Changes and Challenges

When the electrical industry comes out with something new it is a learning experience.  Sometimes the learning curve is sharp; sometimes it is long and gradual.  Depending on how much you wanted to see the change is directly related to how big a challenge it is to adopt.

The first time I installed baseboard heaters I installed some of them upside down.  Grrrr.  When GFI receptacles were first introduced, they could not be installed in series with a common neutral wire.  I learned that the hard way.  When Arc Fault Breakers were introduced, it was not possible to splice the neutral wires from different circuits together.  (This was not something I had ever liked to do, but many electricians at that time made it a practice.)

One job I had was to connect propane pumps to the propane tanks in several locations.  This type of wiring required explosion proof fittings.  The wiring, fittings, conduit, etc., all have to be assembled just right, and they must all have emergency shut off capability.

It is important that the propane fumes cannot travel up the conduit.  When the installation is complete, the wires must be sealed into the conduit.  This makes it impracticable (i.e. “impossible”) to pull out the wire at a later date and re-feed it.  You must cut out a whole section and reinstall it.

High voltage linemen have special gloves used in handling energized wire.  Despite the high expense of the gloves I had to buy a pair because I was always working with hot wires.  The gloves must be tested periodically to make sure the gloves are still safe.

Balancing circuit loading was another item I learned through experience.  I have found that the idea of balancing the circuits is often ignored.  I have found some conduit so hot that you could not hold onto it.  It was because the circuits were not balanced.

New changes and challenges; that’s why I enjoy electrical work.