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Conductor Stringing

Safe Practice Guide


ihsa.ca
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Infrastructure Heal th & Safety Associ ati on
Safe Practice Guide
Conductor Stringing
Foreword
This Guide designates the practices that should be
followed by the member firms of the Infrastructure
Health & Safety Association (IHSA) when involved in
conductor stringing operations. This Guide is not
designed as a training manual, but contains informa-
tion, best practices and general recommendations
deemed appropriate to perform a job in a responsible
and safe manner.
The contents of this Safe Practice Guide, including all
advice, recommendations and procedures, are
provided as a service by the Infrastructure Health &
Safety Association. No representation of any kind is
made to any persons whatsoever with regard to the
accuracy, completeness or sufficiency of the informa-
tion contained herein. Any and all use of or reliance on
this Safe Practice Guide and the information contained
herein is solely and entirely at the user's risk. The user
also acknowledges that the safe practices described
herein may not satisfy all requirements of Ontario law.
The Infrastructure Health & Safety Association wishes
to express its appreciation to those who assisted in
the preparation of this Guide.
All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced,
in whole or in part, without the express written permission of
the copyright owner.
12/05
2
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction 4
Purpose 4
SECTION I
GENERAL
100 Safe Execution of Work 6
101 Competent Personnel 6
102 J ob Planning Tailboard Talks 6
103 Communication and Teamwork 7
104 Suitable Equipment Work Methods 7
105 Utility Work Protection Code 7
106 Work Area Protection 8
107 Protective Cover-up Devices 8
SECTION II
STRINGING PROCEDURES
200 Personal Protection 10
201 Initial Preparation 10
202 Preparation for Work 11
3
SECTION III
TEMPORARY GROUNDING
AND BARRICADING OF EQUIPMENT
300 General Precautions 14
301 Procedures for Setting Up
Ground Gradient Mats 15
302 Procedure for Setting Up Stringing Equipment17
303 Procedure for Setting Up Barriers 17
304 Procedure for Grounding/Bonding During
Stringing Operations 18
SECTION IV
CONVENTIONAL STRINGING METHODS
400 General 28
401 Tension Brake Devices 28
402 Pulling Devices 30
403 Miscellaneous Equipment 31
404 Removing Old Conductor 34
SECTION V
TENSION STRINGING METHODS
500 General 38
501 Miscellaneous Equipment 38
502 Pulling Ropes 39
4
INTRODUCTION
Conductor stringing operations date back to the
beginning of the electric power era. However, the
original stringing methods used in the past no longer
provide the safe work zone required by current regula-
tory agencies and management philosophies. The
ever-increasing presence of obstacles such as
telecommunications plant, other power lines, roads,
highways and railroad right of ways have made it
necessary to use different methods of conductor
stringing in order to avoid unnecessary risk or interfer-
ence from these obstacles. More modern types of
conductor stringing equipment have been developed,
and many complex stringing jobs have been com-
pleted safely using this equipment.
PURPOSE
This Safe Practice Guide has been compiled to
familiarize utility and telecommunications personnel,
and their contractors, with various conductor stringing
methods, safe work practices, and the equipment
necessary to undertake a stringing operation in a safe
manner.
5
SECTION I
GENERAL
100 SAFE EXECUTION OF WORK
101 COMPETENT PERSONNEL
102 JOB PLANNING TAILBOARD TALKS
103 COMMUNICATION AND TEAMWORK
104 APPROPRIATE EQUIPMENT
WORK METHODS
105 UTILITY WORK PROTECTION CODE
106 WORK AREA PROTECTION
107 PROTECTIVE COVER-UP DEVICES
6
SECTION I
GENERAL
100 SAFE EXECUTION OF WORK
The safe execution of a conductor stringing operation
requires:
- competent personnel
- proper, detailed job planning
- approved work methods
- effective communication and teamwork
- well maintained, appropriate equipment
101 COMPETENT PERSONNEL
Only competent personnel, or personnel in training
under the direct supervision of a competent person
should engage in conductor stringing operations.
102 JOB PLANNING TAILBOARD TALKS
As in all other phases of utility and telecommunica-
tions work, job planning is of the utmost importance so
that the work may be performed safely and efficiently. A
documented tailboard talk should be held with all
involved in the project prior to the commencement of
work. This includes workers at both the pulling and
tensioning ends. The details of the tailboard talk
should include all known hazards, and the barriers that
will be used to protect workers and the public. All
workers must understand the procedures and their
respective duties and responsibilities before work
commences. Should it become necessary to change
the original job plan, all workers should be brought
together and the new plan explained thoroughly to
them.
