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Snake for wiring

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buddrousa

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#2
You talking about Conduit pipe? Lowes sell fish tapes up to about 150 feet long.
What are you truing to run?
You can not run low voltage wires phone computer antenna ect in the same pipe as 110 volt wires.
Doing so can induce ac voltage on your low voltage wires causing you or your equipment deadly harm.
 

W9BU

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#4
If you are still working on your vehicle install, I think spending the money for a "snake" or "fish tape" is an unnecessary expense. Grab a wire coat hanger, cut off the hook, straighten the wire, and you have a suitable snake for doing most automotive work. I'm sure the professional installers will suggest something else, but sometimes you just have to use what you have.
 
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#7
Snakes work well in conduit. Since they're always set in a coil when at rest, they have a tendency to curl if you use them to chase cables in a wall. That can be really frustrating. Another option is fiberglass rod kit. These are usually 4' to 6' rods that screw together. As you finish pushing one into the wall, you screw another on to the end. These stay much straighter. I have a set that glows in the dark making it easier to find. You could use these in auto installs as well. You'd just need one of the sticks.

If you have a Harbor Freight Tool store nearby, shop[ there first. I've found them much cheaper there.
 

SteveC0625

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#9
All of the above!

I also have several old antennas for automotive use, but I've found that my 25' electrician's tape works best for getting coax routed around in the ceilings of cars and trucks. That curl is really handy along with the rounded nose of the tape.

I can generally reach both sides of the firewall grommet in vehicles so there's really no need for a tape or snake there. I do have a handy little trick for getting through the rubber wall of the grommet. I use a punch awl and a 3/16" nut driver. Run the punch awl through the rubber. Place the nut driver over the tip of the punch and push back through the rubber. Remove the punch and insert your wire into the tip of the nut driver. Push it back through and you should have an inch or more of the wire through the grommet ready to be pulled to where you need it. It works best if you have two people to do this, but it can be done alone.
 
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#10
Oddly enough, you can usually buy a long snake (steel or "plastic" which can't short anything out) online from Amazon for 1/2 the price of the local big box stores. Typically 50' minimum. Or if you pick up six feet of heavy (10g) aluminum grounding wire, that's easily bent and follows whatever shape you need to put into it. Wire hangars are great, but sometimes they are too stiff to work through angles, while a real snake or heavy electrical wire will bend as needed. A long zip-tie (12"-18") often can do the job if you don't need more length than that.
 
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#11
I agree with those suggestions above, but one thing has been missed. If you not only need to pull wires through those holes, but drill them as well, you can do it with a single tool, such as this (https://www.altex.com/BES-38-x-72-High-Speed-Steel-Flex-Bit-FLX3872-P140505.aspx). They make them in various diameters and lengths. They won't separate like those sectional ones that attach to spade bits and can be bent (not easily, but still can be done) to allow you to drill in the ceiling 2x4 directly from an electrical box sized hole in your wall (I've used their tool to route the bit up the wall while pushing down toward the floor with my drill since there wasn't enough room for everything to aim up because it was a short wall). It's often easier to drill from below through the wall than to use the various 90 degree drill adapters when space is limited, such as in between floors.

Once you've successfully drilled your hole, there's a small hole in the bit you can attach your wire or pull string to (obviously not with the drill rotating!!!) and pull the wire with. The 72" length (six foot!) is generally enough for most all needs. They make shorter ones if you need though.

There's also fiberglass fish rods (https://www.altex.com/BES-6-FiberFish-II-Kit-30-Total-Length-FIB207-P139816.aspx) that are generally can be attached together for those very long runs or using a single rod for short runs. Those were a pack of six footers that will combine to make a 30 foot run if necessary. They also make shorter ones if those are more practical. You can even combine multiple sizes or packs to do nearly any job. They even make some that glow in the dark to make finding them easy in the dark space between floors. There are also various attachments (https://www.altex.com/Attachment-Kit-2-for-316-532-Rods-FIB565-P154816.aspx) so you can use the end that works best for your needs job by job.

Now if you have lots of room and love to fish, these may be the perfect solution since they're like casting out into the lake. https://www.altex.com/Cable-Casting-Tools-Acc-C10903.aspx
 
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#12
I have used some of the above mentioned tools for installations in buildings ie computer and coax cable installing.

I like the 'measuring tape' trick.
 

Thayne

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#13
Many years ago when my daughter was about 9 years old I used her and her pet poodle to pull about 35 feet of speaker wire thru a dropped ceiling. As soon as she popped her head up there and the dog saw her it was done. My wife thought it was mean to the dog, but it worked great.
 
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#14
Many years ago when my daughter was about 9 years old I used her and her pet poodle to pull about 35 feet of speaker wire thru a dropped ceiling. As soon as she popped her head up there and the dog saw her it was done. My wife thought it was mean to the dog, but it worked great.
I've used young kids before but never a dog. Hmm, I need to add that to my repertoire
 

phask

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#15
For home use - Harbor Freight - under 10 bucks, look at the fiberglass rods as well.

The fish tape is cheap enough you can cut for some short lengths for when you don't need the hassle of a reel.
 
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