Sparking Awareness: Resources for Electrical Safety

The month of May has Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Star Wars Day, and Victoria Day in Canada. But did you know that the entire month of May is National Electrical Safety Month?

Safety is probably already at the top of your list like it is for us. So to kick off National Electrical Safety Month, we are sharing some resources from the experts. Stay safe and spark awareness, not injuries!

~Kristine

 

April Showers Bring…Lightning, Thunder, and Power Outages

Finally, spring is here! The earth is coming back to life. Flowers are blooming and the wild life is coming out of hiding.

Along with this comes thunder, lightning, and an occasional twister. Most people take cover during these storms but we here in the Midwest like to go outside, flip open our phones, say hold my drink, and film the whole event even if a house fly by.

Since most of us have been stuck working from home, a power outage or (even worse) a power surge can really mess things up. Our friends at APC by Schneider Electric have a broad range of products to take care this situation. Below is a brief survey of what you can find in APC’s surge protection products.

Battery Backup & Surge outlets keep CPU’s, monitors, and other critical devices running when the power goes out or fluctuates outside safe levels. Surge Only outlets protect printers, faxes or other equipment without reducing battery capacity (including three power-saving Controlled outlets on the BE750G).

Similarly, PowerChute Software lets you use your computer to access additional power protection and management features:
Preserves your work, shuts down system during outages
• Restarts your system, minimizing work disruptions
• Enables customization of your UPS settings
• Monitors and displays power and battery status

Data Line Surge Protection guards against surges and spikes traveling over data lines. The Combination Power Button/LED Indicator provides visual and audible status of unit. Along with its ultra efficient electrical design, it is RoHS compliance and contains all recyclable packaging materials minimize environmental impact and maximize efficiency. A Building Wiring Fault Indicator lets you know if there are problems in your building’s wiring. Push Button Circuit Breaker enables quick recovery from overload. Automatic Diagnostic Testing ensures your unit is ready when you need it.

So your home office or maybe home theater stays safe in spring storms!

~Woody

Charge Your Device In a Safe Way!

 

 

UPDATE: NOW AVAILABLE at Gordon online.

COMING SOON! Everyone has a chargeable device now. From a phone to a tablet. And it never fails that when you need it, the battery is dead or on its way!

The problem with the chargers, is the adapter that you plug the cord in is huge. If you have other things plugged in this can be a problem. USB type outlets have been out for awhile now, but, what about the kitchen, bathroom or garage?? These require GFCI outlets, and to fit the charging adapter in the outlet, you have to unplug everything else.

Legrand has the answer: Radiant® 15A Tamper-Resistant Self-Test GFCI USB Type-AC Outlet. Coming Soon to Gordon Electric Supply!

Enjoy superior safety and the convenience of built-in USB charging, in a first-of-its-kind outlet! Perfect for adding modern connectivity anywhere, including areas of the home where ground fault protection is required (kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, etc.). This outlet makes it easy to see and reset electrical trips right where they happen, while also providing two USB connections for keeping phones or tablets charged, no bulky adapter required.

The Quick Facts:

  • Ultra-reliable ground fault protection: Self-tests at an industry-leading rate of every 3 seconds, ensuring its always ready to protect.
  • Easy, accessible troubleshooting: Includes indicator light and test/reset buttons for resolving trips right where they happen.
  • Convenient, in-demand charging: Features two USB connections (USB Type-A and Type-C available) to keep devices charged and ready.
  • Quick installation: Replaces an existing outlet in 10 minutes or less.
  • Discreet tamper-resistance: Protects children from inserting foreign options with patented low-profile black “invisi-shutter” system.

See current USB receptacles from Pass & Seymour by Legrand here.

~Woody

Always Be Prepared: Not Just for Scouts

One of the classic Monty Python’s Flying Circus quotes that comes to mind whenever the power goes out or a really bad storm blows through is “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!” This may seem like an odd choice of humor when power outages are no laughing matter, but in the Monty Python skits, the “inquisitors” jump out at random times, even on contemporary characters, exclaiming this, and similarly power outages and bad weather often catch me off-guard like the characters in this skit.

When the blizzard rolls through my town, I start out thinking I am prepared. But no matter what the Scout motto of “Always Be Prepared” says, sometimes you can’t anticipate the affects of weather or nature. I always end up shaking my head thinking that “Nobody expects the power outage!” We can only be as prepared as possible, which is why I was happy to stumble upon some tips and useful products to help when you least expect a power situation.

