Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

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Jmaclicious
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Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by Jmaclicious » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:36 pm

What's your fav tools for fishing wires through wall cavities rather than breaking up walls in order to add switches or upgrade old wiring ? 8-) fish tape looks difficult and flimsy to guide around into holes..

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Aaron
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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by Aaron » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:57 pm

You can use whatever you can dream up, really. I've used a number of improvised ways to fish cable. One particularly useful one is just a string and plumb bob (or some kind of weight), if I am going to run a line perfectly straight up in the wall cavity or chase.

Fishing Romex is a bit dodgy only because it won't be stapled down to the studs behind the wall, and will be flapping around loosely in the cavity. So I would actually use metal clad (Type MC) cable instead. It's not nearly as easy to work with or cheap as Romex, but its metal armor will protect the wires inside from any punctures made in the wall.

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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by emtnut » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:13 pm

Jmaclicious wrote:What's your fav tools for fishing wires through wall cavities rather than breaking up walls in order to add switches or upgrade old wiring ? 8-) fish tape looks difficult and flimsy to guide around into holes..
I pretty much use a fish tape. When you fish from the drilled hole, it's pretty easy to get to the device box opening I find.

I also have fiberglass fish rods ... If Im fishing into a live conduit I'll use them, or sometimes in an attic or dark basement, cause they glow in the dark !
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Jmaclicious
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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by Jmaclicious » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:02 pm

Aaron wrote:You can use whatever you can dream up, really. I've used a number of improvised ways to fish cable. One particularly useful one is just a string and plumb bob (or some kind of weight), if I am going to run a line perfectly straight up in the wall cavity or chase.

Fishing Romex is a bit dodgy only because it won't be stapled down to the studs behind the wall, and will be flapping around loosely in the cavity. So I would actually use metal clad (Type MC) cable instead. It's not nearly as easy to work with or cheap as Romex, but its metal armor will protect the wires inside from any punctures made in the wall.

Was wondering, is there anything different to do in regards to installing MC cable instead of the normal 14/2 - 14/3 wiring? Do I need different connector pieces to secure into outlet device box.. or will the ones already in the box be enough?

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Aaron
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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by Aaron » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:15 am

For MC cable, yes, you are are limited to using just metal boxes with either internal MC clamps, or using external MC connectors that use the standard 1/2" knockout holes in metal boxes. I like both, but if you go with connectors, the kind that are really slick are the single-screw clamp style that, when tightened, not only clamp the cable in place but also wedges and locks the connector into the knockout hole so you don't need to screw on a lock washer inside the box.

Other materials you will need will be anti-short bushings to slip onto the end of a cut MC armour to protect the wires from chafing on the sharp edge of the metal.

Cutting MC is easy with a hand tool dedicated for that specific purpose, but if you're extremely careful you could also fit the cable into a vise and use a hacksaw, a variable-speed recip saw (with a fine-tooth bi-metal blade), or a Dremel with an abrasive cutting wheel. You only need to cut like the ridge of the cladding (parallel to the cable) and it will snap apart when twisted. You will almost certainly need to make two of these cuts about 6-8 inches apart.

It's a great sturdy cable used almost exclusively in commercial buildings, but it's not nearly as easy or cheap to use as NM (Romex) cable in residential.

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Shannon
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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by Shannon » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:30 am

be very careful cutting the armour off and inspect your wires after to be sure you did not nick them. The anti shorts are a must as well like Aaron says.
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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by rmajor55 » Mon May 29, 2017 8:46 pm

Hi there, new to the forum but I am a certified Canadian red seal electrician. To answer the OP's question, I use Green Lee fish sticks for anything that is a strait run and I use a fish tape for anything that requires going around a corner. You can use anything that will work though, I have even used a shop vac with a wad of rag on the end of a string to suck through 4" pipe to then pull a heat tape through.

As for the armored cable, a few cuts with a hacksaw at an angle to the twist of the cable will be enough to snap the armor and then just slide off the piece you don't want and put in an anti-sort. The anti-shorts usually come with each spool of armored cable you buy.

