Electrician Terminology (Electrical Trade Slang Dictionary)

There are a bunch of electrical terms electricians use which… don’t make any darn sense.

And some of them sound like they were made by a sparky with a really sick mind.

1900 Deep? A-Bushing? Bang on Strap?

Really boys?

(can your tell these electrical terms were made by other electricians?)

Anyway, here’s a complete electrical trade slang dictionary 👇️

Electrical Term / Electrician SlangDefinition
1900a 4 in. square box that is 1-1/2 in. deep.
1900 DEEPa 4 in. square box that is 2-1/8 in. deep.
8Ba 4 in. octagon box that is 1-1/2 in. deep
8B Deepa 4 in. octagon box that is 2-1/8 in. deep.
A.R.Automatic recloser
Abandon PlugFloor plate plug inserts. These threaded plugs seal up an unused device opening in
a floor box plate. You order them in sizes from 1/2″ to 2″
A-BushingThis is a plastic bushing used inside the enclosure to insulate the end of the rigid
conduit. It comes in sizes from 1/2″ to 6″ and are generally rated to 105°. The
bushing to protect the wires coming out of the conduit is the BB bushing.
ACA flexible package consisting of an armour jacket wrapped around wire conductors, forming an easily installable wiring system. Like MC, AC has an overall Mylar
wrapping over all the wires to provide protection and therefore doesn’t require Anti-Short Bushings.
AcornA Ground Rod Clamp is a copper mechanical connector used to connect a wide
range of wire sizes and types to a ground rod. Those ground rods may be copper or
stainless steel. It works by sliding over the ground rod, having the wire inserted
under the flat part of the screw, and mechanically tightening down with a wrench.
Add-A-Depth Ringa means of extending the walls of a device box to the wall surface, proving a barrier
between a wiring device and the surrounding wall material
Adjustable Beam ClampWhen you don’t want your beam clamp to have the chance to slip off
the beam, one of the two adjustable style beam clamps is the one to use. The
standard style (E-160) has a fixed bottom where the threaded rod is attached, and
the swivel (E-165) lets the threaded rod adjust left and right. To use these clamps
on an I-beam, the flange can’t exceed .8″ and the hook rod, which comes in sizes 6,
9 or 12″ must reach.
Air Plenuma compartment or chamber to which one or more air ducts are connected and
which forms part of the air distribution system
AJAn anchor that consists of an inner steel cone, with a cylindrical machine-threaded
hole, surrounded by a lead jacket, cylindrical on the outside. You drill a hole in
concrete or masonry the shape of the AJ, drop it in with the base of the cone
toward the bottom of the hold, then force the lead down tightly in the hole by
hitting the AJ driver.
Aligator KnobA tie stick.
Alley ArmA side arm brace, which braces a crossarm that is uneven.
AMP (A)a measurement of the amount of electrical current in a circuit at any moment.
Anti-Short BushingWhen used with AC cable or Greenfield, Anti-Short ® bushings protect the wires
from being chafed by the rough’s end of the armour at the point of connection. NEC
article 333-9 requires their use on AC (armoured cable). They are placed between
the outer metal armour and the conductors forming a protective shield at the point
where the wire is bent during the final connection. In the trade, they are referred to
simply by their sizes 0 through 8 depending on the cable or Greenfield size.
Aprrentice PlugKnockout plugs used to cover exposed knock-out holes in steel boxes and
enclosures
Arkansas UnionThread a conduit so far that the coupling will screw all the way onto conduit. Butt
another piece of threaded conduit to end and unscrew coupling off first pipe and
onto second.
Armora metallic covering around the cable for mechanical protection. Typically
interlocked steel or aluminum.
Armor-Clad/CableA flexible package consisting of an armour jacket wrapped around wire conductors, forming an easily installable wiring system. Like MC, AC has an overall Mylar
wrapping over all the wires to provide protection and therefore doesn’t require Anti-Short Bushings.
Ash TrayA Mudcap.
AT&T Strand ClampThis has been known since the turn of the century as the AT&T standard strand
clamp or guy clamp. It is made from hot-dipped galvanised rolled steel and will hold
any size guy strand from 1/4″ to 1/2″ diameter.
AtomicThe “tilt-in” 2-piece connector for non-metallic sheathed cable (a.k.a. Romex™) is a
labour-saving design that lets the electrician clamp the connector onto the line, tilt
it into the knockout and tighten down the screws. The screws both bind the
connector to the enclosure and compress onto the line making a secure fit. This
eliminates the need to remove the locknut and re-attach it inside an often cramped
box. Initially marketed by Tomic™. Available in conduit sizes from 1/2″ to 1-1/2″
(see also ‘Butterfly Connector’; ‘Tomic’).
Attic MonkeyAn electrician with a slim build best suited for crawling through tight spaces.
B Type SpliceThese splices fall into a category called Insulation Displacement Connectors are
used exclusively for plain old telephone wires (POTS), alarm and other low voltage
circuits. You insert the cables, compress with a linesman pliers (or unique tool), and
the metal teeth inside will pierce the insulation and make a permanent connection
that is moisture resistant. While the Dolphin is re-distributed by various
manufacturers and refers to the round tubular unit, the 3M UR performs a similar
job but has a gel to protect the wires.
Baby ShoesSmall copper lugs which take circuit size wires.
Back to BackConnector Connects and separates two boxes while building a raceway between them.
Baker BoardAdjustable sliding scaffold board.
Ball and BrushA rat tail can be either the flexible mandrel alone or the mandrel, and wire brush
hooked together. This assembly is then pulled through the conduit before pulling
cables to remove any dirt, debris, or obstacles introduced after the
conduit was installed.
Ball Of MasonRough twine.
BaloneyA cable.
Baloney BenderA guy who works with thick or heavy cable.
Band IronThis is a ¾” wide galvanized steel band with holes to accommodate nails and bolts.
Available with the holes evenly spaced or with alternating small and large holes. It
is typically used to hang some kind of pipe from some kind of support system such
as strut, wooden studs or simple masonry.
Bang On BushingWhen a fitting is not required by NEC, you use this insulating bushing to protect
data cables coming out of exposed EMT.
Bang on StrapFlange Clip
BangerA device used to locate faults in cables underground. This device uses a high
voltage discharge to produce an audible thump where the defect exists. The thump is
caused by the discharge exiting into the ground. The apparatus is typically self-contained as a portable device that can be used out in the field (see also,
‘Thumper”; ‘Surge Generator’; ‘Banger’).
Banjo BoxMobile storage box for contractor tools on a jobsite.
Bantam PlugPlastic drywall anchor.
Bar HangerAn adaptor used to affix a lighting fixture directly to an electric box when the
fixture and electrical box mounting holes do not line up, ( see also ‘Crossbar
Hanger’).
Base SpacerWhen burying multiple electrical conduits in concrete, they need to have
specific spacing between each other to ensure the integrity of the resulting
concrete pour. Too close together, and the concrete slab won’t have sufficient
rigidity. Too far apart, and the installation may not be possible or efficient. Therefore, spacers are used to keep the proper distance between conduits and support
them as the concrete is slushing and being compacted around them. The
installation uses two types of spacers: Base and Intermediate. Sometimes called a chair, the Base spacer goes at the very bottom of the pile, and the first conduit is
laid inside it. The intermediate spacers go on top of each conduit and form both the
top of one and the bottom of the next. That is why they are sometimes called the
ladder.
Bat WingThis is a spring metal device used to secure conduit, armoured cable, portable cord,
communication cables, etc., to a flange, wire or rod. The term Bat Wings comes from
its brand name in 1959. Although the KX part number is shown, it also refers to the
K series. The KX series is used to secure wire, where the K series is used for conduit.
BattleshipHolds gem box in sheetrock by offering counter pressure to the box ears.
BattleshipsThin sheet metal clamps that are used to mount steel boxes in drywall.
B-BushingThis is an insulated throat metal bushing that, when used in conjunction with a
locknut, affixes GAL or IMC to a metal enclosure and provides abrasion protection
to the wire insulation. It comes in die-cast or malleable iron with a plastic insulator.
Beam Clamp – AdjustableWhen you don’t want your beam clamp to have the chance to slip off
the beam, one of the two adjustable style beam clamps is the one to use. The
standard style (E-160) has a fixed bottom where the threaded rod is attached, and
the swivel (E-165) lets the threaded rod adjust left and right. To use these clamps
on an I-beam, the flange can’t exceed .8″ and the hook rod, which comes in sizes 6,
9 or 12″ must reach.
Beam Clamp (Malleable)Beam Clamps are used to hang objects from some flange. They are attached
by tightening a set-screw between the jaw base and the beam flange and sizes from 1/4″ to 2″. The bottom and back are tapped to accept a bolt or threaded
rod.
Beam EaterSelf Tapping Tapcon
BeaniesThese splices fall into a category called Insulation Displacement Connectors are
used exclusively for plain old telephone wires (POTS), alarm and other low voltage
circuits. You insert the wires, compress with a linesman pliers (or special tool), and
the metal teeth inside will pierce the insulation and make a permanent connection
that is moisture resistant. While the Dolphin is re-distributed by various
manufacturers and refers to the round tubular unit, the 3M UR performs a similar
job but has a gel to protect the wires.
Bear GreaseZ.L.N. electric contact aid.
BeaterA large pry-bar used for a variety of purposes ranging from persuading the large
heavy object to move a few inches, to pulling spikes to stripping construction
materials during demolition.
BeckyA cable sling.
Bell BoxTo an oldtimer, a Bell Box or Bell Cover refers to two or three gangs
weatherproof die cast aluminium box, extension or cover. BELL, founded in 1946 by
Frank BELLeck and Harry Stllman, was the first to market weatherproof boxes and
covers. It became part of SquareD in 1971 and then in 1986, part of the Hubbell
RACO family. The boxes and extensions have anywhere from three to five threaded
hubs ranging from 1/2 to 1″. Covers are available for almost any combination of
devices you can imagine.
Bell CoverTo an oldtimer, a Bell Box or Bell Cover refers to any one, two or three gang
weatherproof die-cast aluminium box, extension or cover. BELL, founded in 1946 by
Frank BELLeck and Harry Stillman, was the first to market weatherproof boxes and
covers. It became part of SquareD in 1971 and then in 1986, part of the Hubbell
RACO family. The boxes and extensions have anywhere from three to five threaded
hubs ranging from 1/2 to 1″. Covers are available for almost any combination of
devices you can imagine.
Bell HangerBit Used for telephone installations. A hole in the bit end assists in wire pulling.
Bell WireThermostat wire usually 18 or 22 guage.
Bell WrenchWrench for tightening various square head bolts.
Ben FranklinBesides being an inventor, statesman, author, freemason, and Founding Father, he
also was an electrician.
BenderA hammer
BibleThe electrician’s code book
BicycleA chain drill for boring holes.
Binder Head ScrewAn old term for a Fillister Head Screw.
Bird CondomThese splices fall into a category called Insulation Displacement Connectors are
used exclusively for plain old telephone wires (POTS), alarm and other low voltage
circuits. You insert the cables, compress with a linesman pliers (or unique tool), and
the metal teeth inside will pierce the insulation and make a permanent connection
that is moisture resistant. While the Dolphin is re-distributed by various
manufacturers and refers to the round tubular unit, the 3M UR performs a similar
job but has a gel to protect the wires.
Bird dogSomeone watching everything you do
BirdcageA plastic lamp cage or guard to fit over pigtail and protect lamp from breakage.
Bit BenderAssist manipulating Fish Bits for accurate placement within the wall.
Black BeautyCable tie mounting blocks with peel-off backing available in a variety of sizes and
shapes.
Black Button®This is a low-profile, push-in or snap-in plastic Romex (NM) connector for 1/2″ or
3/4″ knockouts. The low profile makes it ideal for A/C disconnects.
Black IronThe strut used to hang acoustical tile is called Black iron. This is the “C” shaped, 1-
1/2″ black strut that is bolted to the concrete deck or wooden beams using CADDY®
hangers to create a secure mounting point for the grid ceiling runners. When
looking-up fittings for black iron, most catalogues, such as CADDY®, use the term
Lathers Channel.
Blackburn ClampService wedge clamp
Blankup CanopyWhen a ceiling fixture or fan is removed and another device is not put in its place,
the box can be blanked-up with either a steel blank or a more decorative blank up
canopy. The canopy is painted white and is available in 4″ and 5″ sizes.
BLOCK-LOC ®a Hubbell Inc. trade name for self-positioning masonry boxes and tile covers.
Blow GunThe device that a power blower shoots through a conduit system when fishing the
initial line. It typically has a hard plastic core with a flexible foam body that fits a
specific pipe size. It comes in 1/2″ through 6″ conduit sizes and has a loop at both
ends to attach the fish line.
Boatswain’S ChairA small wooden seat supported by four ropes secured to a ring or tied at a common
point above the workman’s head.
Boingie NutThe Spring Nut or Boingie Nut is used to attach objects to strut. The spring holds
the nut in place inside the channel while you bolt the object to the strut.
Bondingthe permanent joining of metallic parts to form an electrically conductive path that
will assure electrical continuity and the capacity to conduct safely any current likely
to be imposed.
Bonding JumperThere are two type of bonding jumpers: CONDUIT to CONDUIT or CONDUIT to
CABINET/ENCLOSURE. The BJ series shown below is for bonding two rigid or EMT
conduits together, while the BJE is for bonding conduit to the enclosure. The device
consists of a “U” bolt, malleable clamp and a tinned copper braid. These
used most often with expansion fittings which requires that telescoping portions of
raceway or expansion couplings maintain their electrical continuity as if it was a
continuous run of conduit. In-service equipment they are used to continue the
ground from the bonding bushing to the enclosure wall. It comes in sizes from 11.”
to 15 3/8″ long and works on 1/2″ through 6″ pipe.
Booger LightSecurity or emergency lighting fixtures that are typically mounted above drives and
entryways, often fitted with a proximity sensor along with a daylight sensor.
Booger Wirea neutral wire.
Bookie Toola staple puller.
Bookie Wheela measuring device.
Boomera lineman who leaves one job to get to the next job;
Bootiesinsulators for meter clips.
Bottlesinsulators for glass.
Boxpadmounted transformer or switchgear.
Box CleatsHolds gem box in sheetrock by offering counter pressure to the box ears.
Box ConnectorConnects and separates two boxes while building a raceway between them.
Box ExtenderThis is an open-bottomed octagon ring that gets cemented into the building floor
(deck) after being nailed to the wood subflooring. Using backplates and covers,
it becomes a complete deck box and is available in depths from 2″ to 6″ with
knockouts from 1/2″ to 1″. It is called a concrete ring when extending an
existing mud box, and it can be called a mud box when it has a backplate and serves
as a mud box. A classic mud box, however, comes as one unit with the backplate
welded in place.
BOX MOUNTa term commonly used to denote where the screws of a cover attach.
Box SpacerConnects and separates two boxes while building a raceway between them.
BOX-LOC® RACOtrade name for our snapon metal stud bracket.
Bracket BarAn adaptor used to affix a lighting fixture directly to an electric box when the
fixture and electrical box mounting holes do not line up, (see also ‘Fixture Bar’).
Bracket SetHolds gem box in sheetrock by offering counter pressure to the box ears.
Breakaway SwivelThe swivel acts as a circuit breaker to disengage the pulling rope from the wire
when a certain pulling tension is exceeded. It does it by using break-away pins in
the swivel that come in ratings from 200 to 1000 pounds. To change the breakaway setting, you just change the pin.
Breaker BarCalled a breaker bar by the trade and a “Flex Handle” by Klein, this tool is a long
handle with a flexible head to which a 1/2″ or 3/8″ drive socket is attached. The
long handle provides substantial leverage, which allows the user to “break” difficult
bolts or nuts.
Breaker LockBreaker locks are used to prevent someone from accidentally turning-on a breaker
that has been switched off by a maintenance worker or contractor in compliance
with OSHA’s Lockout/Tagout standard. Usually used in conjunction with lockout
tags that explain the who and why the breaker was locked-out. The model number
shown below is specifically for the Square D QO single-pole breaker, but there are
versions for all the major manufacturers. You have to pay cautious attention to
the catalogue description to see if it fits the manufacturers’ specific model
breaker you are trying to fit.
Bridal RingLoop that supports wire. Threaded or wood-screw tip to attach to clip or wood.