7
103 COMMUNICATION AND TEAMWORK
Effective communication is essential while the work is
being performed. Operators at the pull in and pay
out ends should be in constant communication with
one another during the stringing operation. In addition,
a competent person should follow the progress of the
running board or rope/conductor connection. This
person should be in constant communication with the
puller/tensioner operators. Teamwork is essential to
ensure the safe and efficient execution of the job.
Various types of conductor stringing equipment are
currently being used. However, it is imperative that only
appropriate equipment in good repair be used for the
stringing method to be followed on each particular job.
This would apply to pulling lines, travellers, pulling
devices, tensioning, grounding methods and braking
devices, etc.
Local conditions will determine the appropriate
stringing method to be used. Before deciding on a
particular conductor stringing method, consider factors
such as the length of pull, the location of other circuits,
road crossings, etc.
105 UTILITY WORK PROTECTION CODE
During any stringing operation that is to be carried out
in proximity to existing energized apparatus, the
possibility exists that a conductor being pulled in could
inadvertently contact the energized apparatus. There-
fore, it is of the utmost importance that the person in
charge of the work obtain suitable hold-off protection
on all of the energized circuits or apparatus which
could cause a hazard to the stringing operation.
104 APPROPRIATE EQUIPMENT WORK METHODS
8
Any existing isolated lines in proximity to the stringing
operation should be suitably tagged and grounded in
accordance with the Utility Work Protection Code, or
equivalent.
106 WORK AREA PROTECTION
Stringing operations may be carried out along busy
thoroughfares and, because personnel and equipment
may be situated in various locations along the route,
proper work area protection is a prerequisite for the
safe execution of the job.
Work area protection should be established in accord-
ance with the current Ministry of Transportation, Ontario
(MTO), the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and local bylaws.
107 PROTECTIVE COVER-UP DEVICES
Whenever conductors are being installed or removed
near energized conductors or apparatus, an electrical
hazard is possible. The preferred course of action is to
eliminate the hazard by re-routing the feed to provide
for circuit isolation. In cases where isolation is not
feasible, relocation of the conductors and appropriate
cover-up would be the next choice. In some instances,
appropriate cover-up is the only alternative. Always use
cover-up of the appropriate voltage rating. Special
attention should be given to locations where the
conductor being pulled crosses any energized appara-
tus.
NOTE: To prevent rope burns to protective cover-up
devices, ensure that the stringing rope and/or
conductor being pulled in does not drag
across the cover-up during the stringing
operation.
9
SECTION II
STRINGING PROCEDURES
200 PERSONAL PROTECTION
201 INITIAL PREPARATION
202 PREPARATION FOR WORK
10
SECTION II
STRINGING PROCEDURES
200 PERSONAL PROTECTION
During all stringing operations in proximity to energized
apparatus, all personnel should follow the ground to
ground rubber glove rule as set out in the Electrical
Utility Safety Rules (EUSR). Also, personnel working in
areas not protected by equipotential grounding and
bonding should wear rubber gloves.
201 INITIAL PREPARATION JOB PLANNING
1. Ensure that work orders, detailed drawings, job
instruction, etc. are prepared in advance.
2. Ensure that any necessary applications for work
protection are arranged for in advance.
3. Decide on the safest and most practical way to do
the job.
4. Check each pole and span to determine what work
can be performed prior to stringing.
5. Decide on the most suitable locations for setting up
the stringing equipment.
6. Ensure sufficient equipment, material and person-
nel will be available for the job.
7. Additional personnel may be required at various
locations to protect the public from possible safety
hazards arising during the stringing procedures.
8. Extra traffic control devices may have to be obtained
from other crews or rental centres.
9. Obtain permits when stringing conductor over
major thoroughfares, railroads, etc. Police or the
railroad company may be required to assist. Make
arrangements well in advance of the project.
11
202 PREPARATION FOR WORK
1. One person should be in charge to supervise and
co-ordinate the overall operation.
2. Conduct a tailboard talk prior to the commence-
ment of the job. If a change in procedure is neces-
sary during the stringing operation, everyone
should be informed of the change by means of
additional tailboard talks.
3. Items to be recorded and discussed during the
tailboard talk include:
(a) hazards of all types
(b) work location for each crew member
(c) methods of communication (two-way radio
hand signals, etc.)
