Vaseline as wire lube

1haz

Member
Location
Jax, Fl
Could not get a wire pulled through a conduit today with wire lube, put some Vaseline on it and it flew through. Wondering if being petroleum based if it can damage the insulation? It's safe for skin so not certain what type of petroleum is used in it.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
Modern insulations should be suitable for contact with petroleum products. What type of wire was it?
 

Jon456

Senior Member
Location
Colorado
Have you tried this stuff? It's absolutely the best wire-pulling lube I've ever used. I was skeptical at first because of the price per ounce, but you use very little per pull so a single can goes a long way.

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FionaZuppa

Senior Member
Location
AZ
The short answer is, Vaseline can interact with most plastics. To what extent is the question. THHN should be PVC covered by Nylon, but you have to check maker to see what the outer layer actually is. Nylon is good against hydrocarbons, but it absorbs water, and the water degrades the nylon over time. (https://www.awcwire.com/customersupport/techinfo/insulation-materials)

I guess the ultimate answer would come from the maker of the wire, but I sense no issue to worry about.

And no, Vaseline is not really "safe" to keep putting on your skin, at least I would not make a habit of it (https://rahaoil.com/petrolatum/).
 

Jon456

Senior Member
Location
Colorado
The short answer is, Vaseline can interact with most plastics. To what extent is the question. THHN should be PVC covered by Nylon, but you have to check maker to see what the outer layer actually is. Nylon is good against hydrocarbons, but it absorbs water, and the water degrades the nylon over time. (https://www.awcwire.com/customersupport/techinfo/insulation-materials)

I guess the ultimate answer would come from the maker of the wire, but I sense no issue to worry about.

And no, Vaseline is not really "safe" to keep putting on your skin, at least I would not make a habit of it (https://rahaoil.com/petrolatum/).
Plus, you can never be assured of 100% coverage of the nylon sheath, which often gets some nicks and scrapes during the pull. So you really must be assured that whatever lube you are using is compatible with both the outer sheath and the inner insulation.
 

Jon456

Senior Member
Location
Colorado
I believe the statement regarding simpull is that lubes not needed, not that is not permitted.
I would go even further and say that, while Simpull reduces the need for lubricant, it does not eliminate the need for lubricant. In other words, you still need lubricant. :cautious:
 

ActionDave

Chief Moderator
Staff member
Location
Durango, CO, 10 h 20 min without traffic from wing
Occupation
Licensed Electrician
I would go even further and say that, while Simpull reduces the need for lubricant, it does not eliminate the need for lubricant. In other words, you still need lubricant. :cautious:
Recently pulled sixteen sets of parallel 500 MCM, with simpul. I don't think we had any lube on the job. I do know that nobody went looking for any because it pulled like butter.
 

Jon456

Senior Member
Location
Colorado
Recently pulled sixteen sets of parallel 500 MCM, with simpul. I don't think we had any lube on the job. I do know that nobody went looking for any because it pulled like butter.
I would say it depends on the job conditions. With a number of smaller conductors approaching max conduit fill and over 270 deg of bends, lubricant certainly helps.
 
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