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

Feel the Surge

Sweet summer time! It’s kind of different this year, but soon it will all be over. With summer comes thunderstorms. With thunderstorms comes lightning.

Myself, I love watching storms. I always think of the scene from Caddie Shack. Bill Murray being a caddie in a raging storm, saying “don’t think the heavy stuff’s gonna come down for quite a while.”

With all the electronics in our homes these days, one lightning strike can damage thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment.

To combat this, Intermatic has Surge Protection for a single device or the entire house.

For point-of-use:

The IG112463 Type 3 Point-of-Use Surge Protective Devices (SPD) are designed for heavy industrial use with 3 modes of surge protection (L-N, L-G, N-G). Features a 15 A re-settable breaker and #14 AWG SJT power cord with molded plug. CSA certified to ANSI/UL 1449, 3rd Edition.

For whole house:

The IG1240RC3 Series Surge Protective Devices (SPD) are designed for a variety of applications. A green LED indicator provides status of protection. Trusted, state-of-the-art TPMOV® (Thermally Protected Metal Oxide Varistor) surge protection technology eliminates the potentially hazardous failure modes that are commonly associated with standard MOV technology. Type 1 applications include outdoor installations before service entrances and utility meter cabinets. Type 2 applications include installations after service entrances. CSA certified to ANSI/UL 1449, 3rd Edition.

For HVAC:

Power surges are the silent killer for home appliances and HVAC equipment. Most homeowners protect their electronics, but leave more valued equipment unprotected. Surges can wipe out equipment and leave you searching for answers. Search no more. The easy-to-install AG3000 Surge Protective Device (SPD) is the perfect add-on for HVAC equipment. A green LED indicator provides the status of protection. Trusted, state-of-the-art TPMOV® (Thermally Protected Metal Oxide Varistor) technology eliminates the potentially hazardous failure modes that are commonly associated with standard MOV technology. UL Listed to ANSI/UL 1449, 4th Edition.

So the next time lightning strikes, be protected.

~Woody

Is the TV room getting crowded?

These are definitely some freaky times!!! The best way to stay safe and protect others is to stay inside. If you have a large family, the TV is always in use, but not everyone wants to watch the same program. Not to mention, sometimes we need to separate or the TV room could turn into a wrestling ring!!

What to do, what to do!!

You need another TV, but it’s not that simple anymore.

When I was a kid, it was easy. All you needed to do was plug in the TV, adjust the antenna, and you had 3 channels. (If the screen was full of static, just add some tin foil to the antenna).

Now you must run a cable to the cable box but putting on the connectors can be a challenge.

Ideal Industries has just to kit to do the job!

The 33-620 Economy Coax Compression Kit includes the basic tools and connectors to cut, strip and terminate coax cables.

Applications: RG59 and RG6/6 Quad cable preparation and compression termination for F connectors.

Kit Includes:

  • 33-632 LinearX®3 Compression Tool
  • 45-605 PrepPRO® Coax (59/6/6Q/Plenum)/UTP Cable Stripper
  • 45-075 Data T®-Cutter
  • 10 RG-59 RTQ F Compression Connectors
  • 30 RG-6 RTQ F Compression Connectors

This kit has everything you need to correctly install connectors to your cable!!

So run the wire, hook up the box, and enjoy your favorite programs in peace.

And remember, this virus is no joke. Keep yourself and you love ones safe!! We will get through this!

~Woody

High Visibility Yellow Safety Vest: Not Just for Crossing Guards anymore!!

Being a nerd and growing up in a small Midwestern town, as I did, and getting picked as the weekly crossing guard at school was as cool as you could get.

There were many perks involved in such an important job. First and foremost, you were allowed to go to class late in the morning and out early in the afternoon.

Second, you got to boss everyone around as they crossed the street (except for the kids bigger or older than you because that would get you shoved in your gym locker).

Third, and this was so fun, you could hold up traffic for as long as you wanted to!

But the coolest thing was wearing the yellow vest! It made you the boss!

Over the year, the safety vest has come along way and is required on most construction sites.

We now stock the High Visibility Yellow Safety Vest from Milwaukee.