Broomsticksphase spacers, used to keep phases from coming into contact with each other at
midspan.
Bubble CoverWeatherproof outlet box cover used to protect electrical connections that are
exposed to weather or wet conditions. Designed to fully protect the connection
while the cover is closed
Buck Armtwo sets of crossarms at 90 degree angles to each other.
Bucket BagA nylon multi-pocket bag that fits over 5gal bucket to turn it into a tool bag.
Bucket Of SteamThese are practical joke terms that foreman typically uses to break-in the
apprentices. It gets amusing when the apprentice sends the line’s request up,
where it gets ordered by purchasing and sent to the distributor. Usually, it stops
there, but sometimes it will be a new inside person who asks around the office how
to code a bucket-of-steam or some other prank item.
Bucket Truckan aerial lift truck for raising men high enough to work on lines from the insulated
bucket of the truck.
BugSplit bolt connector (looks like someone taped over a bug) used to mechanically
join two or more wires together.
Bug Wrencha speed wrench for bug installation.
BugeyeThis device is useful for quickly determining if a receptacle has power and anything obviously wrong with the wiring. Enhanced models perform GFCI testing, but this tester is essentially idiot-proof by using three lights and a sticker explaining the meaning of these lights.
Bugssolderless – typically bolted – connectors.
Bull Lineheavy line that pulls wires in, (see also ‘hard line’).
Bull Penwhere a work crew dwells before and after work.
Bull Wheela reel device, keeps tension on a transmission conductor during stringing
operations.
Bulldog GripWhen working with a guy wire or other types of aircraft cables, you need
to bring the cable to tension while it is set in place and clamped
down. While these wire cables offer terrific pulling strength for their small size,
they are notoriously difficult to grab onto. The Bulldog grip, or Klein’s Haven, is a
small, lightweight grip that is ideal when the conductor’s compression is not
an issue. When coupled with a come-along, the Bulldog grip tensions and temporarily hold the wire while a permanent fixture can be made. They are available for
cable sizes from .063 through .750, although the 1/4″ size is most common.
Bulldog Wrenchan alligator wrench.
Bullet Lampholderan indoor track head;
Bulletproof FiberglassWhen you need to use fibreglass, and it has to be high-impact resistant, the
Champion Fiberglass, with its special fibre windings and 1/4″ wall thickness, has
been shown to resist penetration by a .22cal bullet. Called XWALL conduit, it has
been used by telecom companies to protect their fibre optic cables in aboveground
installations and in marine environments to protect high voltage cable from the
corrosive elements that PVC Coated GAL can’t protect against.
BullhornEpoxirod bi unit.
BundleMultiple strings of conductor.
Bunny GunA cable cutter is a tool used to cut copper or aluminium electric wire from #1
through 1000MCM. They come in four varieties: palm grip, manual two-handled
units, ratchet cutters and electric cutters.
Bushinga fitting provided to protect wires from abrasion and intended for use where
conductors enter or leave the raceway system.
Bust AnchorA multi-bladed anchor set into a hole dug in the earth. It expands to form a cone
shaped square in either 6” or 8” sizes. When covered by the earth, it supports the
Anchor Rod through the compression of the earth above it. Reinforcing ribs provide
strength to the blades which are capable of handling extremely heavy loads.
Busterexpanding and tamping bar used on expanding anchors.
Butt SetThis is a device installers use as a portable telephone with alligator clips and
specialized tone and probe capabilities.
ButterflyInvented by hardware store owner William H. Rubely in the late 1800’s and initially
called the “Tuckahoe Toggle Bolt” , the toggle bolt has been used whenever you
need to mount something to a non-structural, hollow, thin wall where a screw
would simply pull right out. A toggle bolt has wings like a butterfly that fold closed
against an internal spring to be inserted into the wall. Once through the wall, it
snaps open and provides a secure are wide, wider to fasten an object to the
wall using the attached a threadedcrew. You’d see it used in sheetrock or wood
applications holding a fire alarm box, a speaker to ceiling tile, a bulletin board, etc.
When the screw is removed, the wing simply drops behind the wall to the floor
below and is abandoned.
Butterfly BoxA box that is designed to be installed after the finished wall is installed. Old work
boxes have ears, opposing corner tabs, integral to the box that presses against the
the backside of the wall as the fastening screws are tightened.
Butterfly ConnectorThe “tilt-in” 2-piece connector for non-metallic sheathed cable (a.k.a. Romex™) is a
labor saving design that lets the electrician clamp the connector onto the cable, tilt
it into the knockout and tighten down the screws. The screws both bind the
connector to the enclosure and compress onto the cable making a secure fit. This
eliminates the need to remove the locknut and re-attach it inside an often cramped
box. Originally marketed by Tomic™. Available in conduit sizes from 1/2″ to 1-1/2″,
(see also ‘Butterfly Connector’; ‘Tomic’).
Butter-Its-NotTypically though, as the goo used in compression and split-bolt connections
where the aluminium wire is used, the PENETROX product is an oxide-inhibiting grease
designed to create an air-tight and moisture-resistant joint. The goal is to prevent
the oxidation or corrosion of the metal products used in the electrical connection.
Depending upon the type of metals found in the joint, you would use a specific
a version of the product containing suspended particles designed for that metal.
Type “A” contains Copper particles and is used for Aluminum to Copper or
Aluminium to Conduit (Steel). Type “B” contains Zinc particles and is used where the
metals are all aluminium. It has found favour in several industries, such as Ham
Radio operators, where the grease acts as a lubricant for threaded connections, reduce the chance of seizing down the road.
Butthole1/2″ plastic romex connector
BuzzardTongue Zip ties.
BX CableA flexible package consisting of an armor jacket wrapped around wire conductors
forming an easily installable wiring system. Similar to MC, AC has an overall Mylar
wrapping over all the wires to provide protection and therefore doesn’t require the
use of Anti-Short Bushings.
C.S.P.acronym for completely self-protected transformer.
C.S.T.acronym for customer subsurface transformer.
C.T.acronym for current transformer.
Cabletwo or more insulated conductors wrapped in metal or plastic sheathing
Cable Boxa box provided with clamps to accommodate either metallic or nonmetallic
sheathed cable.
Cable Caster®A very simple tool to fish a line through conduit or a chase. It uses a fish casting reel
to pull the mouse back.
Cable Clampgeneric name for a clamp that mechanically secures the cable to the electrical
outlet box.
Cable CleanerA cleaner used to remove contamination from a variety of insulations and jackets
of high voltage cable prior to completing the splicing process.
Cable CutterA cable cutter is a tool used to cut copper or aluminium electric wire from #1
through 1000MCM. They come in four varieties: palm grip, manual two-handled
units, ratchet cutters and electric cutters.
Cable ProtectorNails to wood stud where the cable passes through to protect wire & plumbing pipe
from nails driven into the wall sometime in the future (see also ‘Stud Plate’; ‘Safety
Plate’; ‘Cable Protector’).
Cable StretcherThese are practical joke terms that foreman typically uses to break-in the
apprentices. It gets amusing when the apprentice sends the line’s request up,
where it gets ordered by purchasing and sent to the distributor. Usually, it stops
there, but sometimes it will be a new inside person who asks around the office how
to code a bucket-of-steam or some other prank item.
Cables TiesZip ties.
CageA plastic lamp cage or guard to fit over pigtail and protect lamp from breakage.
Calking AnchorYou use this anchor when you want to attach a machine screw to concrete, block or
brick. Sizes from 6/30 to 3/4″.
Camel ToeThe Right Angle Beam Clamp (RC) attaches pipe at a right angle to a beam.
Associated products are the Parallel (PC) and Edge (EC) clamp. It comes in sizes from
3/8″ to 4″ conduit.
Can lightsA recessed light or downlight is a light fixture that is installed into a hollow opening
in a ceiling. When installed it appears to have light shining from a hole in the
ceiling, concentrating the light in a downward direction as a broad floodlight or
narrow spotlight.
Can WrenchA tubular wrench with two hex head sockets (3/8″ and 7/16″). One end for the
bolts used on telephone boxes and the other for binding-post terminals.
Canadian Standards Association
(CSA)

an independent testing agency that certifies products to its established standards
of safety and performance.
Candlestickfiberglass downlead bracket, named so for its shape.
Candy Grabberschannellock pliers.
Cant Hooka curved and pointed hook on the end of a wooden or fiberglass pole
Caplet Fittingused to terminate type ac cable or nm cable to open wiring or knob and
tube. Similar to a weatherhead.
Capped Corner CouplingWhen you need to run EMT along the wall and make an “L” on the inside corner of
the wall with access to the wire inside, the Inside Corner Elbow fits the
job. The top screws off for access to the wires inside, and the set screws connect
the fitting to the conduit. Available in 1/2″ and 3/4″.
Carflex®Originally invented by Anaconda in 1947, Sealtite® is the Trade name for the flexible,
liquid-tight conduit. It can be found in applications as mundane as an air
conditioning whip all the way to nuclear power plants. It is
essentially a flexible metal core (much like Greenfield) covered by a moisture-resistant covering in its many forms. The typical construction for general use in electrical
construction is a crush-resistant core made from high-grade galvanized steel with
a smooth bore for easy wire fishing. The PVC jacket covers the core to protect from moisture, dirt, and abrasion. This product can also be ordered in low smoke, low toxic version for Transit Authority work.
Carnival Light/SocketLampholder that uses 12G Circuit Wire to Power & Suspend bulb from the air.
Caroet Flangea ring that is used with a floor box to provide a decorative finish.
Carpenter PencilThick, square pencil used for marking on rough surfaces.
Carpet PlateBrass adapter that fits between floor box collar and device mounting plate.
Cartridge FuseA cartridge fuse found in amperage sizes 60amp or lower. This group also includes
midget, glass and ceramic fuses with the exception being that these fuses are used
for electronic devices. If you are asked for a cartridge safety switch, it refers to a 60
or 30amp switch. The item code shown below is a reference to one type of fuse
and isn’t an indication at all of what the customer wants. You need to know
amperage, voltage, UL Class, interrupting rating and most importantly, application.
Cast Floor BoxWater tight cast iron floor box in round or multi-gang rectangular.
Cat Headcapstan hoist, for relocating weighty loads.
Catchers Mask HeaterAptly named the “Catchers Mask” heater, this unit is often found on job sites trailers
because it is a combination radiant and fan-forced heater with a safety tip-over
switch. The three settings of 600, 900 and 1500 watts are sufficient for personal
use, and the units seem to survive the job site hardships you’d expect to find. The
radiant setting is used at the 600-watt level and is an option on the 1500 watt level.
Cattle Guarda guy guard, made from metal or plastic.
Caulk-In®You use this anchor when you want to attach a machine screw to concrete, block or
brick. Sizes from 6/30 to 3/4″.
CBS BarCeiling box support attaches to black iron and provides place to attach a box.
C-channelThe strut used to hang acoustical tile is called Black iron. This is the “C” shaped, 1-
1/2″ black strut that is bolted to the concrete deck or wooden beams using CADDY®
hangers to create a secure mounting point for the grid ceiling runners. When
looking-up fittings for black iron, most catalogs, such as CADDY®, use the term
Lathers Channel.
Century-Line® Wall SleeveIt is often necessary to plan and prepare for the conduit to
pass through a concrete wall during new construction. Wall Sleeves are used during the forming process
before the concrete is poured to ensure proper placement of the conduit and
allow for a complete seal once the conduit is inserted. While the Link-Seal®
Modular Seal works well without the wall sleeve, and together they create a superior system to just the Modular Seal itself. Called the Century-Line® sleeve, they
are made from HDPE and are 1/8 the weight of steel sleeves. They range in
diameter from 2″ to 25″ and have a built-in expansion joint.
Chain WrenchWrench used to turn large pipes made from bicycle chain for leverage.
ChairWhen burying multiple electrical conduits in concrete, they need to have
specific spacing between each other to ensure the integrity of the resulting
concrete pour. Too close together, and the concrete slab won’t have sufficient
rigidity. Too far apart, and the installation may not be possible or efficient. Therefore, spacers are used to keep the proper distance between conduits and support
them as the concrete is slushing and being compacted around them. The
installation uses two types of spacers: Base and Intermediate. Sometimes called a chair, the Base spacer goes at the very bottom of the pile, and the first conduit is
laid inside it. The intermediate spacers go on top of each conduit and form both the
top of one and the bottom of the next. That is why they are sometimes called the
ladder.
Channel Locks®Large grooved joint pliers with right angle teeth for excellent holding ability.
Chase NippleThis fitting connects one electrical product to another through a knockout ranging
from 3/8″ to 6″. It functions like a nipple, except it is formed with a flat locknut
affixed at one end. You’d use it to connect fixtures to form continuous
runs, connect metal boxes, etc. The centre of the Chase nipple is hollow, and they are available with an insulated throat. Named after this turn of the
century manufacturer. Sometimes gets confused with Close Nipple, which is
completely different.
Cheater: BreakerIn the space of one 1″ breaker, fits two breakers side-by-side (Twin) or over/under
(Piggyback).
Cheater: Wire DeviceConverts a 2-wire ungrounded outlet, so it accepts a 3-wire U-Ground plug. It is
rated 120V and 15amp. This is not a safe item to use and should be replaced with a
modern 3-prong outlet with proper ground.
Cheaterschannellock pliers, named so because they make the job easier.
Cheese Head ScrewAn old term for a Fillister Head Screw.
CherryPlastic insulator to separate guts from the backbox (as in the cabinet that contains
a panel).
Cherry Pickera bucket truck. (Cherries not included).
Chicago BenderIn addressing conduit bending, the NEC requires that “bends in conduits will be
made so that the tubing will not be injured and that the internal diameter of the
conduit will not be effectively reduced.” The Chicago-Type manual benders
accomplish this quickly and reliably. It consists of a carriage to provide firm
support, a removable bending frame so the user can work off the carriage or
workbench, a 0 to 90degree bending indicator, a short handle and a shoe to
accommodate specific conduit sizes. The user puts a piece of rigid pipe into the
short handle to gain greater leverage. Shoes come in sizes from 1″ to 2″.
Chicago GripSee ‘Chicago Grip.’
Chicken CatcherThe service wedge clamp provides a mechanical strain relief for self-supporting
drop wire. It gets attached or wedged to the support wire on incoming utility ACSR,
Aluminum or AAAC conductors which typically range from #6 to 4/0. This fitting
protects the cable from breaking under adverse weather conditions and is a
convenient device to support the cable while the drop portion is cut to size. They
are available from several suppliers such as Blackburn, Madison, and Porcelain
Products with different part numbers depending upon the wire type and size.
Chicken TracksEpoxirod tri unit, (see also ‘crows foot’).
Chicken Wingin distribution construction a steel post insulator standoff, (see also ‘turkey wing’).
ChicoCHICO, like CONDULET, is a registered trademark of Crouse-Hinds. According to
Product Line Manager of Fittings, Brad Delans, CHICO comes from their name. C =
Crouse, HI for Hinds and CO for company. Sealing compound used for hazardous
location fittings. It provides a seal around and between the electrical conductors
within the fitting. The sealing compound (cement) comes in package sizes ranging
from 8oz to 10lbs and is mixed with water on the job site in the shipping container.
As a liquid insulating compound, it is used along with the sealing or packing fiber.
The fiber serves to prevent the sealing compound from leaking into the conduit and
it put between the wires and the fitting hub before the sealing compound is poured
into the fitting. The part numbers for Crouse-Hinds is as follows: A3 = 16oz can, A05
= 80oz can, X4 = 2oz of FIBER and X7 = 16oz of FIBER.
Chili Bowlan oversized pin-type insulator.
Chinese FingerBasket type pulling grip where wire mesh tightens over wire when pulled.
Chinese MoneyReducing washers.
Chocolate BarSometimes called a quick connector, this insulation displacement connector is used
to tap into electrical wires to draw power without having to cut, splice and tape the
wires. The chocolate bar refers to this specific size (14-18 AWG tap on a 10-12 AWG
run) but the family of taps is used for everything from automotive wiring, fixtures,
marine and control circuits.
Chokera sling made out of nylon.
Christmas Treeauxiliary arm extending from a pole that is used to lift conductors.
Circuitthe path of electrical flow from a power source through an outlet and back to
ground.
