PDA

View Full Version : wire comparisons


Mike M
01-04-2008, 08:48 PM
Joey described Unique's wire to me as having a high quality percentage of refined copper with a softer, more flexible insulation than other wire on the market. This sounds very promising to me.

I love the idea of using high quality wire, but the price is a consideration. Feedback from others on the topic of favorite wires would be appreciated. My concern, is at what point is the extra cost worth the extra performance? I mean, we do use a lot of the stuff.

A big advantage I could think, in addition to conductivity issues, is working with a wire that doesn't get twisted with memory, which causes resistance when going into slitted trenches. I find the memory issue to be really annoying when laying down multiple runs in a single trench. Is it actually quicker to install the good stuff, off-setting higher price with the potential time and labor saved?

Mike

pete scalia
01-04-2008, 09:04 PM
Joey described Unique's wire to me as having a high quality percentage of refined copper with a softer, more flexible insulation than other wire on the market. This sounds very promising to me.

I love the idea of using high quality wire, but the price is a consideration. Feedback from others on the topic of favorite wires would be appreciated. My concern, is at what point is the extra cost worth the extra performance? I mean, we do use a lot of the stuff.

A big advantage I could think, in addition to conductivity issues, is working with a wire that doesn't get twisted with memory, which causes resistance when going into slitted trenches. I find the memory issue to be really annoying when laying down multiple runs in a single trench. Is it actually quicker to install the good stuff, off-setting higher price with the potential time and labor saved?

Mike

I think Uniques wire is made by Paige. The copper wire is all the same (copper is copper is copper) and must have certain strand counts to qualify for standard gauge sizes. It's the jacket or coating which in my humble opinion makes cable "quality" or not.

Mike M
01-04-2008, 09:08 PM
Pete, you are right (of course), it's made by Paige. My question to you, what do you think about those premium sheaths, worth the price for less memory?

Thanks, man.

pete scalia
01-04-2008, 09:18 PM
Pete, you are right (of course), it's made by Paige. My question to you, what do you think about those premium sheaths, worth the price for less memory?

Thanks, man.

I don't really know what you mean when you say memory. Do you mean pliability? What I look for is UL cable that is easy to work with so when you seperate the two conductors it doesn't leave copper showing on the inner sheathing-some of the cheap stuff does that. It also must be soft and supple all over and easy to strip. Much like the same qualities I look for in a beautiful woman.

irrig8r
01-04-2008, 09:45 PM
It also must be soft and supple all over and easy to strip. Much like the same qualities I look for in a beautiful woman.

As well as lacking memory? :laugh:

pete scalia
01-04-2008, 09:49 PM
As well as lacking memory? :laugh:

Now don't be slipping any of them roofies in their drink now.

Mike M
01-05-2008, 12:40 AM
The twists and bends that linger become a bigger issue when putting multiple runs in the trench, so I was wondering if anyone pays a little more for wire that is more workable, or if it's better to just use the economy stuff, considering the amount of wire we use.

Infinity Landscapes, Inc
01-05-2008, 12:51 AM
When we run several wires in a trench we tend to zip tie them together. I prefer to buy wire that has white writing this way it is much easer to identfiy vs the stamp writing.

Chris J
01-05-2008, 09:01 AM
Mike,
I've been struggling with these same issues for the past year. Two shipments ago, I received wire that was so hard to pull apart that I thought I was going to get arthritis before I went throught it. The last shipment I received from a different supplier had the memory issues your talking about. When we cut it at the fixture, it would coil up and take off (very hard to deal with). I have now found a supplier that has wire with a very soft jacket, and their prices are the most reasonable I have ever found. PM me if you want additional info.

Pro-Scapes
01-05-2008, 06:21 PM
I gotta agree with Chris since we are now using the same wire. Very easy to work with and super soft.

Mike its important to have a technique down pat to help you bury multiple wires. You need to lay out all the wires then make sure none of them have just a little more slack than the other. You can zip tie them into a bundle if you like.

If you dont already have one you need a wire spinner or dispenser. I like the old cast ones with the wooden table and bearing with a pipe coming up. I also welded up a bracket on an old dolly that works well too. Didnt care for the spinners from fold so if you call make sure you ask for the cast ones. You can also go to a local electric supply and ask about rack-a-tier or a cable caddy. any of these will keep your coils to a minimum. I like having 2 on site so I can pull multiple runs together.