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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by Aaron » Mon May 29, 2017 9:49 pm

Welcome to the forum! Wayne ("emtnut") is an electrican in Ontario, and he contributes here regularly too. I'm here in Minnesota.

I'm just an über electrician-wannabe. I think I missed my calling earlier in life. I worked at the phone company and did LV work, but power is so much more interesting. I love all the tools and supplies that go along with the trade, and have been doing DIY electrical work for some 30 years or so.

I try to straddle my knowledge for both Canada's CEC and the US's NEC codes. They seem to be about 95% the same, but I am keeping tabs on the very subtle and minor (but important) differences. Please feel free to chime in whenever appropriate or necessary!

By the the way--brilliant using the ShopVac to suck a string through conduit. That is so simple, and who doesn't have a ShopVac.

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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by Mastercarpentry » Tue May 30, 2017 11:19 am

Welcome to the forum rmajor55

Having started my Carpentry career in industrial work, I've long ago seen the shop-vac trick, however I was rather surprised to see 2 pick-up trucks chained together hooked to a huge rope pulling the service conductors into an industrial plant. Whatever works, you go with it!

Phil

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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by emtnut » Tue May 30, 2017 6:31 pm

rmajor55 wrote:Hi there, new to the forum but I am a certified Canadian red seal electrician. To answer the OP's question, I use Green Lee fish sticks for anything that is a strait run and I use a fish tape for anything that requires going around a corner. You can use anything that will work though, I have even used a shop vac with a wad of rag on the end of a string to suck through 4" pipe to then pull a heat tape through.

As for the armored cable, a few cuts with a hacksaw at an angle to the twist of the cable will be enough to snap the armor and then just slide off the piece you don't want and put in an anti-sort. The anti-shorts usually come with each spool of armored cable you buy.
Welcome to HI :)

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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by emtnut » Tue May 30, 2017 6:37 pm

Mastercarpentry wrote:Welcome to the forum rmajor55

Having started my Carpentry career in industrial work, I've long ago seen the shop-vac trick, however I was rather surprised to see 2 pick-up trucks chained together hooked to a huge rope pulling the service conductors into an industrial plant. Whatever works, you go with it!

Phil
I've used a pick up to pull #2 street lighting conductors into long interconnect runs .... Now, that's with a crew making sure that the cable doesn't kink and feeding off the reel :o

I've seen the vacuum trick, but what I used on long conduit runs is a leaf blower and instead of a conduit mouse, we'd tie a piece of twine to a plastic shopping bag. We could send that down a conduit over 500 feet long. Use the twine to pull in a poly rope, and then hook the poly up to the pick-up :mrgreen:
Running cable in town with traffic and pedestrians, we'd use the tugger ... slower, but safer :lol:
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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by Aaron » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:20 pm

That's pretty interesting. I noticed when the street crew here in St Paul ran conductors for residential street lights, they used #6, I belive. They also ran four conductors: red,
black, white, and green from light to light. They used 1.25" Schedule 80 PVC, buried adjacent to the curb of the street.

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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by Shannon » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:59 am

Why four conductor?
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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by A. Spruce » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:07 pm

Shannon wrote:Why four conductor?
Possibly 3 phase wiring? :?:
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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by Shannon » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:46 pm

A. Spruce wrote:
Shannon wrote:Why four conductor?
Possibly 3 phase wiring? :?:
Ahh I see, 3 phase wiring ,thats over my pay grade I really don't know much about it. :mrgreen:
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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by A. Spruce » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:48 pm

Aaron or Nutzy is going to have to confirm, I was just guessing. Memorizing my electrician's phone number is about as technical as I can get with this stuff! :lol:
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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by Aaron » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:13 am

You know, I'm not entirely sure why they ran both the black and the red. I'm guessing some of the lights are on one circuit, some are on the other to keep the electrical grid balanced?

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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by Aaron » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:20 am

A. Spruce wrote:
Shannon wrote:Why four conductor?
Possibly 3 phase wiring? :?:
3 phase is used for really heavy motors and machinery. Basically factories and plant operations. The colors are yellow, orange, brown for the phases and gray and green for neutral and ground, I believe.