NOTE: The person in charge of the overall job
should be the only person to order the
commencement of pulling. Anyone
noting a problem must immediately
communicate the need to cease
pulling.
Figure #1: Tailboard Talk decal
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(d) traffic control
(e) hazardous locations (road intersections or line
intersections, etc.)
(f) personal protective equipment
(g) work protection in effect (hold-off, work permits,
etc.)
(h) emergency plan
13
SECTION III
TEMPORARY GROUNDING
AND BARRICADING OF EQUIPMENT
300 GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
301 PROCEDURES FOR SETTING UP
GROUND GRADIENT MATS
302 PROCEDURE FOR SETTING UP
STRINGING EQUIPMENT
303 PROCEDURE FOR SETTING UP FENCE
BARRIERS
304 PROCEDURE FOR GROUNDING THE
CONDUCTOR
14
SECTION III
TEMPORARY GROUNDING AND
BARRICADING OF EQUIPMENT
300 GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Follow proper grounding procedures when stringing
conductor in proximity to other energized circuits.
Whenever stringing conductors, use grounds to
ensure there is no possibility of inducing a charge onto
the conductors. Make consideration for induction from
high voltage circuits, even at distances of 150 m (500
ft.) and more.
Properly grounding equipment and conductors is
essential. Therefore, appropriate sized ground leads,
clamps, connections and reference to the system
protective devices (i.e. fuses, reclosers, breakers and
available fault current for the system) must be taken
into consideration.
Proper temporary grounding helps ensure the opera-
tion of isolating devices and minimizes fault duration,
which is the objective of grounding. However, the rapid
rupturing of fuses or tripping of reclosers may not
entirely eliminate the possibility of dangerous potential
rises. Therefore, good electrical connections must be
made from the system protection to the conductor at
every opportunity throughout the project. The best
return route to the system protection is via the system
neutral. In some situations, it may be through ground
probes, or a combination of both.
All workers (except those necessary to operate the
machinery) should stand clear of conductive equip-
ment during the stringing process. Those workers
operating machinery must be in an equipotential zone,
where the possibility of step or touch potential differ-
ences has been eliminated.
15
Equipotential zones are created by bonding and/or
grounding all metallic apparatus together (i.e. conduc-
tors, ground gradient control mats, reel stands, pullers
and tensioners).
301 PROCEDURES FOR SETTING UP GROUND
GRADIENT MATS
The purpose of the ground-gradient mat is to provide
an equipotential zone of adequate size upon which all
of the conductor stringing machinery can be be situ-
ated and all work activities, such as reel changing and
splicing, can be performed where no potential differ-
ences could occur. If contact with another circuit
occurs, there is still the possibility of a potential rise of
tremendous magnitude before the system protection
activates no matter how well this equipment is
connected. The key to a safe work zone is to minimize
the possibility of this happening. Should an incident
occur that causes a potential rise, no one working in a
properly constructed equipotential zone will sustain
current flow through their bodies. Where there is no
current flow, there can be no electrical injury.
NOTE: The mat should be large enough to carry out
all work without stepping off the mat.
At the tension (pay out) end, work includes operating
the machine, changing reels and splicing conductors.
A space of 2.4 to 3 m (8 to 10 ft.) is necessary to splice
conductors behind a tension machine, without step-
ping off the mat.
1. A common ground-gradient control mat is a grid of
metal galvanized steel, or high-flex copper braid,
strategically positioned on fabric. The design of the
mesh should be arranged so that workers will
always be bridging the grid with their feet, whether
16
they are standing or walking on the mat. To accom-
plish this, the steel mat typically consists of a
minimum No. 10 gauge (0.1350) galvanized steel
wire, constructed in a 5 cm (2 in.) square mesh, 1.5
m by 6 m (5 ft. by 20 ft.), or as required (ie. circum-
stances dictate the length and width of the mat). In
fact, most stringing operations require two or three
such mats bonded together. Ground gradient mats
should be laid into position whenever there are
adjacent circuits and/or the possibility of induction.
All conductor stringing equipment and related
activities should be carried out on the mats.
2. IHSA recommends that a 1/0 high flex copper cable
be positioned around the perimeter of each mat.
The cable shall be affixed to the mesh of the mat at
intervals not exceeding 0.90 m (3 ft.) to ensure
continuity at all times. A flex copper lead of at least
the same dimension or greater, should be con-
nected to a common point on the tensioning
machine.
