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Re: Tricks of the Trade #68472 09/11/06 01:05 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 717
macmikeman Offline
quote"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"

Now I bet you don't want to hear a lecture from me about fishing in live panels so I won't do it, but at least change out using aluminum flex to using smurf tube if you are going to do it since smurf tube is non conductive.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Tricks of the Trade #68473 09/20/06 04:26 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,482
gfretwell Offline
After a day of the "Raindrops won't stop falling, GfIs keep tripping, blues"
I am reminded of a trick I learned too late.
When you make up a wet location box arrange the wirenuts so they point up and as high up in the box as possible.
"Raintight" ain't and they all seem to collect some water over time. If it collects in the wirenut you have problems.

I also like Dow-Corning 111 silicone grease to seal up the threaded plugs and covers. It is safe on all plastics and has a good dielectric rating. It is similar (same?) to spark plug boot grease.
It also protects aluminum so you can get those plugs back out without galling out the threads after they have been in the weather a while.

Greg Fretwell
Re: Tricks of the Trade #68474 09/22/06 11:55 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 116
XtheEdgeX Offline
For installing stress cones on 15kv uni-shield cable:
For those of you that have worked with uni-shield, you know it has the shield wires under the outer insulation that run parallel along the length of the cable. The stress cone kits require you to strip that outer insulation back for a specific length for the stress cone. I always mark that measurement with a regular hose clamp lightly tightened on the cable. I then lightly score the outer insulation at the edge of the clamp, use my heat gun to heat the cable, and soften the insulation. Then I take my linemans pliers and grab each shield wire and pull it back toward the clamp. It cuts right through the insulation. Then I peel the sections of insulation back like peeling a banana, and it pulls off at the score mark I made next to the hose clamp.

Re: Tricks of the Trade #68475 09/27/06 10:36 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 138
Clydesdale Offline
a guy 35 years in the business showed me this one. situation: old work, high end residential...artwork and persian rugs everywhere...need to cut in an old work box??? just take a paper grocery bag, open it, and use blue painter's tape to tape the bag's upper edge to the wall just under the location your box is going. go slow and easy,and everything will fall into the bag. roll it up nice and neat.

Re: Tricks of the Trade #68476 09/28/06 02:47 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 803
mxslick Offline
The bag trick reminded me of a similar one:

When drilling into a ceiling, use a paper drink cup! Cut it down to size to allow the bit to penetrate the thickness of the ceiling after poking it through the bottom of the cup.

If you're careful you can drill several holes with the same cup.

Stupid should be painful.
Re: Tricks of the Trade #68477 09/29/06 09:24 AM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 482
Zapped Offline OP
I like the bag and the cup trick. Always looking for a way to keep the jobsite clean. Good work gentlemen!

Re: Tricks of the Trade #68478 09/29/06 11:57 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 116
XtheEdgeX Offline
I do this when I'm installing wedge anchors. The most common sizes that I use are 1/4" and 3/8". I'll decide how much of the anchor's threads that I want sticking out above the concrete, and I'll take a threaded rod coupling and screw it that far on the anchor. After I drill the hole, I'll pound the anchor in until the rod coupling hits the floor (or wall). It keeps you from messing up the anchor threads when you're driving it, too.

Re: Tricks of the Trade #68479 09/29/06 03:47 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 859
I use a crimp link just a little bigger diameter that the drill bit and the correct length for the drill to just get through.
If in soft material (ceiling) I add a washer to increase the surface area.

To twist short runs of low voltage wires neatly i use the battery drill on one end and the vice on the other, with a litlle tension a very nice twisted wire can be made.

Naturally don't overtwist it of course.

Always use some vaseline on new cables to be drawn in when the old ones are pulled out, in a rewire.
Makes the job just a little bit easier

The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.
Re: Tricks of the Trade #68480 09/29/06 06:14 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 265
Sixer Offline
"Always use some vaseline on new cables to be drawn in when the old ones are pulled out, in a rewire.
Makes the job just a little bit easier"

Good idea, but in Canada we can't put anything non-approved on the wires which may react with the insulation. Wire pulling lube will do the same job.


"Will it be cheaper if I drill the holes for you?"
Re: Tricks of the Trade #68481 10/03/06 08:53 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 31
Mr. Ed Offline
Dont use a coat hanger to locate, use a piece of Lawnmower Throttle Cable wire. It's tempered so just cut it at an angle and it is a drill. I've gone through a 12" wood timber with it and found it with ease. Also you can cut it at any length so if going into an insulated space just cut it longer.

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