Best way to run cable through long runs of conduit?

rufunky

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I have never run cable through conduit so sorry for the lame question but...

What is the best way to run cable through long runs of conduit? Do you just pull it through piece by piece then glue all you joints?

Or Is there a split conduit option that I can install after the cable is pulled?
 

copex

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the conduit should be installed with inspection joints and a draw wire/rope and have slow bends ( no 90 degrees ) depending on the size of conduit and number of cables, you can connect a few cables to the draw and the stagger the rest of the cables, then pull the to first inspection point, then repeat.

we will often have two people at each point to pull and feed the cable, you may also require some cable lube :)
 

rufunky

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the conduit should be installed with inspection joints and a draw wire/rope and have slow bends ( no 90 degrees ) depending on the size of conduit and number of cables, you can connect a few cables to the draw and the stagger the rest of the cables, then pull the to first inspection point, then repeat.

we will often have two people at each point to pull and feed the cable, you may also require some cable lube :)
Thank you, Is that one inspection joint per section?
 

Podagrower

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If you feed the cable thru each piece and then glue them together, you will probably glue the cable to the inside of the conduit, which prevents repulling should it be needed.

Different methods for different situations. If it's less than 100' use a fish tape once the conduit is complete to pull your cable(s). Stagger and lube as needed. Past 100' a shop vac and jetline are easier (tie a small piece of the Lowes/HD bag into a fly to pull the jetline). I don't recommend the wax based lubes, they work for for installation, but you will hate it if you need to repull after it dries out. If you are pulling long distances in PVC conduit use care or you can burn thru your 90s with the jetline. One person feeding and one person pulling will make life easier.
1577462569544.png1577462721585.png
 

rufunky

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If you are pulling long distances in PVC conduit use care or you can burn thru your 90s with the jetline.
What do you mean by this? Do you mean the pull line will actually cut through the PVC??
 
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guykuo

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Remember, no more than 180 degrees of bends in any pull segment or you will have too much resistance.

In addition to copious pulling lube suggestion also add pulling an new length of pulling cord along with the cables. Let's you pull another line later.

Use a swivel between your pull cord and cables.
Pull cords impart a twist as they work. Adding a swivel releases the twisti so your cables don't twist and instead remain parallel. That's important if you want to pul another cable later.
I used one of these Amazon.com : Spro Heavy Swivel-Pack of 4 (Black, Size 9) : Fishing Swivels And Snaps : Sports & Outdoors pulling 3 direct burial ethernet 200 feet underground.

Also, pull more ethernet runs that you plant to use. Having a spare or two runs saves a lot of effort later.
 

erkme73

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Not a pro, but here's what I did when I had to run my 250' between my home and barn. I used 1.5" conduit for the electric, and laid a separate 3/4" conduit for the ethernet. They were all 10' sticks with bells on one end. I laid my cable the full length, and then walked each stick down the line until it got to the far end. I added the next stick, gluing just the front half of each bell just before assembling. Repeated until the whole line was in the trench, glued, with cable inside.

That was 3 years ago. Since then, I had a failure in the cat5 (lightning strike) and had to pull it out. I used it to pull the new one in. I had no difficulty and it went through with the first attempt. My installation was a straight run with sweeps at both ends to bring it above ground. I used no lube.

I suppose if I had poured the glue into the fittings and really got sloppy, that may have caused the original cable to become one with the tubing, but that did not happen.


Once in side the barn, I ran a secondary 50' long run of #2 mobile-home-feeder type triplex cable through 1.5" conduit that was already embedded in the slab. For that, I used a mason line with a balled up Lowes shopping bag and a shopvac. That worked great to suck the line through the entire run. Unfortunately, the cable was too thick to conform to the sweeps using the pulling power of the mason line alone. So I ended up using a fishing tape with one of those Chinese finger-trap style wire baskets on the end to hold on to the wire. Worked great.

As for inspection points, I think those are a good idea, but if it's a DIY and just for low-voltage/data, and especially shorter runs (i.e. 100') it's probably overkill... that and it provides a great tripping hazard - or a place to hit with the mower.
 

mat200

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I have never run cable through conduit so sorry for the lame question but...

What is the best way to run cable through long runs of conduit? Do you just pull it through piece by piece then glue all you joints?

Or Is there a split conduit option that I can install after the cable is pulled?
Hi @rufunky

This is how I like to do it:

1) for PVC use one size larger conduit for the longer runs. This allows easier pulls. I like 3/4" PVC as it is just a little more money for it compared to a 1/2" and gives me enough room to get my n+1+ cable runs
2) secure the PVC conduit run. ( I do not like conduit runs which flex ) ( I found more than 1x 90 degree bend to be significantly more challenging .. if you need more than 1x 90 degree bend I'd pull one section at a time.. )
3) push a fish tape down the line
4) connect all cables to each other - with one cable just a bit longer which I double over through the eye of the fish tape, being generous using electrical tape to ensure smoothing out the "bumps" and bind the first 6 inches of the cable bundle tightly together.
5) Have an assistant feed the cable on one end of the conduit - and me pull on the other. Being careful not to over pull.

This has worked really well with 4-5 cables bundled together.
 

Old Timer

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I have pulled a lot of LONG runs with string and something on the end to catch the air, then use a good shop vac at the other end.
Larger conduit, a ball works well. think tennis ball. then pull mule tape and the actual wire, or fiber.
Slicker then snot!
 

ipOsX

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I'm using transparent duct on my next long run. I figure that if the cable sticks and I need to use an external magnet then I'll know exactly where to apply it. Or if all else fails and I need to cut the duct, I can see where to cut.
 

TonyR

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FWIW, I suggest using outdoor-rated, direct-burial rated cable for all conduit installations that are outdoors and below ground.