NOTE 1: If the pulling machine will have direct
contact with a conductor (when pulling
out existing conductors, and the pulling
line is metallic, or when the new con-
ductor has to be brought to the puller)
the puller shall also be placed onto a
ground gradient mat.
NOTE 2: Ground rods must be used when only
delta connected circuits are involved. At
each of the four corners of the layout,
ground rods are driven and connected
to the wire lead around the perimeter of
the mat. Where practical, drive as many
ground rods as necessary to obtain a
megger reading of 25 ohms or less.
17
302 PROCEDURE FOR SETTING UP STRINGING
EQUIPMENT
After the ground gradient mats have been properly
installed to the dimensions required for the work area,
move the tension device, reel trailers and all related
equipment into place onto the mat. Any metallic
equipment on the mat must be bonded together by
suitable connectors to the lead running around the
perimeter of the mat, using 1/0 copper leads to the
grounding lugs on the equipment.
NOTE 1: The first and last travellers of the stringing
project should be grounded.
NOTE 2: Whenever another circuit traverses the
conductor being strung, the travellers on
either side must be grounded.
NOTE 3: If the pulling rope is metallic, wet, contami-
nated with dirt or aluminum, or the conduc-
tor is to be pulled to the pulling machine, it
must be placed on a ground gradient mat
in the same manner as the tension ma-
chine.
Pullers and tensioners shall be anchored, regardless
of the tension anticipated during the conductor string-
ing project. Weight change from the conductor at the
pay out end, or a sudden stop, could cause these
machines to shift. When the stringing equipment is
sitting on a ground gradient mat, it is critical that
conductive wire rope or chains do not extend beyond
the ground gradient mat. The use of web slings and
insulators will isolate the machines from the anchor.
303 PROCEDURES FOR SETTING UP BARRIERS
1. Nonconductive barriers should be installed around
the perimeter of the ground mat, to prevent person-
nel from straying on and off the mat except at a
controlled location. This controlled location is a 0.9
18
m (3 ft.) opening for entry/exit. The barrier system
will also remind personnel that they should not
hand tools into and out of the zone when stringing
is in progress.
2. Approximately 0.9 to 1.2 m (3 to 4 ft.) outside this
barrier, another barrier (rope, tape, barricades, etc.)
should be installed around the enclosure Dan-
ger Live Apparatus signs should be hung on this
barrier.
3. At the entry/exit point, a piece of plywood 0.9 m by
1.8 m by 1.3 cm (3 ft. by 6 ft. by in.), covered by a
nonconductive rubber or plastic mat, should be
placed so that one end is on the ground mat and
the other is clear of the barrier around the enclo-
sure. This is to protect personnel from step
potentials when entering or leaving the enclosure.
No personnel may enter or leave the enclosure
when stringing is in progress. (See Figure #2)
304 PROCEDURES FOR GROUNDING/BONDING
DURING STRINGING OPERATIONS
Considerable emphasis is placed on isolation tech-
niques and grounding procedures when using large
hydraulically-driven tension machines. However, there
is a tendency not to take the same precautions when
involved with routine stringing operations using small
tension brakes or reel brakes, in conjunction with reel
trailers even though the stringing may be done in the
area of energized equipment. The same precautions
should apply to routine stringing operations near
energized equipment as apply to major stringing jobs
using large hydraulically-driven tension machines.
The grounding/bonding of tensioning machines,
pulling machines, ground gradient mats, conductors,
and travellers is to create an equipotential work zone.
19
This is a very important component in providing a safe
work zone for crew members and the general public.
Every effort taken during preparation to eliminate a
potential difference throughout the project will help
prevent injury should something go wrong.
Sometimes, through equipment failure, loss of control,
missed communication, oversights or misjudgements,
the conductor being strung contacts something that is
energized. Equipment may be damaged, power
interrupted, and the project delayed. However, if this
unplanned event causes no personal injuries, the
grounding/bonding has worked as designed.
Figure #2
Second physical
barrier
Ground mat
wire fabric
First physical
barrier
1/0 stranded
copper bonding
lead, threaded
around perimeter
of mat and
connected to
system neutral
Plywood covered with rubber mats, used to provide
entranceway in and out of enclosure
Equipment
requiring
ground
mat
protection
Work area
inside
second
physical
barrier
Setting up ground gradient mat area for stringing
20
All grounding/bonding connections must be regarded
the same as making electrical connections. The lower
the resistance and the more direct path to the system
protection (fuses, reclosers, etc.), the more rapid the
interruption. Therefore, the preferred connections
would always be to the system neutral, when available.
