Thursday, May 16, 2013

No Fishtape! Get Out the Pull String and Shop Vac

homemade mouse for blowing pull stringsAre you having trouble pushing your trusty fish tape through conduits?  Try a vacuum, better yet a shop vac as they are more powerful and versatile.  You will also need some painters plastic, pull string, duct tape and a device to reduce the size of the shop vac hose down to the size of the conduit in question.  Don't worry about it being a perfect fit as this is what the duct tape is for.

Now take the pull a string and tie a simple knot around a piece of the painters tape.  When doing this, make sure to leave enough plastic out to catch the suction created by the shop vac.  Now shove the plastic and pull string into the conduit as far as you can.

On the opposite end of the conduit run, take a standard plastic coke bottle and cut off the wider end.  Now place the shop vac hose into the bottle and use the duct tape to make a tight air seal.  With that done simply remove the screw off bottle cap and insert it into the conduit.  This is our reducing device.

Almost done.  turn on the shop vac to suction mode and have someone at the opposite end feed the pull string if necessary.  Once the thin pull string makes it through, it is recommend to replace it with a tougher version.
shop vac hose used to pull string
Now you are set.  Go out and give it a try.