Fish tape


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Old 10-19-11, 05:08 AM
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Fish tape

I have a 50' coiled fish tape. I have always used it to pull one or two additional wires into existing conduits if I cannot get the wires to "push through" by hand. Most time it is because the wire is stuck at a coupling.

This time I have a new 1/2" conduit and I need to feed six #12 wires. I need to go check may be this exceeds the max allowable if not it is probably close.

But my question is how do you use fish tape to pull this many wires? Do you put all six into a bundle and pull them all at once, or do you use the fish tape to pull one at a time?
 
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Old 10-19-11, 05:18 AM
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I just checked for half inch EMT the max is 9, I am surprised seem its possible to put 9 in. So I am ok as far as how many allowed. Still trying to figure out how to best pull this many through.

Another question is whether you all generally mark wires accordingly for a switch? If I am relocating a switch I need to pass two wires through, one before the switch, one after, if they are the same color, in the junction box they were originally in, do you label which one is which or no practical need?
 
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Old 10-19-11, 07:43 AM
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No Electrician, but I've pulled a few wires in my day. With multiples like that, I'd attach the tape to one or 2 wires, then attach the other wires to the first ones staggered by a few inches over about a foot. Then tightly wrap the whole end with tape. That will give you a nice tapered smooth surface.

You'll absolutely need someone pulling and someone feeding. Lube might be a good idea also.
 
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Old 10-19-11, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by MiamiCuse
Another question is whether you all generally mark wires accordingly for a switch? If I am relocating a switch I need to pass two wires through, one before the switch, one after, if they are the same color, in the junction box they were originally in, do you label which one is which or no practical need?
First, I agree with Gunguy on the pulling. That's what I've done. Lots of lube if you've got any bends mid-way. If no bends, not as big a deal.

Second, just mark with colored tape if you feel the need. It is helpful for troubleshooting or when you need to replace a switch, but not required. You can also use a different conductor color. I am pretty sure I have used every color conductor available from local stock. Only in a couple of instances have I had to use the same color parallel to another conductor in the same raceway. I have spools of black, red, blue, orange, brown, violet, yellow, white and gray. But unless you're doing a lot of rewiring, obviously that might not be worth it.
 
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Old 10-19-11, 08:54 AM
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Strip one of the wires about 6" and hook it through the end of the fish tape about 3". Fold it back on itself and give it a little twist. Stagger the other wires alongside the fastened one and tape them in a bundle. This process is called making a head, and you want it to be somewhat tapered. No need to get carried away with #12s though; they will pull pretty easy.

If you're a person who likes a tool for every job, search around for a "mesh pulling grip" which is basically a Chinese finger trap that goes on the end of the fish tape and grabs the wires as you pull.
 
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Old 10-19-11, 11:03 AM
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If the wires are hanging up in the couplings it sounds like the conduit is not fully seated in the fitting. Are you sliding the fittings on and then tapping to ensure they are seated?
 
 

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