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Here’s something I hadn’t though of before, but apparently the pros know all about: wire pulling lubricants.  Rather than just pulling harder — my up-till-now preferred method of coaxing wire through conduit — pros apply a little lubricant to help the wire on its way.  According to an A/V installer friend of ours, Klein makes one of the installers’ faves.

It’s a non-staining, non-toxic, slow-drying goo that lubricates the cable to slide freely, then dries afterward to keep from gumming up the conduit.  Klein claims it’s compatible with all types of cable, including polyethylene and semi-conducting jackets, so you can use it for all kinds of installs.

Klein sells it in quart-size squeeze bottles, one-gallon pails, and five-gallon pails, and we’re definitely going to try it out the next time we’re pulling wire.  Street pricing for the one-gallon pail starts around $15.

Wire Pulling Lubricants [Klein Tools]
Street Pricing [Froogle]


One Response to Finds: Klein’s Wire Pulling Lubricants

  1. Myself says:

    In a pinch, liquid hand soap from the bathroom works surprisingly well.

    Interesting of Klein to label their product this way, though. The big bottles of “LUBRICANT!” in the gangbox always provided fodder for jokes. Will the subtler label be an improvement, or just contribute to boring jobsites? (Or maybe save someone from a harassment suit?)

    Also: Learn how to tie a marline hitch, it’s the best way to secure pullstring to cable. Secure the loose end of the pullstring a ways down the cable with a bit of electrical tape, then twist marline hitches and slip them over the end of the cable. A handful of them in the first foot of cable is all you need to guaratee a secure grip. Another dab of electrical tape will keep the leading edge of the cable from snagging inside the conduit, and you’re good to go.

    If you’re using fishtape, use electrical tape to secure the cable to the fish, but then grab some string and overwrap the junction with a series of marline hitches that extends past the junction in both directions. As you pull, and the electrical tape slips, the string goes taut and the hitches tighten, preventing the cable from sliding off the fishtape. I’ve never had a fish pull loose from the bundle of cables when using this technique.

    If you’re prowling around electrical supply houses, see if you can snag a few hundred feet of Kevlar pull-tape. It’s the size of a broad shoelace but it’s good for about 2,000 lbs of tension and it weighs practically nothing. You can vacuum or blow it into a conduit run, which is its intended purpose, but since it’s so light and small, it’s ideal for camping or an emergency survival kit. The bright yellow color makes it good for tying tents and tarps without tripping people, and it’s generally handy in the same manner as parachute cord. The downside is that it’s hard to cut, and dulls whatever cutting implement you use.

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