CJUsed to support nonmetallic sheathed cable (RX) or MC/AC cable on wood or metal
studs. Available in 4 styles for Wood, Metal Stud or Furring Strip/Hat Channel. Used
to get compliance with NEC for Metal Stud Use.
Clamp Backa raceway fastening accessory typically used with a conduit strap to position a
raceway away from a wall.
CLASS I locationsare those locations in which flammable gases or vapors are or may be present in
the air in quantities sufficient to produce explosive or ignitable mixtures.
CLASS II locationsare those locations that are hazardous because of the present combustible dust.
CLASS III locationsare those locations that are hazardous because of the presence of easily ignitable
fibres or flyings, but in which the fibres or flyings are not likely to be in suspension
in the air in quantities sufficient to produce ignitable mixtures.
Cleat Hangersee bar hanger.
Clevis HangerUsed to hang conduit from a strut support.
CLFacroymn for current limiting fuse.
Climbershooks for climbing poles.
Clock HangerElectrical plate with recessed outlet to hang and power a wall clock.
Close NippleA conduit nipple is a piece of pipe that has been treaded on both ends. The stock
length ranges from CLOSE to 12″ long, and the diameter ranges from a nominal 1/2″
to 6″. A CLOSE nipple is a trade term meaning that this nipple is the shortest one
available. They are ordered by specifying both length and diameter.
Clum Somea greenhorn, or new, helper.
CODEGUARD®RACO trademark for weatherproof cover and Hubbell WRTR device.
Coffin Hoista chain hoist of any type.
Cold ChiselWhen working with stone and metal, the cold chisel is the right choice. Comes in
varying widths and lengths but usually has a flat or mushroomed head for the
striking area.
Cold GalvanizeWhen sprayed on ferrous metal, it prevents it from oxidizing. Composed mainly of
zinc is used to galvanize bare metal or to touch-up, hot-dipped galvanized fittings &
pipes.
Cold ShrinkSlips over splice, pull-out plastic core, rubber shrinks by 50% to form tight seal.
Cold ShutWhen you want to attach something to a chain, the cold shut is an easy way to do
it. Slip the cold shut into the chain link and drive it closed with a swift, accurate
hammer blow. Next, peen the exposed end flat to guard against the cold shut from
opening. When used for chain repair, use a cold shut one size larger than the repairing chain.
Colorado Jim® Cable SupportUsed to support nonmetallic sheathed cable (RX) or MC/AC cable on wood or metal
studs. Available in 4 styles for Wood, Metal Stud or Furring Strip/Hat Channel. Used
to get compliance with NEC for Metal Stud Use.
Combination Box CoverCover to adapt 4″ or 5″ boxes to accept a wiring device. Wall plate added later, (see
also ‘Square Device Box’; ‘Combination Box Cover’).
Combination Couplinga coupling device used to join two dissimilar raceways (ie., rigid and flex).
Come-A-Longa wire grip for holding tension of a conductor or strand. Also spelled cum-a-long.
Coming Up Easya phrase meaning pick-up the load or increase tension.
Concentric Knockouta combination knockout where all the knockouts have the same center (eg.,
masonry boxes).
Concrete AnchorSleeve type heavy-duty anchor that comes with a variety of head types. The
installation base does not have to be solid like is necessary for the Wedge Type
Anchor. Can be used in concrete, brick, block or stone.
Concrete Boxa box intended for use in concrete and masonry block. It is not intended for
installation in a floor.
Concrete Pipe SleeveThis is an 8-1/2″ deep sleeve put into place by the electrician before the
concrete being poured, and it comes in varying widths. After the concrete sets,
the conduit is run through the sleeve to run risers from deck to deck. If a pour is deeper
than 8-1/2″, then the user will use two or more stacked together to do the job.
They are made from slippery plastic and are usually a forest green colour. You
would order them in sizes from 1-1/2″ through 6″. A 4″ Crete sleeve would allow a
3″ pipe to fit inside.
Concrete RingsThis is an open-bottomed octagon ring that gets cemented into the building floor
(deck) after being nailed to the wood subflooring. Using backplates and covers,
it becomes a complete deck box and is available in depths from 2″ to 6″ with
knockouts from 1/2″ to 1″. It is called a concrete ring when extending an
existing mud box, and it can be called a mud box when it has a backplate and serves
as a mud box. A classic mud box, however, comes as one unit with the backplate
welded in place.
Concrete-Tight Fittinga fitting that, when assembled to conduit or tubing of the proper size, excludes
concrete aggregate.
Conductor Fillrefers to the number of current carrying and grounding conductors permitted by
the National Electrical Code (NEC) to be used in conduit and tubing
Conductor GallopingWhen ice or water build-ups, high winds cause high-amplitude, low-frequency
oscillation of overhead powerlines.
Conductorselectrical term describing wires capable of carrying an electrical current or wire
being used as a ground, usually sheathed with an insulating material.
Conduit(raceway) a pipe or tube designed to enclose and protect conductors or cables
from moisture and physical damage.
Conduit Bodya portion of a conduit or tubing system that provides access through a removable
cover(s) to the interior of the system at a junction of two or more sections of the
system or at a terminal point of the system.
Conduit Clampa fastening clamp used to mount raceways.
Conduit HangerThe steel conduit hanger is used to secure 1/2″ to 4″ rigid (GAL) or EMT conduit to
some support using the hole on top of the hanger. Typically, the pipe is
suspended from the strut or directly from the concrete using a piece of the threaded rod
. Still, the hanger is also used to attach conduit directly to an insulator or some other
surface. Manufactured by Steel City, Erico (Caddy), Bridgeport and others, the
hanger is available with or without the lower bolt and nut. Originally invented by
Minneralac in 1904 as the Standard Conduit Hanger.
Conduit SpacerThese spacers are typically used in high-rise concrete deck construction, where you
pre-situate your conduit, and then pour the concrete around it. When you have two
or more pipes coming up through the deck, and you need to make sure they stay in
alignment with each other so they will properly match-up with standard knockouts
on junction boxes, you use either Eyeglasses or Nail On Deck Plates. They both
come in two or three-hole configurations from 1/2″ to 1″ rigid, but the nail-on deck
plates have a greater surface area to contact with the wooden deck and are
reported to hold the conduit in place better than the typical Eyeglasses.
Conduit UnionConnects two pieces of the threaded rigid conduit when one piece can’t be turned.
It comes in aluminium, steel, malleable iron and zinc/die-cast construction in sizes
from 1/2″ to 5″ If the same thing needs to be done for non-threaded pipe, you
would use a threadless compression coupling.
Conduleta term used to refer to malleable or aluminum conduit bodies.
Connectora fitting intended to terminate a cable or raceway into a box, panel, etc.
Cord Grip (CG)a connector used to terminate flexible cords and cables into an enclosure.
Corn ClampThe Right Angle Beam Clamp (RC) attaches pipe at a right angle to a beam.
Associated products are the Parallel (PC) and Edge (EC) clamp. Comes in sizes from
3/8″ to 4″ conduit.
Corn Cobthimble adapter pin.
Country ClampSee ‘Waterpipe Ground Clamp’.
Couplinga fitting intended to connect two lengths of raceway.
CowboyThe steel conduit hanger is used to secure 1/2″ to 4″ rigid (GAL) or EMT conduit to
some support using the hole on top of the hanger. Typically, the pipe is
suspended from the strut or directly from the concrete using a piece of the threaded rod, but the hanger is also used to attach conduit directly to an insulator or some other
surface. Manufactured by Steel City, Erico (Caddy), Bridgeport and others, the
hanger is available with or without the lower bolt and nut. Originally invented by
Minneralac in 1904 as the Standard Conduit Hanger.
CrabA network crab connector (CRAB) is used in an underground utility hole to connect
several large power cables. Typically made from pure copper, they are
also available in aluminium and come insulated or bare. Crabs can also be made
with fusible joints to provide current limiter protection for all cables in the crab.
Crete SleeveThis is an 8-1/2″ deep sleeve put into place by the electrician before the
concrete being poured, and it comes in varying widths. After the concrete sets,
the conduit is run through the sleeve to run risers from deck to deck. If a pour is deeper
than 8-1/2″, then the user will use two or more stacked together to do the job.
They are made from slippery plastic and are usually a forest green colour. You
would order them in sizes from 1-1/2″ through 6″. A 4″ Crete sleeve would allow a
3″ pipe to fit inside.
Crosby ClampThe “Crosby” wire rope clip is a galvanized fitting used to securely fasten wire rope
or guy strand. It is extremely durable. The U bolt goes over the wire and the iron
saddle is attached below. Then, the bolts are tightened and the guy wire is locked
in place.
Crosby Clipwire rope guy wire clip.
Crossarm ClevisClevis and insulator to deadend service drop. Various sizes.
Crossbar HangerAn adaptor used to affix a lighting fixture directly to an electric box when the
fixture and electrical box mounting holes do not line up, (see also ‘Fixture Bar’).
CrowsfootWhen you want to hang a light fixture on the wall or ceiling and there isn’t a ceiling
box in place, the crowsfoot provides a 3/8″ threaded fixture stud to mount to. The
1/2″ stud is also available but not common.
Cube TapConverts single receptacle opening to 3 openings in a short cube shaped device.
Usually made from soft brown rubber.
Cubefuse™The CUBEFuse™ is a compact industrial power fuse where all of the components
meet IEC 60529 for “finger-safe” compliance. This means that the maintenance
personnel have added protection from accidentally touching energized equipment
during fuse replacement. From 1 to 60 amp 3 pole 600v configurations.
Current SnifferThese devices detect the presence of voltage without direct contact with the wire.
One style (Greenlee 1010 or Fluke 1ACA1) looks like a pen, and you touch the tip to
a possible power source such as a wire or outlet, and if the tip glows red, you know
there is some level of voltage present. An upgraded version of the Greenlee 1010
Volt Tick called 1112 includes a flashlight. The other style is an audible detector
that chirps as you get closer to the load, detects a higher and lower voltage range,
detects both hot & neutral, and detects if breakers are powered.
D.A.Bolt acronym for the double-arming bolt.
Damp Locationpartially protected locations such as under canopies or roofed open porches, and
interior locations subject to moderate degrees of moisture, such as basements,
barns and cold-storage warehouses.
Dead Front PlugA male dead front plug for 15A 120V.
Dead ManA multi-bladed anchor set into a hole dug in the earth. It expands to form a cone-shaped square in either 6” or 8” sizes. When covered by the earth, it supports the
Anchor Rod through the compression of the earth above it. Reinforcing ribs provide
strength to the blades, which are capable of handling extremely heavy loads.
Deadbreak ElbowA connector that facilitates connecting transformers, switches, sectionalizing
cabinets and junctions to underground cables when there is no electrical load (see
also ‘Deadbreak Elbow’).
Deck StandThe FBS is used to secure an electrical box or conduit from moving during a
concrete pour. They attach to the floor or concrete forms and adjust up to 8″ and
come in 12″, 16″ and 18″ heights. Offered by Caddy® as the FBS, Raco as the 429
and by ARC-CO as the RBSS. The ARC-CO unit comes with a hickey for easier
installation to the back knockout of a box, while the Caddy® has a slotted centre
suitable for a nut & bolt.
De-OxAs the goo used in compression and split-bolt connections
where the aluminium wire is used, the PENETROX product is an oxide-inhibiting grease
designed to create an air-tight and moisture-resistant joint. The goal is to prevent
the oxidation or corrosion of the metal products used in the electrical connection.
Depending upon the type of metals found in the joint, you would use a specific
a version of the product containing suspended particles designed for that metal.
Type “A” contains Copper particles and is used for Aluminum to Copper or
Aluminium to Conduit (Steel). Type “B” contains Zinc particles and is used where the
metals are all aluminium. It has found favour in several industries, such as Ham
Radio operators, where the grease acts as a lubricant for threaded connections, reduce the chance of seizing down the road.
Device CoverA raised device cover is used to adapt a 4″ or 5″ box to accept wiring devices. A
finish plate is then put over the device. They come in 1 or 2 gang and a variety of
“raise” sizes from flat to 1-1/4″ and are used on drywall or plaster.
Device Earsears or tabs with holes spaced to accommodate wiring devices. Device ears are
found on plaster rings, switch boxes and handy boxes.
Device Mounta term commonly used to denote where the screws of a device cover attach.
Diaperrubber blanket pinned on overhead construction;
Dielectric GreaseTypically though of as the goo used in compression and split-bolt connections
where aluminum wire is used, the PENETROX product is an oxide-inhibiting grease
designed to create an air-tight and moisture resistant joint. The goal is to prevent
the oxidation or corrosion of the metal products used in the electrical connection.
Depending upon the type of metals found in the joint, you would use a specific
a version of the product containing suspended particles designed for that metal.
Type “A” contains Copper particles and is used for Aluminum to Copper or
Aluminium to Conduit (Steel). Type “B” contains Zinc particles and is used where the
metals are all aluminium. It has found favour in several industries, such as Ham
Radio operators, where the grease acts as a lubricant for threaded connections, reduce the chance of seizing down the road.
Dig Polea transition pole for going from overhead to underground distribution.
Digging Bartemporary lifting device, (see also ‘pole buddy’).
DikesThis essential electrician’s tool comes in various configurations that will cut
and strip wire, serve as pliers, crimp wire connectors, hold and clean 5/8″ pole
line threaded bolts and more. Electricians, however, use them for things they were
not intended for, such as a hammer, pry bar and all-around bolt-cutter.
Discan insulator, either dead-end type of suspension type.
Diving BoardAdjustable sliding scaffold board.
Do Nothingconduit box support bracket
Docoacronym for drop out cutout which is an open-type cutout.
Dog BoneEHV yoke plates, name so for their shape;
Dog HouseElectric floor mounted surface outlet mounts from a poke-thru.
Dolphin® BThese splices fall into a category called Insulation Displacement Connectors are
used exclusively for plain old telephone wires (POTS), alarm and other low voltage
circuits. You insert the cables, compress with a linesman pliers (or unique tool), and
the metal teeth inside will pierce the insulation and make a permanent connection
that is moisture resistant. While the Dolphin is re-distributed by various
manufacturers and refers to the round tubular unit, the 3M UR performs a similar
job but has a gel to protect the wires.
Donkey DickInsulated multi-tap connector, like the IPLD5004.
DonutReducing washer to fit a smaller pipe into a conduit entrance.
Doogle SwitchTwo switches in a single device.
Dooron enclosed-type cutouts, the door.
Door SwitchRecesses in the jam of a door and closes a circuit when the door opens.
Double CrossbarAn adaptor used to affix a lighting fixture directly to an electric box when the
fixture and electrical box mounting holes do not line up, (see also ‘Fixture Bar’).
Double Expansion ShieldA Zinc anchor that sets in masonry by tightening a screw or bolt 1/4-3/4″.
Double Sided TapeTermed “double sided tape,” this has the sticky stuff on both sides and is used to
attach lightweight items that will later be screwed into place. It is more for
alignment and ease of final installment than for permanent installation when used
in the electrical industry.
Double ThunderlocA Zinc anchor that sets in masonry by tightening a screw or bolt 1/4-3/4″.
Drag LineNylon rope blown, shot, or snaked into conduit to pull wire or a bigger pull line.
Draw StudDraws knockout tool punch into the die to punch holes in sheet metal.
Driftera lineman who wants to see the world.
Dryer CordPre-molded extension cord for a clothes dryer.
Dryer Receptacle30amp power receptacle used for clothing driers.
Duplex ReceptacleElectrical outlet device having two plug receptacles.
DURALO®is a trademark identifying a tricoat protective finish used on iron electrical conduit
fittings for standard and hazardous locations.
Dversibit®Quality bit welded to a long flexible steel shaft to install wire in existing work.
DynaboltSleeve type heavy-duty anchor that comes with a variety of head types. The
installation base does not have to be solid like is necessary for the Wedge Type
Anchor. Can be used in concrete, brick, block or stone.
E.H.V.acronym for extra-high voltage.
Eagle Eyeleveling crossarms by sight with no measuring instruments.
Earthquake ClipOfficially called a Lay-In Fixture Support Clip, it is used to support lay-in fixtures to
the ceiling grid so they can withstand a shock such as a hurricane or an earthquake.
Ec ClampThe Edge Beam Clamp (EC) mounts pipe parallel to the beam. Associated products
are the Edge (EC) and Right Angle (RC) clamp. Comes in sizes from 1/2″ to 3″
conduit.
