Must-Have Electrician Tools for On-the-Job Safety and Efficiency
In the world of electrical work, a job isn’t done right unless it’s done safely and efficiently. And while arming yourself with knowledge and caution goes a long way toward helping you work safe and smart, neither of these things give you actual physical protection from live circuitry, or help you to efficiently handle materials and make the right connections. That’s where electrician tools come into play
Having the right tools for the job can help you work faster, more comfortably and with fewer mistakes, as well as warn you of the presence of hot circuits, insulate your body against electric shock, and protect your face and eyes from potentially dangerous sparks and saw fly-offs. Just think of them as small investments in protecting the biggest investments of all: your life and career.
Instead of gambling with cabling knives and linesmans’ pliers that can potentially nick into wires, strip wires correctly, the first time around, with a gauged wire stripper. This tool has graduated holes along the length of its jaws, which you match to the particular size wire you’ll be stripping. Because of their carefully-sized stripping notches, wire strippers are able to remove insulation without damaging the conductor beneath, so your job will have a far better chance of meeting code without you wasting time and money to repeatedly trim down and re-strip the electrical wire until you get it right.
One insulated screwdriver is good, but a whole set is even better – it’ll take you through everything from wall plate installation and removal to mounting outlet boxes and light fixtures. Insulated screwdrivers give you an extra measure of protection should your screwdriver slip and accidentally make contact with an energized circuit or component. Dielectric handles and blade coating give insulated screwdrivers the power to buffer your body against direct contact with up to 1000V – you might still feel a “bite,” but at least you won’t be electrocuted.
Even if you’ve already shut things off at the breaker box, it’s always a good idea to double check that a circuit isn’t live before beginning work on it. Receptacle testers can be helpful, but if a receptacle or the wires leading to it are damaged, this type of tester can sometimes give you a false negative, even if there’s still electricity present. That’s why we recommend carrying a non-contact voltage sniffer as well. Even though voltage sniffers don’t need to make physical contact with wires or outlet prongs, they still have the ability to detect the presence of live power – and best of all, they’re cheap and take up practically no room in your work bag.
Everything you need to know about a Career in the Automotive Electrical Trade
Do you love working with cars and other vehicles? Can you trace a car’s electrical work in your head? Do you love seeing how they work and fixing them for your own enjoyment? If so, then you might able to turn your hobby into a rewarding career in the automotive electrical trade industry.
A rapidly growing and high-demand field, the automotive electrical trade keeps cars, trucks, tractors and other automotive vehicles running smoothly. Without these highly skilled workers, our cars would be breaking down and those whose jobs require heavy equipment would have a hard time completing their work.
Where to find work
Most automotive electricians go to work for a mechanic’s shop or a dealership. Mechanic shops employ automotive electricians to work on the various cars that come into the shop. This requires a strong knowledge of a lot of different makes and models.
Dealerships need highly trained automotive electricians who know their products extremely well. Customers often bring in their cars to have them serviced, and they expect high quality work. These electricians need to have solid knowledge on the makes and models of the dealership. If the electrician is working for a used car dealership, then he or she needs to be able to fix up older cars and make them sellable once more.
If you have further training with heavy equipment, you also might find work with a construction or mining company. Large construction companies need to keep their equipment running smoothly, and they’ll employ automotive technicians to service their heavy vehicles. Mines usually use heavy equipment to drill, and having a drill break down can cease production for days. They need full time automotive electricians on hand to keep those machines up and running.
