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  • Wire pulling dirty little secrets?

    A customer wanted me to finish pulling wires for his outdoor wonder land, I am having the darndest time getting my fishtape thru certain conduits. I considered using a mouse or a plastic bag attached to some string to try and get past these "trouble areas" but did not have a compressor handy. I almost swear that some of these runs have about 1080* worth of fittings on them, simply making my life just that much more fun. I tried two different tapes (different ends) and have tried bending, tweaking, twisting, cursing, inventing curse words in other languages, cable lube, I feel stupid. The lower conduit in these photos have 3 fittings in the first 2 feet, I suspect the sweeps were not fully pressed together, each end stops my fishtape. I used my little dinky scope and confirmed this in the first sweep, just enough gap to catch my fishtape end. The trouble conduit is the one not marked "OK" When the previous idiot marks one as OK, and the other as nothing, I was really hoping it was just a coincidence.

    This is what the customer gets for hiring guys who smell like S#!+ and no habla engless. I am waiting on him to find the photos he had good enough sense to take so I do not have to dig up the entire yard trying to fix this re-occuring problem.

    I really look forward to finding the conduit ends that are just buried in the yard for "future upgrades"

    We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

  • #2
    Re: Wire pulling dirty little secrets?

    How big are these conduits? I have wondered before if a jetter would work for that application. Maybe run it through, tape on a string, pull it back, then pull wires. I don't know if it would work or not. Depends on the size and condition of the conduits. If it is dirt in them, or debris, it might be just the ticket.

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    • #3
      Re: Wire pulling dirty little secrets?

      Plastic bag, pulling string and a shop vac works for me...

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      • #4
        Re: Wire pulling dirty little secrets?

        grey or blue wire nut, no wings, sand the edges off the top of the nut and tape the bottom to the fish so you can pull back if required. It is just big enough so the nut will bounce the tape over the poor connections. Ping pong ball for the larger pipes.
        Last edited by wbrooks; 11-08-2011, 07:47 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: Wire pulling dirty little secrets?

          Drill and tap a hole in a steel ball bearing with the same threads as your interchangeable fish tape ends. Could probably even epoxy it to an end of you don't feel like drilling a hardened steel ball.

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          • #6
            Re: Wire pulling dirty little secrets?

            You are only allowed 360 degrees of bends between accessible junctions by code. If you have 1080 good luck trying to pull something thru that spaghetti mess even with the good suggestions already stated by everyone else. Also while you are there the outlet needs to be brought up to code. Don't you just love cleaning up somebody else's mess.

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            • #7
              Re: Wire pulling dirty little secrets?

              I have heard string and a vac on the other end works too..Si
              ''Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" Benjamin Franklin

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              • #8
                Re: Wire pulling dirty little secrets?

                If all the fitting are consecutive, or going to the same way, can you push the fish tape in from the other end?
                Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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                • #9
                  Re: Wire pulling dirty little secrets?

                  Pull LINE left in conduit is nice to FIND !
                  I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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                  • #10
                    Re: Wire pulling dirty little secrets?

                    i've camered and jetted lines for the utility companies in an attempt to free up the wires they were trying to remove and replace.

                    i suggest to use a plumbers snake on the conduit. depending on the size and length would dictate the proper cable.

                    problem with the jetter is the water it's going to blast into the line and possible junction boxes.

                    also a stiffer fiberglass push rod will out push a metal push wire snake.

                    rick.
                    phoebe it is

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                    • #11
                      Re: Wire pulling dirty little secrets?

                      When my boss could not get it, I have accomplished "miracles" by slightly backing off the hindrance and rotating the tape spool.
                      I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                      It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                      "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

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                      • #12
                        Re: Wire pulling dirty little secrets?

                        Originally posted by Robert Gift View Post
                        When my boss could not get it, I have accomplished "miracles" by slightly backing off the hindrance and rotating the tape spool.
                        That is how I got past the two bad connections you can see in the picture, the third one has me trapped. have twisted my fishtape so bad it stayed twisted trying to make the turn.
                        Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
                        Pull LINE left in conduit is nice to FIND !
                        When I pull wires, if there is room for more conductors, I always pull tru tape for future expansion.

                        Originally posted by BHD View Post
                        If all the fitting are consecutive, or going to the same way, can you push the fish tape in from the other end?
                        I tried, I make it to the mess of fittings and get stuck.
                        Originally posted by MR.FUDD View Post
                        You are only allowed 360 degrees of bends between accessible junctions by code. If you have 1080 good luck trying to pull something thru that spaghetti mess even with the good suggestions already stated by everyone else. Also while you are there the outlet needs to be brought up to code. Don't you just love cleaning up somebody else's mess.
                        I was exagerating about the # of fittings, it probably comes close to 270* by my guestimation. It might as well be a million degrees. That outlet while being "outside" it is covered and protected from direct moisture contact by the dishwasher that sits in front of it. What needs to be changed?

                        Originally posted by Alphacowboy View Post
                        Drill and tap a hole in a steel ball bearing with the same threads as your interchangeable fish tape ends. Could probably even epoxy it to an end of you don't feel like drilling a hardened steel ball.
                        Originally posted by wbrooks View Post
                        grey or blue wire nut, no wings, sand the edges off the top of the nut and tape the bottom to the fish so you can pull back if required. It is just big enough so the nut will bounce the tape over the poor connections. Ping pong ball for the larger pipes.
                        That sounds like a good idea too. I never thought about that, but I did try wrapping a bunch of electrical tape over the end to help it past the fittings.


                        Originally posted by killavolt View Post
                        Plastic bag, pulling string and a shop vac works for me...
                        I need to remember that

                        Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                        i suggest to use a plumbers snake on the conduit. depending on the size and length would dictate the proper cable.


                        rick.
                        I was staring at the customers power snake wondering what kind of mess or damage I could cause with that thing. Its a Ridgid, but its a tiny dude. I did not see a specific model number on it, it only sits maybe 16" high at the handle. It is badged Ridgid/Kholman (orange)
                        Last edited by masterbeavis; 11-09-2011, 01:42 AM.
                        We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Wire pulling dirty little secrets?

                          or, a drain snake?

                          I've often thought, and did again today as I camera'd an untrapped wash machine graywater line fashined from galvy electrical conduit, that if dwv systems used the nice gentle sweeps that elec condiut does I'd have a lot less work, and what I did would all be easy.

                          I've been called in to pull heat tape for roof drains and to grind concrete out of conduit before. If yours goes anywhere, drain cleaning equipment will get there.
                          This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Wire pulling dirty little secrets?

                            [QUOTE=masterbeavis;364553]I was exagerating about the # of fittings, it probably comes close to 270* by my guestimation. It might as well be a million degrees. That outlet while being "outside" it is covered and protected from direct moisture contact by the dishwasher that sits in front of it. What needs to be changed?

                            In MD all outside outlets expect some snow melting & de-icing conditions need to be GFI protected. I know I can't see the breaker box to see if has GFI breaker, but I can see the receptable is not. Also all outside outlets need covers on them that provide a watertight seal even with the cord pluged into the outlet. How did you make out pulling the wire?

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