Edge Pipe Clamp (Ec)The Edge Beam Clamp (EC) mounts pipe parallel to the beam. Associated products
are the Edge (EC) and Right Angle (RC) clamp. It comes in sizes from 1/2″ to 3.”
conduit.
Eelsline hose, temporary cover up.
Egg Breakera guy strain insulator.
Egg Suckeran insulated pole, usually made of fibreglass, used by electric utility workers when
engaged in live-line working on energized high-voltage electric power lines to
protect them from electric shock (see ‘shotgun stick’).
EggsWhen guy wires are used to support a pole or tower structure, they can act as a
lightning rod electrocuting someone who may be touching the wire, then the
the design gets hit. To help protect against this, these are used to electrically
insulate the lower portion of the guy wire from the upper (see also ‘Guy Strain
Insulators’; ‘Goat Head’; ‘Eggs’).
Elbowa curved section of raceway intended to change the direction of the run.
Elbow Pre-FabConduit elbows are available for EMT, RIGID, PVC COATED GALVANIZED,
FIBERGLASS and PVC. The standard elbows come in 90 degree and 45 degree but a
wide range of bends and radiuses are available. In general, the customer ordering a
PREFAB 45 is looking for a 45 degree elbow and you have to ask what kind of
conduit it is being connected to.
Electrical TapeInexpensive, black vinyl electrical tape.
Electroplatinga term used to describe the process of electrically depositing a layer of corrosion
resistant material (i.e., zinc) onto steel or iron parts.
Elephant Eara high-strength strain insulator.
Elephant Earsthe arc chute on certain types of cutouts for extinguishing the arc while breaking a
load;
EMTElectro Metallic Tubing (EMT) is used to protect wires within an electrical system. It
is the most commonly used raceway because it can be concealed or surface
mounted, it is low cost, light weight and doesn’t require threading tools like rigid.
The bending process, however, requires more skill than with rigid because EMT is
prone to kink. It is also called “thin-wall” because the wall is much thinner than
rigid conduit of the same nominal size. Available from Wheatland, Allied, LTV and
others.
End Runthat portion of the branch circuit that extends to the last fixture or device.
EndoA tie stick.
ENTElectrical Non-Metallic Tubing (ENT) – a plastic corrugated raceway of circular cross
section that is resistant to moisture and chemical atmospheres, and that is flame
retardant.
Epdmacronym for (ethylene propylene diene modified).
Equalizersa pair of connectors;
EricksonConnects two pieces of the threaded rigid conduit when one piece can’t be turned.
It comes in aluminium, steel, malleable iron and zinc/die-cast construction in sizes
from 1/2″ to 5″ If the same thing needs to be done for non-threaded pipe, you
would use a threadless compression coupling.
ETLcertification mark for Intertek Testing Services. ITS tests to the standards of UL, CSA
and other international standards.
Expanding AnchorA multi-bladed anchor set into a hole dug in the earth. It expands to form a cone-shaped square in either 6” or 8” sizes. When covered by the earth, it supports the
Anchor Rod through the compression of the earth above it. Reinforcing ribs provide
strength to the blades, which are capable of handling extremely heavy loads.
Expansion Deflection CouplingExpansion Deflection couplings (joints) are fittings that allow for 3/4″ movement in
any direction between two pieces of Rigid, IMC or PVC conduit. The deflection term
comes from its ability to bend up to 30 degrees. They are typically used when the
conduit has to withstand vibration from machinery or vehicles. Made by CrouseHinds, OZ Gedney and others, they come in sizes ranging from 1/2″ to 6″.
Expansion Fitting – CouplingExpansion couplings (joints) are one-piece fittings that allow for longitudinal
movement to provide expansion and contraction in a metal conduit system. This
may happen for various reasons, such as when a conduit is entering a foundation,
from ambient temperature fluctuations, unintended consequences of long
conduit runs, or building design requirements. Made by Crouse-Hinds, OZ Gedney, and others, they come in sizes ranging from 1/2″ to 5″ and are available as couplings or connectors. The AX version shown is a coupling for Rigid conduit while
the TX is for EMT.
Exposed Work CoverAttach wiring devices to this and then this attaches to 4/5″ box. Many combos.
Extension Ringused to extend the box when it is recessed back in a wall. Also provides more cubic
inch capacity for the box if needed.
EXTRA DUTY®a tradename applied to weatherproof while-in-use covers that have passed UL
testing and are listed as “Extra Duty”.
Eyeballvisual determination without using tools.
EyeglassesThese spacers are typically used in high-rise concrete deck construction, where you
pre-situate your conduit, and then pour the concrete around it. When you have two
or more pipes coming up through the deck, and you need to make sure they stay in
alignment with each other so they will properly match-up with standard knockouts
on junction boxes, you use either Eyeglasses or Nail On Deck Plates. They both
come in two or three-hole configurations from 1/2″ to 1″ rigid, but the nail-on deck
plates have a greater surface area to contact with the wooden deck and are
reported to hold the conduit in place better than the typical Eyeglasses.
EyesSafety glasses.
Ez AnchorNylon or Zinc self-drilling anchor used for #8 x 1″ screws into sheetrock, (see also
‘Sure Wall’).
F clipsHolds gem box in sheetrock by offering counter pressure to the box ears.
F StrapHolds gem box in sheetrock by offering counter pressure to the box ears.
Fan Boxa box that is UL listed for the support of a ceiling (paddle) fan.
Far Side Box SupportThis 3-1/4″ accessory attaches to the back of a wall box and supports it by resting
between the box and the wall or support behind it. The Raco unit is a plastic device, while the CADDY® J1A35 is a bendable piece of sheet metal.
F-BracketsHolds gem box in sheetrock by offering counter pressure to the box ears.
F-ClampsHolds gem box in sheetrock by offering counter pressure to the box ears.
Feed BagA tool bag used by lineman , made by Klein Tools.
Female PlugA female plug attached to portable cord for 15A 120V.
Female ReducerAn adapter used when you have a knockout, or threaded female outlet needs to be
reduced to a smaller size conduit. Once installed by threading into a female outlet,
it has a female adapter that receives a threaded male fitting of the smaller
line. They often come with a hex head which allows easy tightening into the
outlet using a wrench. Sizes range from 3/4″ to 1/2″ to 3/4″ to 1/2″. The
reverse of this application is the Male Enlarger.
Ferrule FuseA cartridge fuse found in amperage sizes 60amp or lower. This group also includes
midget, glass and ceramic fuses, except that these fuses are used
for electronic devices. If you are asked for a cartridge safety switch, it refers to a 60
or 30amp switch. The item code shown below refers to one type of fuse
and isn’t an indication at all of what the customer wants. You need to know
amperage, voltage, UL Class, interrupting rating and most importantly, application.
Festoon SocketLampholder that uses 12G Circuit Wire to Power & Suspend bulb from the air.
FiberfillCHICO, like CONDULET, is a registered trademark of Crouse-Hinds. According to
Product Line Manager of Fittings, Brad Delans, CHICO comes from their name. C =
Crouse, HI for Hinds and CO for company. The sealing compound used for hazardous
location fittings. It provides a seal around and between the electrical conductors
within the fitting. The sealing compound (cement) comes in package sizes ranging
from 8oz to 10lbs and is mixed with water on the job site in the shipping container.
As a liquid insulating compound, it is used along with the sealing or packing fibre.
The fibre serves to prevent the sealing compound from leaking into the conduit, and
it put between the wires and the fitting hub before the sealing compound is poured
into the fitting. The part numbers for Crouse-Hinds is as follows: A3 = 16oz can, A05
= 80oz can, X4 = 2oz of FIBER and X7 = 16oz of FIBER.
Finger Line10354″ line.
Finger SafeThe CUBEFuse™ is a compact industrial power fuse where all of the components
meet IEC 60529 for “finger-safe” compliance. This means that the maintenance
personnel have added protection from accidentally touching energized equipment
during fuse replacement. From 1 to 60 amp 3 pole 600v configurations.
Finished Wallsstuds, furring strips, joists, that are covered with wood paneling, drywall, plaster,
Masonite or ceramic are considered finished.
Fire RingThis is an open-bottomed octagon ring that gets cemented into the building floor
(deck) after being nailed to the wood subflooring. Using backplates and covers,
it becomes a complete deck box and is available in depths from 2″ to 6″ with
knockouts from 1/2″ to 1″. It is called a concrete ring when extending an
existing mud box, and it can be called a mud box when it has a backplate and serves
as a mud box. A classic mud box, however, comes as one unit with the backplate
welded in place.
Fish BitQuality bit welded to a long flexible steel shaft to install wire in existing work.
Fish LeaderWhen fishing tape, it is often beneficial to have the fish tip be flexible to get around
sharp bends or ridges created at fitting junctions. The tape leader looks like a
tightly coiled spring with an attachment at one end to hold the fish line and a screw
at the other to attach to the fish.
Fish LineNylon line used during the power fishing phase of cable pulling. It comes in a variety
of strength ratings and is often specific to the vendor of the power fishing
equipment being used. This line attaches to a conduit piston (mouse), and when the
the blower shoots mouse, the fish line goes along and is used to pull back the
heavy pulling rope.
Fish TapeWhen inserted into a conduit run, it provides a means to attach wires or fish line at
one end and pull them out through the other. The flat, spring metal design makes it
extremely flexible and capable of navigation through elbows and turns. It is
typically sold in 1/8, 3/16 and 1/4″ widths with lengths from 25 to 100′. For
convenience, they are also sold within fish dispenser reels to automatically extend
and retract the fish tape but most people buy the inexpensive wire fish only and
store it in a short piece of Greenfield.
Fish Tape BallSwivel ball that attaches to steel fish tape. Prevents wire damage during pull.
Fixturea lighting assembly that is permanently attached to a building’s wiring system,
usually to a ceiling box.
Fixture BarAn adaptor used to affix a lighting fixture directly to an electric box when the
fixture and electrical box mounting holes do not line up, (see also ‘Fixture Bar’).
Fixture Bar (Adjustable)An adaptor used to affix a lighting fixture directly to an electric box when the
fixture and electrical box mounting holes do not line up ( see also ‘Crossbar
Hanger’).
Fixture Bar (For Mud Box)An octagon shaped box that hangs from ceilings from lathers channels and often
gets mistaken as a mud rings or other boxes that are buried by concrete.
Fixture Bar (T-Bar Ceiling)12-30″ bar clips onto T-bar (or grid) ceiling to attach a fixture/junction box.
Fixture Earsears or tabs with holes in them spaced 2- 3/4 in. or 3- 1/2 in. apart to
accommodate lighting fixtures.
Fixture Locknut HDNotched steel heavy duty fixture locknut 3/8″ for heavy fixtures.
Fixture WhipPre-frabricated 6″ piece of BX with connector to quickly wire-up light fixtures.
Flexible Armored Cable (BX)commonly called BX, a manufacturer’s trade name. It may be described as prewired
flexible metallic conduit since it includes two or more current carrying conductors
and can be supplied with a grounding conductor.
Flexible Metal ConduitA hollow, metal, flexible conduit system made of either steel or aluminum. Wires
are pulled through them in accordance with NEC 350, 430-123, 502-4, 503-3, 517-
30, 645-5. You find this used most often for fixture whips, motor attachments to
safety switches, and other short run connections where a flexible system is more
suitable than a rigid pipe system.
Flip Cutoutan open link cutout.
Floatera lineman who would quit in the middle of a job;
Floor Boxa box provided with means for flush mounting in a floor. The floor box may be used
to provide power, telephone or data connections in office or store areas.
Flower PotThis is an 8-1/2″ deep sleeve put into place by the electrician before the
concrete being poured, and it comes in varying widths. After the concrete sets,
the conduit is run through the sleeve to run risers from deck to deck. If a pour is deeper
than 8-1/2″, then the user will use two or more stacked together to do the job.
They are made from slippery plastic and are usually a forest green colour. You
would order them in sizes from 1-1/2″ through 6″. A 4″ Crete sleeve would allow a
3″ pipe to fit inside.
Fluorescent Hook HickeyRegular hook hickey has a 3/8″ thread on the top and a hook on the bottom
for a 3/8″ rod. The regular is opposed to the wide hook, the slotted switch, or
the ceiling hook hickies. This item is coded as Yorkville to refer to the old industry
standard catalogue but is not manufactured by Satco, Angelo or any others at this
time. Available stock is limited to New Old Stock.
FLUSH-FITa Hubbell Inc. trade name for a device leveling plate that corrects loose and
recessed devices.
Folding Extension RulerA 6′ hard-wood folding ruler painted yellow with the measurement markings in
black. The extension part is a metal (brass) piece that slides out from the first leg of
the ruler and extends 6″ to aid in making inside or hard to reach measurements.
While the “Slipstick” term is normally associated with the slide rules of the pre calculator age, the term Slipstick refers to the sliding metal extension on the folding
ruler.
Follow BarBender Follow Bar.
Footed Box SupportThe FBS is used to secure an electrical box or conduit from moving during a
concrete pour. They attach to the floor or concrete forms and adjust up to 8″ and
come in 12″, 16″ and 18″ heights. Offered by Caddy® as the FBS, Raco as the 429
and by ARC-CO as the RBSS. The ARC-CO unit comes with a hickey for easier
installation to the back knockout of a box, while the Caddy® has a slotted centre
suitable for a nut & bolt.
Ford ToolA large pry-bar used for a variety of purposes ranging from persuading the large
heavy object to move a few inches, to pulling spikes to stripping construction
materials during demolition.
Foreman in the WireCurl or kink in a wire.
Form 35a style of conduit body that requires a two screw cover.
Form 7a style of conduit body that requires a clip cover.
Form 8an “expanded volume” style of conduit body that requires a two screw cover.
Four-and-A-Quarterdead end insulator made from porcelain.
Fox and HoundsAudible circuit tracer; breaker buzzer.
Friction TapeProvides abrasion protection in wire and cable splices.
FrogThis Walker Headerduct accessory is a flat elbow which connects round conduit to
a cell in the cellular floor deck system or directly to the headerduct itself. It comes
in three sizes 3/4″, 1-1/4″, 1-1/2″ and 2″. As a note: Headerduct is normally
installed above and at right angles to the cells but this product can connect to
either/or.
From – to CouplingWhen you want to transition from one raceway type to another, you need a
combination coupling. These fittings are available in Steel & Diecast and come in
set-screw or compression. Although many possibilities exist, they typically go from
RIGID to EMT, from RIGID to IMC, from EMT to Liquid Tight (Sealtite) and from EMT
to Flexible Conduit (Greenfield). The complete line appears to be made by
Bridgeport.
FullmanBeam Clamps are used to hang objects from some kind of flange. They are attached
by tightening a set-screw between the jaw base and the beam flange and come in
sizes from 1/4″ to 2″. The bottom and back are tapped to accept a bolt or threaded
rod.
Furring Stripssmall wood strips attached to an existing wall to provide a means to attach
paneling or drywall.
Fuse Adapter RemoverRemoves the “S” type fuse adapter from Edison base fuse holders by shearing off
the cleats that secure the fuse adapter in place. This is extremely hard to find
the item.
Fuzz Boxa noisy tester.
Galvanized Rigid Conduit (GRC)Galvanized Rigid Metal Conduit comes in 10′ lengths with nominal trade diameters
ranging from 1/2″ to 6″. Unlike EMT which is a straight tube, rigid comes with a
3/4″ NPT thread on both ends. A coupling is threaded on one end and a colorcoded thread protector on the other. RED represents 3/4″ and 1-1/4″. BLUE is used
on all even sizes (1″, 2″, etc) and BLACK is on all the 1/2 sizes (1/2″, 2-1/2″, etc).
GAL can be in wet or dry locations and exposed or concealed in a variety of
circumstances. As a protection against metal-to-metal contact and for oxidation
related corrosion resistance, the conduit is coated with zinc using the hot-dip
galvanizing process. See the product called COLD GAL to see how it applies to this
conduit.
Gang BoxMobile storage box for contractor tools on a jobsite.
Gangablebox with a side that can be removed to allow the attachment of another box for
installation of multiple devices.
Garage Plug30″ 16/3 SJT cord spliced into a temporary light circuit for a local outlet.
Garvin CoverAttach wiring devices to this and then this attaches to 4/5″ box. Many combos.
Gatean open type cutout’s fusetube.
Gaugea term used to describe the physical size of a wire.
