Best direction to pull wire through emt

stringbean

New User
Location
US
When pulling wire through emt and having bends and offsets at one end, would it be easier to pull the wire with the bends closer or further away .?
Assume with a helper and without a helper. Thanks
 

MAC702

Senior Member
Location
Clark County, NV
All else being equal, make the wire go through the bends toward the end of the pull. That said, I usually have something else taking priority over which end I pull from.
 

jusme123

Senior Member
Location
NY
I would have the wire go through bends first, that way the wires are freshly lubed with soap (pulling compound). JMHO
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Gravity makes more difference than distance to bends, but I agree that it's better bends last, because less wire has to bend.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
It really depends on what will have more friction the wire full of lube or the rope that you're pulling it with when going through the bends. With stuff like SimPull I sometimes find that it gets easier after the rope is past the bends.
 

oldsparky52

Senior Member
If the person feeding is experienced, then I might think that it would be better to feed at the end with the bends because the feeder can help reduce the tension on the puller and the puller mostly has to deal with the distance resistance since the feeder is pushing enough to help reduce the tension around the 90's. (IDK, I may be full of it).

I do know that the person feeding makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE! I was a 1-man show for a long time and before that I worked for a pump and tank company wiring gas stations. Some of our pulls out to the dispensers could be very difficult at times (all hand pulling). As a 1-man show, I would get my wife to feed the conductors (usually about 10-11) because she actually listened to me. She worked hard at feeding the wires per my instructions and I was amazed at how much easier pulls were when she fed than when I had "experienced" help feeding.
 

sameguy

Senior Member
Location
New York
Occupation
Master Elec./JW retired
Size of wire?
Length of pull?
Fishtape, pull rope, chugger?
Physical room at each end to pull, elevations?
He who ran pipe shall pull wire! Unless it was me, because I layout pipe to make pulling easy to gain time on the job overall.
 

winnie

Senior Member
Location
Springfield, MA, USA
Occupation
Electric motor research
IMHO do whatever reduces the tension on the wire before it enters a bend. A bend is a force multiplier (see the capstan equation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capstan_equation ) meaning that the force to pull the wire out of a bend is a multiple of the force on the wire going into the bend. If you have a helper, or gravity, or something else that reduces that input force, then you have a big reduction in pulling force; if the bend is near the end of the run and your helper can push the wire into the bend, then it can 'vanish' in terms of pulling force.
 

oldsparky52

Senior Member
If you have a helper, or gravity, or something else that reduces that input force, then you have a big reduction in pulling force; if the bend is near the end of the run and your helper can push the wire into the bend, then it can 'vanish' in terms of pulling force.
That's the part that my wife listened to. I told her to keep the wires slightly bent after she pushed to get them started (this required her to have a grip on the conductor about 6-12 inches from the conduit and the other hand would be as far back as she could reach, then just keep tension off the wires by not letting them get straight). Others (the "experienced help) could not grasp how important this was. They would just guide the wire into the conduit allowing the wire to straighten up which transferred a lot of tension to me (the puller). BTW, this was stranded wire.
 
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