Click on the links below to learn some useful tips and tricks.
Save that coffee cup to put over your drill when drilling ceilings. It catches all the droppings and even keeps the dust to a minimum.
Easy Clean Up
Thinking Outside the Box.
When working on adding wiring in exterior walls you can save a lot of damage to the sheetrock by going outside and checking to see what kind of siding is on the house. If it’s viny siding or another easily removeable type you’re in luck. All you need is a $5 – $10 siding removal tool. After you have removed the necessary siding take a circular saw or a sawsall (don’t forget to make SHALLOW cuts) and cut out a strip of sheeting big enough to complete your wiring. then replace everything in the reverse order. The customer will love that you saved their walls. they may not love the bill but then again they never do.
Snaking into a Live Panel
Sometimes we are faced with a conduit snake job that has to be snaked toward boxes with live circuits in them. This trick should make it 100 times safer and easier.
Get yourself a threaded coupling and a threaded KO seal of the correct size. Install the KO seal in one end of the coupling and screw the other end of the coupling onto your conduit. Make sure the coupling is really secured on the conduit. Now go to the other end and push your snake in till it hits the KO seal. Remove the coupling and you should have about an inch and a half of snake to grab onto. To make this an even safer job it would be wise to use a fiberglass snake.
Cutting in Panels
Try this quick way to cut in any panel/splice box or whatever, where you have twisted type cables to terminate eg: 14/3 or 12/3.
After removing the outer jacket/armor try making two 90 degree opposite bends in the wires, then crank the wires (like starting an OLD car) counter to the direction of the twist. The wires will automatically unravel equally all at once. It sure beats the hell out of doing them one at a time.
Making Cleanup Simple
1: Using painters tape, tape a bag to the wall under the device you’re working on and it’ll catch 90% of the mess. Oh, and purple tape has less adhesive than blue and is safer on old paint/wallpaper.
2: Wrap some 2″ painters tape sticky side out around your hand and touch it to the dirt/debris and it’ll pick up the mess. It works great for metal filings in the bottom of panels too.
The Best Pilot Bit
Have you ever had to locate a living room wall in an attic or a crawl space or a basement so you could drill up or down to run an outlet/switch?
Well, I’ve found the best pilot bit you can use is one of them steel wires that hold up the fiberglass insulation. It’ll drill through even the hardest lumber, and if it gets dull just cut it at a steep angle with your linemans pliers and you’re back in business. The hole it makes is so small that if you drill it close to the baseboard no one will ever notice it. Oh, and another bonus, if there is carpet on the floor it won’t bind and destroy the carpet like a real drill bit.
Here’s a simple solution…. get yourself a short length of 14/3 rx wire (it’s probably still laying on the floor) Then pull out the wires and tape the sheath to the tip of your caulking gun. Now you have extended the tip to reach any tight spot. And you didn’t even have to go out to the truck to get anything.
Pulling MC/AC Cables
For pulling MC/AC type cables into suspended ceilings you can strip a piece RX wire and slip the outer sheath over the edge of the ceiling track/bar, it wouldn’t hurt to use a little wire eeze too. These should help make the pull easier and keep the ceiling from getting marred.
Cutting Conduit with Wires already Pulled In
Did you ever find out after you pulled in the wires that the conduit is too long? Well here’s a solution to your problem….slide a piece of the next size smaller conduit into the long conduit past where you have to cut it. Now you have an inner sleeve protecting your wires….so hack away without fear of damaging the wires.
Stop the Itching
Before going into that attic job put on some talcum (baby) powder. It blocks your pores so the insulation can’t get in. A bonus is you won’t smell so bad.
Parts Holder while Drilling/Driving
Glue a strong magnet to your drill/driver to hold them screws tips etc.
Easy Short Finder
If you have a job with a short circuit this is the easiest way to find a short. If the job has plug fuses 15 to 30 amp screw in type “edison base” it’s as easy as screwing in a light bulb ! Use a 100 watt incandescent light bulb in the fuse socket, it will light up until you find the short then it will either dim or go out when you found the problem. If the job is breakers just remove the wire from the breaker and install a pig tail between the breaker and the wire.