In locations where a system neutral is not available, a
series of ground probes with 25 ohms or less resist-
ance is the next best choice. In rural areas, a combi-
nation of ground probes and the non multi-grounded
system neutral is necessary.
A ground gradient mat shall be used for the placement
of the tension machine.
NOTE: The mat should be large enough to carry out
all work without stepping off the mat.
At the tension (pay out) end, work includes operating
the machine, changing reels and splicing conductors.
A space of 2.4 to 3 m (8 to 10 ft.) is necessary to splice
conductors behind a tension machine, without step-
ping off the mat.
In most instances, two or three separate mats will
need to be positioned to adequately encompass the
equipment placed upon it. Each mat used must be
bonded to a common bus to ensure an equipotential
work zone is created.
Bonding cable of 1/0 bare, braided or stranded copper
is threaded around the perimeter of the mat, then the
mat and lead (bonding cable) are connected together
with an appropriate connector, approximately every 0.9
m (3 ft.).
At an appropriate location, an extra flex lead, equipped
with an approved type grounding clamp should be
connected from the bonding lead to the system neutral.
21
This lead should be a minimum of 1/0 extra flex
copper, and should be treated as a possible energized
conductor.
NOTE: Ground rods are required when working
with delta connected circuits. At each cor-
ner of the mat, ground rods would be
driven and connected to the bonding cable.
Where practical, sufficient ground rods
should be driven to obtain a megger reading
of 25 ohms or less.
Grounding/Bonding During Stringing Operations
To achieve the goal of establishing a safe work envi-
ronment, the following setup would be considered as
necessary. (See Figure #3)
At the Reel
This is the first of a series of grounds to be applied.
Even though there are several types of tension ma-
chines in use, a standard method is used to ground
Figure #3
Conductor
Travelling Ground
1/0 High
Flex Copper
Connect Tail of
Conductor to
Reel Stand
Connect to
System Neutral
Whenever Available
Connect to
Driven Ground
Rods when no
Neutral is
available
Neutral
1
2
3
4
Each section of
Grounding Mat
connects to Common
Grounding Point
Connect to system
neutral whenever
available Neutral
Connect
to driven
ground rod
when no
neutral is
available
Conductor
Travelling ground
Connect tail of
conductor to
reel stand
Each section of
grounding mat
connects to
common
grounding point
1/0 extra
flex copper
22
the conductor on the tension stringing reels. On the
large hydraulic tension machines, a bonding lead is
connected from the tail of the conductor (projecting
through the reel) to the ground lug provided on the
drive arm of the tensioner. Internally, on the drive shaft,
a collector ring provides an electrical path, through a
set of brushes and extra flex copper, to an external
ground lug on the tensioner.
NOTE: This is the only opportunity to ground covered
conductor during the stringing procedure.
Ahead of the Reel (Travelling Ground)
This is the second opportunity to ground the conductor.
It maintains a high integrity connection to system pro-
tection throughout the entire run. To help ensure this:
a) the full capacity leads and clamps should be
thoroughly inspected and adequately tightened;
b) the entire circumference of the wire is involved;
c) the mechanism is spring loaded to accommodate
all irregularities in the conductor.
This ground will ensure continuity with the
equipotential zone around the tensioner. It will also
ensure the conductor is grounded as it passes up
through any underbuilt circuits. It is also move-able
and remains on the conductor tail as the conductor is
cut and lowered down through any underbuilt circuits.
The travelling ground is connected to the tension
machine using a 1/0 extra flex copper lead attached to
a common grounding point. (See Figure #4)
The ground gradient mat(s) are also connected to the
common grounding point. Another 1/0 lead is con-
nected to either the system neutral or to ground
probes, as discussed earlier.
23
First and Last Traveller
This is the third and last
point in the run to
ground the conductor.
The conductor's angle of
deflection at these
travellers allows for
greater surface contact
between the conductor
and grounded travellers.
Pressure and increased
contact area between
these travellers and the
conductor is desirable
to provide a good path to
ground. These may be
the only travellers in the
run that are able to be grounded.
When the conductor is cut after dead-ending, the
grounded traveller continues to provide some contact
with ground.
NOTE: Travellers with protective coatings on the
sheaves are not designed to be grounded.
General Rule: Fifth Traveller Grounding
This grounding will provide additional paths to ground
throughout the run.
