Get a group of two or three electricians or other service sector workers together, and they’ll quickly start sharing anecdotes. With highly skilled service professions, each craftsman has acquired a particular style and devised a few clever solutions to typical trade problems, and it’s always interesting to discuss and hear what your colleagues have come up with. One of the best things about the internet is that it allows professionals to exchange ideas, resulting in a greater shared understanding of ‘trade secrets.’ Here are eight inventive recommendations and Tricks of the Trade for making your future jobs both easier and more interesting.
- Bring a strong magnet with you.- Tricks of the Trade
Working under the walls and ceilings is required for the full house wiring premise. You’re continuously tracing old wiring, running new wires, working from small holes in the walls, and making sure everything is exactly aligned on both sides. There are plenty of methods for drawing lines and punching small holes to record your path, but one method is particularly handy since it does not necessitate any permanent adjustments. Magnets can detect ferrous metal components in lightweight building materials such as wood, tile, drywall, and so on. As such, magnets can help you with a variety of jobs:
Search for studs: Stud finders are notoriously harsh on batteries, which means they’re often running out at inconvenient times. Instead of allowing this to slow down your project, have a strong magnet in your kit. Dangle your magnet from a lightweight length of string along the wall you’re investigating. If there’s something ferrous behind the wall, you will see a response from the magnet. This method also works when the wall’s surface, coating, or substance is difficult to detect, even with a fully charged stud finder.
Use the magnet as a weight: You may already be using a heavy piece of metal to keep the string pulled straight down. Using a magnet to pull the line down will quadruple the efficiency of this strategy.
Use the magnet to retrieve lost items: Because you’re often working in the in-between zones, it’s all too simple to lose little things in difficult-to-reach spots. If the misplaced objects were ferrous, the magnet could once again come to the rescue. You can attach a magnet to a stick or piece of string and use it to draw your misplaced goods back to you, depending on the space you’re dealing with.
- Use a Jack Chain rather than a piece of string
String has the disadvantage of being constructed of flexible strands that can grab on uneven surfaces such as insulation and untreated wood. Although string fishing may be quite useful, there are occasions when another approach is more suited. A jack chain can be used in place of a fishing line, especially if you want to apply a little stress to it. The weight allows it to fall straight down and slide past obstacles without hanging, and the durability allows you to pull it without jeopardizing your connection.
- Insulation itch prevention
While it would be ideal if all electrical work took place on the livable side of the walls, electricians, more than nearly any other tradesman, are forced to operate near sawdust and insulation. That material is extremely unpleasant and can cause severe skin irritation, so you’ll want to wear a face mask and eye protection. Wear protection that goes up over your neck and onto your face and wrists, even if you’re wearing long sleeves. One trick to avoid insulation itch is to lightly coat any exposed flesh with powder, such as corn starch or baby powder. This barrier prevents the insulation from settling directly on your skin, which can cause discomfort and itching.
- Add Velcro to your clothing
Many electricians prefer working alone. But that leaves you with only one set of hands. One way you can keep the things you need to hand is by sewing a Velcro patch onto the sleeves of your jacket and using it as an additional pair of hands. Glue the backs of your testers with Velcro of the opposite texture so you may keep your gadget in view like a wristwatch while you operate.
- Streamlined wiring
Any type of streamlining you can do while working with several switches will assist to decrease the clutter of extra cables hitting the cluster of connections. In this situation, it’s worth noting that cables don’t have to be severed to make contact, especially for shared connections between switches. Simply cut your hot wire extra long instead of meticulously pig tailing it to each switch. Strip a 3/4-inch length of the sheathing where you wish to attach each switch, along with the continuous grounding wire. Connect the next switch in the same way by hooking the exposed region onto the screw terminal. Loop tie wire clockwise around the screw at the final switch, as normal.
- Unsheathe the wires before you put them in the box
It’s far more difficult to strip wires after they’re inside the box. Pushing them through in a sheathed state may seem more expedient at the time, but you’re simply setting yourself or another electrician up for trouble down the line. Always remove your cable sheathing before pushing them into the box. You’ll need at least a fourth of an inch of sheathing left in the box, so measure carefully. This is also a good moment to emphasize one of the most prevalent pieces of electrical advice: give yourself plenty of leeway.
- Cutting PVC in Tight Spaces with String
When you want to saw some PVC but don’t have a lot of area because you’re operating in a small space, a hand saw isn’t always an option. Fortunately, because PVC is plastic and friction is awesome, you can cut the pipe cleanly with a piece of thread. Simply wrap the string around the rear of the pipe and alternately pull the ends back and forth to ‘saw’ it back and forth. If you do it quickly enough, the pressure, friction, and heat generated by friction will force the pipe to give way in a shockingly short period.
- Easily Replacing a Blown Light Bulb- Tricks of the Trade
Broken light bulbs are inconvenient in any situation, but they’re particularly troublesome when they break in the socket because all that’s left to hold is fragile broken glass, unscrewing the small nubbin is practically difficult. Surprisingly, all you’ll need to remedy this is a new light bulb. Begin by using a metal tool to remove as many shattered bits and dust as possible. Insert the replacement bulb into the socket by turning it in the opposite direction. This should catch and unscrew the old component, allowing it to be removed from the socket. The procedure will also remove all broken components, leaving the socket functioning and ready for the new light bulb.
- Don’t skimp on insurance coverage!- Tricks of the Trade
No one likes to talk about the boring parts of being a tradie, but it only takes one incident, accident or stolen tools to make you wonder if you should have been covered. Compare quotes online for insurance for electricians and get the mix of cost and coverage that protects what you need it to protect.