There are various types of equipment used for wire-handling purposes. This article will take a closer look at several of the main kinds of equipment used by workers.
1. Cable Pullers
Equipment powered by electricity has made the job of pulling electrical cables through conduits considerably easier. Cable pullers make use of a power source, which fuels a turning capstan, which in turn pulls wire and a special kind of pulling rope. Prior to the availability of cable-pulling equipment, this task was performed by hand.
Cable pullers today come in different sizes and are often portable. They can also handle various pulling forces, with some models able to take on around 10,000 pounds.
2. Fish Tape
Feeding tape through a conduit is a necessary first step before it’s pulled through, which is made possible with fish tape. This is used primarily on smaller projects, and is often the preferred method for pulling wire through conduits.
Fish tape is actually steel wire that is stored in a wheel-shaped plastic structure, and the way the fish tape is stored makes it easier to feed into the conduit. The fish tape process works like this: One worker holds the fish tape holder (the doughnut-shaped wheel) and the tape is then released with a button and fed into the conduit. Once it emerges on the other side, the electric wires that need to be fed through the conduit are attached to the fish tape, which allows the wires themselves to be pushed through the conduit with ease. Both the tape and wires are fed into the conduit once again, completing the process.
3. Pulling Rope
When cable pullers are used, they make use of special pulling rope that must be incredibly strong and able to handle friction. It’s important to know the tension capabilities of pulling rope, as well as how friction affects rope when it’s used on a capstan and how much it will stretch.
A rope that stretches is not acceptable because, like a stretched rubber band, it will be released if the rope snaps, causing the cable to potentially recoil and injure someone. Double-braided composite rope is the best choice for pulling because it’s like two ropes in one. It’s a high-strength, low-stretch rope.