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post #1 of 15 Old 06-20-2019 Thread Starter
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Snaking a wire

I have a friend who just bought a 2003 Beneteau 361

He needs to snake a wire from the overhead where the mast enters the boat directly port then down then aft to the nav station.

It appears that there is a 3/4" black tube that is used as a chase.

All together there a maybe four ninety degree turns. We have tried snaking it but after the second turn, it stops.

The total distance we have to go is about 10 feet.

The overhead has a molded pan with a molded-in rib.

the only thing I can think of is to cut a whole and fish from both ends then put a panel plug in the hole.

Any better ideas.

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It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-20-2019
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I had to run a wire through my bow pulpit. Lots of turns and openings. What I did was use a vacuum cleaner and a bit of string. Suck the string through the tube then use it as a messenger to pull the wire. It worked amazingly well. Tiring a bow on the end made the vacuum more effective.
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post #3 of 15 Old 06-20-2019
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Re: Snaking a wire

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Originally Posted by doggerel View Post
I had to run a wire through my bow pulpit. Lots of turns and openings. What I did was use a vacuum cleaner and a bit of string. Suck the string through the tube then use it as a messenger to pull the wire. It worked amazingly well. Tiring a bow on the end made the vacuum more effective.
I have met someone who has used light fishing line and a cotton ball blown through with a small compressor to the same effect.

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post #4 of 15 Old 06-21-2019
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Re: Snaking a wire

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Originally Posted by Uncle Bob the 1st View Post
I have met someone who has used light fishing line and a cotton ball blown through with a small compressor to the same effect.
There is a commercially available product for this purpose, it is called a conduit mouse.

90° bends are always challenging, particularly if they are short radius.

I like the vacuum idea..I bet that would work!

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post #5 of 15 Old 06-21-2019
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Re: Snaking a wire

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Originally Posted by doggerel View Post
I had to run a wire through my bow pulpit. Lots of turns and openings. What I did was use a vacuum cleaner and a bit of string. Suck the string through the tube then use it as a messenger to pull the wire. It worked amazingly well. Tiring a bow on the end made the vacuum more effective.
That's how I pulled wire between a couple of outbuildings >100m apart with two bends. Tie the string onto a wad of plastic shopping bag about the size of your conduit and it will move much better.

Renae
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post #6 of 15 Old 06-21-2019
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Re: Snaking a wire

The vacuum idea is spot on. We use it to snake string(or fishing line for long runs) through buried conduit all the time using a shop vac and a small Styrofoam ball bought at Hobby Lobby for $.50.


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post #7 of 15 Old 06-21-2019
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Re: Snaking a wire

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
I have a friend who just bought a 2003 Beneteau 361

He needs to snake a wire from the overhead where the mast enters the boat directly port then down then aft to the nav station.

It appears that there is a 3/4" black tube that is used as a chase.

All together there a maybe four ninety degree turns. We have tried snaking it but after the second turn, it stops.

The total distance we have to go is about 10 feet.

The overhead has a molded pan with a molded-in rib.

the only thing I can think of is to cut a whole and fish from both ends then put a panel plug in the hole.

Any better ideas.
With that many bends, and a partially full conduit, the vacuum and cotton ball trick may not work. What often has to be done is one wire in the conduit needs to be sacrificed and used as a messenger to pull two new wires. One wire will be your new one and the other a replacement for the sacrificed wire.... If the conduit is short you can sometimes peel one wire back from the panel and use it to pull two messengers. One to pull that wire back through and the other one to pull the new wire...

This can still take considerable time & effort especially if the builder pre-bundled and pre-taped the wires in the conduit.... When pulling the new wires some lubrication of the new wires can help..
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-21-2019
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Re: Snaking a wire

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
With that many bends, and a partially full conduit, the vacuum and cotton ball trick may not work. What often has to be done is one wire in the conduit needs to be sacrificed and used as a messenger to pull two new wires. One wire will be your new one and the other a replacement for the sacrificed wire.... If the conduit is short you can sometimes peel one wire back from the panel and use it to pull two messengers. One to pull that wire back through and the other one to pull the new wire...

This can still take considerable time & effort especially if the builder pre-bundled and pre-taped the wires in the conduit.... When pulling the new wires some lubrication of the new wires can help..
Actually this is what I have to do with my boat... mfg install conduits and then used them for wires/cables. As I upgrade I simply use the old cable.... usually connected to a "string" to use as a messenger. Often times there is a connector at one end of the cable and it won't fit thru the conduit. Hopefully the factory made up connector does not have to be pulled thru the conduit.

While the mfg may have provided spare empty conduits... I would think if the did that a messenger was left in place. An empty conduit is a sign that someone at some point removed the cable that was run thru it.

Some wire/cable is stiff and will not even make the tight bends in some conduits... such as coax or multi lead primary wire. If you upgrade your coax cable the new one may not fit in the old conduit... because of bends. Lubrication may help of course.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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post #9 of 15 Old 06-21-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Snaking a wire

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
especially if the builder pre-bundled and pre-taped the wires in the conduit.... When pulling the new wires some lubrication of the new wires can help..
It sounds like pre-bundled and taped wires would make it a non-starter unless there is another trick involved.

The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-21-2019
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Re: Snaking a wire

Hopefully, at the end of this game, they’ll pull a spare messenger line thru, along with the new wire. Tie it off at each end for the next time. We have more than one, in various places.
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