Innovative Electrician Tricks
Get any two or three electricians or other service industry personnel together and pretty soon they will begin swapping stories. With highly skilled service jobs, each individual tradesman has developed a personal style and thought up a few neat tricks to handle common trade challenges and it’s always worthwhile to share and hear a few things your buddies have come up with. One of the great features of the internet is that it gives us an opportunity to bring these patio and workshop conversations to the entire community, creating a richer shared knowledge of ‘trade secrets’ that no longer have to be a secret
Preventing for Insulation Itch
While it would be great if all electrical work happened on the habitable side of the walls, electricians more than almost any other tradesmen end up right up close with the sawdust and insulation. Besides wanting to wear a face mask and eye protection, that stuff is incredibly itchy and can cause major skin irritation. even wearing long sleeves, it still gets up around your collar and onto your face and hands. The solution to this is a bottle of baby powder or a small box of cornstarch. Coat your exposed skin a little way under collars and sleeve ends. Make sure to get your face and ears while keeping it out of your eyes. This protective layer will keep the insulation from settling directly on your skin, preventing irritation and itching.
Carry a Strong Magnet
The entire house wiring premise requires you to work behind the walls and ceilings. You are constantly tracing old wires, running new wires, working from small holes in the drywall and trying to line everything up perfectly from both sides. There are dozens of tricks for drawing lines and punching small holes to mark your way, but there’s one very useful trick that doesn’t require any permanent changes at all.
Look for Studs
Stud finders are notoriously hard on batteries, which means they are always running out at inopportune moments and needing to be recharged. Rather than letting this slow down your project, simply carry a strong magnet in your kit. Tie a lightweight piece of string to your magnet and dangle it along the wall you’re inspecting. when the magnet responds, there’s something ferrous behind the wall. This also works in circumstances where the surface, coating, or material of the wall is challenging even for a fully charged stud finder.
As a Fishing Guide
The next time you’re fishing down the backside of a wall, there’s no need to worry about it going astray. You may already be using the heavy nut trick to keep the string pulled directly downward. You can double the effectiveness of this method by using a magnet in your box opening to guide the line down.
ELECTRICIANS – SKILLS AND ABILITIES
Understand spoken information.
Listen to others and ask questions.
Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
Understand written information.
Read and understand work-related materials.
REASON AND PROBLEM SOLVE
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.
Use reasoning to discover answers to problems.
Combine several pieces of information and draw conclusions.
Follow guidelines to arrange objects or actions in a certain order.
Judge the costs and benefits of a possible action.
Analyze ideas and use logic to determine their strengths and weaknesses.
Develop rules that group items in various ways.
Recognize the nature of a problem.
Understand new information or materials by studying and working with them.
Concentrate and not be distracted while performing a task.
Identify what must be changed to reach goals.
Recognize when important changes happen or are likely to happen in a system.
Think of new ideas about a topic.
USE MATH AND SCIENCE
Choose a mathematical method or formula to solve problems.
Use math skills to solve problems.
Add, subtract, multiply, and divide quickly and correctly.
MANAGE ONESELF, PEOPLE, TIME, AND THINGS
Check how well one is learning or doing something.
Manage the time of self and others.
WORK WITH PEOPLE
Teach others how to do something.
Use several methods to learn or teach new things.
Change behavior in relation to others’ actions
Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional Electrician
If you’re not an expert about things like electrical panels, wires, outlets, and all the other electrical jargon, you should not attempt to make electrical repairs. While there are some home repairs that you can attempt yourself, such as fixing a leaky faucet, electrical repairs are not included in that list. You should hire a professional electrician for all electrical repairs.
Many homeowners are tempted to try handling electrical repairs on their own to save money. For all home repairs, going the DIY route risks turning what would have been a small problem into a very costly one. The same is true for electrical repairs. Except that in addition to risking costly damage, you risk your own safety by tampering with your home electrical system.
First and foremost, the main reason why you should hire a professional electrician is for your own safety, your family’s safety, and the safety of your house. Working with electricity can be extremely dangerous if you do not approach it with the right expertise, safety training, and equipment.
Most homeowners who try to DIY an electrical repair end up calling a professional electrician after their repair fails to do the trick. And oftentimes, they’ve only made the problem more complicated to fix than it would have been if they’d called an electrician in the first place.
We can’t tell you how often we get calls reporting one problem with a home electrical system only to get out to the job site and discover that the issue is just one symptom of a much larger problem.