To attach multiple wires to a fish tape, strip the outer insulation from the wires and wrap the bare wires through the eye on the end of the fish tape. Twist a strand around all of the wires attached and wrap the whole head of the wire connection with electrical tape. Adding wire-pulling lubricant makes the pull much easier. When a job calls for large wire in a conduit, electricians may use a fish tape to pull in a rope, then use the rope for the wire pull. Although the steel wire is both stout and flexible, it’s not a good idea to pull an excessively heavy load with this tool.
If you’re the one standing at the box to feed the wire, pull all of the wires evenly from their spools as you feed the wires into the conduit. Also, try to keep the wires untangled as you feed them. Lubricate the wires and feed them into the pipe with one hand, and use the other hand to pull the wires off of the spools.
If you’re the person actually doing the pulling on the other end, pull the wires in two- to three-foot intervals. Stop, count to four, and then pull again. Check with the person feeding to see if this is a good pace for them. Pulling too fast can nick the wires and catch your helper’s fingers into the box. Leave enough time between pulls so that the person feeding has time to lubricate the wire and pull enough off of the spools to feed into the conduit. A simple signal to alert each other that you are ready for the next pull is to tap on the conduit with a metal tool.
Don’t Fish Alone
You can fish wires through very short runs of the conduit by yourself, but otherwise, it’s best to have a helper to guide the wires into the conduit and to apply a wire pulling lubricant periodically to help the wires slide through without damage. Pulling hard on the wires can damage the wire insulation, potentially creating a very dangerous situation; you don’t want exposed wiring touching the inside of a metal conduit, right?