While doing the wiring, you may encounter several situations where you need to pull wires through a conduit. Whether you are dealing with a complex problem or working at a new construction site, the right tools can make this frustrating process more or less a routine. Thanks to recent advances, you can use various wire-pulling tools. This article will introduce you to some of them.
You may know it by the name of draw wire, electricians snake, or draw tape. It is a long flat steel or fiberglass wire that coils around a reel. The fish tape is best suited to pull a 12-gauge wire or any low-voltage cable through the conduit. If you get fiberglass fish tape, it offers more protection against conductivity. However, you will have to compromise with rigidity. On the other hand, steel is rigid enough to guide the wire easily through the conduit.
Tips for picking a good fish tape:
- First, select the appropriate length that serves your purpose well.
- Secondly, always choose a tape with a solid and stable reel that is not prone to bending or breaking.
Wire Pulling Rods
You may also know it as fish sticks. Rods are shorter than fish tapes, and there is no reel with rods. Rod is perfect for tight spaces like pulling wire through wall cavities and other hidden areas as they are more rigid. Wire pulling rods vary based on the top of the head, and it can be a hook, loop, or magnetic head. For longer lengths, you can splice two rods together. These rods are available in sizes from 3ft to 6 ft. You can use these rods to pull tv/telephone cables or network lines.
Tips for choosing a wire pulling rod:
- Choose a glow rod to see through wall cavities, ceiling, or the floor.
- For shorter and light works, you can pick non-conductive wire pulling rods.
Conduit Pistons, Blower, And Airbags/Vacuum Systems
Conduit pistons are also known as conduit mice. These are small cylinders made of foam material that perfectly fit the conduit’s inner diameter. You can attach a wire to the conduit piston and insert it into the line. Then, you use a vacuum to create suction pressure on the opposite end. The force pulls the piston, rope, and electrical cable through the conduit.
Cleaning the conduit is an added advantage of using a conduit mouse, and this tool is perfect for use in residential and commercial jobs where you need to pull new electrical wires through long conduits. When there are bent or obstructed conduits, you can use airbags that optimize themselves according to the lines.
Light Nylon Pull Cord/String /Wire Pulling Line
Image: wire-pulling line
You may also know it by different names, including pull string, pull lines, and pull cords. These ropes have a very high tensile strength-to-weight ratio. Nylon pull cords are different based on their pound-remove weight capacity. The values generally range from 22-500 lbs. a higher value represents a heavier rod. Nylon pull ropes are mainly used with other tools to pull wires and cables. You can fasten a nylon pull rope to the hooks or loops or rods and tapes.
Metal Stud Punch
When working on residential projects, a right-angle drill is enough to create a hole in the metal. However, you may need a metal stud punch to run the conduits through the steel studs in commercial settings. You can easily insert a metal conduit through a steel stud with this punch.
The stud punch comes in different varieties, and some of them can easily handle 20-gauge steel. You may also need a conduit bender along with this, and you can pick a hand bender or a power bender.
Wire Pulling Lubricant
Wire lubricants make the wire pulling easier. Lubricants are non-corrosive to copper, PVC, aluminum, and galvanized steel. Once applied, it dries and changes into a non-toxic lubricating powder.
In high-stress electrical work and communication cables, there is a lot of friction. Lubricating a wire reduces this friction considerably. As the lubricants are water-soluble, it does not affect the skin. Nowadays, you can find non-toxic and environmentally-friendly oils.
Wire Pulling Grips
Image: cable pulling grip kit
Wire or cable pulling grips are like mesh tubes that you can place over a cable. These grips help you pull wires and cables through long-distance conduits. Working as cable socks, you can secure this mesh with clamps and tape. There are rings and eyes at the end of the grip, and you can pull these rings to tighten the grip around the cable. You can also use these rings and watches to attach the line to pulling winches when pulling through the conduit.
Fish Tape Leader
Image: fish tape leader
A fish tape leader guides a fish tape through tight turns like a 90-degree bend, making the fishing quicker and easier in the conduit. A leader is designed to pull hundreds of pounds, and the capacity of an eyelet differs, and some of them can pull several unstripped and bare wires together.
So, cable pulling tools always make your work easier, whether you pull through simple straight conduits or a conduit with multiple bends and offsets. At Bloom, we have experience handling cable assemblies for more than a decade. If you are looking for help in cable and wire installations, you can contact us.