Gee ClipConnects the ground wire from Romex to a metal switch/outlet box.
Gem BoxMetal box, usually 2″ – 3-1/2″ deep with various mounting from ears, nail-on, to
masonry
GFI or GfciGround Fault Circuit Interrupter. This device interrupts power when it senses
voltage leaking through the grounding system. The GFC(I) protects the human
while the breaker protects the electrical system.
GimletsHanger bolts.
Go For EmWhen you want to transition from one raceway type to another, you need a
combination coupling. These fittings are available in Steel & Diecast and come in
set-screw or compression. Although many possibilities exist, they typically go from
RIGID to EMT, from RIGID to IMC, from EMT to Liquid Tight (Sealtite) and from EMT
to Flexible Conduit (Greenfield). The complete line appears to be made by
Bridgeport.
Go to CouplingWhen you want to transition from one raceway type to another, you need a
combination coupling. These fittings are available in Steel & Diecast and come in
set-screw or compression. Although many possibilities exist, they typically go from
RIGID to EMT, from RIGID to IMC, from EMT to Liquid Tight (Sealtite) and from EMT
to Flexible Conduit (Greenfield). The most complete line appears to be made by
Bridgeport.
Goat HeadWhen guy wires are used to support a pole or tower structure, they can act as a
lightning rod electrocuting someone who may be touching the wire then the
structure gets hit. To help protect against this, these are used to electrically
insulate the lower portion of the guy wire from the upper, (see also ‘Guy Strain
Insulators’; ‘Goat Head’; ‘Eggs’).
Goat Skintarp that covers work for you to come back to the next day.
Goatheadan angle iron punch.
Goathornsguy hooks, made out of iron.
Gold Fish®Brass plated wound-wire metallic fish tape suited for multi-bend applications.
Golf Carta tire-driven conductor pushing machine
Good and Plenty SpliceThese splices fall into a category called Insulation Displacement Connectors are
used exclusively for plain old telephone wires (POTS), alarm and other low voltage
circuits. You insert the cables, compress with a linesman pliers (or unique tool), and
the metal teeth inside will pierce the insulation and make a permanent connection
that is moisture resistant. While the Dolphin is re-distributed by various
manufacturers and refers to the round tubular unit, the 3M UR performs a similar
job but has a gel to protect the wires.
Goof PlateThese plates are used to conceal mistakes made during the installation or sheet
rocking of the wall boxes. If a cutout was made too large or the taping not done
properly, there just won’t be enough wall behind a normal plate to hide the gap
between the wall and the box. A large plate is used for these cases and they come
in large and extra-large depending upon how wide the gap is. The part number
shown is just to guide you to the correct section of the catalog because these come
in multiple gangs, colors and device configurations.
Goof ringThis is an open bottomed octagon ring that gets cemented into the building floor
(deck) after being nailed to the wood sub flooring. By using back plates and covers,
it becomes a complete deck box and is available in depths from 2″ to 6″ with
knockouts from 1/2″ to 1″. It is called a concrete ring when it is extending an
existing mud box and it can be called a mud box when it has a back plate and serves
as a mud box. A classic mud box, however, comes as one unit with the back plate
welded in place.
Goose GreaseTypically though of as the goo used in compression and split-bolt connections
where aluminum wire is used, the PENETROX product is an oxide-inhibiting grease
designed to create an air-tight and moisture resistant joint. The goal is to prevent
the oxidation or corrosion of the metal products used in the electrical connection.
Depending upon the type of metals found in the joint, you would use a specific
version of the product containing suspended particles designed for that metal.
Type “A” contains Copper particles and is used for Aluminum to Copper or
Aluminum to Conduit (Steel). Type “B” contains Zinc particles and is used where the
metals are all aluminum. It has found favor in a number of industries, such as Ham
Radio operators, where the grease acts as a lubricant for threaded connections and
reduces the chance of them seizing down the road.
Goose NeckPart of a downlight consisting of the BX, socket & housing to clip trim into.
Gophera lineman’s helper.
Gorilla SnotLubricating compound used to reduce tension between cable insulation and the
conduit during the pulling process. In the early days of the electrical industry,
people used Ivory Soap Flakes to perform this function earning it the term SOAP. In
1973, inventor Nelson Jonnes concocted a water-polymer solution that would
eventually become Polywater® It was initially marketed as “Slippery Stuff” and sold
to divers as a body lube to help ease into and out of the wet suits. Eventually it was
used as a sex lube and Polywater® sold that division off. The Polywater® product
caught-on as a cable lubricant initially with the Transit Authorities, which required
Be Bentonite Clay’s use Cable lubricant is sold by a wide variety of
manufacturers today.
GORILLA-RING®a RACO® concrete ring UL approved for fixture and ceiling fan support.
Gotchathe term for a split hinge design ring used in Hubbell strain relief cord connectors.
GoulashWet cement or concrete.
Grasshoppersee flip cutout.
GreenfieldA hollow, metal, flexible conduit system made of either steel or aluminium. Wires
are pulled through them following NEC 350, 430-123, 502-4, 503-3, 517-
30, 645-5. You find this used most often for fixture whips, motor attachments to
safety switches, and other short-run connections where a flexible system is more
suitable than a rigid pipe system.
Greenfield ConnectorAluminium or steel flex connector.
Greenie®The Greenie® is an Ideal Industries green coloured wire nut used for grounding and
bonding. Its features specify that it accepts 2 #14 to 3 #12 w/1 #14 AWG wire
combinations.
GRID-BRACE®A Hubbell Inc. trade name for a ceiling support assembly designed for ceiling fan or
fixture support for suspended ceilings.
Grip-Lokrefers to old work clips used to secure switch boxes with plaster ears in hollow
walls.
Grizzly® BarA large pry-bar used for a variety of purposes ranging from persuading the large
heavy object to move a few inches, to pulling spikes to stripping construction
materials during demolition.
GroundA conducting connection between an electrical circuit or equipment and the earth,
or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth. Neutral wires carry
the current to ground in all circuits. An additional grounding wire, or the sheathing
of metal clad cable or conduit, protects against shock from a malfunctioning tool or
other device.
Ground AdapterConverts a 2-wire ungrounded outlet so it accepts a 3-wire U-Ground plug. It is
rated 120V and 15amp. This is not a safe item to use and should be replaced with a
modern 3-prong outlet with a proper ground.
Ground ClipConnects the ground wire from Romex to a metal switch/outlet box.
Ground Fittinga fitting used to attach a grounding conductor to a ground pipe or rod.
Ground Hoga lineman’s helper.
Ground Lugmeans used to connect a ground wire to a fitting, clamp, or enclosure. Generally
made of copper, aluminium, brass or bronze.
Ground ScrewGround Screw a UL listed screw used to secure a grounding conductor to an enclosure.
Ground TailGreen #12 or #14 solid wire with ground screw affixed to the electrical box to
provide a ground connection.
Ground WireThe conductor used to connect the electrical equipment to the ground (or earth) at the
service entrance point, minimizing electrical shock potential. Usually clad in
green insulation or unclad.
Grunta lineman’s helper.
Gun SlingerThe device that a power blower shoots through a conduit system when fishing the
initial line. It typically has a hard plastic core with a flexible foam body that fits a
specific pipe size. It comes in 1/2″ through 6″ conduit sizes and has a loop at both
ends to attach the fish line.
Gut StrapA nylon or leather belt with hooks to support a heavily laden tool belt.
Gut Wrencha curved and pointed hook on the end of a wooden or fiberglass pole
Gutter ConnectorA gutter connector makes it easier and faster to interconnect enclosures and
troughs while providing a cleaner and more uniform appearance to the final
installation. The typical interconnection method is to use a threaded nipple, a
locknut on the outer surface of the enclosure, and a bushing on the inside of the
enclosure. The three-piece gutter connector requires only one locknut to tighten
down and provides a universal 1” distance between surfaces which eliminates time
spent adjusting the locknuts on the nipples to get a uniform spacing.
Guy Bolt ClampThis has been known since the turn of the century as the AT&T standard strand
clamp or guy clamp. It is made from hot-dipped galvanized rolled steel and will hold
any size guy strand from 1/4″ to 1/2″ diameter.
Guy Jacka chain hoist.
Guy Strain InsulatorsWhen guy wires are used to support a pole or tower structure, they can act as a
lightning rod electrocuting someone who may be touching the wire then the
structure gets hit. To help protect against this, these are used to electrically
insulate the lower portion of the guy wire from the upper, (see also ‘Guy Strain
Insulators’; ‘Goat Head’; ‘Eggs’).
Guy Wire ClampThe “Crosby” wire rope clip is a galvanized fitting used to securely fasten wire rope
or guy strand. It is extremely durable. The U bolt goes over the wire and the iron
saddle is attached below. Then, the bolts are tightened and the guy wire is locked
in place.
Half (1/2) Size BreakerIn the space of one 1″ breaker, fits two breakers side-by-side (Twin) or over/under
(Piggyback).
Half Powera lineman working off a jag.
Hand BenderThere are two types of hand-operated benders: hickeys and hand benders (or one-shot benders). While both are usually iron, hand benders are also offered in
aluminium. The real difference between them is the size of the head. Hickeys are
60% smaller then benders allowing the user to make very tight bends close
together. As a rule of thumb, you would use a hand bender most of the time
and save the hickey when you have to make several very tight bends that a
hand bender couldn’t do. Hand benders, however, have the advantage in
that they have degree scales and bending indicators etched on the side to aid in the
bending process. The One-Shot bender got its’ name because you can make a 90
degree bend with a single motion.
Handy BoxSteel surface mounted box measuring 4″ high and 2-1/2″ wide.
Handy Ella 90 degree elbow used either to connect two runs of conduit, or to connect a run
of conduit to an enclosure.
Hanger StrapThis is a ¾” wide galvanized steel band with holes to accommodate nails and bolts.
Available with the holes evenly spaced or with alternating small and large holes. It
is typically used to hang some kind of pipe from some kind of support system such
as strut, wooden studs or simple masonry.
Hard Heada lag screw.
Hard Linesteel bull line for pulling in wires, (see also ‘bull line’).
Haven GripWhen you are working with guy wire or other types of aircraft cables you need
some way of bringing the cable to tension while it is set in place and clamped
down. While these wire cables offer terrific pulling strength for their small size,
they are notoriously difficult to grab onto. The Bulldog grip, or Klein’s Haven, is a
small, lightweight grip that is ideal when the compression of the conductor is not
an issue. When coupled with a come-along, the Bulldog grip tensions and holds the
wire temporarily while a permanent fixture can be made. They are available for
cable sizes from .063 through .750 although the 1/4″ size is most common.
Hazardous Locationsare those locations where fire or explosion hazards may exist due to flammable
gases or vapors, flammable liquids, combustible dust, or ignitable fibers or flyings.
Headacheany item falling down from a pole;
HeatersThermal Overloads usually attached to the output of a motor contactor.
Heavywallsee rigid metal conduit.
Hickey – ConduitThere are two types of hand operated benders: hickeys and hand benders. While
both are usually iron, hand benders are also offered in aluminum. The real
difference between them is the size of the head. Hickeys are 60% smaller then
benders allowing the user to make very tight bends close together. As a rule of
thumb, you would use a hand bender most of the most save the hickey
when you have made several very tight bends that a hand bender simply
couldn’t do. Hand benders, however, have the advantage in that they have degree
scales and bending indicators etched on the side to aid in the bending process.
Hickey Fixture StudWhen you want to hang a light fixture on the wall or ceiling and there isn’t a ceiling
box in place, the crowsfoot provides a 3/8″ threaded fixture stud to mount to. The
1/2″ stud is also available but not common.
Hidden Workresidential and commercial construction where the electrical work is hidden by the
finished wall; only the wiring device, switch, wall plate or light fixture is visible.
High Potto apply high potential to electrical machine or equipment, normally done during
insulation testing.
High Voltage BlanketSwitchboard matting is generally a non-conductive, black rubber mat conforming to
ASTM D-178-93 Type I for use as a floor covering around live electrical equipment.
The product is available with a smooth finish, a corrugated or diamond a plate
surface. It is sold in 3′ widths with varying lengths.
High Voltage StickerFamily of stickers that say “danger high voltage” in a variety of styles/sizes.
Hog Livera flat guy strain insulator, made out of porcelain.
Holdit Switch BoxSupport Holds gem box in sheetrock by offering counter pressure to the box ears.
Hollow Wall AnchorA term for a sleeve type hollow-wall anchor typically installed into sheetrock that
work by using the installation screw to expand a metal frame that compresses the
front and back of the anchor to the sheetrock. Then, the installation screw can be
used to bolt an object to the wall. They come in screw sizes ranging from 1/8″ to
1/4″ and from 1-1/16″ to 3-3/8″ long.
Home Run (electrical)Any circuit that goes directly from the fixture to the breaker panel. For dedicated
outlets, isolated fixtures and high-load items, you would want them to be on their
own breakers. Those would get a home run, a line that goes all the way back
without stopping.
Honeymoon greasewire pulling lube
Hoodinsulator cover.
Hooksused for climbing poles
Hookstickinsulated stick for disconnecting.
Hoserubber or plastic cover up equipment (conductor cover).
Hot Arman extension arm.
Hot BoxRectangular box that a piece of 1/2″ through 4″ PVC is put into so it can be heated
to the point where it can be bent for offsets, saddles, bends, etc. As compared to
the PVC BLANKET, the HOT BOX bends a longer section of pipe and covers a wider
range of sizes in one product. The PVC BLANKET, however, is smaller and more
portable. To make bends, the electrician puts the pipe into the box, powers on the
unit, rotates the pipe while it heats-up and waits for the pipe to become flexible.
The pipe is then removed from the box and bent into the appropriate shape.
Hot LinkAn extension link, often ball-and-socket type.
Hot Stick: TesterThis is a safety device used to determine if an AC voltage exists in a powerline. Fire
departments use them to identify dangerous downed wires and linesmen use them
to identify live or dead cables. The units vary but have either a light or an audible
sound or both which gets louder and/or brighter as the voltage gets higher.
Hot Wirethe higher voltage conductor carrying electrical current (usually black) in a 120V
single phase system.
HotdogRed wire marker dispenser with 10 flip-top slots holding numbers 1-49, or letters AZ or Colors.
House Bracketa secondary rack.
House Knoba wire holder.
Hug-A-BugRefers to the insulating covers used for multiple tap connectors, parallel taps, Ttaps, etc. The cover snaps over the connection and this quick installation saves the
labor involved in the taping and insulating process.
Hung Ceiling BoxThis octagon box often gets confused with the mud rings or mud boxes because it
has the same shape and bottom studs, but it is for a hung ceiling and doesn’t get
buried by the concrete. The fixture bars that support it are wired into the lathers
channel.
Hurricane ClipOfficially called a Lay-In Fixture Support Clip, it is used to support lay-in fixtures to
the ceiling grid so they can withstand a shock such as a hurricane or earthquake.
I.D.inside diameter
Ice SkatesHolds gem box in sheetrock by offering counter pressure to the box ears.
Idiot Light TesterThis device is useful for quickly determining if a receptacle has power and if there is
anything obviously wrong with the wiring. Enhanced models perform GFCI testing
but this tester is essentially idiot-proof through the use of three lights and a sticker
explaining the meaning of these lights.
Idiot Sticka long, round steel bar with 2″ chisel on one end, (see also ‘digging bar’).
IMCsee intermediate metal conduit.
Impulse GeneratorA device used to locate faults in cables underground. This device uses a high
voltage discharge to produce an audible thump where the fault exists. The thump is
caused by the discharge exiting into the ground. The device is typically selfcontained as a portable device that can be used out in the field, (see also,
‘Thumper”; ‘Surge Generator’; ‘Banger’).
Inside Corner ElbowWhen you need to run EMT along the wall and make an “L” on the inside corner of
the wall with access to the wire inside, the Inside Corner Elbow is the fitting for the
job. The top screws off for access to the wires inside and the set screws connect
the fitting to the conduit. Available in 1/2″ and 3/4″.
Instant Foundationthe foundation of a streetlight.
Insulated Throat Connectorsinsulated throat connectors have a thermoplastic line pressed or glued into the
throat. This liner helps to prevent damage to the insulation when the conductors
are pulled.
Insulationsheathing or jacket of nonconducting material used to cover wires.
