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I had a 200' Electrical wire Fish Tape that I had used several times. I had it stored in an unheated garage and when I got it out to use, it would not extract. It had shattered into many small pieces.
Has anyone ever heard of this?:mad:
 

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Some metals, particularly tempered or hardened metals, can be brittle when cold but I would not expect an electrical fish tape to do this.
 

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Some metals, particularly tempered or hardened metals, can be brittle when cold but I would not expect an electrical fish tape to do this.
That's my thoughts also. It was warm weather when I discovered it had shattered. Really surprised me and no I had not dropped or abused it:(
No big deal but just wondered if I did something wrong or if it was defective. It was too old to check on a warranty but I guess I should have--quite expensive:mad:
 

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If you purchased it from a reputable supply house and you bought a brand name high quality fish tape I would expect it to be replaced. Regardless of age, a well made fish tape should never shatter like yours did.
What brand was it? A letter with pictures to the manufacturer should be all that is required for you to get a new one. Ideal, Klein and Greenlee would stand behind their products I am pretty sure?
 

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Just read something else. Metal can do something known as crystallization where the molecular structure changes and it becomes brittle. How, when, and whether this happens to steel can depend on the quality of the manufacturing process and also on storage conditions (temperature, etc). Once in awhile you can tell that crystallization has taken place by examining the metal surface closely but usually you cannot.

Steel and cast iron (which is brittle) are both fundamentally the same element but with differing amounts of trace elements such as carbon added in. It is as if one changed into the other.
 

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But in Alabama????

Are we talking about a fiberglass fish tape perhaps? My first instinct was that I couldn't imagine how that was possible with spring steel, but this must not have been spring steel then?

If it was fiberglass, was it exposed to sunlight? UV exposure can degrade fiberglass.
 
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