In circumstances where induction could be present,
these multiple grounds will help ensure continual
draining of induced voltage. Should an inadvertent
contact occur, these grounds will help isolate the
offending circuit more rapidly. This is also the rationale
for grounding both sides of traversing energized
circuits.
Figure #4
24
All workers must understand when grounding any
apparatus they are making electrical connections. The
same care is to be taken as if the device was being
connected to an energized medium to carry current.
The fault current during a short circuit could rise to tens
of thousands of amps. Any underrated, loose, or
corroded connections will fail, some with catastrophic
results.
The more paths to ground the better. The better the
connections, the more rapid the protection system will
operate; thereby providing a safer work environment.
(See Figure #5)
Figure #5
When full puller/tensioner machines are not used,
other types of tension devices are used, as shown in
Figure #6. Regardless of the type of tensioning or
pulling device used, the grounding procedure should
be adequate to protect the workers and the general
public. Equipotential work zones are always the
objective when grounding systems are being installed.
Puller
Grounded
25 OHMs
25
OHMs
Traveller
Grounded
Conductor
Grounded
Traveller
Grounded
Equipotential Work Zone
Traveller
Grounded
(Every 5th Structure)
Pulling End
Last Traveller 1st Traveller
Tension End
Puller
grounded
25 ohms
Pulling End
Last Traveller First Traveller
Traveller
Grounded
Traveller Grounded
(every fifth
structure)
Traveller
Grounded
Equipotential Work Zone
25
ohms
Tensi on End
Conductor
Grounded
25
Figure #6
Vertical pivoting action
Horizontal pivoting
action
26
27
SECTION IV
CONVENTIONAL STRINGING METHODS
400 GENERAL
401 TENSION BRAKE DEVICES
402 PULLING DEVICES
403 MISCELLANEOUS EQUIPMENT
404 REMOVING OLD CONDUCTORS
28
SECTION IV
CONVENTIONAL STRINGING METHODS
400 GENERAL
Conventional stringing methods would apply in cases
where constant, positive control of the conductor is not
required. In some instances (to clear driveways, trees,
etc.), a certain amount of conductor tension is neces-
sary. Most tension brake devices are suitable for this
application. However, in situations where absolute
control of the conductor is necessary, E&USA recom-
mends the use of full puller/tensioner conductor
stringing machines.
401 TENSION BRAKE DEVICES
1. Several types of mechanical and hydraulic tension
brakes are available that will provide a certain
degree of control over the
conductor during a stringing
operation. However, they do
not have the capability of
reversing the direction of the
pull.
2. Reel brakes in various
forms are used extensively
for conventional stringing
operations. Tension is
maintained by an adjustable
spring and brake band, and
the unit can be mounted on
all types of conductor reels.
(See Figures #7 and #8)
3. A type of tension brake
device that will mount on a
truck or reel trailer is
Figure #7
Figure #8
29
available. This unit will handle conductor sizes up
to 556 circular mils. The braking action is applied
by placing the conductor between a series of
bogey wheels and then adjusting a crank to force
the wheels against the conductor. This unit is
designed to swivel both horizontally and vertically to
accommodate the pulling angle. (See Figure #9)
4. Another type of braking system being used is the
hydraulic disc brake. (See Figure #10) The use of
this precision braking device is still categorized as
conventional stringing because it cannot be
reversed. This type of system can experience heat
buildup, therefore, installing a conductor grip as an
additional measure of safety is recommended if it
is left unattended. A pressure decline during
cooling could allow unexpected pay out.
Figure #9
Horizontal pivoting action
Vertical pivoting action
30
402 PULLING DEVICES
1. When an appreciable degree of conductor tension
is required during a stringing operation, the con-
ductors can be pulled effectively using a capstan
head in conjunction with a truck-mounted deck
winch. The capstan head is not to be confused
with the collapsible takeup reel, which is not
designed to safely withstand any significant degree
of tension. Its use should be restricted to slack
stringing operations or for installing pulling ropes.
Collapsible takeup reels should not have a build-
up of rope on them. They should only have enough
turns placed on them to effect the desired tension.
(Between three and six turns should be sufficient.)
Rope allowed to accumulate under tension will
cause the reel to implode.
2. Boom tip winches should not be used to pull
conductor, since most are not designed for the
continuous operation typical of an extensive
Figure #10
31
conductor stringing job. Such continuous operation
could cause winch components to overheat, which
could result in total loss of control of the conductor.
