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  1. #1
    Gold Member
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    May 2006
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    Austin, Texas
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    Kabota 7500DT

    Default Pulling Wire through conduit- tips ?

    I stuck this question as an afterthought to another append on wire size and was afraid I might miss out on some good advice, so sorry about the double append.

    I'm pulling 4AWG wires, neutral and ground through 10 foot sections of 2 inch conduit- about 125 feet worth.

    Any handy tips on how to do it ? I've seen mention of sucking it through with a shop vac, grease, etc., but (never having done it) it sure seems all I'd need is a stout 12 foot piece of twine attached to the wire at one end and a heavy washer at the other end of the twine, dropping the washer through each conduit piece until it comes out the other end, and then pulling. Or am I, in my naivete, missing something ?

    Bob
    Farmer Bob
    Kubota 7500DST w/FEL,box blade,posthole digger,brush hog

  2. #2
    Silver Member
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    Sep 2005
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    122
    Location
    Grass Valley, CA
    Tractor
    Branson 3820i

    Default Re: Pulling Wire through conduit- tips ?

    Bob,

    That could work, feeding 10' at a time. Remember, when you get to the last piece, you still pulling through 125' of conduit. So, a second person feeding the wire at the cable entry side, who has a glob of grease in his or her gloved hand and let's the cable slide over it as they are feeding the cable.

    If this is plastic conduit in a trench, then even small ups and downs of the trench can make more resistance to pull through, so make a nice even grade on the bottom of trench. Sometimes, the tractor, can be used to creep pulling the cable slowly and smoothly.

    Jim

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    954
    Location
    Farwell, Michigan
    Tractor
    JD 2010

    Default Re: Pulling Wire through conduit- tips ?

    Bob,
    I start out using poly string (kite string) fastened to a paper towel. I hook a shop vac to the other end of the conduit and suck the string through. I then use a heavy gage poly rope and pull that through the conduit. I then fasten the rope at the cable supply end to the cable using a cable pulling basket (a metal mesh that works like a Oriental finger cuff). If I was going to pull 125 feet I would get an assistant to feed the wire while I pulled. Hopefully you do not have to many bends or angles in the conduit. If the pulling gets difficult add cable pulling lube to the cable. This can decrease the friction and help move the cable. I stand with the rope over my shoulder and my back to the exit point on the conduit and use my legs and back to provide the necessary pulling force to move the cable. If you have a straight conduit run it should be no problem and no back aches after you get the cable pulled.
    Hint, make real sure that you have at least 10 feet or so extra cable because you don't want to correct for any incorrect measurements especially with the cost of copper cable. The reason I say this is that I was about 10 feet short of my required length and had to remove the cable, buy a new set of cables of the correct length. This was when cable was cheap, the original length cost me $198 for 3 legs of #2.
    I do not pull my cable in sections if it can be avoided.
    Good luck.
    David B
    David B

  4. #4
    New Member
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    Oct 2006
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    24
    Location
    Washington State
    Tractor
    2006 Tytan 32 hp 4wd

    Default Re: Pulling Wire through conduit- tips ?

    Quote Originally Posted by bcarwell
    I stuck this question as an afterthought to another append on wire size and was afraid I might miss out on some good advice, so sorry about the double append.

    I'm pulling 4AWG wires, neutral and ground through 10 foot sections of 2 inch conduit- about 125 feet worth.

    Any handy tips on how to do it ? I've seen mention of sucking it through with a shop vac, grease, etc., but (never having done it) it sure seems all I'd need is a stout 12 foot piece of twine attached to the wire at one end and a heavy washer at the other end of the twine, dropping the washer through each conduit piece until it comes out the other end, and then pulling. Or am I, in my naivete, missing something ?

    Bob

    Bob,
    Is the conduit already burried? If so, pulling the wire through will be difficult. If you already have the ditch in place and the conduit is not covered. You should run strong twine thru the conduit, make sure that you leave plenty out both ends. I just pulled 75 ft of cat.6 thru 1" conduit for 100 amp service to my shop.

    I stripped my wire back about six inches at the end to be feed thru pipe and left one of the insulated wires 6 inches and cut the others at a angle as to lower obstruction in the conduit. The wire that I left exposed I bent and made a hook in the end and tied the twine to it securely. After the hook was made and the twine in place I wrapped the hooked end tightly with electricians tape making sure that I wrapped past the place where I beveled the wire and past the twine. I pulled on the twine and had my helper pull on the wire to see if it would handle the pull. If it feels like it won't make it do it over.
    Now that the needle is threaded you will need a medium size bottle of dish washing soap. I have used many different ones and you want a soap that is thick such as DAWN or JOY. I have never used grease but the soap trick is good.

