Why You Can’t Afford Not to Use Parallel Wire Reels

parallel reel



Parallel reels are a no-brainer for electrical contractors who want to increase profitability.

Wire paralleling significantly reduces the amount of manpower and time needed to install a run of power and control cable. If you’re not using parallel reels yet, here are three reasons you can’t afford to ignore them any longer.


1. The labor savings are huge

Compared to a traditional pull, wire paralleling services can help you complete runs in 50% to 70% less time. 

These savings result from the combination of cutting, paralleling and pre-installing pulling heads. Since every minute of your electricians’ time is valuable, outsourcing these tasks saves money and helps you increase profits.

To show the impact of a specialty reel, one of our wire manufacturers timed two wire installs and compared results. A traditional pull took 7.7 hours, while a pull with a specialty parallel reel took only 2.3 hours.


2. Parallel reels help you stay on schedule

Saving time with parallel reels is great for profitability, but it’s also great for client satisfaction. Parallel reels help you complete jobs faster and more efficiently, which makes clients happy.

For example, we recently worked with one electrical contractor while they were replacing switchgear at a school. They didn’t know the lengths of wire until they removed the existing gear, but they also needed to get the power restored as soon as possible.

Once they learned the exact lengths, they called us. We cut and paralleled the wire while they continued working. We then delivered the wire to their job site when and where they needed it. This kind of productivity is only possible when you’re working together.


3. Working in tight spaces is easier 

Combining multiple pulls of wire onto a single reel helps you navigate in narrow areas of a job site.

Instead of four reels and four stands, you can have just a single reel and stand. With this setup, you can often complete the pull closer to the point of install.

Using fewer reels also reduces waste and improves safety. A crowded job site creates safety hazards, and parallel reels help you maintain a neat, clean work area.


Frequently asked questions

Q: When should I use a parallel reel?

A: Parallel reels are primarily used for longer runs of power and control cable. If you’re running wire that’s 1/0 MCM or larger and 100 feet or longer, wire paralleling is almost certainly a smart choice. For shorter runs with smaller wire, you can use handheld wire packs or carts.

Q: What’s the benefit of layering vs. using a specialty parallel reel?

A: There isn’t one! They do the same job. Layering combines wire for you on a reel. Compartmentalized reels keep it separate but safe for a clean payout.

Q: How much wire can you put on a parallel reel?

A: Reels come in different sizes, so it depends on the reel. Compartmentalized reels hold four legs or conductors, which is perfect for a blue, black and red or brown, orange and yellow pull plus a neutral wire.

Q: What are other ways I can save time on wire pulls? 

A: If you’re planning to use parallel reels, pre-installed pulling heads are an easy way to save even more time. We can crimp the pulling head onto the wire for you so it’s ready to pull immediately.


Explore your wire paralleling options

The next time you’re doing a long run, contact your local Border States branch to talk about wire paralleling and other services that could benefit you.