That’s a Wrap! Pull Tabs Make Bundled Cable Solutions Even More Versatile

Mike ZimmBlog, Bundled Cable Solutions

Industry insiders will tell you there’s an art to pulling cable. Contractors and EPCs are always looking for ways to increase the speed and efficiency of cable pulling, and even minor differences in bundled cable construction can yield significant reductions in labor costs.

At One-Pull, we manufacture two configurations of bundled cables — spiral (a One-Pull exclusive) and straight — each with pros and cons, depending on the application. While both configurations can use resin-bonded nylon binders (or wraps) to hold cables together, our straight cables can also be bound with pull tabs. This simple yet effective binding technique offers several advantages for contractors pulling cable through conduit.

Spiral Configuration Cable Bundles

One-Pull’s spiral bundled cable configurations consist of several conductors spiraled together to form a highly flexible cable bundle.

Spiral bundles are held together with a nylon harness that helps maintain the bundle’s shape when pulled. They are ideal for ‘home runs,’ when cables are pulled for long distances along a straight path (e.g., through conduits and raceways).

The ability of One-Pull’s spiral configurations to retain their shape even when bent results in fewer hangups, helping to speed cable pulls and reduce labor costs.

Size limitations. While spiral bundled cables are ideal for long, end-to-end conduit pulls, they have a size limitation of 1.48” maximum overall diameter. Contractors requiring a larger bundled cable need to opt for a straight configuration cable bundle.

Straight Configurations

In straight configuration bundles, conductors are laid parallel with no twists and wrapped with either a nylon harness or pull tabs. Straight configurations are particularly useful when cable bundles are laid in trays or other wire management systems.

Straight configuration bundles can accommodate up to 200 conductors on pull-length reels. With straight bundles, cable installers can break out individual conductors at intermediate points along the run.

One-Pull’s straight bundles are available with custom printing every 1” to 6” along the entire length of the conductor. This custom printing, along with custom bundling with a single reel set-up, speeds installation into cable trays while reducing leftover cable and cleanup requirements.

Size limitations. As with spiral configurations, there are size limitations with straight bundles. Straight configurations have a maximum overall diameter of 2.1”. While straight bundles may be wrapped with nylon binders no matter their OD, it is recommended that bundles with OD from 1” to 2.1” use pull tabs, especially if your cable gauge is 8 AWG or larger.

The Pull Tab Option

Pull tabs (aka cross tape or quick-release tabs) can be used as alternatives to nylon harnesses on straight configuration cable bundles. Pull tabs are small pieces of low-residue electrical tape wrapped around all the conductors in a cable bundle at pre-measured intervals.

There are two main advantages to using pull tabs. If installers need to break out cable at intermediate points along a run, it’s much faster to release a pull tab than cut a nylon harness. In large projects, this time savings can translate into significant labor cost reductions.

Pull tabs can also offer advantages over nylon bindings when pulling straight bundles through conduits. Cables with nylon wraps can sometimes get caught in a bend or snagged on a conduit imperfection when pulled. Nylon binders also make for stiffer bundles that allow for less bend radius, making cable pulls through corners and conduit bends even more challenging.

The easiest way for installers to eliminate this issue is to have the wires loose (as individual conductors) when pulling through the conduit. Using pull tabs, cable bundles can be pulled whole, then separated into individual conductors as required. The pull tabs release quickly and leave no adhesive, so conductors won’t stick together when fed into the conduit.

Finally, using pull tabs eliminates ‘pop-outs,’ where the bending pressure in nylon-wrapped cable bundles causes individual conductors to pop out and get hung up inside the conduit, slowing the cable-pulling process.

While pull tabs offer several advantages, they do have one drawback. Often installers must remove them before pulling cable into the conduit; otherwise, the tabs may be pulled off and create snags inside the pipe.

A Bundled Cable For Every Project

At One-Pull, we know that every job is different. That’s why we manufacture bundled cable options to meet every requirement — from our industry-exclusive spiral bundles to straight configurations with either nylon binders or pull tabs.

And that’s not all. From the industry’s shortest lead times to custom printing and packaging options, One-Pull is committed to helping you complete every job on time and under budget.

Contact us today to get a quote for your bundled cable.