Cable stuck - Chico

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
Have a seal off at a waste water lift station, for a submersible level transmitter. At the seal off Contractor used Chico but no cotton. Dug the Chico out of the sealoff, Chico ran down the conduit and now the cable is stuck....not possible to access the conduit elsewhere.
Suggestions? Long drill bit, solvent, mice?
 

Fulthrotl

~~Please excuse the mess. Sig under construction~~
Have a seal off at a waste water lift station, for a submersible level transmitter. At the seal off Contractor used Chico but no cotton. Dug the Chico out of the sealoff, Chico ran down the conduit and now the cable is stuck....not possible to access the conduit elsewhere.
Suggestions? Long drill bit, solvent, mice?
polywater makes a stuck wire lube that might get it.
not regular pulling lube, for unsticking glued in conductors
pulled with yellow 77, 88 years ago.

a lot depends on if he filled up the 90 at the bottom.
i've unblocked pipes filled with slurry with muriatic acid,
a piece of fish tape chucked in a drill, and rubber gloves.
it is not much fun.

how big a pipe, and what size wire?
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Mayhaps you can blow compressed air into the other end and manipulate the wires at the problem end.
 

rbalex

Moderator
Staff member
I’ve only witnessed, but muriatic acid has worked in my experience - it does take a while and patience, but that’s the name of the game no matter what technique you use.
 

Adamjamma

Senior Member
just put a bag, full of holes of course, but filled with cotton balls, at the one end... air flows through, acid soaked by the balls... a few pieces of wire holding it in place or zip tie.. not as messy as it could be...
 

wwhitney

Senior Member
Location
Berkeley, CA
FWIW, the MSDS of Chico A sealing compound says it is:

Fused calcium aluminate 60% - 70%
Plaster of Paris 30% - 35%
Portland cement < 4%
Crystalline silica < 2%

I'm not sure how the fused calcium aluminate changes the chemistry, but there is some discussion on line about using a sodium bicarbonate solution to attack plaster of paris. If that works, it would be a lot less hazardous than muriatic acid.

Cheers, Wayne
 
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