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Cable Pulling Basics: Ceiling Access Tools and Tips

The number of maintenance projects required in a sophisticated facility like a hospital is staggering. Anything from the extensive cleaning necessary to maintain sterile environments to replacing HEPA air filters and updating ventilation systems; all these procedures need to be done with the safety of the patient in mind. Pulling cable can be one of these important tasks, particularly as technologies advance and expand so that more and more fiber optic cables and network connections are required.

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What is Cable Pulling?

Although the mechanics of cable pulling can be quite complex, the actual definition of it is rather self-explanatory. Cable pulling is the moving of lengths of cable from one place to another in order to install a connection of some type between disparate areas.

Types of Cable Pulling

Not all cable pulling is created equal. There are a few different processes that could be described with the phrase “cable pulling” so let’s take a look at how those differ.

Conduit Pulling

When installing or rewiring different types of wires, including electrical wires, speaker wires, phone or internet cables, it is often necessary to run the new wires through the existing conduit or pipe. To do this, you must pull the cable from an entry point through the conduit. There are different ways to do this, but creating a secure pull string in order to prevent damage to the wires is usually a good place to start.

Cable Installation

Installing fresh cables above a ceiling in a facility such as a hospital or cleanroom requires a different type of cable pulling. The best way to ensure that the cable pulling process goes smoothly is by utilizing the right tools and in this case, that may be a cabling access point. This device allows contractors to run cable safely up into the ceiling without causing undue friction or allowing excess debris to escape into the facility.

Large Cable Pulling

Much larger cable pulling projects are especially common in new construction projects. These may include bundles of cabling, conduit, or any number of other challenging materials but do not generally require ceiling access, since the cable is installed in buildings that have not yet been completed.

Special Facility Consideration

As mentioned above, some facilities may have special considerations when it comes to ceiling access and particularly cable pulling. In clean room and healthcare environments, particularly where nearby patients may be immunocompromised, it is essential to keep the cable pulling process as clean as possible. The HEPACART ™ Cabling Access Point (CAP) uses  horsehair bristles which keep dust, dirt and debris from falling out of the ceiling. Therefore, the CAP user will spend less time pulling cable, reduce potential damage to cable jacket and protect the surrounding space.

Cabling pulling is an important skill for electrical contractors and other maintenance workers to have. Using the right tools can make the process much easier and prevent damage to both the cable and the facility.

Ceiling Access Regulations Guide for Healthcare Contractors

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