Tricks
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Tricks-Of-The-Trade

Here are several random thoughts about doing electrical work which may not have occurred to you as a working electrician. There is no particular order. Some entries may seem cryptic. Most are common sense. Unfortunately, common sense isn't as common as it once was. I will add to this list as time goes on. Here goes:

Spray paint on boxes to identify use on rough before pulling wire to save writing on the floor and looking at the print. Red for switched receptacle, blue for telephone, black for telephone, white for home runs for example.

Install a string in underground PVC by using a hose. tie a sail on end of string. Cut a notch in PVC at edge. Pay out string. Hold hose to end of pipe. Watch in amazement as the string is pushed through the raceway. They blow clean with air when string is through.

When replacing a one gang mud ring with a two gang mud ring, let the one gang fall inside the wall. This will save time. Getting out a one gang mud ring has no value in material.

Identify your tools with notches or spray paint. I used 2-1-4 notches which was my street address when I was a kid.

Make slip couplings with a Dremel tool or rat tail file depending on fitting type. Be sure to mark on raceway where half way would be when fitting is slid over pipes to be joined.

Cut 90 degree pre-bent fittings in half to make an offset. Just put a coupling in the middle.

Keep a pulley on the truck to use when pulling conductors in a raceway. Fasten pulley high. String rope through pulley so you can pull down on rope rather than up.

Set up a standard set of home run colors for all residential dwellings. They follow same panel schedule for each dwelling unit where possible.

Replace 6-32 screws in devices where prone to moisture with stainless steel Phillips head screws. Then they will come out easier when needed.

Use only stainless steel screws where exposed to the weather so paint will not rust/run.

Identify cable with a tic tracer. Strip one conductor in cable. Jam it into end of GFCI protected receptacle. Go to the other end. Use your tic tracer to identify cable. This saves time over marking, numbering, and pulling on cable to identify.

On commercial jobs avoid multi-wire branch circuits. Use separate white wire for each circuit ungrounded conductor.

Drill then tap larger screw size when existing tap is damaged. 6 to 8 8 to 10 etc.

Use an offset bender to make a saddle in EMT.

Use Velcro behind boxes, panels, fixtures which are hard to hold in place. Put Velcro on wall surface then on the back of the material. Position. This will allow a slight more stability when fastening to obtain proper plumb and level.

Use only stainless steel for all exposed metal on a dock.

When adding a receptacle on an industrial cover, pre-wire receptacle with tails. Then simply wire nut the device to circuit conductors. This is quite a time saver particularly in difficult to reach places.

.........................More as time allows. ..........................

 

 

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