Interduct Electrical nonmetallic tubing for fiber optic cable. Though it was originally blue, it
now comes in a variety of colors, typically orange.
Intermediate SpacerWhen burying multiple runs of electrical conduit in concrete, they need to have
specific spacing between each other to ensure the integrity of the resulting
concrete pour. Too close together and the concrete slab won’t have sufficient
rigidity. Too far apart and the installation may not be possible or efficient. Spacers
are, therefore, spacers proper distance between conduits and support
them as concrete is slushing and compacted around them.The
installation uses two types of spacers: Base and Intermediate. The Base spacer,
so sometimes at the very bottle Base spacer tom of the pile and the first conduit is
laid inside it. The intermediate spacers go on top of each conduit and form both the
top of one and the bottom of the next. That is why they are sometimes called the
ladder.
J Hooka drive and screw hook.
Jack ChainStrong decorative weldless steel chain to hang fixtures. Usually made out of brass
or zinc.
Jack Strapssmall blocks used to pull up wire secondary.
Jacob’SLadder a rope ladder that is easily moved.
Jake-FittingShort elbow w/cover on back. Either threaded or S. S., and male, female or both
ends.
Jap WrapCheap, black electrical tape (140034 x 60).
Jelly Beans3M® invented the “U” style connector in the 1970s for communications
applications. It eliminated the need to strip and twist the POTS (Plain Old
Telephone) wires by using insulation displacement “U” shaped crimping contacts.
Insert the wires, crimp the circle shut, and you have a secure connection. Over time,
various wire sizes and tap types were created, and colour codes used to tell the
wire sizes. The UG is used to tap into an existing line without causing any interruption. Good for sizes 19-26AWG solid telecom or alarm wire.
Jelly Jar FixtureThe Jelly Jar fixture got it’s name from early light fixtures which resembled an
upside down jelly jar of the kind used to preserve foods. It is generally accepted to
mean one of the variety of vapor proof fixtures: ceiling: ceilinged comes in either 100 or 200 watts. These fixtures can have a metal grille guard or be the exposed glass.
Jet ShotsNylon rope blown, shot, or snaked into the conduit to pull wire or a bigger pull line.
JetlineNylon rope blown, shot, or snaked into the conduit to pull wire or a bigger pull line.
Jic EnclosureArguably, this is not slang, but since JIC is used to refer to the smaller
junction boxes, I’ve included it here. The Joint Industry Council (JIC) published two
Advisory Standards. EMP-1 ‘Electrical Standards for Mass Production Equipment
and EGP-1 ‘Electrical Standards for General Purpose Machine Tools’ Although the
council no longer exists, manufacturers such as Hoffman still refer to the JIC
standards. They have been replaced with current standards such as the NEMA and
UL 50
Jiffy Boxold work switch box.
Jiffy Clip: Box SupportHolds gem box in sheetrock by offering counter pressure to the box ears.
Jiffy Clip: StrapThis product has been around since the beginning days of conduit and is used to
secure the flexible or EMT conduit to the wall surface. According to their website
“Founded in 1894, Minerallac developed and patented many of the most common
parts used in electrical construction today. This includes the Standard Conduit
Hanger in 1904 and the one-hole strap “Jiffy Clip” in 1913.” Of unique interest is
the Minerallac “Duplex” Jiffy Clip which looked like an M and held down two pieces
of BX, Copper plumbing tubing, Greenfield, EMT, etc parallel to each other.
Jiffy Deadendnon-compression deadend used on metals such as copper.
Jigglera glow light, secondary voltage tester, (see also ‘wiggle’).
Johnny BallsWhen guy wires are used to support a pole or tower structure, they can act as a
lightning rod electrocuting someone who may be touching the wire, then the
the structure gets hit. To help protect against this, these are used to electrically
insulate the lower portion of the guy wire from the upper (see also ‘Guy Strain
Insulators’; ‘Goat Head’; ‘Eggs’).
Joisthorizontal beams that extend from wall to wall and support the floor or ceiling –
typically 2 in. x 10 in., 2 in. x 8 in. or 2 in. x 6 in.
Jolly Rancher2 port, 3 port..etc connectors for conductors (solid) Ideal™ or Wago™ are common
brands.
Joy JellySilicone compound for elbow terminators.
Jugshorizontal post insulators.
JuiceVoltage
Jumbo PlateThese plates are used to conceal mistakes made during the installation of sheetrocking of the wall boxes. If a cutout was made too large or the taping not done
properly, there won’t be enough wall behind a normal plate to hide the gap
between the wall and the box. A large plate is used for these cases, and they come
in large and extra-large depending upon how wide the gap is. The part number
is shown guides you to the catalogue’s correct section because these come
in multiple gangs, colours, and device configurations.
Jumper Holding Stickwire holding stick.
Junction Boxan enclosure used for splitting circuits into different branches. In a junction box,
wires connect only to each other, never to a switch, receptacle, or fixture.
Kalamazoo CutterAsk an old-timer what a Kalamazoo is, and he’ll remember some big machine used
to cut the pipe so the threader could thread it. With the arrival of the portable
bandsaw, the Kalamazoo faded into history in our industry, but someone looking for
a Kalamazoo would be happy to get a portable bandsaw.
KearnysSplit bolt connector (looks like someone taped over a bug) used to mechanically
join two or more wires together.
Kellums GripBasket type pulling grip where wire mesh tightens over wire when pulled.
Kettlean overhead transformer.
Keystone DoubleA Zinc anchor that sets in masonry by tightening a screw or bolt 1/4-3/4″.
Kick PlateNails onto stud where Romex passes throughto protect from other nails & screws
from later work.
Kilowatt (KW)one thousand watts, kilowatt measures power.
Kilowatt-Hourthe standard measure of electrical consumption or energy.
KindorfBrand name – for better known as “strut”.
kleinsThis essential electrician’s tool comes in varied various configurations and strip wire, serve as a pliers, crimp wire connectors, hold and clean 5/8″ pole
line threaded bolts and more. Electricians, however, use them for things they were
not intended for such as a hammer, pry bar and all-around bolt-cutter.
KneeSmall angle bracket for strut.
Knife Blade FuseA fuse found in amperage sizes greater than 60amp. If you are asked for a knife
blade safety switch, it refers to a 100amp or greater switch because the 60amp will
be a cartridge style fuse. Safety switches come in 30a, 60a, and then jump to 100a
although knife fuses are available starting at 70a, 80a, etc. The item code shown
below refers to one type of fuse and isn’t an indication at all of what the
customer wants. You need to know amperage, voltage, UL Class, interrupting rating
and most importantly, application.
Knife Switcha safetey switch, usually made out of brass.
Knock Out ClosureUsed to cap-off pipe w/o a bushing or close a knock-out. Various sizes. Plastic.
Knuckle Busteran adjustable wrench.
KO (Knockout)a circular tab on the side or bottom of a box pushed back in place with a small
piece of steel remaining uncut to hold the tab in place until it is removed for
installation of conduit or a connector.
Kool Aid (Cu/Al Aid)Typically though of as the goo used in compression and split-bolt connections
where aluminum wire is used, the PENETROX product is an oxide-inhibiting grease
designed to create an air-tight and moisture resistant joint. The goal is to prevent
the oxidation or corrosion of the metal products used in the electrical connection.
Depending upon the type of metals found in the joint, you would use a specific
version of the product containing suspended particles designed for that metal.
Type “A” contains Copper particles and is used for Aluminum to Copper or
Aluminum to Conduit (Steel). Type “B” contains Zinc particles and is used where the
metals are all aluminum. It has found favor in a number of industries, such as Ham
Radio operators, where the grease acts as a lubricant for threaded connections and
reduces the chance of them seizing down the road.
Korns ClampThe Right Angle Beam Clamp (RC) attaches pipe at a right angle to a beam.
Associated products are the Parallel (PC) and Edge (EC) clamp. Comes in sizes from
3/8″ to 4″ conduit.
Kruse Switch SupportA support switchbox for plaster.
Kwik BoltHeavy duty, stainless steel, one-piece expansion bolt that works by compressing
the side sleeve against the hole made in concrete or stone. Available in sizes
ranging from 1/4″ x 1-3/4″ all the way to 1-1/4″ x 12″.
Kwik Step Bit®A bit that lets you cut multiple pre-set hole sizes in a single bit. They’re self-starting
tips means that you don’t need to center punch the hole prior to drilling. They are
made from high grade steel and are ideal for cutting through thin metals like steel,
copper, brass and aluminum. Because there is only one cutting edge, step-bits
produce consistently round holes that are de-burred as they are drilled.
KWIK-BRACE® a RACO®new work adjustable brace that is UL approved for fixture and ceiling fan
support.
KWIK-HANG® a RACO®swivel fixture cover or box support hanger
KyboA portable toilet, sometimes found on a jobsite.
L.R.T.When used with AC cable or Greenfield, Anti-Short ® bushings protect the wires
from being chafed by the rough’s armour’s roughs endpoint of the connection. NEC
article 333-9 requires their use on AC (armored cable). They are placed between
the outer metal armor and the conductors forming a protective shield at the point
where the wire is bent during final connection. In the trade, they are referred to
simply by their sizes 0 through 8 depending on the size of the cable or Greenfield.
LadderWhen burying multiple runs of electrical conduit in concrete, they need to have
specific spacing between each other to ensure the integrity of the resulting
concrete pour. Too close together and the concrete slab won’t have sufficient
rigidity. Too far apart and the installation may not be possible or efficient. Therefore, spacers keep the proper distance between conduits and support them as the concrete is slushing and being compacted around them. The installation uses two types of spacers: Base and Intermediate. The Base spacer,
sometimes called a chair, goes at the very bottom of the pile and the first conduit is
laid inside it. The intermediate spacers go on top of each conduit and form both the
top of one and the bottom of the next. That is why they are sometimes called the
ladder.
Ladder ChainA chain is typically used within the electrical industry to lock ladders and
gang boxes to a secure post when leaving a job site. The low-grade chain is used for this
purpose and is typically available in 10′ lengths.
Lady Slippersa name applied to present-day climbers by old timers.
Lamp Holdera current carrying device used to support, illuminate and protect lamps.
LandedTo terminate a conductor to a device/block
Lath ScrewThis is a self-drilling Phillips round wafer head sheet metal screw. It is also referred
to as a Sharp Point, Wafer, Peanut, SMS, RWH or a M/T head. It is used to attach
lathe or Caddy® type fasteners to metals studs. It is a #8 screw in lengths from
9/16″ to 1-1/4″ but is usually ordered in 1/2″.
Lathers ChannelThe strut used to hang acoustical tile is called Black iron. This is the “C” shaped, 1-
1/2″ black strut that is bolted to the concrete deck or wooden beams using CADDY®
hangers to create a secure mounting point for the grid ceiling runners. When
looking-up fittings for black iron, most catalogs, such as CADDY®, use the term
Lathers Channel.
Laundry Drop30″ 16/3 SJT cord spliced into a temporary light circuit for a local outlet.
Lay-In Ground LugThis is a “J” shaped grounding lug where the cable comes in from the side and lies in the lug. The screw is tightened down and the wire is held fast. This lug can be
found alone as in the GBL series or attached to a grounding bushing or some other
fitting. It comes in a variety of sizes to handle different wire gauges so this part
number shown is only one of several possibilities to point you in the right direction.
Lead Heada nail;
Left Hand Monkey WrenchThese are practical joke terms that foreman typically use to break-in the
apprentices. It gets amusing when the apprentice sends the request up the line
where it gets ordered by purchasing and sent to the distributor. Usually it stops
there but sometimes it will be a new inside person who asks around the office how
to code a bucket-of-steam or some other prank item.
Leg Ironsused for climbing poles.
Leroya nickname for a generator
Levolier SwitchLevolier? Pull Switch.
LezbosThis essential electrician’s tool comes in a variety of configurations which will cut
and strip wire, serve as a pliers, crimp wire connectors, hold and clean 5/8″ pole
line threaded bolts and more. Electricians, however, use them for things they were
not intended for such as a hammer, pry bar and all-around bolt-cutter.
Limbernecka person on the ground.
Line Guta cover for a conductor.
Line Profilea drawing from a side angle of a line to be reviewed by an engineer.
Linerscloth that lines the inside of a hard hat.
Linesman’s PliersThis essential electrician’s tool comes in various configurations that will cut
and strip wire, serve as pliers, crimp wire connectors, hold and clean 5/8″ pole
line threaded bolts and more. Electricians, however, use them for things they were
not intended for, such as a hammer, pry bar and all-around bolt-cutter.
Link Seal® Modular SealIn new or existing construction when a pipe must pass through a solid wall, local
codes determine to what degree the opening between the outside of the pipe and
the wall must be resealed. In some cases an expanding seal is required to guard
against the spread of fire. In others, the outside pressure of dirt or water requires a
different, more permenant seal. Link-Seal® Modular Seal was created to address
the need to hydrostatically seal pipes up to 20 psig. These uses come about in
vaults, manholes and when walls must be backfilled with soil or come under water
pressure. They are ordered in varying widths and lengths according to a highly
specific formula based on the opening but all come shipped as a belt of
interconnecting rubbler links. This belt is then wrapped around the pipe and slid
into the wall opening. Once in place, the bolts in each link are tightened creating an
expanding seal to protect against water and a range of chemicals.
Link-Seal® Wall SleeveIt is often necessary to plan and prepare for the conduit to
pass through a concrete wall during new construction. Wall Sleeves are used during the forming process
before the concrete is poured to ensure proper placement of the conduit and
allow for a complete seal once the conduit is inserted. While the Link-Seal®
Modular Seal works well without the wall sleeve, and together they create a superior system to just the Modular Seal itself. Called the Century-Line® sleeve, they
are made from HDPE and are 1/8 the weight of steel sleeves. They range in
diameter from 2″ to 25″ and have a built-in expansion joint.
Liquidtight Flexible Metal
Conduit
flexible metal conduit with a plastic outer jacket that protects the electrical system
against sunlight, liquids, vapors or solids
Liquidtight Flexible Nonmetallic
Conduit (NMLT)
liquidtight flexible nonmetal conduit is a raceway of circular cross section having a
smooth inner surface with integral reinforcement within the conduit wall.
Little red thingsWhen used with AC cable or Greenfield, Anti-Short ® bushings protect the wires
from being chafed by the armour’s roughs end at the point of connection. NEC
article 333-9 requires their use on AC (armored cable). They are placed between
the outer metal armour and the conductors forming a protective shield at the point
where the wire is bent during the final connection. In the trade, they are referred to
simply by their sizes 0 through 8 depending on the cable or Greenfield size.
Load Bearingwalls that are an integral part of the structure that supports the joists.
Loadbreak ElbowA connector that facilitates connecting transformers, switches, sectionalizing
cabinets and junctions to underground cables when there is no electrical load, (see
also ‘Deadbreak Elbow’).
Lobster Clawan adjustable two pronged instrument.
Locknutan internally threaded barbed nut for use on conduit or fittings to prevent turning
and to provide a secure joint.
Lok BoltSleeve type heavy-duty anchor that comes with a variety of head types. The
installation base does not have to be solid like is necessary for the Wedge Type
Anchor. Can be used in concrete, brick, block or stone.
LoppersThis essential electrician’s tool comes in various configurations that will cut
and strip wire, serve as pliers, crimp wire connectors, hold and clean 5/8″ pole
line threaded bolts and more. Electricians, however, use them for things they were
not intended for, such as a hammer, pry bar and all-around bolt-cutter.
Low Voltage Partitiona barrier added inside an electrical box to separate communication and power
circuits. Also required where voltage levels between adjacent switches exceed 300.
LoxboxMounting switch boxes in beaverboard, sheetrock or other drywall.
LRT’s (little red things)Anti-short bushings for MC cable.
LubeLubricating compound used to reduce tension between cable insulation and the
conduit during the pulling process. In the early days of the electrical industry,
people used Ivory Soap Flakes to perform this function earning it the term SOAP. In
1973, inventor Nelson Jonnes concocted a water-polymer solution that would
eventually become Polywater® It was initially marketed as “Slippery Stuff” and sold
to divers as a body lube to help ease into and out of the wet suits. Eventually it was
used as a sex lube and Polywater® sold that division off. The Polywater® product
caught-on as a cable lubricant initially with the Transit Authorities, which required
the uBentonite Clay’s useywater® Cable lubricant is sold by a wide variety of
manufacturers today.
