Pulling heavy gauge wire

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Old 07-18-18, 10:15 AM
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Pulling heavy gauge wire

Ok, I'm not a certified electrician as you will soon tell. I have a new (she) shed where I have installed a simple 100A subpanel. I ran three simple 20A circuits in the shed on 12/2. One for lights and a dorm fridge, one for outlets down one side, one for outlets down the other and one outlet outside. Adding all her expectations together plus 20% more or so comes to about 25A max expected at any given time in this shed. I am planning to run AWG 6 stranded from a subpanel in a garage to this subpanel in the shed, on a double pole breaker. Total distance from source panel to farthest outlet in shed is approx 125'.

I have pulled the appropriate permits and will need to get it inspected. I have already driven two ground rods at the shed and wired the interior, now I just need to pull the feed from the garage and hook it all up. I would like to use 1" conduit the whole way to give plenty of room. Here's my problem, the route. When I asked the inspector about this element of the design he gave me a short answer that if I didn't know I shouldn't be doing it and to get a certified electrician to do it, which PO'd me and made me want to do it even more.

The only way I can do it is come out the top of the panel, 90 degree across top of a 36' wide garage, 90 degree down to the floor on the other side, 90 degrees through an outlet body out to the trench, and then finally 90 degrees up into the shed. I've done a lot of reading, this is the max amount of bends I can have and I am concerned I will not be able to pull AWG 6 through that whole length even with help. I'm also not crazy about splicing #6 in a junction box and I have not yet looked at the code on that to even know if it's legal.

What do you all think about pulling #6 through this configuration over 115'? How would you do it?
 
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Old 07-18-18, 10:27 AM
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repeat as needed!
 
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Old 07-18-18, 11:03 AM
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And just to clarify TelecomGuy's post, you don't need (nor want) to splice in the LB's, only use them for pulling.

So you'd do your first pull from the panel to the outside of the house, coming out that LB. Then do a second pull from the LB to the shed LB, etc. But you're pulling all 4 125' wires at once - Don't cut it!

You would never want to make that pull all at once by hand. Or at least I wouldn't!
 
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Old 07-18-18, 12:40 PM
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Thanks for your quick responses. I actually thought about this, I wasn't sure I would have enough room in there to pull everything thru the opening and then get the wires started back down into the next leg.
 
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Old 07-18-18, 12:53 PM
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I watched a guy run wire through all the fittings "Before" he glued them together. He planned it all out saved some grief but not much of his time though. Don't know if that would be a good option but may be workable.
 
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Old 07-18-18, 01:20 PM
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I watched a guy run wire through all the fittings "Before" he glued
Not allowed because the glue may damage the wire. You could include a pull string.
 
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Old 07-18-18, 01:57 PM
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Proper technique requires the pipe to be fully assembled and the glue set prior to pulling in wires. As Ray said you can fish a string through as you assemble the conduit system, then use that to pull through something heavier to actually pull the wires with. String or twine will cut into PVC conduit elbows. Use a pulling tape or thin gauge rope to actually do the tension part of the pull. A helper feeding the wires in and applying conduit lube as you pull from the other side makes the process much much easier. There is a bit of a technique to packing into an LB fitting as you do a pull. You need to make a "hook" shape with the wires as the helper pulls from the other side so you can guide them smoothly into the fitting without a kink or twist that will hold the lid open or damage the wire.
 
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Old 07-18-18, 04:54 PM
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I would upgrade the conduit from 1" to 2". It will make pulling the wires easier, plus if you ever want to pull more wire, you'll have room in the tube.
 
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Old 07-19-18, 08:20 PM
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2" is a bit overkill for 3 - #6 and one #10 wires. 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" would likely be fine.
 
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Old 07-20-18, 06:44 PM
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I think anything larger than 1" is overkill for this little project. #6 is stranded and very easy to pull, no lube needed at all.
 
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Old 08-13-18, 12:50 PM
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Project is done

Folks, just thought I'd update the thread to thank those for the comments. I completed this project, quite easily with wife's help I installed a conduit body on the inside and outside of the garage with a short piece of 1" conduit connecting them. First pull was a 50' pull from the garage panel to the first inside conduit body. I pulled, wife pushed, across several 90 deg sweeps and one 45, no problem. Then I fed the wires to the outside and through that conduit body. Fished my tape from the shed to there, did a 70' pull - project done. The only problem we encountered was right at the end, my wife couldn't get the last tight loop out of the wires to get them inside the conduit body. I had plenty on each end so I went into the garage and pulled the slack out from the other way. I ran 4 wires, 3 x #6 and 1 x #8 in 1" conduit no problem at all and no lube. In all the run had 4 90 deg sweeps and 2 45's and we did it in less than an hour.
 

Last edited by cwh66; 08-13-18 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 08-13-18, 08:23 PM
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Nice job! It is common to have trouble getting that last bit of wire inside an LB so you are not alone.
 
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