Can you remember a moment when you had too much time on your hands? If you’re in the trades, the answer is “probably not.” When you’re putting in 10-12 hour days on the job, you sometimes need all the help you can get, and even the smallest hack can turn into a genius moment. Below we’ve listed 6 time-saving tips for electricians. Any one of these could just be your next light-bulb moment.
Time-Saving Tips for Electricians
Never underestimate the power of the (magnetic) force:
- A good magnet can be one of the most versatile tools in your box.
- It can double-duty as a stud finder that doesn’t run out of batteries.
- When fishing wire down a wall, tie it to a heavy nut or another magnet attached to a pull string. Use the magnet’s power of attraction to guide the other magnet or nut (the one attached to the wire) to your box opening.
- Are your arms too short to reach that small tool or bolt you dropped behind a heavy piece of equipment? Fish for it with a magnet on a string!
- For electricians working at heights on scissor lifts or “cherry pickers,” a magnet attached to your machine can be a handy device for small tools or metal supplies.
Potato peelers – they’re not just for spuds anymore
A potato peeler as a quick and inexpensive tool for stripping wires. Flatten the wire against a piece of wood and peel away! (Mind your fingers, though.)
Got milk crates?
Want an easy trick for pulling wires? Run a dowel or a piece of conduit through the center of the spool and suspend it in a milk crate. Feed the wire through one of the holes and you’ve got an easy-to-use wire dispenser.
Here’s one idea you can cut your teeth on, literally
A busy electrician can go through a stack of cutting blades in a month. Instead of buying a new blade every time one is too dull to use, sharpen what’s left of the teeth or cut new ones with a rotary tool. Re-cutting the teeth only takes a minute or two, and you’ll be surprised at how much money you’ll save.
Pro Tip: Be sure to wear eye protection and any appropriate safety gear while you’re doing it because sparks will fly!
Plug and play
This tip is especially handy when you’re doing remodeling work, where the breaker box might not be marked properly (or at all). When you’re by yourself and don’t have your circuit identifier, plug your radio into the circuit and crank up the volume. Now go down to the basement and start flipping breakers until you hear – or stop hearing – the sound. No radio? Use your wet/dry vac!
Snap a circuit selfie
Use your cell phone to take pictures of anything you’re going to take apart, so you’ll know how to put it back together.
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