403 MISCELLANEOUS EQUIPMENT
1. In order to carry out a conductor stringing operation
in a safe and efficient manner, various additional
pieces of equipment are necessary. This would
include appropriate travellers, conductor pulling
rope, pulling grips, swivels, connectors, a banding
tool and bands, running board, etc.
2. Travellers should be of the proper type and size for
each application and conductor size, and inspected
prior to use. Normally, the type of travellers shown
in Figure #11 are used throughout the run. How-
ever, severe corners and the first and last struc-
tures require larger travellers, as shown in Figure
#12. Along the run, the sheave size should range
from 10 to 17 cm (4 to 7 in.) with a load rating
Figure #11
Grounding Traveller
32
capacity of 1134 kg. (2,500
lbs.). Where severe angle
changes occur, use a
larger traveller.
Sheave size should range
from 25 to 50 cm (10 to 20
in.) with a load rating
capacity of 1814 kg.
(4,000 lbs.). Three
sheave travellers are
available for simultane-
ous multi-conductor pulls
using a running board. If
the conductors are being strung individually, use
single sheave travellers. All travellers should be
equipped with a device which prevents the conduc-
tor from jumping out of the traveller.
3. Use an adequately sized synthetic pulling rope for
conductor stringing operations. The length of pull,
size and type of conductor being strung, and the
degree of tension involved will determine the
minimum size of rope.
4. Use appropriate sized conductor pulling grips to
join the conductor to the pulling rope. Use a free
running swivel between the pulling rope and the
conductor pulling grip to prevent rotation of the
rope. Using a swivel to join the pulling grip on the
pulling rope with the pulling grip on the conductor,
will prevent build up of excessive torque. When
pulling conductor, the torque builds up rapidly as a
result of the pull on the synthetic rope by the pulling
equipment. Using a straight pulling rope connector
would not allow this torque to dissipate. Two
recommended methods of attaching the conductor
to the pulling rope are:
Figure #12
33
- to connect the swivel to a manufacturer ap
proved eye splice on the end of the rope, or
- to install a manufacturer approvedpulling grip
onto the pulling rope and apply locking as per
manufacturers specifications bands (See
Figure #13)
Some types of pulling grips are equipped with a
permanent swivel on one end, however, a high
quality ball bearing swivel should also be used.
(See Figure #18)
When using a running board for multiconductor
stringing operations, swivels are necessary at all
running board connections to help prevent running
board rotation and conductor entanglement.
5. Secure the tail end of all pulling grips to the con-
ductor (using a locking band) to prevent them from
accidentally slipping off. Locking bands must be
installed on the open end of all pulling grips, 2.5
cm (1 in.) from the end (see Figure #13). This is to
prevent the edges of the grip from catching on the
travellers and pulling the grip off. It is recom-
mended that the front (pulling end) of the grip be
Figure #13
34
taped so the conductor will not come through the
aluminum shoulders on the grip.
(a) Conductor pulling grips should be banded as
shown in Figure #14.
Figure #14
(b) Conductor pulling grips that will run backward
or be reversed should also be taped, to prevent
any possibility of snagging, which could cause
sudden release. (See Figure #15)
Figure #15
(c) Conductor pulling grips that are worn or
frayed at the wire ends should have another
band applied before the taping process is
done. (See Figure #16)
Figure #16
404 REMOVING OLD CONDUCTORS
Existing conductors will need to be replaced. Since the
existing conductor is already in position, it could be
used to pull in the conductor pulling rope or the new
conductor.
Several factors should be considered before proceed-
ing with this approach, including:
Doubl e Bands End of Conductor
35
- size and type of existing conductor
- age and condition of existing conductor
- age and condition of the existing structures includ-
ing guys
- location of other energized circuits
- degree of tension required while pulling
- size of new conductor to be installed
The old conductor should be visually inspected and
analyzed for defects prior to untying or unclamping.
Defects can be caused by age, lightning, accidental
contacts from trees, hoisting booms, etc.
If the conductor is of adequate strength and in good
condition, it may be used to pull in the pulling rope or
the new conductor.
Grounding should be the same as it would be for
stringing new conductor, with one exception: the pulling
and pay out ends will have to be set up exactly as
discussed in Section 304 of this guide.
Automatic type sleeves should be removed before
proceeding. Non-compression (automatic) sleeves
are reliant upon multiple fingers gripping the outside
sur-face of the conductor strands. The tension is
constant and the loading is linear (in-line). As the
tension increases, the fingers grip more firmly into the
outside strands as they are forced into the tapered
barrel of the sleeve. Axial loading and fluctuations in
loading will cause failure (e.g. sudden release of
tension could cause the fingers to lose their grip), and
axial loading will cause the hollow barrel of the centre
to collapse.