Just one phase is used for residential service, and it's called split-phase as one leg cancels out the other through the neutral. Kind of hard to grasp. I don't fully understand it myself.

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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by emtnut » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:19 am

Aaron wrote:That's pretty interesting. I noticed when the street crew here in St Paul ran conductors for residential street lights, they used #6, I belive. They also ran four conductors: red,
black, white, and green from light to light. They used 1.25" Schedule 80 PVC, buried adjacent to the curb of the street.
That's probably single phase ... With neutral and ground wire.

Streetlighting is usually an 'engineered' job. Sometime they use 3 phase, sometimes just single phase.
They usually prefer higher voltages to reduce conductor size/voltage drop.
The #2s we were running was 347Volt/600V 3 phase. Up here that's a Black/Red/Blue with a white neutral. 347Volts line to neutral, and 600V phase to phase ... you really don't want to work on that stuff live !!
A lot of this depends on the lighting, the distance, and how many lighting fixtures they are picking up.

Interesting that they used #6. Either not a big run, or they may be downsizing now because of the LED lighting they are using.
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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by Aaron » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:49 am

emtnut wrote:That's probably single phase ... With neutral and ground wire.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure it is. Some lights have receptacles on them, usually in business districts, so they can plug in Christmas lights or whatnot.
emtnut wrote:Street lighting is usually an 'engineered' job. Sometime they use 3 phase, sometimes just single phase.
They usually prefer higher voltages to reduce conductor size/voltage drop.
The #2s we were running was 347Volt/600V 3 phase. Up here that's a Black/Red/Blue with a white neutral.
Yeah I've heard of the black/red/blue/white scheme. I think that's used as well as the yellow/orange/brown/gray? Not entirely sure. Could even be an east/west thing here in the US.
emtnut wrote:347Volts line to neutral, and 600V phase to phase ... you really don't want to work on that stuff live !!
Well...? Nah. You're probably right. lol
emtnut wrote:A lot of this depends on the lighting, the distance, and how many lighting fixtures they are picking up.
Yeah I'll bet the really tall "cobra-head" lights on the freeway are probably the three-phase you're talking about.

But I think the city lights on residential streets are just standard 120V.
emtnut wrote:Interesting that they used #6. Either not a big run, or they may be downsizing now because of the LED lighting they are using.
[/quote]

Still the amber sodium-vapor in my neighborhood, but all new construction lights are LED. They already converted almost all of the cobra-head lights to LED throughout the state.

Not a fan of the LED lights. That bright white light is jarring. I prefer the amber.

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Re: Your fav tools for fishing romex cables ?

Post by emtnut » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:01 am

Aaron wrote:
emtnut wrote:Street lighting is usually an 'engineered' job. Sometime they use 3 phase, sometimes just single phase.
They usually prefer higher voltages to reduce conductor size/voltage drop.
The #2s we were running was 347Volt/600V 3 phase. Up here that's a Black/Red/Blue with a white neutral.
Yeah I've heard of the black/red/blue/white scheme. I think that's used as well as the yellow/orange/brown/gray? Not entirely sure. Could even be an east/west thing here in the US.
You mentioned in the range thread about 208Y and 480Y colors ...
I've heard most places in the US use the r/w/b for 208V , and the B/O/Y for 480V. There really isn't a consistent standard, and accepted practice is to measure !

CEC says to use r/w/b for 3 phase 'if required' ... clear as mud :?
Generally if there is only 1 power source, we use those colors. If there is more than 1 source, ie 600V and 208V, then you have to use different colors for each system.

At the water plant I worked at, we had 13,200V incoming , 4,160V distribution , and depending on the motor sets, we had 2,400V , 600V , 480V, 240V and 208V ... The wiring was quite colorful :mrgreen:

To confuse it a bit more, each of those voltages were different if the transformer was Wye or Delta ... ie, on the 4,160V system , we had the 4,160V wye and also 2,400V delta for the motor loads.
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