Straight from Milwaukee: Our ANSI Type R Class 2 High Visibility Safety Vest is designed to carry more. The high visibility safety vest has 10 pockets including a clear ID holder and internal pocket, providing you with added storage. The safety vest features a quick internal size adjustment providing you with a better fit as well as a durable pass-through slit for fall protection gear. This allows you to wear the same vest in the summer over a t-shirt or in the winter over a jacket. Additionally, a zipper closure on the safety vest provides you with ultimate job site security. Our high visibility reflective vests are required if you are working around traffic going 25 mph or working around heavy machinery. This includes construction, road construction, traffic direction, utility crews, and survey crews. Yellow and orange color options are available, as well as CSA compliant safety vests.

So, stay safe out there!

~Woody

Not Another Top 10 List…The Best of 2019

Top 10 lists or countdown lists from 2019 are everywhere as 2020 comes around the corner. You might be sick of all of the countdown lists, so we thought we would, of course, add one more to your reading list! Luckily this is only a Top 4 list.

Over the years, Woody has shared some fun memories, thoughts, and information about the electrical industry. To celebrate another year of electrical humor and new products, we are taking a look at some of the best 2019 blog posts.

And without further ado:

  1. Gone FIshin’: Woody had a fun time with this fish tape solution from Milwaukee. We think he hid the fish tape tool and only shared the video with us!
  2. Is It Ever Gonna Warm Up?: A question that has been on my mind recently, but that is a Midwest winter for you. Woody sums up our need to stay warm with a Marley space heater and shares his new favorite television show in the process.
  3. Think Pink with 3M: Woody gets serious to explain the importance of our partnership with 3M for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We ended up donating proceeds from these sales to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, a great organization for information and support.
  4. Sliding through the raceway made easy!: The sad news is that this post is not about a water slide. The good news is that Polywater Lubricant J is an effective solution for pulling wire through conduit.

There you have it: the top 4 posts from 2019. You can read the full article by clicking on the link in each title. Thank you for enjoying and have a happy New Year!

~Kristine

A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work!!

I have heard this saying a lot, but I don’t think it is always true. Hear me out:

Who remembers Captain Quint form Jaws? His fishing trip didn’t end well at all!

Or Captain Ahab? He went down roped to the whale!

Then there are those guys up in Alaska catching crabs. The Baring Sea, 10 degrees Fahrenheit, high winds and sliding around on the frozen deck of a boat full of vengeful sea creatures that walk sideways and have pinchers! (on second thought—that would make a great movie!)

Fishing through conduit to pull wire is the same way! Sometimes the tape pushes right through and the wire pulls easily while other times the conduit is clogged or the wire won’t pull, and when it does you wind up with the fish tape all over or bouncing off of a live buss!

Milwaukee Tool has a very cool answer for this!!

The MILWAUKEE® M18 FUEL™ ANGLER™ Pulling Fish Tape System is the world’s first battery powered fish tape solution. The fish tape wire puller’s AUTO-RUN™ Powered Feed and Retract eliminates manual pulling tools for less user fatigue and automatically reels the tape back into the drum for a cleaner jobsite. The electric fish tape wire puller features a POWERSTATE™ brushless motor that provides the ability to pull wire through a 200′ run with 360° degrees of bends. This new battery powered fish tape puller is more efficient with an automatic feed that pushes through bends faster for maximum jobsite efficiency. The M18 FUEL™ ANGLER™ Pulling Fish Tape Powered Base is powered by the M18™ REDLITHIUM™ battery pack and is compatible with 4 anti-binding steel and non-conductive drums to tackle any situation. The automatic wire puller is equipped with REDLINK PLUS™ Intelligence to ensure maximum performance and protection from overload.  

~Woody

See the M18 FUEL™ ANGLER™ Pulling Fish Tape in action:

Think Pink with 3M

Breast cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer diagnosed in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point in their lives.

The good news is that most women can survive breast cancer if it’s discovered and treated early. A mammogram – the screening test for breast cancer – can help find breast cancer early when it’s easier to treat.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of finding breast cancer early. Make a difference! Spread the word about mammograms and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved.

How can National Breast Cancer Awareness Month make a difference?  We can use this opportunity to spread the word about taking steps to detect breast cancer early.

3M is helping with the H-713R pink Hard Hat

These hard hats show support for breast cancer detection all while looking stylish!

  • 4-point ratchet suspension allows wearer to customize height and fit
  • Meets requirements of ANSI/ISEA Z89.1-2014 Type I, Class C
  • Replaceable brow pad enhances comfort and extends service life of hard hat
  • ANSI/ISEA compliant when worn in the forward and reverse donning positions

 

And the P2001 No-Touch Ear PlugsA comfortable and easy way to show your support for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

  •  No roll-down, easy-insertion design keeps tip clean even if hands are dirty
  • Push-to-fit livewire stem flexes sideways if impacted during wear
  • Cylindrical shape fits most ears comfortably
  • Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) 29 dB. CSA Class AL

~Woody

Sliding through the raceway made easy!