  1. Make a power outage plan to outline what to do when an unexpected storm hits.  Our friends at Generac have a few extra tips that include a designated contact person to check on the entire family among others.
  2. Protect electronics and electrical devices or appliances for short or long outages. Back in July 2020, Woody shared one of his favorite surge protective devices. And in May 2015 he let us know about protecting outdoor installations & service panels.
  3. Sign up for local weather alerts and familiarize yourself with weather terms like watch and warning.

Most of us (especially me!) are not experts, which means I rely on resources from the professionals to help education my emergency preparation.

Stay warm and check on your neighbors, everyone!

~Kristine

A Trip You Don’t Want To Take!

Whether you are working from home, or just browsing the internet, computers are an essential part of our lives. Depending on where in your house you are working, cords can be a hassle.

I hate having cords running across the floor; I always get tangled, trip and smash my face on the floor. Or, the cords come out of the device, sometimes ruining it.

Fun to explain to your IT guy that all you did was stand up, take one step and pulled the back of the computer apart.

So, a solution is installing a floor box next to you easy chair or work station.

Arlington’s FLBR5420 series RECESSED FLOOR BOX KITS offer great new features, like two low voltage openings, an ultra-thin stamped steel flange, and flush-to-the-floor in-use and blank covers. Here’s the solution for cost-savings and easy installation of a receptacle and low voltage connections in an existing, hard surface floor.

Because the flange is ultra-thin and the wiring device is recessed these floor boxes reduce the trip hazard caused by plugs protruding from the box.

You can also have power and now TWO low voltage openings, without the need for a divider, in the same box. That’s convenience!

Installation is quick and easy with a 5″ hole saw. Four mounting wing screws attach the 24.5 cubic inch box securely to the floor. Also included in the kit:

  • cULus Listed 20A tamper-resistant decorator-style receptacle.
  • Covers: SIX finishes/colors Metal in brass-plated, nickel-plated and antique bronze-plated zinc.
  • The powder-coated diecast zinc is available in black, brown and light almond.

With the Arlington FLBR5420 recessed floor box kits, you can now focus on planning that trip to Aruba instead of a trip to your floor!

~Woody

The Most Read of 2020

Well, 2020 was an interesting year with so many changes to how we work, live, and socialize! Despite the tumultuous nature of the year, there was still cause to celebrate, and here at Gordon we celebrated the kind acts of our friends, colleagues, and partners with the creation of our Gordon Go-Getter page of the blog. It never ceased to amaze us how our community and industry came together.

Last year also had some new products introduced and new additions to the Gordon team. We are proud of everyone for making it through 2020! And thank you to all of blog readers for sticking with our puns and trips down memory lane. This top 3 list of the most read Product Talk posts is possible because of you. So without further ado, the three most read posts of 2020:

  1. Better Than a Lunchable and Bubblegum Rope! We introduced the new and improved Scotch Super 33+ Electrical Tape by 3M while learning about trends of the 90’s.
  2. If you haven’t been checked, then maybe it’s time!! We revisited a favorite from 2019 in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The pink 3M hardhats are a Gordon favorite!
  3. You’re not cool, unless you have a cooling towel! Back in July, all we could think about was beating the summer heat on the job, which made our discovering of the cooling towel by Klein Tools all the more exciting.

Happy New Year and here’s to 2021!

Rust Never Sleeps!

Not just the name of a great album by Neil Young, but the truth!

I busted my knuckles more than once trying to loosen rusted nuts and bolts. The scars still remain.

Steel is a metal that holds a lot of iron, and let’s say, for instance, that steel is constantly surrounded by environmental factors like water and oxygen, the steel may start to see signs of rust in as little as 4-5 days. At the same time, there are different types of steel that can rust slower or faster than others.

To avoid metal from rusting 3M has 16-501 Zinc Spray.

3M™ Zinc Spray 16-501 is a dispersion of fine powdered 97% pure zinc in petroleum distillates, used to inhibit rust and corrosion of metal surfaces. More about the spray:
• Non-corrosive
• Controlled drying
• Non-CFC
• Halogen free
• Easy application by aerosol spray
• Meets MIL-P26915D
• Comparable to hot dip galvanizing (at 0.0015-inch thickness)

Avoid rust from forming by using 3M Zinc Spray!!

~Woody

Better than a Lunchable and Bubblegum Rope!

