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Old 11-19-2008, 03:59 PM   #1
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EMT Connections - Problems pulling


Hello;

Projects are progressing well today. I ran into a snag this am and wanted to get some feed back on it and see if there is a work around for this in the future.

When I hit a connector in a stright piece of 1/2" EMT, I often get stuck on it, with wire or with a fiber fish. I even had pull lube in there this am and just could not make it past a connector in the tube. I seem to get caught on it even with my first wire or two going thought the EMT.

I clean the ends with a de-burring tool, then I used a metal file.

Any ideas on what I can do with the rest of my runs of EMT to help avoid this problem? I had to take apart the emt this am to be able to finish the pull.

Thanks
Jamie

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Old 11-19-2008, 04:33 PM   #2
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EMT Connections - Problems pulling


I strip the wires, then lead them through the end of the fish tape, then wrap them back around themselves.

Then I wrap electrical tape around the fish tape hook and first part of the wires so none of this will get hung up on anything. Pulls easily.

Other than that, use larger than needed conduit.

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Old 11-19-2008, 10:14 PM   #3
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EMT Connections - Problems pulling


Jamie, I believe I read that you are using a tubing cutter to cut your conduit. Is that right? I have had problems with that due to the small lip left by the cutting wheel. Your best bet is to use a hack saw or sawzall to make a square cut.

When I pull wire, I strip the conductors, and leave one long. Then I twist them together with my linemans pliers just like when preparing to put a wire nut on. Ecept one is longer. Then I hook the long one on the fish tape head, and tape it up. Goes smooth every time.
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:22 PM   #4
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EMT Connections - Problems pulling


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Jamie, I believe I read that you are using a tubing cutter to cut your conduit. Is that right? I have had problems with that due to the small lip left by the cutting wheel. Your best bet is to use a hack saw or sawzall to make a square cut.

When I pull wire, I strip the conductors, and leave one long. Then I twist them together with my linemans pliers just like when preparing to put a wire nut on. Ecept one is longer. Then I hook the long one on the fish tape head, and tape it up. Goes smooth every time.
Yes, I have been using our pipe cutter from the plumbing box, seemed like a good way to make a nice square cut. I will try it with a saw and see it that works better. Thanks.

I tape the wires up just like that, leaving one long and loop over the end of it so the tape doesn't pull off. My fiber tape is missing the end, so I just have to tape it to the fiber, it normally stay on there unless you really pull hard. I will try striping them and twisting them together, sounds more fool proof them relying on electrical tape, which sometimes manages to pull off.

I have a fine metal blade in the Bosch Jig saw, I will give that a try for the next piece that I cut.
Jamie
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:23 PM   #5
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EMT Connections - Problems pulling


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Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
Jamie, I believe I read that you are using a tubing cutter to cut your conduit. Is that right? I have had problems with that due to the small lip left by the cutting wheel. Your best bet is to use a hack saw or sawzall to make a square cut.

When I pull wire, I strip the conductors, and leave one long. Then I twist them together with my linemans pliers just like when preparing to put a wire nut on. Ecept one is longer. Then I hook the long one on the fish tape head, and tape it up. Goes smooth every time.
there is a special electricians tubing cutter that does not leave this lip. Don;t know what Jamie is using though.

-----------

also, if the pipe is not fully seated in the connector, the wire etc. can catch in that small space..

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which way are you going when this gets stuck? I have had fiber tapes where the leader connection is a bit abrupt and tends to catch on many things when actually pulling (as oopppsed to pushing it in). A wrap or two of tape helps smooth that out. With a steel tape, I remove the original loop early on. It gets caught as well, I make a simple loop back and bend it so the tip rests flat on the rest of the tape and a bit of tape to smooth things out. I always use a MAPP gas torch when bending the new loop. It's the only way to get the shape I like.
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:21 AM   #6
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EMT Connections - Problems pulling


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Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
Jamie, I believe I read that you are using a tubing cutter to cut your conduit. Is that right? I have had problems with that due to the small lip left by the cutting wheel. Your best bet is to use a hack saw or sawzall to make a square cut.

When I pull wire, I strip the conductors, and leave one long. Then I twist them together with my linemans pliers just like when preparing to put a wire nut on. Ecept one is longer. Then I hook the long one on the fish tape head, and tape it up. Goes smooth every time.

