The laying of energy and data cables, antenna cables and telephone and communications conductors for intercom and video systems is part of the day-to-day practice in residential and commercial buildings and is part of the basic tasks involved in electrical installation. Fish tapes from Greenlee are proven technical aids in this area of application. In order to ensure the various fish tapes are used correctly, this report aims to provide an overview of the different versions and highlight the respective benefits and the preferred areas of application.
Nylon and Perlon® fish tapes
As a result of their low costs and universal applicability, nylon and Perlon® fish tapes are popular. The major difference between nylon and Perlon® relates to the chemical production process. Nylon is made from hexamethylenediamine and Perlon® is made from Caprolactam. However, both nylon as well as Perlon® are restricted to usage locations where there are no excessive impact and tensile forces required. They also display increased frictional resistance and will therefore wear quicker than other fish tapes, such as those made from polyester or steel. Nevertheless, they are highly recommended for occasional cable pulling work.
Steel fish tape
Steel fish tapes are extremely robust and combine excellent flexibility with high stability, and are therefore also suitable for pulling heavier conductors over long sections.
Note: Due to their conductivity, it is essential you make sure that the steel fish tape never comes into contact with live conductors!
Fibreglass fish tape
Fibreglass fish tapes are made from individual fibreglass pieces embedded in an elastic polyester resin and bound to a compact core via an inter-sectional coil. This rippled outer layer absorbs the surface tension and the bending strain. A jacket made from superior quality anti-abrasive polypropylene as a sliding layer reduces the frictional resistance.
Fibreglass fish tapes are characterised by their excellent thrust and are the preferred choice for use in laying telecommunications and data cables. Fibreglass tapes can be specifically adapted to the various requirements on a construction site; in other words, the thicker the fibreglass tape is, the greater the thrust.
Note: Any buckling must be prevented when thrusting or pulling. Any such excessive bending may destroy the tape in any part.
In order to ensure the fibreglass fish tape is stowed away correctly, Greenlee sells fibreglass fish tapes in Speedy Spinner housing or on Smart Butler reels. Fish tapes with winder cases are recommended for regular use. This means you can quickly remove and pull out the cable and, in doing so, speeds up your work. In addition, the more than 40m long fish tapes are “properly” located and well protected in the housing, which is ultimately beneficial for the product's service life.
Fibreglass pulling rods
Fibreglass pulling rods are characterised by excellent thrust and allow cables to be pushed as well as pulled in cavity floors, hollow ceilings, drywalls and cable ducts where there are no trailing leads, such as empty tubes.
When screwed together, these straight rods can also be guided in a precise manner over a longer length. The system is supplemented by various accessory parts, such as LED lamps, magnets or special hooks.
The polyester fish tape
Polyester fish tapes are highly flexible. Premium versions with a triple drilled tape, such as those sold by Greenlee, not only display an extremely low frictional resistance but are also virtually unbreakable. The ultimate load increases as the diameter increases. It may be 2.5 kN for a 4.5 mm tape, and up to 5 kN for a tape measuring approximately 6 mm. Apart from a high ultimate load, the tape also provides high thrust stability. This is the only way that it can also be introduced over directional changes or on long sections. Greenlee also sells the fish tape with winder case here - “Flexi Spinner” for professional cable pulling technology, involving little effort and ensuring plenty of time saved.
Note: the weakest part on the polyester fish tape is the crimped pulling eye. The strength of such a connection is typically less than the ultimate load of the tapes.
Greenlee sells a variety of accessories to help ensure work runs as smoothly as possible on construction sites:
Additional force for inserting or pulling can be added to the tape using a cable pulling aid. This gives your hands an effective rest.
The replaceable spring guide heads and pulling eyes can be adjusted in line with the conditions on site, saving you plenty of time for improvisations.
Pulling is also made easier for small and medium-sized cable dimensions thanks to the pulling grips. Wire stripping and fastening are completely eliminated. Small pulling grips for >= 6 mm designed specifically for building technology create tensile force over the entire pulling grip length. These are recommended for use with particularly sensitive conductors, such as fibre optic cables.
If the tape is applied and/or sprayed with lubricant or lubricating foams before it is inserted onto the tip, this will significantly reduce frictional resistance by approximately 80%.