Preparing the old conductor for removal
1. Automatic sleeves should be replaced with either
compression sleeves or conductor pulling grips.
Defects found during the visual inspection and
36
dead-ends should be removed, and the conductor
connected end-to-end.
2. Installing conductor pulling grips back-to-back will
act as a temporary solution. However, doing so
requires that the grip leads be attached together.
This can be done in
several ways:
(a) An alloy steel
connector of the
appropriate
strength can be
used if it is wire
on either side. (See Figure #17)
(b) An alloy steel swivel of the appropriate strength
can be used if it is a wire-to-wire situation and
should be used if rope is on one side and wire
on the other. (See Figure #18)
(c) An approved alloy connecting link may be used
where a swivel is not required. (See Figure #19)
NEVER run swivels or
connecting links onto
bullwheels or conductor
reels. They are not
designed for side loading,
which would happen
when wrapped around a
bullwheel or reel.
NEVER use a non-rated
threaded link for conductor stringing.
Figure #17
Figure #18
Figure #19
37
SECTION V
TENSION STRINGING METHODS
500 GENERAL
501 MISCELLANEOUS EQUIPMENT
502 PULLING ROPES
38
SECTION V
TENSION STRINGING METHODS
500 GENERAL
Although there has been a reasonable degree of
success tension stringing with conventional braking
devices, these devices should not be used during
operations where the absence of constant, positive
control of the conductor could create a safety hazard.
501 MISCELLANEOUS EQUIPMENT
Hydraulically-driven puller/tension machines, like the
one shown in Figure #20, are the accepted standard
for true tension stringing operations. At least two
Figure #20
39
machines are necessary for single conductor stringing
one as a pulling device and the other as a tensioner.
Both machines are essentially the same. However, the
pulling device would be adjusted to produce slightly
more tension than the tensioning device. Conse-
quently, should the pulling line or conductor snag, the
entire operation will cease without introducing a
significant increase in line tension.
One definite advantage of this type of machine is its
ability to operate in either direction under desired
tension or speed. Therefore, a snagged conductor or
pulling line can be more easily cleared than with
conventional types of equipment. Also, both machines
will react immediately to remove unexpected slack.
All travellers, swivels, connectors, running boards, and
pulling grips that are normally used during conven-
tional stringing operations may also be used in
conjunction with tension stringing techniques, provided
it is of adequate size and strength for the job at hand.
502 PULLING ROPES
1. During tension stringing operations, experience
has shown that the main pulling rope (bull rope)
can be installed more easily if a smaller diameter
synthetic rope (pea line) is first installed through
the travellers, and used to pull in the pulling rope.
The suggested size for this pea line would be a
minimum of 10 mm (3/8 in.) in diameter.
2. The main pulling rope should be a synthetic rope of
the appropriate size. Many stringing operations
use a 19 mm (3/4 in.) diameter two-in-one braided
rope. Several speciality ropes are being manufac-
tured for conductor stringing. Double braid polyes-
ter sheath, polyester core and hollow braided
polyvinyl coated polyester ropes are preferred.
40
These ropes should have a minimum breaking
strength of approximately 7,439 kg (16,400 lbs.),
which will be adequate to safely handle most
tension stringing operations on distribution plant.
NOTE: Visually inspect the pulling rope before
using it and remove from service any
rope found to be damaged. Some types
of rope can be field spliced; others re-
quire sophisticated splicing procedures.
These ropes may be joined using back-
to-back conductor pulling grips banded
for security. Refer to the rope manufac-
turer specifications for approved meth-
ods.
T905-625-0100 T1-800-263-5024 F905-625-8998
info@ihsa.ca ihsa.ca
Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved
Infrastructure Health & Safety Association
SPG2
Bare Hand Live Line
Techniques
Conductor Stringing
Entry and Work in a
Conned Space
Excavating with
Hydrovacs in the
Vicinity of Underground
Electrical Plant
High Voltage Rubber
Techniques up to 36 kV
Hydraulics
Ladder Safety
Line Clearing Operations
Live Line Tool Techniques
Low Voltage Applications
Pole Handling
Ropes, Rigging and
Slinging Hardware
Temporary Grounding
and Bonding Techniques
Underground Electrical
Systems
Available Safe Practice Guides