I was thinking the same thing regarding the tubing cutter. If it is designed for copper tubing this is your problem. Always use a saw to cut EMT. or any conduit. Never heard of a conduit cutter except for PVC.
You do not always need to use a fish tape either. Most straight runs can easily be pushed in instead of pulled in. Just tape your wires together with one sticking out a little bit. Turn that end over so it will slide along inside the EMT. In residential, using conduit, I see little need for a fish tape.
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:21 PM   #7
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EMT Connections - Problems pulling


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... Never heard of a conduit cutter except for PVC.
...
Greenlee makes one for EMT that supposedly doesn't leave a burr like a plumbing cutter does. http://www.greenlee.com/archive/8600...Cutter_rel.pdf
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Old 11-20-2008, 02:19 PM   #8
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EMT Connections - Problems pulling


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I have been using our pipe cutter from the plumbing box, seemed like a good way to make a nice square cut
You are leaving a sharp edge when you do this.

If you must use a plumbing pipe cutter, don't go all the way with it. Go part way and break it off.

The problem with your fishtape getting stuck is the lack of a leader. Think aerodynamically. Bend the end of your fishtape properly. Add some tape to make it stealthy.


This is what electricians use on the end of their fishtapes. It is like a tightly wound flexible spring.

Ideal Goldfish

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Old 11-20-2008, 04:08 PM   #9
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EMT Connections - Problems pulling


You guys figured it out! Thanks. Once I made a couple cuts with the jig saw, the difference between the cut it made and the cut I made with a pipe cutter was obvious. The mushroom edge wasn't that large, but once I compared it side by side with a factory end or a clean saw made cut, I could see that it was likely large enough that it is what was stopping the wire pull / push.
I as sure my cutter was designed for copper. That must be what was causing my all the problems. I've not installed any conduit yet today, but I will use a saw, and I doubt I will encounter the same problem again.
Thanks guys for your help in figuring this out.
Jamie
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:11 AM   #10
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EMT Connections - Problems pulling


Jamie, Now that you have your problem licked, try not using the fishtape. If you are using THHN it will push in so easy, you will forget about your fishtape until you get into a saddle or several 90's.
Like I said before, you may not need the fishtape at all.
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:42 AM   #11
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EMT Connections - Problems pulling


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Jamie, Now that you have your problem licked, try not using the fishtape. If you are using THHN it will push in so easy, you will forget about your fishtape until you get into a saddle or several 90's.
Like I said before, you may not need the fishtape at all.
Thanks, I will give it a try just pushing some through. I have pushed some in the existing conduit in the basement and it did work well, but was not a long or crowded run.

The jig saw appears to be working very well, no mushrooming in the tube. THe only problem I have is that I often have to make a cut after I have made some bends in the pipe, and I am having a hard time to get a good square cut, even with a low speed jig saw. Any ideas on how to make sure I am getting a square cut? I can try the sawzall, but not sure if it would be any better. Maybe I just need some more pratice.

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Old 11-21-2008, 12:09 PM   #12
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EMT Connections - Problems pulling


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I have made some bends in the pipe, and I am having a hard time to get a good square cut,
Do you have a vice?

You could always score it with the tubing cutter to guide you if you are in doubt.

It doesn't have to be perfect in any case. All the fittings are designed to tolerate a slightly out of square cut.
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Old 11-21-2008, 12:41 PM   #13
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EMT Connections - Problems pulling


As far as cutting conduit square, with practice you should be able to get close enough freehand, but there are gadgets that can help. Look for a Benfield Sawbox (for use with a hacksaw) or a Seatek Mighty-Miter (for use with a Sawzall).
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Old 11-21-2008, 02:31 PM   #14
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Jamie, Cutting a square edge is not that big a deal. I have been using conduit for many years and I still do not get a perfect cut. I use a hacksaw. There is no need for a power tool for this. The hacksaw blade should be fine. 32 teeth per inch or finer. If you have a wooden ladder, cut one notch on each rail at the top of one step. Waist high. Then you can use the notches to guide and the step for your hand hold. This is the way we did it years ago when everyone used a wooden ladder. Little tricks of the trade. Most experienced benders use their foot as a support and the top of their knee to make the cut. Be careful as you reach the end of your cut. This where you can get cut. Slow down and cut almost all the way through. Then break it in an upwards motion. Clean outer edge with channel lock pliers and inside with side cutters. If you are going to be doing alot of pipe, you may want to get a hand held reamer.

ps.....I forgot about the recipes. I will try to get them to you tomorrow.

Last edited by J. V.; 11-21-2008 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 11-21-2008, 03:02 PM   #15
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EMT Connections - Problems pulling


I made a reamer from a flat file. Ground a taper at the end and then ground a 'flute' into the face to form cutting edges.
Carried this in my pouch for years!

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