tunnels, aqueducts, culverts, and utility vaults
  • Primary and secondary containment structures
  • Water filtrations plants, pump stations, leachette facilities, interceptors, and outfalls
  • Underpasses, bridge decks, and abutments
  • Above and below grade parking structures
  • Holding tanks, reservoirs, and water cisterns

Wirestops®/ Waterstops Projects


Junction Selections

Factory made and tested WIRESTOP junction sections save time and labor, helping to ensure zero water leakage at critical intersection joints, “L”, “T”, “Cross”, and “Transition” WIRESTOP junction sections help eliminate leakage caused by defective field-spliced sections. Special configurations are available upon request.

Vertical “Cross”

Vertical “L”

Vertical “T”

Flat “Cross”

Flat “L”

Flat “T”





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