This is because moisture WILL find its way into the conduit generally from above-ground boxes and fixtures, collect in low points as the air inside the conduit is subjected to a thermal cycle (heats up during day, air inside expands, cools off at night and contracts, drawing in damp outside air, condenses, travels to low point, is trapped and won't escape during warm up cycle, just continues to collect at low points).
 

dudemaar

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long pulls I like to tie pull string to wire bundle like this a few times and then tightly electrical tape it after. And lots of wire lube.

 
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TVille

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FWIW, I suggest using outdoor-rated, direct-burial rated cable for all conduit installations that are outdoors and below ground.

This is because moisture WILL find its way into the conduit generally from above-ground boxes and fixtures, collect in low points as the air inside the conduit is subjected to a thermal cycle (heats up during day, air inside expands, cools off at night and contracts, drawing in damp outside air, condenses, travels to low point, is trapped and won't escape during warm up cycle, just continues to collect at low points).
This is standard for good installations. Not always recognized, but strongly recommended to use wet rated cable or direct burial for all buried conduit installations. There will be low spots on runs of any length that will fill up with water!
 

TonyR

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This is standard for good installations. Not always recognized, but strongly recommended to use wet rated cable or direct burial for all buried conduit installations. There will be low spots on runs of any length that will fill up with water!
Yep.
You'd be surprised (or maybe not) how many folks think that because it's in conduit that it's like the conductor is "indoors" so they do not use cable rated for flooded or direct burial, I guess because they think the conduit will be nice and dry....forever.
 

zero-degrees

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Some of these posts show people have never pulled though conduit. Fishtape, fish sticks, etc always bind in conduit (depending on size) unless you have a metric S* ton of lube.

My go to depending on conduit width and thickness because whoever installed it didn't preinstall a pull string (always an a* hole somewhere)...

Option 1: Magna Pull - this tool is amazing and works though conduit side walls. Attach your pull string to the tail and start dragging. This method only works if all conduit is exposed. I've posted before in the tool section about this tool!

Option 2: depending on length - get your big shop vac out and goto one end with all inspection ports closed tight. Goto one end and get all your pull string out off the roll so there is no friction holding it back. Get several tissues or some TP and tie it in a wad and shove it in, then turn the vacuum on at the other end. the suction will pull that string attached to the TP or tissue paper all the way down to the other end.

Fish tapes require a lot of liquid lube in order to note bind up and I hate pulling a fish tape back out covered in that snot so I turn to the two options above when ever possible.
 

erkme73

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Some of these posts show people have never pulled though conduit. Fishtape, fish sticks, etc always bind in conduit (depending on size) unless you have a metric S* ton of lube.

My go to depending on conduit width and thickness because whoever installed it didn't preinstall a pull string (always an a* hole somewhere)...

Option 1: Magna Pull - this tool is amazing and works though conduit side walls. Attach your pull string to the tail and start dragging. This method only works if all conduit is exposed. I've posted before in the tool section about this tool!

Option 2: depending on length - get your big shop vac out and goto one end with all inspection ports closed tight. Goto one end and get all your pull string out off the roll so there is no friction holding it back. Get several tissues or some TP and tie it in a wad and shove it in, then turn the vacuum on at the other end. the suction will pull that string attached to the TP or tissue paper all the way down to the other end.

Fish tapes require a lot of liquid lube in order to note bind up and I hate pulling a fish tape back out covered in that snot so I turn to the two options above when ever possible.
This is a very good point about the fish tape. It does get hung up on the seams when trying to push through. My problem was using a mason string (kite string) which wasn't strong enough to pull the heavy cable. It would have worked fine for ethernet cable. But for heavier or longer pulls, the key is using the right kind of string/rope. Another poster called it out by name: Mule tape.

1577549871740.png


The stuff is light weight, strong, and flat so it won't cut insulation or PVC conduit at bends. If I'd have had some, I would have gone with option two above and avoided the metal fish tape completely.
 

SecurityCams

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Been doing this since 1970-

You can in fact pull up to 360 degrees of bends but not a long run. unless the conduit is well oversized and you use long sweep 45s or 90s.

I use a shop vac first to suck brick layers string in first.One poster mentioned a Jet Line which is basically the same thing. If your conduit s only 1/2 inch you may have trouble getting past the 90s. Attach something to the string or ball up the end you put in the conduit so air does not pass by it and not suck in the string but don't make it to big or it may get caught. I use a foam plug I cut to the inside diameter of the conduit and fasten the string to it with a small wire. basically the same as comes with the JetLine equipment.

You can get or easily make very long sweep 90s using sand to fill the pipe and a propane torch to slowly and carefully heat the pipe. The sand is used to keep the pipe from collapsing while bending at the curve. Cap one end off tight and plug the other with paper so the sand can expand as you bend if necessary. I usually just put duct tape over both ends or a pipe cap and I don't completely fill the pipe so there is no concern about expansion room.

After you suck the string in use it to pull in a nylon pulling rope about 1/4 inch or larger depending on how long the run is and how many wires you are pulling. You can buy it at a farm or hardware store. You don't want to try using the string to pull with. it will stretch tight, and simply wont work unless you are only gong 10 to 30 feet or so depending on how many wires you are pulling in. You can easily pull one cat 5 cable 30 ft with brick layers string if the run has 2 90s or less, I do it all the time. But not for long runs.

Stagger the wires as others suggested when you fasten them to the pulling rope and use about anything for a lubricant. While Wire Lube is best. It is very expensive so for my home projects I use whatever I can get my hands on. Lotion is great, even dish soap is ok. You will probably need more lotion than you would WireLube.

Done this for many years many many times.
 
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