Luff Blocksa set of rope blocks (pulleys).
Lugsee ground lug.
Machine Screw AnchorYou use this anchor when you want to attach a machine screw to concrete, block or
brick. Sizes from 6/30 to 3/4″.
Mack Clampsjumper clamps, usually black and red, that are insulated.
Madison ClipHolds gem box in sheetrock by offering counter pressure to the box ears.
MADISON HOLD ITS®Registered trademark for #977 griplok old work brackets.
Mae WestThe steel conduit hanger is used to secure 1/2″ to 4″ rigid (GAL) or EMT conduit to
some support using the hole on top of the hanger. Typically, the pipe is
suspended from strut or directly from the concrete using a piece of threaded rod
but the hanger is also used to attach conduit directly to an insulator or some other
surface. Manufactured by Steel City, Erico (Caddy), Bridgeport and others; the
hanger is available with or without the lower bolt and nut. Originally invented by
Minneralac in 1904 as the Standard Conduit Hanger.
Maggots (Maggies)These splices fall into a category called Insulation Displacement Connectors are
used exclusively for plain old telephone wires (POTS), alarm and other low voltage
circuits. You insert the wires, compress with a linesman pliers (or special tool) and
the metal teeth inside will pierce the insulation and make a permanent connection
that is moisture resistant. While the Dolphin is re-distributed by a variety of
manufacturers and refers to the round tubular unit, the 3M UR performs a similar
job but has a gel to protect the wires.
Magic smokeTerm used when a component is shorted out and burns up.
Male EnlargerAn adapter used when you have a knockout or threaded female outlet that you
need to adapt to a larger size conduit, the Male Enlarger is used. Once installed by
threading into a female outlet, it has a male adapter that receives a threaded
fitting. Comes in sizes ranging from 1/2″ to 3/4″ to 1 1/4″ to 1 1/2″. The reverse of
this application is the Female Reducer.
Male PlugA male dead front plug for 15A 120V.
MandrelA rat tail can be either the flexible mandrel alone or the mandrel and wire brush
hooked together. This assembly is then pulled through the conduit prior to pulling
cable to remove any dirt, debris or obstacles that were introduced after the
conduit was installed.
Masonry AnchorSleeve type heavy-duty anchor that comes with a variety of head types. The
installation base does not have to be solid like is necessary for the Wedge Type
Anchor. It can be used in concrete, brick, block or stone.
Masonry Boxbox installed in block walls as the blocks are being laid. The mason cuts the block to
fit around the box.
Mast KitA receptacle located at the top of vertical conduit, referred to as a mast, where
overhead conductors enter a residence.
MCA flexible package consisting of an armor jacket wrapped around wire conductors
forming an easily installable wiring system. Similar to MC, AC has an overall Mylar
wrapping over all the wires to provide protection and therefore doesn’t require the
use of Anti-Short Bushings.
MC Cablemetal clad cable. A UL classification indicating an assembly of insulated conductors
with a metal cladding applied over the core and with grounding conduct
Meat Hooka hook for moving or lifting items.
MeggerTests the condition of wire insulation and the presence of shorts.
Megohmeter®Tests the condition of wire insulation and the presence of shorts.
Mellow YellowLubricating compound used to reduce tension between cable insulation and the
conduit during the pulling process. In the early days of the electrical industry,
people used Ivory Soap Flakes to perform this function earning it the term SOAP. In
1973, inventor Nelson Jonnes concocted a water-polymer solution that would
eventually become Polywater® It was initially marketed as “Slippery Stuff” and sold
to divers as a body lube to help ease into and out of the wet suits. Eventually it was
used as a sex lube and Polywater® sold that division off. The Polywater® product
caught-on as a cable lubricant initially with the Transit Authorities, which required
the use of BenBentonite Clay’s useable lubricant is sold by a wide variety of
manufacturers today.
Merry WidowReducing washers.
Mesh GripBasket type pulling grip where wire mesh tightens over wire when pulled.
Metal Stud PunchWhen installing pipe, flex, data cable or AC/MC in metal studs, there is often a need
to make a hole in the stud other than the manufacturer knockout. This tool
punches a hole through studs up to 20guage. Once the stud has been punched, you
need to use a bushing or insulator to shield the wire or conduit from the steel’s rough edges. Those insulators are the Greenlee 711, 714 and 715 families of items.
MibThis is an insulated throat metal bushing that when used in conjunction with a
locknut, affixes GAL or IMC to a metal enclosure and provides abrasion protection
to the wire insulation. It comes in die-cast or malleable iron with a plastic insulator.
Michigan PlateConduit & Box support plate. P/N CSP1 Mfg by SP Products.
Mickey Mouse Key Pullera cotter key puller.
Midway PlateThese plates are used to conceal mistakes made during the installation or sheet
rocking of the wall boxes. If a cutout was made too large or the taping not done
properly, there just won’t be enough wall behind a normal plate to hide the gap
between the wall and the box. A large plate is used for these cases and they come
in large and extra-large depending upon how wide the gap is. The part number
shown is just to guide you to the correct section of the catalog because these come
in multiple gangs, colors and device configurations.
Mighty Mouser®The device that a power blower shoots through a conduit system when fishing the
initial line. It typically has a hard plastic core with a flexible foam body that fits a
specific pipe size. It comes in 1/2″ through 6″ conduit sizes and has a loop at both
ends to attach the fish line.
Milk House HeaterA low cost, portable, fan forced jobsite heater.
Milking Stoola yoke used on the end of a structure for supporting hot line tension tools.
Minerallac®The steel conduit hanger is used to secure 1/2″ to 4″ rigid (GAL) or EMT conduit to
some type of support using the hole on top of the hanger. Typically, the pipe is
suspended from strut or directly from the concrete using a piece of threaded rod
but the hanger is also used to attach conduit directly to an insulator or some other
surface. Manufactured by Steel City, Erico (Caddy), Bridgeport and others; the
hanger is available with or without the lower bolt and nut. Originally invented by
Minneralac in 1904 as the Standard Conduit Hanger.
Mini-BreakerIn the space of one 1″ breaker, fits two breakers side-by-side (Twin) or over/under
(Piggyback).
MinniesThe steel conduit hanger is used to secure 1/2″ to 4″ rigid (GAL) or EMT conduit to
some type of support using the hole on top of the hanger. Typically, the pipe is
suspended from strut or directly from the concrete using a piece of threaded rod
but the hanger is also used to attach conduit directly to an insulator or some other
surface. Manufactured by Steel City, Erico (Caddy), Bridgeport and others; the
hanger is available with or without the lower bolt and nut. Originally invented by
Minneralac in 1904 as the Standard Conduit Hanger.
Molesline crew that is working underground.
Molly®A term for a sleeve type hollow-wall anchor typically installed into sheetrock that
work by using the installation screw to expand a metal frame that compresses the
front and back of the anchor to the sheetrock. Then, the installation screw can be
used to bolt an object to the wall. They come in screw sizes ranging from 1/8″ to
1/4″ and from 1-1/16″ to 3-3/8″ long.
Monel®The term MONEL® is a registered trademark of Special Metals Corporation for an
alloy they manufacture for a wide range of industries such as fishing, industrial, etc.
The electrical trade uses the word MONEL Wire to refer to a #18 (.018 diameter) tie
wire used in circumstances requiring a high resistance to atmospheric corrosion.
Applications include Water Pollution plants, Transit Authority and industrial
applications with exposure to various gases, salt water, etc. Monel itself was
invented in 1905 as a high tensile strength nickel-copper alloy.
Monkey ballsSplit bolt connector (looks like someone taped over a bug) used to mechanically
join two or more wires together.
Monkey BarsHolds gem box in sheetrock by offering counter pressure to the box ears.
Monkey WrenchThe Monkey, Pipe and Stillson Wrenches all fall in the category of a adjustable
wrenches that have serrated jaws which grip the pipe or other curved surface being
worked on. Although they come in sizes ranging from 8″ to 24″, the 8″ and 12″ are
the most popular.
Mounting Earsears on a box which are used to mount a box cover, device or fixture.
MouseThe device that a power blower shoots through a conduit system when fishing the
initial line. It typically has a hard plastic core with a flexible foam body that fits a
specific pipe size. It comes in 1/2″ through 6″ conduit sizes and has a loop at both
ends to attach the fish line.
Mouse Housea metallic or nonmetallic pedestal that can provide power or voice/data to a floor
location.
Mouse TrapWiremold combination connector that joins wiremold to conduit.
Mud (Cement)Wet cement or concrete
Mud (Wall)Joint compound for fixing holes in drywall or applying over taped seams.
Mud BoxThis octagon box often gets confused with the mud rings or mud boxes because it
has the same shape and bottom studs, but it is for a hung ceiling and doesn’t get
buried by the concrete. The fixture bars that support it are wired into the lathers
channel.
Mud Ring (Box)This is an open bottomed octagon ring that gets cemented into the building floor
(deck) after being nailed to the wood sub flooring. By using back plates and covers,
it becomes a complete deck box and is available in depths from 2″ to 6″ with
knockouts from 1/2″ to 1″. It is called a concrete ring when it is extending an
existing mud box and it can be called a mud box when it has a back plate and serves
as a mud box. A classic mud box, however, comes as one unit with the back plate
welded in place.
Mud Ring (Cover)A raised device cover is used to adapt a 4″ or 5″ box to accept wiring devices. A
finish plate is then put over the device. They come in 1 or 2 gangs and a variety of
“raise” sizes from flat to 1-1/4″ and are used on drywall or plaster.
Mulberry PlateCover to adapt 4″ or 5″ boxes to accept a wiring device. Wall plate added later, (see
also ‘Square Device Box’; ‘Combination Box Cover’).
Mulbery CoverAttach wiring devices to this and then this attaches to 4/5″ box. Many combos.
Mule tapeFlat nylon rope for pulling cables through conduit
Music Standa hot line tool rack.
Myers® HubsThese fittings range from 1/2″ to 6″ and are used to connect threaded rigid conduit
to a threadless knockout in either an indoor or an outdoor location. They are called
Myers Hubs because Myers was the first company to manufacture the watertight
hub and despite being part of the Crouse Hinds/Cooper organization, the trade still
calls them Myers Hubs. Don’t get confused if someone calls for a female Myers hub
because the female refers to the fact that all Myers hubs are female. The NEC
requires that this device positively bond the conduit to the enclosure.
Nail Down Deck SleeveThis is an 8-1/2″ deep sleeve that is put into place by the electrician prior to the
concrete being poured and it comes in varying widths. After the concrete sets,
conduit is run through the sleeve to run risers from deck to deck. If a pour is deeper
than 8-1/2″, then the user will use two or more stacked together to do the job.
They are made from a slippery plastic and are usually a forest green color. You
would order them in sizes from 1-1/2″ through 6″. A 4″ Crete sleeve would allow a
3″ pipe to fit inside.
Nail-OnA tie stick.
Nail-On Deck PlatesThese spacers are typically used in high-rise concrete deck construction where you
pre-situate your conduit and then pour the concrete around it. When you have two
or more pipes coming up through the deck and you need to make sure they stay in
alignment with each other so they will properly match-up with standard knockouts
on junction boxes, you use either Eyeglasses or Nail On Deck Plates.They both
come in two or three hole configurations from 1/2″ to 1″ rigid but the nail-on deck
plates have a greater surface area to contact with the wooden deck and are
reported to hold the conduit in place better than the typical eyeglasses.
Nail-On Safety PlateNails to wood stud where cable passes through to protect wire & plumbing pipe
from nails driven into the wall sometime in the future, (see also ‘Stud Plate’; ‘Safety
Plate’; ‘Cable Protector’).
Nail-Up Strapsa fastening device used to mount raceways to wooden studs, siding, etc.
Narrow Backan electrician who works indoors.
National Electrical Code (NEC)a set of rules governing safe wiring methods drafted by the National Fire Protection
Association. Local codes sometimes differ from and take precedence over NEC
requirements.
National Electrical
Manufacturers Assocation
(NEMA)
a US Manufacturers Organization which actively promotes standardized product
specifications for electrical apparatus.
NECsee National Electrical Code.
NEMAsee National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association.
Neutral Wirea grounded conductor that completes a circuit by providing a return path to the
source. Neutral wires are always identified by white or gray insulation.
New Workelectrical work that is completed before the drywall or plaster is installed.
Nic WrenchA tubular wrench with two hex head sockets (3/8″ and 7/16″). One end for the
bolts used on telephone boxes and the other for binding-post terminals.
Nipplean externally threaded fitting intended primarily to serve as a short raceway
between close-spaced enclosures.
Nitroslight bulbs used in street lights.
NMsee nonmetallic sheathed cable.
No-Bolt StudAs its name suggests, the “No-Bolt” fixture stud is used without bolting the stud to
the bottom of the box. You just insert the 3/8″ or 1/2″ stud into the back of the box
and tighten down the locknut. This design gives you a strong fixture support
without taking space from inside the box.
No-Dog Bender®This is an attachment for an existing bender set that allows the user to make offset
bends from 0″ to 3″ in 1/2″ and 3/4″ conduit in one motion. It reams both the
inside and the outside of the conduit at the same time which is necessary to
comply with NEC 348-11. The term ‘No-Dog’ comes from the term ‘Dog Leg’ which
is a kink in the conduit. So a No-Dog bend is a bend where the conduit doesn’t get
bent.
No-Dog Offset Level®The “No-Dog” is a hand tool that eliminates “dog-legs” in offsets and saddles. It is a
lightweight aluminum level measuring 1/2″ by 1″ by 2″ that is clipped to the end of
the conduit when making bends.You would use an offset bend to avoid an obstacle
or to make the pipe conform closely to the surface it is being installed onto. This
makes it easier to securely fasten the pipe and makes for a cleaner, more
professional job. A dog leg is when the opposite bends are out of alignment with
each other. If the pipe was laid on its side. It wouldn’t lie flat. The NO-DOG level
helps prevent this.
Non-Metallic Sheathed CableFlexible, nonmetallic sheathed cable, typically used to wire houses,
NoodleNeutral wire of any circuit or feed
Nose BagA pouch with pockets for holding tools
Nut DriverThis tool looks like a screwdriver but is used on hex head nuts. There is a different tool for each nut size. Although the part number shown below is for fractional sizes, and is also available for metric.
Nutty PuttyCompound sealing putty used to seal connectors
O.C.B.Acronym for oil circuit breakerO.C.B. Acronym for oil circuit breaker
O.D.Outside diameter (of conduit, pipe, etc.)
OakumOAKUM was once used to seal the cracks between the planks of wooden-hulled sailing ships. It is made by impregnating hemp fibre with tar or creosote that binds the hemp together and makes it moisture resistant. Over time, it was adopted to seal air cracks around windows and doors, plug holes that rodents and bats won’t chew through and close the openings in walls and floors where cast iron plumbing pipes pass through. Today, it is a relic used for the same purposes, but electricians use it to seal holes around electrical piping where the code doesn’t require that a firestop be used. When it gets wet, it expands 10 times its dry size. The NUPAK brand uses Bentonite as the impregnating compound. Although not commonly used, it is still stocked in 5lb boxes composed of 2′ strands.
Octagon BoxA metal box used on a wiring system, usually at an outlet. It provides means for connection to a wiring system and is intended primarily to enclose splices and wiring devices or to support a fixture or other equipment intended for similar installation.
Offset ConnectorsConnects the conduit on the wall surface to a KO in the box where the KO and wall surface are on different planes
Offset EMT ConnectorWhen EMT is run along the surface of the wall and you want to connect to a wall box, the EMT won’t align with the box knockout. This offset connector raises the connector just slightly so it meets with where the box knockout is.
Old ManAn “A” frame transformer gin that is used for lifiting, (see also ‘pole buddy’)
Old WorkElectrical work that takes place after the drywall or plaster is in place
One-Shot BenderThere are two types of hand-operated benders: hickeys and hand benders (or one-shot benders). While both are usually iron, hand benders are also offered in aluminium. The real difference between them is the size of the head. Hickeys are 60% smaller then benders allowing the user to make very tight bends close together. As a rule of thumb, you would use a hand bender most of the time and save the hickey when you have to make several very tight bends that a hand bender couldn’t do. Hand benders, however, have the advantage in that they have degree scales and bending indicators etched on the side to aid in the bending process. The One-Shot bender got its’ name because you can make a 90-degree bend with a single motion.
