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For other uses, see Manhole (disambiguation).
PMG manholes in a city street, Perth, Western Australia.
Manhole in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
This is a sewer manhole, exposed during construction. Typically, only the top ring and manhole cover (not pictured) would be visible.
Manhole cover of precast concrete in Germany

A manhole (alternatively utility hole, cable chamber, maintenance hole, inspection chamber, access chamber, sewer hole or confined space) is the top opening to an underground utility vault used to house an access point for making connections, inspection, valve adjustments or performing maintenance on underground and buried public utility and other services including sewers, telephone, electricity, storm drains, district heating and gas.


Manhole closings are protected by a manhole cover, a flat plug designed to prevent accidental or unauthorized access to the manhole. Those plugs are traditionally made of metal, but may be constructed from precast concrete, glass reinforced plastic or other composite material (especially in Europe, or where cover theft is of concern).

Manholes are usually outfitted with metal, polypropylene, or fiberglass steps installed in the inner side of the wall to allow easy descent into the utility space. Because of legislation restricting acceptable manual handling weights, Europe has seen a move toward lighter weight composite manhole cover materials, which also have the benefits of greater slip resistance and electrical insulating properties.

The access openings are usually circular in shape to prevent accidental fall of the cover into the hole.

Manholes are generally found in urban areas, in streets and occasionally under sidewalks. In rural and undeveloped areas, services such as telephone and electricity are usually carried on utility poles or even pylons rather than underground.

Composite manholes[edit]

Composite (fiberglass) manholes are commonly used in applications where infiltration, exfiltration, or corrosion by hydrogen sulfide (from sewer gas) are a concern, or where structures need to be factory integrated into a manhole before placement.

Structures commonly integrated into composite manholes include:

  • Flow inverts[1]
  • Flumes[2]
  • Drop structures from higher elevation flows to lower elevation discharge pipes

Occasionally, composite manholes will integrate:

  • Weirs[3]
  • Storm water screening structures[4]
  • Sewage grinders[5]
  • Energy absorbing structures to dissipate undesirable flow stream turbulence or velocity[6]

Hazards caused by stray voltage in manholes[edit]

In urban areas, stray voltage issues have become a significant concern for utilities. In 2004, Jodie S. Lane was electrocuted after stepping on a metal manhole cover, while walking her dog in New York City.[7]

See also[edit]



  • Isles, Paul (2010). "Dover Engineering Works". Dover Life Magazine

Further reading[edit]

  • Ascher, Kate ; researched by Wendy Marech (2007). The works : anatomy of a city (Reprint. ed.). New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 978-0143112709. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhole — Please support Wikipedia.
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Korean Movie 맨홀 (Manhole, 2014) 메인 예고편 (Main Trailer)

장르(Genre) : 스릴러, 공포(Thriller, Horror) ▷ 감독(Director) : 신재영(Shin Jae-young) ▷ 출연(Cast) : 정경호(Jung Kyeong-ho), 정유미(Jung Yu-mi), 김새론(Kim ...

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Typical Manhole Box Installation. MGF Ltd.

Typical Assembly, Installation and Extraction of MGF's Manhole Box. http://www.mgf.ltd.uk/

TV Interview Interrupted by Explosion and Flying Manhole (Exploding Cover) | Buffalo, NY | VIDEO

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Compilation - Manhole catapults (Manholes throw cars)

Second channel - https://goo.gl/zB5QSw Compilation of fairly unusual accidents involving manholes when they are not securely reinforced and precariously ...


This video depicts the construction of a new manhole being installed over an existing line in a very tight area. I condensed this video to 9.5 minutes from two ...

Manhole Cover Goes Flying

Due to an underground explosion, a manhole cover on Tupper Street in Buffalo, NY goes flying.

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37114 news items


Thu, 30 Jul 2015 06:44:28 -0700

Con Edison says power to all customers in Washington Heights has been restored following a manhole fire Thursday morning. The fire broke out underneath West 190th Street, off Wadsworth Terrace, and resulted in power outages for 784 customers in ...
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 03:22:39 -0700

The fire, which was off Wadsworth Terrace, resulted in power outages for 784 customers in neighboring buildings. Full power will not be restored until this evening. The manhole caught fire at 5:50 a.m. and was extinguished just before 7 a.m. Smoke and ...


Wed, 29 Jul 2015 19:00:59 -0700

Sacramento Fire crews responded to a manhole cover explosion near 17th and N streets in midtown Sacramento on Wednesday. The explosion happened just after 6 p.m. and residents in a two-block radius were asked to shelter in place while fire crews ...
The Daily Freeman
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 09:07:30 -0700

Swenson previously said the manhole, which extends 30 feet underground to the 100-year-old tunnel, was falling apart. The manhole is about 3,000 feet from the Washington Avenue sinkhole, near Linderman Avenue. The sinkhole, blamed on leaks in the ...


Tue, 28 Jul 2015 22:37:30 -0700

A power outage on the Lower East Side had many looking for ways to beat the heat. The outage was caused by a manhole fire, not the heat. Con Edison crews spent the day trying to get the power back on. The utility says it's doing its best to be prepared ...

FOX6 WBRC - MyFoxAL.com

FOX6 WBRC - MyFoxAL.com
Mon, 27 Jul 2015 19:04:44 -0700

Birmingham police say a woman fell into an uncovered manhole on 1st Street North and Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Boulevard Monday evening. According to Sgt. Marion Benson, she was transported to an area hospital. A resident said the woman fell ...


Wed, 15 Jul 2015 16:47:40 -0700

The issues began around 3:40 p.m. when the Long Beach Fire Department started receiving reports from police of smoke coming up from the vents in manhole covers in the area of Third Street and Chestnut Avenue, according to spokesman Jake Heflin with ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Sat, 25 Jul 2015 02:29:48 -0700

This is the dramatic moment that fire and smoke emerged from the ground as a manhole exploded inches away from a person filming. The incident was filmed by YouTube user Chris Kruz in Long Beach, California, who later posted the shocking footage ...

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