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Cable Pulling Techniques?

10/26/2012 9:14 PM

hi guys, have you tried cable pulling some cable wires in pvc pipes ?

if yes, what techniques / tips did you use ?

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#1

Re: Cable pulling techniques ?

10/26/2012 9:18 PM

Pulling soap helps.

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#2

Re: Cable pulling techniques ?

10/26/2012 9:58 PM

Use sweeps.

Do you know what sweeps are?

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#3

Re: Cable pulling techniques ?

10/26/2012 10:39 PM

Use Yellow 77 (ask your electrical supplier). The apprentice pulls.

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Cable pulling techniques ?

10/26/2012 11:07 PM

Also known as "boy butter"

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#4

Re: Cable pulling techniques ?

10/26/2012 11:01 PM

Some extra pulling grips along the length of the cable may also help, as may pushing on the other end.

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#6

Re: Cable pulling techniques ?

10/27/2012 2:16 AM

Don't try and pull more than 3 bends!! After 3 it starts getting hard.

Careful if you are pulling cables when there are existing cables in the tube! If you pull too hard, the friction can burn through the insulation of the other cables leading to short circuits!

Best use quality cables, some cheap cables tend to burn through very easily while the better quality cables have a dry lube coating!

If the cables become stuck, pull them the other way a bit and then give a sharp tug forward again! Normally cables only get stuck in the bends or at tube joints!

Before squirting the pulling gel (or soap) in the tube, attach your cables to your draw wire! If you attach them ( using tape ) afterwards, the tape will slide right off the cables leaving you to pass the draw wire again!

Pull and push!

There are many more, like choosing the right draw wire and fishing from both ends but I'm not going to give all the trade secrets away!

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#7

Re: Cable pulling techniques ?

10/27/2012 8:22 AM

Read them all to know them ALL

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#8

Re: Cable pulling techniques ?

10/27/2012 8:54 AM
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#9

Re: Cable Pulling Techniques?

10/27/2012 11:05 PM

If its an empty conduit how do you get the first pull string in there. Wait for it ,wait for it, yes you use a large vacuum and a cotton ball with a pull twine and suck the first one through. then attach the rest of the pull wires you will need to pull and a few extra for future use. AND A BIG BOTTLE OR TUB OF SLICKUM. Different names for it around the country but pretty much the same stuff. Just don't spill it and then step in it or you might beat the wire to the other end.

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#12
In reply to #9

Re: Cable Pulling Techniques?

10/28/2012 12:18 AM

They make a device called a "tunnel rat" that is a spool of high strength very fine cord that is fired thru the conduit by a nitrogen powered gun.It unspools as it travels down the conduit.Different trade names exist, as well as different manufacturers.

As for how to pull the wire, it depends on size of wire, size of conduit and length of pull.

270 degrees is the maximum turn allowed in most situations.

I have used a Rigid pipe threader anchored to the floor,with a 2 inch nipple as a capstan drive to pull wire through large conduit, and high powered winches for other situations.Very long runs of large cable requires pinch conveyors and rollers to prevent damage to the cable.Cable manufacturers specify a maximum pull on their cable to prevent damage to the exterior as well as gauge change from stretching.

Lubricant is also standard equipment for cable pulling.

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#10

Re: Cable Pulling Techniques?

10/27/2012 11:30 PM

the most important step. pull from high to low elevation, even if it is 2 inches difference.

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#11

Re: Cable Pulling Techniques?

10/28/2012 12:10 AM

There has been some excellent advice given from other posters. The only thing I can think of adding that a lot take for granted is make sure all your cables are running parallel & not crossing over at any time. When even 1 cable wraps around or crosses over another it creates a lump that will not pull through a bend & will do damage.

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#13

Re: Cable Pulling Techniques?

10/28/2012 1:54 AM

All great tips from lots of people who have pulled cables.. and yes I've tried them all and they do work.

One more tip before you start, and this I've seen done.. or I should say NOT done!

MEASURE YOUR CABLE!

The number of times I've seen cables pulled in only to find they are short by a FEW inches... Cable pulling can take ages and a lot of manpower and even longer if you have to pull it out again because you've cut it too short. Also don't forgetting the "muppet" factor you now feel, and everyone who pulled the cable is definitely thinking!

Measure twice.. cut once!

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Cable Pulling Techniques?