Mike M
01-05-2008, 07:22 PM
Thanks guys. Billy, very good ideas, I'll order the Cast one. I started paying attention and writing notes for the exact feet for each run as well, as indicated on the wire. This is a cool feature. Easy to strip off for multiple runs this way, plus a sure way to know if you have enough left on a spool to make it.

Does anyone just keep spools on the truck and strip off what they need? I figured if I use a long rope/tape measure tool and use wire that has the feet indicated, I can strip off what I need. In my calculation of feet, I'll determine a good percentage to add on for actual use, taking into consideration all the imperfections inside the trench.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-05-2008, 10:46 PM
Does anyone just keep spools on the truck and strip off what they need? I figured if I use a long rope/tape measure tool and use wire that has the feet indicated, I can strip off what I need. In my calculation of feet, I'll determine a good percentage to add on for actual use, taking into consideration all the imperfections inside the trench.

Mike. I use a LOT of wire here. Big sites eat it up. I buy all my 12/2 wire on 1000' (300 meter) spools. I then have one spool mounted in the back of my trailer and I keep one on a set of Rack-A-Tiers for moving around the site. This way I can set the big spool down at the transformer and spool off as much wire as I need in any direction. It works really well and I have very little waste at the end of the day.

I used to use 250' (75 meter) spools but often found I was left with 'ends' that were not long enough to be useful. This just ended up as waste.

Have a great day.

JoeyD
01-05-2008, 11:05 PM
Unique Wire In A Box! Great wire on a spinner marked by the foot.

we used to make those spinners back in the old days. You can just go to home depot and make one. You need a lazy susan and a 1/2 pipe with a flat fitting. super easy to make and very cheap. Problem is they dont have a break so the spool keeps spinning causing the cable to backlash, I'm sure Billy has this problem all the time with his fishing reels!! And they corrode and stop working after getting wet a few times.

Those rackateer racks are pretty cool too. Of course now we dont need those old things, the wire in the box solves all issues. we can stack the boxes and pull as many runs at once as we want. Most of you will probably cry about the price because cheaper tends to better for most when it comes to wire but for those who dont mind spending a few extra bucks this is the way to go. Buying it by the pallet makes it cheaper I am sure. We only make it in 10ga. Email me or PM me if you guys want more info.

Joey D.

NightScenes
01-05-2008, 11:49 PM
Don't you mean 12 ga. Joey?

JoeyD
01-05-2008, 11:52 PM
Don't you mean 12 ga. Joey?

Yes, sorry. I meant 12ga. I know a bunch of you wire pigs were getting all excited!! LOL Thanks Paul!!

NightScenes
01-06-2008, 12:13 AM
I'm not a pig, I'm a full fledged hog, thank you very much!!

JoeyD
01-06-2008, 12:14 AM
I'm not a pig, I'm a full fledged hog, thank you very much!!

LOL.....I remember watching you eat ribs in austin!!

NightScenes
01-06-2008, 12:15 AM
I had a rack tonight as a matter of fact.

JoeyD
01-06-2008, 12:18 AM
mmmm sounds good. I enjoyed some El Pollo Loco!!

Pro-Scapes
01-06-2008, 01:17 AM
Thanks guys. Billy, very good ideas, I'll order the Cast one. I started paying attention and writing notes for the exact feet for each run as well, as indicated on the wire. This is a cool feature. Easy to strip off for multiple runs this way, plus a sure way to know if you have enough left on a spool to make it.

Does anyone just keep spools on the truck and strip off what they need? I figured if I use a long rope/tape measure tool and use wire that has the feet indicated, I can strip off what I need. In my calculation of feet, I'll determine a good percentage to add on for actual use, taking into consideration all the imperfections inside the trench.

rope and tape measures will slow you down... plan a spool or 2 at the trans and start whipping our your runs all at once. Start with the longest run. If I set up a work area on site I keep a spool of 16 nearby for leads and such. I have tried your tape measure idea for making leads and doing T's but it slows you down with all the trips back and forth.

Lite4
01-06-2008, 02:11 AM
I made my own wire spooler. I welded rebar into double A frames, and I use a concrete stake for the spool holder I can remove when I need to change spools. Thing works freakin awesome and will never get pulled over.

ChampionLS
01-06-2008, 03:39 AM
Bah! too much work.

We use have these Wire Spool Caddy's. They can handle a 500' spool and fold up nicely to fit your vehicle. They are better than the other vertical spool reels, which allow your cable to tangle.

