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Pulling wires thru conduit
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Hunter n NOLa    Posted 11-21-2003 at 10:16:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have a 1/2" conduit, 150 ft long that has an 8 conductor 1/4" diameter cable inside. I need to pull a new cable of about the same size thru the conductor and need some advise. What's the best way to connect the ends of the old and new cables and should I use some sort of lubricant?

I've never done this before and would appreciate some do's and don't please.

Lazy Al    Posted 11-21-2003 at 14:39:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hunter .
If thing don't go good after you done what the others has said and you lose the wire half way down the conduit .( Comes apart ) Here's a little trick to get started again . Pull the wires out and then tie a little piece plastic
like part of a baggy on a piece of jet line and suck it thru the pipe with a vacum . Then tie a larger rope on it and pull it thru with the string and pull the wire in with the rope .Don't use to big of a rope on half in pipe . Make thre joint as small as you can even if you have to cut some stranes of wire off the 8 . good luck .

Willy-N    Posted 11-21-2003 at 12:27:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
Attach a nylon heavy string to the old cable with tape after you tie it on with a few 1/2 hitches and tape the tip so it has nothing to snag in the pipe. Pull out the old cable befor pulling in the new one. After you got the old cable out attach that string to the tip of the new cable by stripping back about 3 inches of wire and fold it over to form a loop. Besure to fold some one way and the rest the other way to make the loop. Tie the string to this loop and leave extra to put a few 1/2 hiches on the cable and tape it up so it cannot slip. You do not need much tape so do not put a big gop of it on the end and wrap it tight. Have someone feed the cable into the pipe as you pull on the string. Have them just put a little presure on it and not try to push it in the pipe. If it bends at the beginging of the pipe it will hang up and a pound of hang/up at the beginging will be like 100 pounds at the other end to pull it. After you have a couple of feet in the pipe wipe the cable with some dish soap to lube it and it will slide a lot easier in the pipe. Just don't get it on the tip because it might make you pull string slip off the wire. It will take 2 people to put the cable in the pipe and take your time, do not jerk it fast. When you are ready to pull tell the guy to push and pull at the same time you will feel the wire go and stop pulling if it hangs up and pull back a little and pull again. Try to get together on this and pull only a few ft per pull. Should be a simple pull if you do not have over 360 degs in the pipe worth of bends and no rough edges on the couplings in the run. Good luck, Mark H.

Ron from IL    Posted 11-21-2003 at 10:39:28       [Reply]  [No Email]

Here's what I'd do:

1.) On the end you want to pull FROM, strip each wire about 2".

2.) Strip the new wire's conductors in the same manner.

3.) Bend each stripped end in two--so that you have a 1" X 1" folded end.

4.) Hook each stripped end on the old wire to a likewise stripped end on the new cable.

5.) Now, using plastic electrician's tape, tape the wires you have now hooked together, completely covering the stripped wires and tapering toward each end.

6.) Don't make the taped section too big! The tape is there to ensure that the wires won't come unhooked.

7.) Unless the wire is stuck inside the conduit (it happens), it should pull the new wire in easily. If it sticks, CAREFULLY work it loose before pulling and add some wire lubricant (available at electrical supply houses and farm stores) before pulling.

Proceed carefully, and you should have no trouble completing the new pull.

Good luck!


Brian-2N    Posted 11-21-2003 at 10:38:00       [Reply]  [Send Email]
If I understand correctly, you are replacing the old cable with a replacement? If you are trying to stuff in both cables, you'll be in violation of the National Electric Code, and the fill ratio for conduit.
If you are replacing, try this. Peel back the outer jacket on both wires. Cut all the conductors short except one on both cables. Bend the two remaining around each other, and wrap with tape.
Another method is to secure a pulling grip to the first wire, and secure the grip to the secoond. A pulling grip is a wire basket that works like a chinese finger.
You can pick up some pulling lube at an electrical supply store or Home Cheapo.
Brian-2N-your neighborhood electrical distributor

bulldinkie    Posted 11-21-2003 at 13:22:18       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Dishwashing liquid..

Dave Munson, mid illinois    Posted 11-21-2003 at 15:18:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yes. Dishwashing liquid. The NEC stuff dont sound like it applies - from your description this is data cables or low / no voltage. Have fun pulling.

I have used the vacuum trick but not when the cable diameter just about completely fills up the conduit. Try the vacuum trick sucking a line through - use the line to pull the cable.

LesWV    Posted 11-21-2003 at 16:50:39       [Reply]  [Send Email]

Get a grip.. LOL
I mean get a cable grip. Then tie either a wire like electric fence wire or 1/4" rope to the end of the old cable. Pull it through tailing the wire or rope.
Then attach just slip the grip ove the new cable and pull. The harder that you pull the tighter it grips and you will not have taped or twisted ends coming loose.
You can get them to fit cable from 1/4" up to about 4 1/2". The one that you would need is sized .25 - .65. Which will pull a cable from 1/4" to 5/8".

Another trick to getting a tag line through a pipe to attach a pull line, is to use a fishing rod with 4 to 6 LB test and a Cotton ball since you are going through 1/2". Attach the line then stuff the cotton ball into the pipe. Then use an air compressor with a blow nozzle to force the line through. We use to use what is known as a Mouse to do this operation with. Which is a device shaped like a funnel which expands to fot the size of pipe that the fishing line attaches to. We have blowen blowen "mive up to 1/4 of a mile before through 3 or 4 90's.

Willy-N    Posted 11-21-2003 at 16:34:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
On the Dish Soap according to NEC Rules it is not approved to get on the wire for pulling compound but most electrical wire is rated for a lot of harsh chemicals like oil resistance ect. The only thing I can figure is the soap might get on a conection and cause a problem. No way is it going to hurt the wire. I use it quite often when I pull wire along with Yellow 77, Greenlie Wire Lube and Ideal Wire Lube. If you have to pull old cables out of a pipe it is great for pouring down the pipe to get around the bends and conduit fittings. Had a 3 story appartment once we needed to replace the wire in a feeder conduit once, they would not budge with several people pulling on them. I went upstairs and took a 50/50 mix of dish soap and water poured it in the conduit and those wire flew out of the pipe. Just don't get caught using it to pull electrical wire by a inspector it is not Aproved not to say it will hurt anything just not aproved by the NEC Code people. Mark H.

rayinpa    Posted 11-21-2003 at 16:51:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Lazy Al that was a brilliant tip there! thanks
Brian2N where could I find a pulling grip?

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