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Don't Get Caught in the Cold—Tips for Pulling Wire in Cold Weather

Submitted by Van Meter

It has been a long winter full of cold temperatures, ice-covered windshields and snow-covered walkways. This time of year, it’s important to take outdoor temperatures into consideration during many activities, including wire pulling and cable installation.

Cold temperatures place extra strain on cables, causing them to temporarily become brittle and inflexible. Below a certain temperature, it becomes difficult for cables to retain their flexibility and plasticity while being bent. PVC jackets, for example, will stiffen and potentially crack with the slightest touch or movement if they aren’t pulled at or above recommended temperatures.

These conditions can lead to difficult installations, and if a crew starts pulling wire without taking the proper precautions, the jacket and/or insulation may become damaged. To make sure cable can withstand the rigors of installation and last its expected lifespan, make sure to follow these recommended ratings.

What is the Lowest Temperature Recommended for Pulling Wire?

What Can You Do To Protect Cables & People?

The onset of winter weather doesn’t mean you can’t continue to install cable. There are simple steps you can take for protection:
Store cable indoors whenever possible.
If cable can’t be stored indoors, move cable reels into a heated area 24 hours before installation to allow heat to penetrate the reels’ cable layers.

These temperatures can also be tough on installers, too. Keep them safe by encouraging them to:
Drink fluids and stay hydrated
Get enough sleep so they’re alert during the day
Remove wet clothes immediately to prevent accelerated heat loss and impaired movement
Wear proper winter clothing (loose-fitting layers) and insulate head and neck areas well
Add layers as activity levels decrease and remove layers as activity levels increase.

If you have questions about pulling wire in cold temperatures, give us a call at 800-247-1410. 

We’re happy to answer your questions!