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#68462 09/07/06 09:44 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 795
Sixer, where do you buy the Dacron?

When cutting live overhead drops I lay a thick automotive fender protector over the bare neutral.

#68463 09/07/06 11:35 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 265
BigB, you should be able to buy it from a motor winding shop. I had some left over from when they closed the motor winding shop at the smelter here.


"Will it be cheaper if I drill the holes for you?"
#68464 09/08/06 08:41 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Before drywall and paint, use a flag of White PVC electrical tape and a sharpie a to identify eacvh lead. Write down an abbreviated description, like "PWR IN", "PWR OUT", KIT CANS (kitchen cans), etc.

At locations where only a small number of cables need identifying, I often just use colored tape with no writing. My "system" is generally as follows:

Red = Power in
Unmarked = Power out
Black = Switch loop
Green/yellow = To light

Two separate bands can be used to further identify extra cables, e.g.

2 x black = Second switch loop
2 x green/yellow = Second light

#68465 09/08/06 10:39 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 693
Speaking of stripping UF, the Klein NM stripper works great, as long as you're careful to keep the stripper perpendicular to the cable.

[Linked Image from]

Larry Fine
Fine Electric Co.
#68466 09/09/06 12:53 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 6
Junior Member
When pulling wire by myself, I use a large funnel into the conduit . Keeps the wires from getting all tangled up.

Sometimes, finding the top plate of a wall for a new outlet or switch, while in the attic is a pain. I push my long Klein cabinet tip screw driver through the drywall in line with the desired location. Then use a piece of scrap #12 wire into the little hole. It points me in the right direction when I look for the plate. Seal up the hole with calk.

A little dab of Vaseline on the screw threads of a light bulb reduces galling and increases bulb life.

The pipe rack on my truck has EMT 1/2" inside of 3/4" inside of 1" inside of 1 1/4" to maximize space.

[This message has been edited by Minuteman (edited 09-09-2006).]

#68467 09/09/06 01:09 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 717
quote"The pipe rack on my truck has EMT 1/2" inside of 3/4" inside of 1" inside of 1 1/4" to maximize space."

Hope you have an end stop welded up on the front end of your rack. During a sudden stop, you could become the next Olympic Javelin thrower if you don't.

#68468 09/09/06 10:05 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 6
Junior Member
Hope you have an end stop welded up on the front end of your rack. During a sudden stop, you could become the next Olympic Javelin thrower if you don't.

I learned that lesson a long time ago, except it was a ground rod. Lucky for me, it was an empty intersection. [Linked Image]

#68469 09/09/06 11:33 AM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 83
A little trick that I learned from an alarm installer for finding upper and lower wall plates and locations for outside boxes (when siding is wood/vinyl/aluminum/concrete board) is to either use a peice of a clothes hanger, or to use heavy t-bar or drop ceiling hanger wire.

Cut it at a sharp angle and put it on the end of your drill (cordless works fine) and use it as a drill bit. I've managed to drill behind baseboard trim and even hardwood floors to get the bit to give me a marker in a downstairs ceiling. Then if fishing from the attic to the basement, I'll also at the same location drill one up into the attic.

I like to use the 1/8" glow rods (similar to Greenlee push rods, but smaller) and with 1 1/4 inch holes drilled from the basement and attic, I can feed the glow rods from the attic to the basement and pull my wires down throught he inside of the finished wall.

A couple drops of caulking and everything is as good as new. And best of all, the customer is usually left trying to figure out where the wires are.

#68470 09/10/06 04:59 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 391
Here's a neat little trick I picked up the other day:

Need to ground an enclosure that doesn't have any threaded holes? The #10 screws that hold the clamps in a lot of metal old-work boxes are tapping screws. If you don't have a triple-tap handy, you can use the clamp-screw to tap out the hole for your ground-screw.


#68471 09/11/06 11:11 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 98
For Romex work I always reserve the top left ko for the hot and sometimes use the bottom left. I stick to this religiously and it sure cuts id time @ make up or when I have to return a year later to modify something.

When pushing a fish tape into a live panel I screw a rigid coupling onto the connector of the pipe entering the panel, then add a flex connector and a 3 foot length of alum. flex. You can have the fish tape emerge into the panel without danger of sticking it into the feeders or other embarrassing moves. For pipe entering from below, just tie the flex to the wires coming off the breakers to keep it stable.

When fishing, my all time favorite is my "Gold Fish" by ideal. I also carry a 25 ft. steel tape on a reel, a 15 ft. piece of bare fishtape (with loops on each end),and a few scraps of #6 solid ground wire and #8 TW. Something to use occassionally is a 12' length of steel strapping with the ends annealed, rounded over and punched. Found in a lumberyard dumpster, this is the cat's meow when fishing behind steel, al. & vinyl siding when you have to go up or down. Another tool I carry is a 12' brass safety loop chain with a 4 in. piece of # 6 soldered into the eye of one end to keep it from falling through the hole. this is the first fishing tool I learned to use.

Locating where to drill: insert a 3" gold colored decking screw into the finish floor 2" proud of the plate. When you are under the floor the bright screw is easy to locate and you know exactly where the center of the wall cavity is, relative to the screw. Don't insert the screw all the way down so that you mar the floor the least. A little dab of Water Putty seals the hole.

Locating: I did a house for a computer network admin. type and the drywallers hid a bunch of boxes. The client brought a tone generator, amplifier and detector from work and we found the hidden boxes in minutes. They are more better than my new $ 300 Amprobe Pasar.

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