Interview with Erik Freyser, President and COO at Polywater

Extending the lifespan of critical assets requires maintenance practice and reliable, high-quality and eco-friendly repair solutions that minimize downtime.

byTransformers Magazine

Erik Freyser, Polywater
Erik Freyser, Polywater

Good isn’t enough

Polywater was founded in Stillwater, Minnesota, USA, in 1973 by Nelson Jonnes, who was a product development chemist, with 15 patents to his name. The company invented cable pulling lubricants, which revolutionized cable pulling.


A philosophy of our founder Nelson Jonnes that still guides Polywater is: good isn’t enough; a product must be superior


At that time, a significant new market for our water-based, polymer lubricant was found: pulling cable into conduit in the telecommunications industry, which at the time used primarily bentonite clay—essentially mud—an inexpensive, ineffective method of reducing friction. The lubricant, now renamed Polywater® A, represented a technological leap forward, forever changing industrial cable pulling lubrication by allowing the lubricant to pull itself farther into the duct where needed most.


A philosophy of our founder that still guides Polywater is: good isn’t enough; a product must be superior. Forty years later, we offer a full-range of specialty-chemical products.


Polywater is a mid-sized, employee-owned (privately held) manufacturer for electrical and communications infrastructure construction and maintenance. We work with engineers to help them solve specific, field-based, infrastructure problems. Whether it’s new construction, infrastructure upgrades, or grid and network repair and maintenance, companies can expect to receive the total support needed to help them find the right solution for specific challenges in the field—from the start.



We are a global company and Polywater products are stocked and sold in most countries around the globe. We are based in the U.S., so our position in North America is very strong. We also have strengths in Europe, operating from our wholly-owned subsidiary in the Netherlands with local sales representatives and distribution in each European country. Our European subsidiary supports the Middle East, including a UAE hub.


In countries like New Zealand, Australia, South Korea and Japan, we have a well-developed sales support and product distribution infrastructure.


There is an increasing realization by customers that extending the lifespan of critical assets requires preventative maintenance practices and reliable, high-quality and environmentally friendly repair solutions that minimize downtime


Our customers are a mix of utility companies, larger industrial companies, service companies and transformer OEM’s—basically, any company that owns and/or services a transformer in the electrical infrastructure space.

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