    At both ends of my conduit I poured the soap in about half the bottle each end. Once that is done I had my helper at the end in which to be fed and he started feeding as I started pulling the twine from the end to be fed to and thru the LB. . This can be messy so get a large dry rag to keep handy as the wire is coming thru. Feeding and pulling are one in the same and it needs to be done together. If you feel a bind you should have the feeder pull back slightly til the wire moves freely. Then resume pulling til your wire comes thru.
    Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Oct 2004
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    190

    Default Re: Pulling Wire through conduit- tips ?

    It sounds like your trying to pull the cable through the individual pipes before connecting them. If so, the glue that is used to glue the conduits together will eat through the cable jackets of your wires. Its best to glue the conduit together and then pull the wire.
    Use a mouse, shop vac and masonary twine.
    Almost anything can be used as a mouse. I used a piece of polystyrene insulation cut to fit the conduit with a nail through the center and the string attached to the nail. I also have used fiberglass insulation and if there are any obstructions in your line a plastic sandwhich bag formed to a balloon will work. The vac will pull the masonary line through 120 feet of pipe in about 5 seconds. I then pulled a 1/2" pull rope through the conduit and called the power company. They were responsible for pulling the cable.
    They attached a pully to the top of my meter box and with a helper on the pole end to guide the wire, the other guy pulled the wire through the pulley. The pulley allows the wire to be pulled straight up out of the conduit.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    Oct 2005
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    1,435
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    N. E. Ohio
    Tractor
    tc- 29d

    Default Re: Pulling Wire through conduit- tips ?

    If I read your post correctly; 6 #4 in a 2" pipe. That is a tight fit. You did not mention service size. You may want to increase PVC size due to rerating. 3" PVC will also make pulling easier.
    dqdave1; tc-29D; woods 7500 bh; 7308 fel, land pride tiller, land pride rake, gill pulverizer, 60"mmm. , bucket forks , MZ16H

  7. #7
    Member BigDamnFool's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    43
    Location
    Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3400 HST

    Default Re: Pulling Wire through conduit- tips ?

    Bob,

    Sounds like you've got 2 #4 wires, 1 either #4 or #6 wire for neutral, and 1 # 6 or #8 for ground. That fits pretty easily through a 1 1/4" pipe so with 2" you should have no problem. Feed a 1/4" or 3/8" poly rope through as you are gluing up the pipe to use as a pull rope. Make a loop on your wire ends and tie them all together and tape up any surface that can get caught on anything. put your wire on the higher end of the pull to let gravity help you and pull. Try to keep the the wire moving through the pipe at all times and speed it up when getting to a bend to keep the momentum going into the bend, where it is most likely to get stuck. Also, now is the right time to pull in a 3wire cable for a 3 way switch from your house to your barn. You may not need it now, But you'll thank yourself later for thinking of it. Good luck with your project.


    Tiny

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
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    Sep 2005
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    Ohio
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    Case DX55, Ford 850

    Default Re: Pulling Wire through conduit- tips ?

    I recently pulled 150', 3 #2awg, and a #4, 4 wires total. I used a 36" sweep on one end but you can also use an 18" sweep. I used a wadded up plastic bag tied to masons string, sucked through witha shop vac, then pulled a heavier rope. Stripped 1' of all wires. Tied the rope in a long loop and folded the stripped wires through the rope loop, folding them back on themselves. Taped the heck out of the whole wire/rope area using electrical tape. I uncoiled the wire and had it laid out straight so I could pull it without too many delays. I squirted half a can of shaving cream down the input end of the conduit. My wife fed the wire in as I pulled the rope, occasionally adding more shaving cream to the conduit. I had it pulled through in about 30 seconds. Couldn't believe how easy it was. I had previously done the 'pull wire as conduit is glued' method, but will never again. Having the conduit burried and pulling the wire is 100% easier and faster. Heres a tip: pull the rope through and put both ends in the same area your wire will be (exactly the same). Mark the rope at that length and pull it back out. Measure the rope and you'll have an exact length of wire needed. I added 3' to be safe, and ended up with a 3' scrap. Have fun, it's easier than you think.

  9. #9
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pulling Wire through conduit- tips ?

    You're only going 125 feet. Is the pipe already in the ground and buried?

    If it was me, I'd unroll the wire along the trench, then slide the pipe over it and glue together. It's simple to slide the pipe over the wire and with only 13 pieces to deal with, it will take you less than an hour.

    Don't make it complicated when you can do it easy.

    Good luck,
    Eddie

  10. #10
    Elite Member Cliff_Johns's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    Northern Illinois
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    JD 4110

    Default Re: Pulling Wire through conduit- tips ?

    Personally, I agree with Eddie.

    If you decide to pull it, use gorilla snot. It will make the pull much easier.

    Cliff

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