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Best Insulating Methods for Electricians

June 26th, 2018

Safety is the name of the game when it comes to working as an electrician.

 

Working as an electrician is anything but boring. It’s a profession that demands a high level of knowledge, a lot of hands-on “know-how,” creative problem-solving, and a serious determination to get the job done well.

Electricians are relied upon by everyone. From safely operating a business to staying comfortable during cold winters and hot summers, people and organizations everywhere need the services of electricians to function in everyday life.

Clearly, the profession can be a dangerous one. And it takes individuals who possess a variety of characteristics—intellectual and physical—to succeed as an electrician. For anyone working in the field, the top priority is safety.

Before we focus on one of the key aspects of safety for electricians—the best insulating methods—here are some of those characteristics it takes to succeed for anyone considering it for their career.

Physical and Mental Strength

Being an electrician can be physically demanding. From hauling heavy gear to climbing poles and working in confined spaces, you need to have physical strength. At the same time, you also need to be able to always clearly think and make accurate determinations and assessments at times when you’re physically tired, which takes mental strength.

Courage and Reliability

People count on electricians to get the job done. If you don’t, they don’t have the power they need. So you must be dedicated to your work and a good problem solver. And you may find yourself working in tough situations, such as from a lift or atop poles, which takes courage and the ability to not be daunted by challenging situations.

Book Smarts and Hands-on Knowledge

Being an electrician takes a unique blend of knowing the many principles of electricity, along with hands-on training and experience. Your safety depends on knowing what you’re doing at every moment, and drawing on what you’ve learned from previous experiences during your training and on the job.

Here are some of the general duties that are involved with being an electrician:

  • Assemble, install, test, and maintain electrical wiring and related systems
  • Safely connect wires to circuit breakers and transformers
  • Inspect electrical systems and diagnose causes of malfunctions
  • Test electrical systems using ohmmeters, oscilloscopes, and voltmeters
  • Plan wiring layout and installation based on job specifications
  • Install ground leads and connect power cables to equipment

Now back to safety and the best insulating methods for electricians.

Making sure you’re using the most appropriate type of insulating methods based on the specific job you’re working on is absolutely critical. Every job is different—some are underground, some aren’t; some are indoors while others are outdoors.

So determining the best insulation based on things like voltage and exposure to the elements is key.

Cold Shrink Tubing—Cold Shrink Tubing is an appropriate method for jobs where “hot work” isn’t allowed. This method avoids the use of hot tools and involves cross-linking to form a bond between the two circuits. With this method, you simply place tubing on top of a splice (below 1,000v AC) or connection before removing the core and locking it into place.

Heat Shrink Tubing—Like cold shrink tubing, the heat shrink tubing method also uses cross-linking to form a bond between the two circuits. However, this method involves heating the exterior of the tubing with a torch over the exposed connection to shrink it into place. Heat shrink tubing is generally more chemical repellant than cold shrink tubing, but it can be more dangerous and requires a high level of skill to be done safely.

Vinyl Mastic Pads—Vinyl mastic pads are a good insulation option when the wire connections you’re insulating aren’t going to be exposed to underground installation or extreme weather elements. Vinyl mastic pads use the flexibility of the mastic with the resistance of vinyl to seal lower-voltage wires, and can be used for splices, connections, and joins. The mastic is evenly guided around the connection with the vinyl tape to completely insulate the wire.

Standards and Codes—No matter what insulation method is being used, upon installation it’s necessary that the work is done in compliance with the proper electrical and building codes. This is crucial in order to ensure the safety of any and all connections involved. Every method of electrical insulation has standards for testing elements, so it’s very important to take the time to research inspection standards and codes for your local area.

If you’re interested in a career as an electrician, the first step is to find a proven and respected training program, such as that of Loenbro Technical Institute (LTI).

LTI is the only school in the region that is accredited by the National Center for Construction Education and Research, and offers students the most convenient and flexible scheduling options to achieve their professional goals.

Contact LTI today, and we’ll get you on your way to your career as an electrician.

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