Pulling wire through conduit can be challenging sometimes and depending on the amount of bends and the length of the pipe run, it can be almost impossible!

Someone finally discovered that the best thing to use was some kind of lubricant to make the wire slide through the raceway.

Over the years I have heard of all kinds of things being used: dish soap, motor oil, and grease to name a few!!

(Hair gel never really caught on.)

WHAT A MESS!!!

The other problem is that, in a few years, you have to pull the wire out for some reason. The wrong lubricants can make the wire stick in the pipe.

All along the solution has been wire lube!! So a lot of companies started making it—some good and some NOT so good.

Some lubricants were made with dyes that stain your hands and anything it got on!!

Then came POLYWATER!!!!!

Polywater Lubricant J has been proven through use with a track record of more than 30 years pulling cable and wire. Due to its reduction in tension and friction, Lubricant J can be used on both electrical and communication cables.

Polywater Lubricant J

Features:

  • Meets LEED and Green Seal criteria
  • Lubricity for months after use: clean and slow drying
  • Maximum friction reduction
  • No wax, grease, or silicone content found in Lubricant J
  • Specified for fire-critical cables (Noncombustible residue)
  • Stays on cable jacket during application
  • UL listed and CARB compliant
  • Stable in variety of temperatures (20°F to 120°F)
  • Viscosity Rating 25000 to 40000 Cps at 10 RPM
  • PH Rating 7.5 to 9

~Woody

This is going to burst your bubble

The 2014 NEC code states:

406.9(B) (1): Extra-Duty Covers at 15- and 20-Ampere Receptacles at Wet Locations.

This provision contains the previous requirement that all 15- and 20-ampere and all 125- and 250-volt receptacles—when installed in wet locations—must have enclosures and covers that are weatherproof, whether or not the attachment plug cap is inserted.

These are known as Bubble covers. They are designed so you can have a cord plugged in with the cover closed.

It’s a great idea, but they are UGLY!!!

They look like a huge plastic pimple sticking out of the side of your house.

Some are plastic, some are more heavy duty gray cast aluminum.

Intermatic has come out with a very cool cover, that not only complies with the code, but it looks great!!

The WP6000 and WP7000 series covers have an expandable clear cover that can be pushed in when it’s not in use!!

You might say, the pimple has been popped!!!

Features

• New low-profile design offers an expandable front window that can be collapsed to save space when not in use

• Complies with 2017 NEC for Wet Locations/Extra-Duty Applications (WP7000 and WP7200 models only) and CEC Section 26-702

• Heavy-duty UV stabilized polycarbonate construction ensures long-lasting durability

• Single-gang covers mount vertically or horizontally

• Single-gang models: GFCI pre-set for faster installation Two inserts are provided with all models, allowing for up to eight unique configurations

• Double-gang models: GFCI pre-set for faster installation Four inserts are provided with all models, allowing for up to 16 unique configurations

• Reinforced hinge pin: Designed to withstand a 40 lbs. hinge hang/stress test

• Impact-rated: Tested in 12 lbs. impact test to ensure cover remains intact

• Lockable hasp: All models accept up to 0.19″ dia shank

• Meets requirements for cold impact testing at -60°F (-51°C)

• 6000/7000/7200 Series available in gray, white and bronze • 6200 Series is available in gray only

~ Woody

Send in the Ferret!

Let’s say you belong to an “Organization”. You get up every morning, have your coffee, and send your driver out to pull the car around. Then suddenly, BAM!! Not only do you have to hire ANOTHER driver, but you need a new car too!

If only he could have looked under the car. You should have sent in the Ferret!

Or, you’re crawling on your belly under your house when suddenly, out of nowhere, the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!

You should have sent in the Ferret!

Who is the Ferret you ask?? The Ferret is not a who, The Ferret Camera Tool Kits are a revolutionary way to carry out inspections. Wireless and rechargeable, this inspection cameras and its accessories allow you to see clearly in dark and confined spaces. It can help you see in ceilings, under flooring, behind objects, in building risers, chimneys and more, ultimately saving you valuable time and money.

~Woody