How to pull wire through a PVC conduit

Written by c.l. rease
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How to pull wire through a PVC conduit
A fish tape simplifies the chore of pulling wires through PVC conduits. (wires - electro image by Lovrencg from Fotolia.com)

Pulling a wire through a PVC electrical conduit can be a difficult task unless you have the proper tool and lubricant. With a fish tape, the process of pulling the wire will be easier. A fish tape consists of an end that you connect to the wire, a long metal extension, a winder and a winding handle. Adding a water-based lubricant to both the wire and the fish tape will reduce the amount of friction created during the pulling process, further easing the process.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Fish tape
  • Water-based lubricant
  • Electrical tape
  • Nylon pulling string
  • Leather work gloves

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Pull 3 to 4 feet of fish tape from the fish tape reel. With a dry rag, apply water-based lubricant to the exposed length of the fish tape.

  2. 2

    Slide the lubricated end of the fish tape into one end of the PVC conduit. Pull additional fish tape from the reel, lubricate the fish tape and continue feeding the fish tape into the PVC conduit until it extends beyond the other end of the PVC conduit.

  3. 3

    Pull the wire through the end of the fish tape and wrap the wire around it. Wrap electrical tape around the fish tape and the wrapped wire. If you have multiple wires, tie one end of the nylon pulling string to the fish tape and then tie the other end of the nylon pulling string to the wires. Secure the nylon pulling string at both points by wrapping electrical tape around each connection.

  4. 4

    Apply water-based lubricant to the length of the wires with the rag before you begin to pull the wires through the PVC conduit.

  5. 5

    Put on your leather work gloves.

  6. 6

    Pull on the fish tape to start pulling the wires through the PVC conduit. Continue to pull on the fish tape until 2 to 3 feet of wire protrude from the end of the PVC conduit. If the fish tape binds in the PVC conduit, push the fish tape back into the PVC conduit 1 to 2 feet and then pull back toward you.

  7. 7

    Remove the electrical tape from the end of the fish tape and unwrap the wire to release the wire from the end of the fish tape.

  8. 8

    Wipe the water-based lubricant from the exposed wire protruding from the end of the PVC conduit and the length of fish tape extended from the fish tape reel.

  9. 9

    Spin the handle of the fish tape reel clockwise to pull the fish tape back into the fish tape reel.

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