When I was a kid, one of the popular things to buy with your pocket change was bubblegum. It was a constant favorite throughout my childhood unlike the Beanie Baby fad or Tamagotchi pets that did not last long. My sister and I used to have contests to see who could blow the biggest bubble, and we always bought the bubblegum rope. To the child version of me, the bubblegum rope felt like it contained more than the sticks of gum did. And if I was going to spend the little money I made from a lemonade stand on anything it would be the option that has the most gum–and a Lunchable!

Seeing the improved Scotch Super 33+ Vinyl Electrical Tape with 15% more tape (76 ft. now instead of 66 ft.) reminded me of the bubblegum ropes. It felt like this was the bubblegum rope for electricians and contractors, providing a little more than other electrical tapes. But the Scotch tape from 3M has many other notable features to aid you on the job like:

  • 7-mil thick vinyl insulating tape
  • All-weather design performs in ambient temperatures up to 221 degrees Fahrenheit and comfortable in cold weather down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Excellent resistance to abrasion, moisture, alkalies, acids, corrosion and varying weather conditions (including UV exposure)
  • Provides moisture-tight electrical and mechanical protection with minimum bulk
  • Primary electrical insulation for all wire, cable splices and bus applications up to 600 volts
  • Used for protective jacketing on high voltage cable splices and repairs
  • Compatible with solid dielectric cable insulations
  • Compatible with rubber and synthetic splicing compounds
  • Compatible with epoxy and polyurethane resins
  • Inhibits corrosion of electrical conductors
  • For indoor and outdoor applications
  • Used for harnessing and bundling of wires and cable applications
  • UL Listed: UL 510 Standard “Insulating Tape”, Category OANZ, File No. E129200
  • CSA Listed: CSA-C22.2 No.197 “PVC Insulating Tape”, File No. 048769, Class 9052-02

Now all we need is to make sure those Beanie Babies are really the currency of the future like we were told so we can get the Scotch Super 33+ Vinyl Electrical Tape!

~Kristine

If you haven’t been checked, then maybe it’s time!!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. We see the advertisements and posters so much that they don’t sink in so we don’t think about it until it is too late.

If you have never been tested it’s a good idea to get it done. Early detection is the key!!

Gordon Electric Supply takes cancer very seriously, so to show our support we once again will be selling the pink 3M hard hats and donating a portion of the proceeds to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

3M H-713R PINK HARD HAT
Technical Description:
4-Point Ratchet Suspension Type; HDPE Material; Pink Color; ANSI Z87.1 Applicable Standard; Grinding, Electrical, Remediation, Machine Operations, Sanding, Welding, Demolition, Painting, Assembly, Cleaning Application; SERIES H-700 Model

~Woody

All Tied Up

A friend recently lent me a copy of the book Spark Joy by Marie Kondo, saying it inspired her to organize her house. I was skeptical at first because I can be indecisive at times, which defeats the purpose of the Spark Joy method—determining the objects that bring joy to you and the ones that do not. This method helped my friend to declutter her house and donate a lot of clothing.

I decided to give Spark Joy a shot and see if it made a dent in my autumn cleaning (I missed spring cleaning big time this year). What I found out is that electric cables and cords do not spark joy for me.

Now, hear me out! The electric cables and cords are a necessary and well-done part of my home, but they have gotten out of control in a tangled mess in my office and basement. I could not throw them out, obviously, so I needed to find a solution that brought the joy back, organized the cables, and did not end in a literal spark.

Luckily, I came upon the TY400-120-Anti cable tie from Thomas & Betts by ABB! These antimicrobial-treated cable ties are durable enough to hold a bundle of cables up to 4.02 inches in diameter.

The best part? They are bacteria resistant and eliminate more than 99.9% of common surface bacteria. Now that bonus feature sparked joy within my household! The cables and cords in the basement and office are much neater and make me feel safer as the anti-microbial silver ion additive prevents the growth of bacteria, fungus, and mold.

The TY400-120-Anti Cable Tie from Thomas & Betts by ABB:

  • Is ideal for contamination-sensitive industries like healthcare and food processing
  • UL listed, RoHS and FDA compliant
  • Was tested by an independent lab to determine that it eliminates more than 99.9% of common surface bacteria.
  • Available in packages of 50
  • For indoor application up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Length of 14.6 inches, width of 0.299 INCH, thickness of 0.075 inch.
  • 540 Newtons (120 lbs.) tensile strength rating

~Kristine