NightScenes
01-06-2008, 09:31 AM
I had one made that will hold 4-500' reels. The problem is that it takes up a lot of space but it more than makes up for it in time saved pulling home runs. Grab 4 and go.

Mike M
01-06-2008, 10:08 AM
I have tried your tape measure idea for making leads and doing T's but it slows you down with all the trips back and forth.

Thanks Billy, everyone. Holy crap, I have to stop and think about wire spools and pulling runs. I've been running back and forth, worse yet, I'm so cheap I've been bringing the spool with me while burrying it to make sure I use every inch. That's so stupid. It's why I was thinking of pre-measuring with the tape.

By the way, I noticed the Cast tin-coat 10 gauge I was using yesterday was easier to work with than the generic 12 I have.

If anyone remembers the landscaping olympics idea, I think you guys should have a lighting installer competition at aolp. The equivilent of lumberjack competions or tractor pulling, etc. Who can lay multiple runs the fastest, a splicing obsticle course, who can mount the highest tree light, and a 26.6 mile trenching marathon (haha).

Pro-Scapes
01-06-2008, 12:42 PM
wow mike that sounds like a ton of extra work. Pull your homeruns from a dispenser of some sort from the trans. since you have not had a ton of installs yet you can pull 1 at a time until your comfy with it. Then you will learn the advantages of routing so you only need a single artery line then viens breaking off from that.

Not only does it speed up installation but its safer for your wires as well.

If we are uplighting a home we usually dig our trench right up against the foundation first then pull the lines to the hub locations. If you have zero twists and everything is the same lenght you should be able to bury cleanly in a bundle.

fir single or double runs in your soft sand just make a slit altho often you will find 2 guys really help with that as the sand likes to fall in

ChampionLS
01-06-2008, 01:40 PM
Another method for measuring wire runs and not having to use your tape measure would be to purchase a roll counter. The same one they use when you buy rope, or wire products. The one I have is made by Olympic. Google it.

Mike M
01-06-2008, 05:53 PM
Then you will learn the advantages of routing so you only need a single artery line then viens breaking off from that.

Okay, let's say I have 100 feet for a main artery, with a few splits off of that before the end. Should I pull and cut all the the wires, place them near the trench, straighten/untwist wires and tie them together, then place them in the trench, and then place the veins in the trench after that? It's how I've been doing it, except I wasn't pulling off at the transformer, plus I was placing the wire in the trench as I went along.

When pulling wires around sturcture and at curves or angles, how do you guide the wire along the run before placing it in the trench?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-07-2008, 12:51 AM
Then you will learn the advantages of routing so you only need a single artery line then viens breaking off from that.

Okay, let's say I have 100 feet for a main artery, with a few splits off of that before the end. Should I pull and cut all the the wires, place them near the trench, straighten/untwist wires and tie them together, then place them in the trench, and then place the veins in the trench after that? It's how I've been doing it, except I wasn't pulling off at the transformer, plus I was placing the wire in the trench as I went along.

When pulling wires around sturcture and at curves or angles, how do you guide the wire along the run before placing it in the trench?

My advice to you at this point: Stop thinking so much about it and just do it.
K.I.S.S.
I flag the job, then hang the transformers, then dig all the ditches, then pull all the wire, then install the fixtures, then make the connections, check voltage at the fixtures, then bury it all up. When making fast progress with a grunt on the pick and shovel, I will have him bury all the wire except for the connections.

By doing the installation in complete stages I have found it to go much faster.

Mike M
01-07-2008, 06:15 AM
Thanks for the patience and great advice guys;

I'm very much into details. I've been working on getting the pattern/routine nailed so I can focus better on the job.

Just be glad I didn't ask for images!

Mike M.

Pro-Scapes
01-07-2008, 09:09 AM
I do it similar to how james does it.

I usually place fixtures while I have the laborer start digging the mainsI then place hub boxes and fixtures and set the wires where I want them to go in the which hubs. He will bury em all and leave the wires hanging out of the hub for me.

We did a tranch for the mains and a slit for any smaller things like leads or a single main.

for pulling around curves...pull your main to the destination then walk back laying it where you want it pulling any needed slack from the spool side being carful not to yank your line away from your hub.

If you have sharp corners like you often will with brick homes I like thoes hose handler rollers you stick in the ground... i get em at lowes or wal mart. little roller on a plastic stake. They will protect your wire and the clients home. Simply step on em or slam em in the ground then yank em up when your done.

Rememeber to go extra deep around bed edges