Tools for Electrical Wire Pulling

electrical wireWires are defined as insulated conductors used to carry electricity. Most commercial buildings have wires and cables running through walls and above suspended ceilings to provide basic electricity, telephone service, high-speed data and video connections, and operate building controls and security systems. Electricians need a way to run this wire and cable through walls and conduit.

For residential and light commercial work, most wires can be pulled manually. Power-pulling tools are however, needed for larger wire with long runs and multiple-cable installations. Long runs usually have multiple bends which make it almost impossible to pull manually.

A pulling tool’s basic components are its frame, power source, capstan that pulls rope and wire, and the mechanism that turns the capstan.

These components today are the same as those of the first power puller introduced by Ensley Tools in the 1960s, but improved technology has made today’s pullers more powerful, versatile, easier to use, and safer. The first pullers trend was bigger was better and stronger, but now the market is seeking smaller models. The user wants self-contained equipment, one machine that operates many functions to handle a wide range of jobs.

Light duty pullers are small, self-contained and can be carried by one person. These cover 80% of the pulls found in commercial building projects. When pulling the frame is attached to the conduit attached to the electrical panel box eliminating the need attach it to the floor.  Most have two pulling speeds: fast and slow (for heavy pulls). Large pullers generally need to be bolted to the floor.

Cable-puller capabilities are defined by pulling force, stated in pounds or kilonewtons (kN); pulling speed in feet or meters per minute; and rope strength, defined by average breaking strength.

Lubricants are an important part of the pulling process. Pulling lubricant is very important to reduce friction and minimize damage to the cable jacket. Lubricant decreases pulling time to complete the job.

To match cable puller and accessories to job requirements, contractors consider length of the pull, number of bends in the conduit, cable weight, and the amount of force necessary to complete the pull. It is necessary to know these variables to select the correct pulling rope.

There are many tools on the market with many different functions and accessories. RectorSeal® markets a 4,000 lb. capacity lightweight cable puller called StrongArm™. It is incredibly strong, but is easy to set up and use. Designed for one man operation, it sets up and locks into position in 60 seconds. A swivel head easily switches from underground to overhead pulls. The StrongArm™ has two pulling speeds: 80ft./min. or 20ft./min. and is operated with an easy to use foot pedal. It folds for easy handling and storage.

Safety is an important consideration when evaluating pullers.

For more information on the StrongArm click here