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Thread: Yet another wire gauge question, and wire pulling question

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    Yet another wire gauge question, and wire pulling question

    I've asked this before, but some of my numbers were wrong so I'm going to ask again.

    I have a pretty long speaker run - about 170 feet (I previously posted it was 250 feet). What wire gauge should I be shooting for? The Crutchfield guide that was linked in another post said for a 170 foot run I should use 14 gauge, but last time I asked I was told to go for 12, 10 or even 8.

    Once I zero in on a wire size, I'll need to pull it though the conduit. Are there any tricks I need to know? The electriction put a string in the conduit to attach the wire to.

    Should I just tie the speaker wire to the string and yank it through?
    Should I pull both speaker wires through at the same time?
    If I go with large wire, say 10 or 8 AWG, they only sell them in single strands (not pairs). Should I try to pull all 4 through at once? That seems like a bad idea to me.

    Also, how should I attach the pull string to the speaker wire? Just tie a knot? I'm a little worried about the thickness of the knot.

    Any other tips for a first time conduit/wire puller would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Bart
    700 sq. ft./30,000 gal, gunite pool; 48 SF DE filter; 1.5 HP pump; Salt Water Generator; Solar Heat

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another wire gauge question, and wire pulling questi

    I get #12 awg.

    Yep. just tie the wire to the string and pull it through. It'd be better if you used pulling tape because it doesn't stretch liike string does, but string will work.

    Pull all the cnoductors in the conduit at one time.

    The way we used to do it (before those fancy chinese handcuffs) was to strip the wire back about 3 or 4 inches and bend it over the pulling wire or string/tape and tape it all together in as smooth a joint as possible. Since it's such a long pull you should have an outlet about half way or so and I suggest pulling it half the distance at a time. Some yellow 77 (pulling lube) wouldn't hurt either.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Yet another wire gauge question, and wire pulling questi

    Thanks Dave!

    I assume I can get pulling tape and pulling lube at my local big box hardware store?

    Unfortunatley, it's one long run. No outlet half way. Am I doomed?
    700 sq. ft./30,000 gal, gunite pool; 48 SF DE filter; 1.5 HP pump; Salt Water Generator; Solar Heat

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another wire gauge question, and wire pulling questi

    The big box stores should have both.

    You're not doomed but it'll be a hard pull. Is it metal or PVC conduit?

    Use plenty of lube and have the feed guy keep the wires straight and not twisted.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Yet another wire gauge question, and wire pulling questi

    Home Depot has Jameson fiberglass fish tape; I've had the most success with fiberglass vs steel or nylon

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    Re: Yet another wire gauge question, and wire pulling questi

    Thanks guys!

    It's PVC conduit.
    700 sq. ft./30,000 gal, gunite pool; 48 SF DE filter; 1.5 HP pump; Salt Water Generator; Solar Heat

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another wire gauge question, and wire pulling questi

    I hope you reamed it when putting it in.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Yet another wire gauge question, and wire pulling questi

    Don't even know what that means!!!

    The electrical guys put it in. Would they have do that? The reaming?
    700 sq. ft./30,000 gal, gunite pool; 48 SF DE filter; 1.5 HP pump; Salt Water Generator; Solar Heat

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another wire gauge question, and wire pulling questi

    Yeah they most likely did it. It's common practice.
    It just means cleaning the burrs off the ends of the pipes and tapering them a little.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Yet another wire gauge question, and wire pulling questi

    When you install conduit, cutting the conduit to the right length can create jagged edges on the end of the conduit. Reaming cleans the jagged edges up so the wire isn't damaged by the conduit. It's also good work practice, so any sparky worth his salt will do it.

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    Re: Yet another wire gauge question, and wire pulling questi

    Alright, I just went to the hardware store and got the wire, the lube and some string called "fish line". Is that what I was supposed to use, or was I supposed to use the metal wire in a big spool? I'm assuming I just need the fish line (nylon string) since I already have a string in the conduit. Is that correct?

    Also, as I was rereading the first response by 'Bama, he said, "before those fancy chinese handcuffs". Are there actual products that I should use to attach the speaker wire to the string to make a smooth path through the conduit? I didn't see anything that fit the bill in the hardware store.

    Thanks again,
    Bart
    700 sq. ft./30,000 gal, gunite pool; 48 SF DE filter; 1.5 HP pump; Salt Water Generator; Solar Heat

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another wire gauge question, and wire pulling questi

    Sounds like you got the right stuff. It's not fishing line is it?

    The fancy chinese handcuffs I was talking about are called pulling baskets and unless you're doing it on a regular basis they're pretty expensive. Stripping and taping is fine.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Yet another wire gauge question, and wire pulling questi

    Thanks again Bama!

    Nope not fishing line! And thanks for the tip on the handcuffs. I'll pass on them.

    One more question.....what are you doing this weekend?

    700 sq. ft./30,000 gal, gunite pool; 48 SF DE filter; 1.5 HP pump; Salt Water Generator; Solar Heat

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    Re: Yet another wire gauge question, and wire pulling questi

    I did a 130' pull through PVC conduit of 2 x twin 12ga. speaker, 2 x Cat5 (POTS+Internet), and one RG-6 Coax (DirectTV). I used the string to pull a metal fish tape through and used that to pull the wire. It was a family affair: I was feeding the wires, daughter was lubing up the wires as they went in, and son was pulling the tape at the far end. It was a little too much wire for that conduit (1½"), but we got it through, barely. String would not have hacked it.

    I think 12 ga. is fine at that distance for typical 8" outdoor speakers (I have Paradigms and they sound great.) I would not use 14ga. at that length. 8 or 10 is only needed if you are driving a lot of speaker. Everything has worked great for six years now. I got the lube and the tape at HD. The wires I bought on-line.
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    Re: Yet another wire gauge question, and wire pulling questi

    Just confirming that on my 140 ft run, 12AWG did just fine. Sounds like you're in good shape now.
    25' x 37' freeform, 22,000 gallon saltwater, 3'6" to 6'6" deep, including baja shelf and benches, 120 ft EP Henry retaining wall
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    Re: Yet another wire gauge question, and wire pulling questi

    Here's an update, if anyone cares.....

    I managed to get the wire through to the other end. It wasn't easy but it's done! Thanks to all for your advice. There's no way I would have been able to do it alone (or without the lube). If I had to do it over again, I probably would have taped the wires together every couple of feet to make them more like one, single strand instead of two strands that had their own twists in each wire. I think those extras twists made it a harder job.

    Thanks again everyone!
    700 sq. ft./30,000 gal, gunite pool; 48 SF DE filter; 1.5 HP pump; Salt Water Generator; Solar Heat

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another wire gauge question, and wire pulling questi

    Glad you got it done and glad we could help.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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