[TowerTalk] Pulling coax through PVC pipe

Patrick Greenlee patrick_g at windstream.net
Mon Jan 29 08:40:20 EST 2018

Yes there are wire pulling lubricants available at your local big box 
store.  Use plenty, be lavish, it won't hurt your wires or conduit and 
it will make the job easier. You don't have a real tight fit (cables to 
ID of conduit) but you can cause yourself a problem if you make a bulge 
where you connect the old to the new if you use the old to pull the new.

If it were me I would consider using the existing cable to pull a stout 
string which in turn would pull a stout rope or wire cable which would 
be used to pull the new cable. Another consideration is wether to leave 
the old 14-2 in the conduit or to remove it and put it back with the new 
coax.  I recommend removing the 14-2 when removing the old coax and 
re-pulling it at the same time as the new coax. Why, you say?

Pulling the coax into the conduit with 14-2 already in it has friction 
between the irregular 14-2 and the new coax that can cause problems 
pulling the new coax. When re-pulling the 14-2 at same time as coax 
there is no relative motion between the coax and 14-2, only between the 
coax plus 14-2 vs the ID of the conduit which is much smoother than the 
14-2.  Is this last bit of "finesse" required?  Maybe. You might be 
lucky and not need to use the above approach and have everything just go 
easy and smooth. Doesn't happen often for me, hence the "self defense" 

I recommend the Chinese finger grabbers to connect pulling ropes or wire 
cables to the coax and 14-2.

Best of luck to you.

Patrick        NJ5G

On 1/27/2018 10:16 AM, Dave Sublette wrote:
> Good morning,
> 28 years ago I buried a 1.5 inch schedule 40 PVC pipe in the ground and ran some low loss coax and a three wire electrical control cable (14-2 house wiring cable).  The 14-2 is used to operate a remotely control phasing box for my 80 meter four square.  The coax feeds either my 160 vertical or the 80M array.
> Well it’s time to replace the coax.  The PVC pipe is 250 feet long and in a straight line(thankfully).  I suspect I will have to pull both cables with the new cables tied to the end.  I’ve never done this before and could use a little advice.  I googled but most of what I found started with empty pipe and ran a “string mouse” through with a shopvac. When I installed the cables initially, I laid them out on the ground and slipped the pipe over them ten feet at a time. Fortunately, there is a fair amount of room left in the pipe.  The two cables did not fill up the space entirely.
> My first question is if there is some sort of lubricant I should use to reduce friction?
> That’s also my last question, but I know there must be several things to consider I am betting that this group has the answers. I have a come-along, a tractor, and a fair amount of tools.  I’m just not sure how to proceed.
> I am eager to see what you all have to say.
> Thanks.
> Dave, K4TO
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