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Cable Installation Basics: Insights and the Basics of Cable Lubrication and Pulling

September 08, 2017

Cable lubrication is a significant part of any network or cable installation. It is an operation that needs to be carried out before the cable pulling process takes place. This process is done by properly applying a cable lubricant to reduce the tension on the cable. Reducing the tension is the main purpose of the cable lubrication process. However, to properly implement this operation, network installers should break down this entire process into three major steps.


Three Steps of Proper Cable Lubrication and Pulling


1.Planning: Before carrying out the process, installers should first plan the approach. They first have to determine the allowable tension of the cable, the right type of cable lubricant they need, and the amount of lubricant to use.


2.Measurement: Once the three initial values are identified, the next step is to use a wire-pulling tension gauge to measure the tension limits of the cable. A higher end solution for this is to use a software that's run on a laptop on site to get a more accurate reading.


3.Control: Once the above has been completed, the final step is to make sure to vary the cable-pulling force and lube feed in order to keep the cable tension within the desired limits.

That is how the correct process of cable lubrication and pull should go. Nevertheless, getting this approach done won’t lead to success without the proper knowledge of about cable-pulling lubricants. For a better understanding of lubricants, the following four major aspects should be considered.


Method of Application - A cable lubricant comes in three types which manufacturers refer to as “Application Methods”. The three types of lubricants differ in thickness and viscosity. The right application method to use should always be the one that suits all the requirements of the job. The three lubricant application methods use liquids, gels, or waxes, depending on the method.


Incompatibilities - Disregard the type of lubricant that is comprised of materials that are incompatible with the application and client’s site policies or environment. The type of lubricant to be used should always adhere to the job site's policies and be suitable for the particular job. 


Performance Characteristics - Now that the right type of lubricant to be used has been identified and all of the incompatible materials are ruled out, we must consider the following aspects to identify the performance quality of the cable pull:

- Coefficient of Friction

- Wetting

- Coating

- Shear Resistance

- Cable Compatibility

- Cable Manufacturer Approval


Application Process - The final step is to decide on what the best and most effective way of utilizing the cable lubricant throughout the entire process is


That is how the complete process of cable lubrication and cable-pulling should be done to ensure a well-installed network.