Module four: Specialist Electrician's Tools
Cable Rods and Draw Tapes
Draw tapes (also known as fish tape or cable rats) are used for routing and pulling cable through conduit or confined routing spaces. Their flexibility means that they can be used for routing around angles and they often come with an attachment for the end which can hook or fasten onto a string, wire or cable which can then be pulled back along the draw tapes’ original path.
History of draw tapes and cable rods.
The first draw tape was invented by Keith Leroy Wilson of Colorado Springs, and was know as “The snagger” the first ever patent for a draw tape was filed 29 March 1960.
Keith Leroy Wilson claimed that it would save from 30 minutes to several hours a day!
Since the patent has expired, many manufacturers now produce a range of different draw tapes, each with their own features and benefits.
Cable rods have developed from traditional draw tapes and are quickly becoming an essential part of an electrician’s kit. They are more rigid than draw tapes and so are useful when running cable under a raised floor or over a suspended ceiling, saving time and money by removing the need to take up flooring or damaging walls and ceilings.
How are they used?
Here’s an example of why you would need a draw tape/Cable rod(s).
Say you were routing come cable from a downstairs office to an upstairs office, and the cable needed to be routed through walls. you could spend ages trying to feed this cable upwards through access holes, often snagging the cable against any loose debris or obstacles involved with the access hole.
In order to speed this entire process up and make it much easier, a draw tape/cable rod could be used. One end of the tape/rod could be fed from one area, through the access hole, once fully fed through the cable rod will be exposed at the other side where the wire is. Cable rods and draw tapes are much more rigid than wires, meaning that they're less likely to kink or get suck when routing.
The wire which needs routing could now be connected to the end of the draw tape/cable rod(s), then fully pulled through to the entry location of the draw tape.
C.K Tools offer a range of Cable rods and Draw tapes, these can be seen below.
Range of Draw Tapes