If you've never pulled wire through conduit, it may seem a bit troubling. How in the world can one get wire to push through conduit, especially when the conduit run may be hundreds of feet long. Unless you're very lucky, pushing it through is highly unlikey. And of course, it won't just crawl through the pipe itself. But, luckily for you, there are a few methods that can make wiring pulling in conduit a snap.
One way is to use what's called a mouse. You simply tie a string onto the mouse and suck it through the pipe with a shop vacuum. No, I'm not talking about a real mouse, so don't call animal control on me! Although the thought of a little white mouse with a string tied to its tail, running through a pipe to help you feed wire through it, is simply entertaining, it's not what we're talking about here. A mouse is a cylinder of foam that is slightly smaller that the interior diameter of the conduit you are pulling through. It has a wire running through it with a loop on each end to tie on the string. On one end of the pipe run, you tie the string on the mouse and the other, you place the shop vac's hose. The shop vac is turned on, the mouse is inserted in the pipe, and the vacuum will suck the mouse through the pipe, along with the string. Now the string can be used to pull wires back through the pipe, called a pull string.
The other option is a fish tape. A fish tape is a piece of flat metal wire or a spun piece of round flexible wire that has a loop hole on one or both ends, depending on the tape, that is used to push through the conduit from one box or location to another. There is even a plastic type fish tape that is an insulated, safer choice for pulls in live locations like electrical panels. After pushing the fish tape through a conduit, simple connect the wires and pull them through the conduit.
I know that some electrical projects can seem overwhelming, but with a little guidance and patience, you'll be able to pull wire through conduit like a pro. Why not try using a fish tape today.