10/28/2012 4:41 AM

Yes I totally agree with you there I have always thought it was better to waste 3feet of wire rather than be a few inches short

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Cable Pulling Techniques?

10/28/2012 4:51 AM

To connect your draw wire to the cables being pulled in I suggest using Cable Grips like these:

Also I have never used it myself, but I have heard of talcum powder being used as a lubricant, although I'd recommend wearing dust masks and eye protection as talcum powder can be very irritating if inhaled and or gets in your eyes.

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#25
In reply to #15

Re: Cable Pulling Techniques?

10/29/2012 11:45 AM

Yes - Using a cable grip helps reduce the size of the connection of the pull line to the cable.

In case you are not familiar with this device, apply tape to attach it to the cable only to the trailing end. When in use, the grip tightens as the pull tension increases. (They work like the Chinese finger trap toy that I had as boy.) These can be purchased or you can make them from copper cable braid and from braided cable sleeving.

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#16

Re: Cable Pulling Techniques?

10/28/2012 9:46 AM

And now for the rookie mistake, don't trust the old farts that tell you to go down a floor and keep pulling until they tell you to stop, just before lunch. They will tell you that you will have to pull several floors one at a time. then start you out with a 5000 ft roll and go to lunch and leave you pulling your heart out until you run out of wire or they get back from lunch whichever comes first. After this rite of passage, then you're part of their team!

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Cable Pulling Techniques?

10/28/2012 10:02 AM

Speaking from personal experience?

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#21
In reply to #17

Re: Cable Pulling Techniques?

10/28/2012 6:27 PM

Nope a good friend in a 35 story high-rise working for ATT, back then called Indiana Bell a part of Bell Labs. Since then several names leading up to ATT he just retired last year. Too many years to think about now. As my grandfather use to say I am going to retire one of these days he never did he loved his job so much he worked to his 90th birthday retired to that great lock shop in the sky on Dec 26th. Probably the same way I will go. Duke

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#18

Re: Cable Pulling Techniques?

10/28/2012 10:53 AM

By the nature of your post,I presume you are an amateur pulling through a small conduit.A pro would not ask such basic questions.Here is a little more sage advice regarding the length of cable or wire, just in case:

A straight line is not always straight,especially when you cannot see it, as in underground raceways.When dealing with high voltage$$$$$$$$ or fiber optic$$$$$$$$$$$ cable, it is best to pull a leader through and measure the leader length by tagging it.Then add 10%. This is a fudge factor, and a very expensive one when pulling miles of cable, but is a cost of doing business and should be considered before giving an estimate or ordering cable.

Pulling fiber optic cable is a science in itself,requiring extra gentle handing at all stages.I recommend testing before unrolling to avoid prior damage disputes.

Good luck.

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#19

Re: Cable Pulling Techniques?

10/28/2012 11:11 AM

Hi have you tried putting vaseline or oil swab on the draw line before the cables being

pulled. and sometime french chalk poured into the condiut, depending what type of cable

is being used.

Good luck.

Victor

Harare Zimbabwe

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#20

Re: Cable Pulling Techniques?

10/28/2012 3:44 PM

This is a good topic for discussion. I use KY Jelly for a lubricant because it is inert. First, I put a cotton rag on the end of my pull string and coat it heavily in KY Jelly. This coats the inside of the PVC pipe. Then I coat the cable with KY so it becomes very slippery. I like to use cable pullers like MASU suggested in this thread. It worked very well for me. Good luck.

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#22
In reply to #20

Re: Cable Pulling Techniques?

10/28/2012 8:47 PM

My associate has a PEng degree and with regards to the KY Jelly he claims the strawberry flavor works as good as anything..

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: Cable Pulling Techniques?

10/28/2012 9:21 PM

I prefer Red Eye Gravy flavor myself!

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#24

Re: Cable Pulling Techniques?

10/29/2012 11:13 AM

Strain! -- JHF

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#26

Re: Cable Pulling Techniques?

02/28/2013 7:36 PM

When pulling cable of longer lengths and/or of multiple cables at once, it's also recommend the use of a cable line swivel. Swivels will dramatically reduce the amount of tension on the cable that's being pulled. By doing so, this will also reduce the amount of cable lubricant needed for one's pull. Ideas for other effort saving cable pulling tools can be found here. Everyone has their own approach based on experience, their current situation and tools available to them. Be safe!

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