Out House CoverOutdoor duplex recepticle cover with two hatches, one for each outlet
OutletA mounted female electrical fitting that contains the live parts of the circuit
Outlet SocketConverts lamp holder socket to a polarized 2-prong plug
Ox-GardTypically though, as the goo used in compression and split-bolt connections where aluminum wire is used, the PENETROX product is an oxide-inhibiting grease designed to create an air-tight and moisture-resistant joint. The goal is to prevent the oxidation or corrosion of the metal products used in the electrical connection. Depending upon the type of metals found in the joint, you would use a specific version of the product containing suspended particles designed for that metal. Type “A” contains Copper particles and is used for Aluminum to Copper or Aluminum to Conduit (Steel). Type “B” contains Zinc particles and is used where the metals are all aluminum. It has found favor in several industries, such as Ham Radio operators, where the grease acts as a lubricant for threaded connections and reduces the chance of seizing down the road.
P.C.B.Acronym for Polychlorinated Biphenyl Chemical
P.T.O.Acronym for Power Take Off
Pain HangerThe steel conduit hanger is used to secure 1/2″ to 4″ rigid (GAL) or EMT conduit to some type of support using the hole on top of the hanger. Typically, the pipe is suspended from strut or directly from the concrete using a piece of threaded rod but the hanger is also used to attach conduit directly to an insulator or some other surface. Manufactured by Steel City, Erico (Caddy), Bridgeport and others; the hanger is available with or without the lower bolt and nut. Originally invented by Minneralac in 1904 as the Standard Conduit Hanger.
PanSee pancake box
Pancake BoxVery thin round box for ceiling mounting a fixture. They come in 3-1/2″ or 4″ widths but are 1/2″ deep.
PanduitPlastic wireway with a clip on cover used inside of control panels to manage wires. Generally used between each physical row of devices installed inside control panels.
Panel Connector ExtensionIf you have a fitting with a male end that you need to extend up to 1″ further, the panel connector extension will fit the bill. Made from malleable iron, it comes in 1/2″ through 1-1/4″ sizes.
Parachute BagFabric bag with multiple compartments and drawstring to pull it closed
Parallel Clamp (PC)The Edge Beam Clamp (EC) mounts pipe parallel to the beam. Associated products are the Edge (EC) and Right Angle (RC) clamp. Comes in sizes from 1/2″ to 3″ conduit.
Parrot BeakThe Right Angle Beam Clamp (RC) attaches pipe at a right angle to a beam. Associated products are the Parallel (PC) and Edge (EC) clamp. Comes in sizes from 3/8″ to 4″ conduit.
Partition WallsWalls that are nonload bearing—typically interior walls of an office building that can be removed.
PeanutIn the space of one 1″ breaker, fits two breakers side-by-side (Twin) or over/under (Piggyback)
Peanut ScrewThis is a self-drilling Phillips round wafer head sheet metal screw. It is also referred to as a Sharp Point, Wafer, Peanut, SMS, RWH or a M/T head. It is used to attach lathe or Caddy type fasteners to metals studs. It is a #8 screw in lengths from 9/16″ to 1-1/4″ but is usually ordered in 1/2″.
PeckerheadThe wiring box mounted to an electric motor is called a peckerhead for reasons which are presently unknown.
Pen and Pencil SetA digging bar and spoon
PenatroxTypically though, as the goo used in compression and split-bolt connections where aluminum wire is used, the PENETROX product is an oxide-inhibiting grease designed to create an air-tight and moisture-resistant joint. The goal is to prevent the oxidation or corrosion of the metal products used in the electrical connection. Depending upon the type of metals found in the joint, you would use a specific version of the product containing suspended particles designed for that metal. Type “A” contains Copper particles and is used for Aluminum to Copper or Aluminum to Conduit (Steel). Type “B” contains Zinc particles and is used where the metals are all aluminum. It has found favor in several industries, such as Ham Radio operators, where the grease acts as a lubricant for threaded connections and reduces the chance of seizing down the road.
PennyA metal blank that is put temporarily inside a bushing and screwed onto the end of a conduit run. By doing this, dirt, plaster, nails, etc. are kept out of the conduit system during construction. When connecting to complete the installation, the penny comes out and you re-use the bushing. Today, it is made in metal but it used to be available in paper and wood. Also known as “push penny” and was usually made out of thin cardboard.
PeriscopeA receptacle located at the top of vertical conduit, referred to as a mast, where overhead conductors enter a residence.
PersuaderA large pry-bar used for a variety of purposes ranging from persuading the large heavy object to move a few inches, to pulling spikes to stripping construction materials during demolition.
Persuader ScrewdriverA large pry-bar used for a variety of purposes ranging from persuading the large heavy object to move a few inches, to pulling spikes to stripping construction materials during demolition.
PhaseOne (single) conductor
Pickle ForkA two or three prong tie stick
PicklesConnectors used for connecting two wires
Pig DicksSheetrock anchor that screws into the sheetrock like a corkscrew
Pig LiversSpecial yokes used on EHV lines or dead ends
Pig TailA spiral disconnect or spiral link stick
Pigeon PeckerDolphin B Connectors
Piggly WigglyA short piece of curled 12 awg solid wire similiar to a small spring about an half inch long
Piggyback BreakerIn the space of one 1″ breaker, fits two breakers side-by-side (Twin) or over/under (Piggyback)
Pigs Foot14 inch hand-held demolition ripping or prying bar
Pigtail (Lamp)A lamp socket with 2-leads right or left hand base for temporary lighting
Pigtail (Wire)Green #12 or #14 solid wire with ground screw affixed to the an electrical box to provide a ground connection
PineappleAn insulator for a spool
Pipe WrenchThe Monkey, Pipe, and Stillson Wrenches all fall in the category of adjustable wrenches with serrated jaws that grip the pipe or other curved surface being worked on. Although they come in sizes ranging from 8″ to 24″, the 8″ and 12″ are the most popular.
Pistol GripAn elbow terminator
PistonThe device that a power blower shoots through a conduit system when fishing the initial line. It typically has a hard plastic core with a flexible foam body that fits a specific pipe size. It comes in 1/2″ through 6″ conduit sizes and has a loop at both ends to attach the fish line.
Pizza PlateA fork suspension attachment
Plaster EarsEars on switch boxes that prevent the box from falling back into the wall
Plaster FrameA raised device cover is used to adapt a 4″ or 5″ box to accept wiring devices. A finish plate is then put over the device. They come in 1 or 2 gang and in a variety of “raise” sizes from flat to 1-1/4″ and are used on drywall or plaster.
Plaster RingA raised device cover is used to adapt a 4″ or 5″ box to accept wiring devices. A finish plate is then put over the device. They come in 1 or 2 gang and in a variety of “raise” sizes from flat to 1-1/4″ and are used on drywall or plaster.
Plastic AssholeThis is a low-profile, push-in or snap-in plastic Romex (NM) connector for 1/2″ or 3/4″ knockouts. The low profile makes it ideal for A/C disconnects.
PlenumA compartment or chamber to which one or more air ducts are connected to form part of the air distribution system.
PliersThis essential electrician’s tool comes in varied various configurations and strip wire, serve as a pliers, crimp wire connectors, hold and clean 5/8″ pole line threaded bolts and more. Electricians, however, use them for things they were not intended for such as a hammer, pry bar and all-around bolt-cutter.
PlugA threaded means used to close unused threaded openings
Plumbers TapeThis is a 3/4″ wide galvanized steel band with holes to accommodate nails and bolts. Available with the holes evenly spaced or with alternating small and large holes. It is typically used to hang some kind of pipe from some kind of support system such as strut, wooden studs or simple masonry.
POCOPoco is short for Power Company. ie. Edison, PG&E, ConEd, Reliant, etc.
Pogo StickTelescoping tools
Pole BuddyA transformer gin that is used for lifting
Pole StubA reinforcer for the bottom of a pole
Pole-CrabAn aluminum wire-tong saddle
PookieThe lubricating compound used to reduce tension between cable insulation and the conduit during the pulling process. In the early days of the electrical industry, people used Ivory Soap Flakes to perform this function earning it the term SOAP. In 1973, inventor Nelson Jonnes concocted a water-polymer solution that would eventually become Polywater It was initially marketed as “Slippery Stuff” and sold to divers as a body lube to help ease into and out of the wet suits. Eventually it was used as a sex lube and Polywater sold that division off. The Polywater product caught-on as a cable lubricant initially with the Transit Authorities, which required Bentonite Clay’s use. Polywater Cable lubricant is sold by a wide variety of manufacturers today.
POPOPower On / Power Off
Porcelain ExtenderWhen you want to extend an Edison base lamp out from the socket, the porcelain socket extender is an ideal choice.
Pork ChopSee Chicago Grip
Post ServitSplit bolt connector used to mechanically join two or more wires together
PotPole top transformer
Potato HookA fixed-prong tie stick
PotheadThe point at which overhead electrical conductors come together as a single cable
PouchA bag with pockets for holding tools
Power FisherThe device that a power blower shoots through a conduit system when fishing the initial line. It typically has a hard plastic core with a flexible foam body that fits a specific pipe size. It comes in 1/2″ through 6″ conduit sizes and has a loop at both ends to attach the fish line.
PregalvanizedThe application of hot zinc to the exterior surfaces of steel
PrioutA circle or pear-shaped tab cut into the steel with a tie (a little piece of steel uncut) holding it in place; the priout has a slot where a screwdriver tip is inserted pry out the tab, providing an opening for a cable.
PrioutA circle or pear shaped tab cut into the steel with a tie (a little piece of steel uncut) holding it in place; the priout has a slot in it where a screwdriver tip is inserted to pry out the tab, providing an opening for cable.
Proof CoilA chain is typically used within the electrical industry to lock ladders and gang boxes to a secure post when leaving a job site. A low-grade chain is used for this purpose and is typically available in 10′ lengths.
Proximity DetectorThese devices detect the presence of voltage without direct contact with the wire. One style (Greenlee 1010 or Fluke 1ACA1) looks like a pen and you touch the tip to a possible power source such as a wire or outlet and if the tip glows red, you know there is some level of voltage present. An upgraded version of the Greenlee 1010 Volt Tick called the 1112 includes a flashlight. The other style is an audible detector that chirps as you get closer to the load, detects a higher and lower voltage range, detects both hot & neutral, and detects if breakers are powered.
PTC or PTB Pull BoxThese pull boxes fit inline with the conduit run and allow for straight runs (PTC) or 90 degree bends (PTB). The large size and variable length lets them serve as pulling fittings or accessible splice boxes. They have threaded hubs with 1″ to 6″ nominal sizes, gasketed covers and are made of steel. Available in 12″, 18″, 24″, 36″ and 48″ stock lengths.
Pull CapUsed to cap-off pipe without a bushing or close a knock-out. Various sizes. Plastic.
Pulling BasketBasket type pulling grip where wire mesh tightens over wire when pulled.
Pulling ElbowA short conduit elbow with a cover on back. Either threaded or S. S., and male, female or both ends.
Pull-O-PennyUsed to cap-off pipe without a bushing or close a knock-out. Various sizes. Plastic. (See ‘Pull Cap’)
Pump PlierLarge grooved joint pliers with right angle teeth for excellent holding ability
Push PennyUsed to cap-off pipe without a bushing or close a knock-out. Various sizes. Plastic. (See ‘Pull Cap’)
PVC BenderRectangular box that a piece of 1/2″ through 4″ PVC is put into to be heated to the point where it can be bent for offsets, saddles, bends, etc. As compared to the PVC BLANKET, the HOT BOX bends a longer section of pipe and covers a wider range of sizes in one product. The PVC BLANKET, however, is smaller and more portable. The electrician puts the pipe into the box to make bends, powers on the unit rotates the pipe while it heats-up and waits for the pipe to become flexible. The pipe is then removed from the box and bent into the appropriate shape.
PVC BlanketPortable electric blanket that a piece of 1/2″ through 4″ PVC is put into so it can be heated to the point where it can be bent for offsets, saddles, bends, etc. As compared to the HOT BOX, the PVC BLANKET is easily portable and bends the same range or pipe sizes but not with one unit. The PVC BLANKET also heats an area approximately 60% of the length that a HOT BOX is capable of.
Quadplex Breaker (Quad)The term Quadplex and Triplex comes from the Murray (ITE) product and, in general, refers to a breaker that offers the benefits of 4 poles in two breaker positions with the benefit that if one phase trips on the 240v configuration, the other phase trips internally instead of relying on the pole handles to be physically tied. A QUAD breaker is when the two outside two poles are tied together and the inside two poles tied together, providing two 2-pole 240vac breakers. A Triplex breaker is when either A) the two outside poles are tied together for a 2-pole 240v breaker and the two inside poles operating independently as two 1-pole 120v breakers or B) the same as A but switching inside and outside poles. The alternative to using a QUAD or TRIPLEX breaker is to take two twin breakers and physically tie the two inside and/or two outside poles together. The downside is that this method relies on the pole’s physical connection handles for the other breaker to trip instead of the internal trip mechanism.
Quick BoltHeavy duty, stainless steel, one-piece expansion bolt that works by compressing the side sleeve against the hole made in concrete or stone. Available in sizes ranging from 1/4″ x 1-3/4″ all the way to 1-1/4″ x 12″.
Quick CapThis B-Line product is designed to maintain the spacing of rigid conduit during a concrete deck pour and prevent debris from falling into the conduit. It takes the place of pipe caps and tape and does for the 1/2″ through 1″ rigid what Spacers do for larger conduit. Although two products are sold: Quick Caps and Spacers, the Quick Cap does both while the spacer only maintains conduit distance.
Quick FitKeyhole mounting system
RabbitScrap, leftover, or loose pieces of wire, mainly copper (because of value)
Rabbit EarsThis essential electrician’s tool comes in a variety of various configurations that’d strip wire, serve as a pliers, crimp wire connectors, hold and clean 5/8″ pole line threaded bolts and more. Electricians, however, use them for things they were not intended for such as a hammer, pry bar and all-around bolt-cutter.
Rabbit GunThe cable cutter is a tool used to cut copper or aluminum electric wire from #1 through 1000MCM. They come in four varieties: palm grip, manual two-handled units, ratchet cutters and electric cutters.
Race Way / RacewayEnclosed channel designed expressly for holding wire or cables. Conduit is a raceway; so is a duct.
RaftersParallel beams that support a roof running from the top of the joist to the peak of the roof
Raintight / Rain Tight / Rain-TightConstructed so as to pass the UL rain test
Raised Device CoverA raised device cover is used to adapt a 4″ or 5″ box to accept wiring devices. A finish plate is then put over the device. They come in 1 or 2 gang and in a variety of “raise” sizes from flat to 1-1/4″ and are used on drywall or plaster
RakeThere are two types of hand operated benders: hickeys and hand benders (or oneshot benders). While both are usually iron, hand benders are also offered in aluminum. The real difference between them is the size of the head. Hickeys are 60% smaller then benders allowing the user to make very tight bends close together. As a rule of thumb, you would use a hand bender most of the time and save the hickey when you have to make a number of very tight bends that a hand bender simply couldn’t do. Hand benders, however, have the advantage in that they have degree scales and bending indicators etched on the side to aid in the bending process. The One-Shot bender got its’ name because you can make a 90 degree bend with a single motion.
Range RecepticleA 50 amp receptacle is used for electric kitchen ranges
Rat Tail FileThe Rat Tail file is a slim round file 6″ to 12″ long with a tapered end that is used to enlarge holes or remove burrs from knockouts. The long, slim tapered shape looks like a rats tail.
RawlstudHeavy duty, stainless steel, one-piece expansion bolt that works by compressing the side sleeve against the hole made in concrete or stone. Available in sizes ranging from 1/4″ x 1-3/4″ all the way to 1-1/4″ x 12″.
RAYNGUARDRACO trademark for extra duty weatherproof proof metallic while in use cover
RAYNTITERACO trademark for weatherproof device cover approved for use in wet locations
RC ClampThe Right Angle Beam Clamp (RC) attaches pipe at a right angle to a beam. Associated products are the Parallel (PC) and Edge (EC) clamp. Comes in sizes from 3/8″ to 4″ conduit.
Red DevilWhen used with AC cable or Greenfield, Anti-Short bushings protect the wires from being chafed by the rough’s end of the armor at the point of connection. NEC article 333-9 requires their use on AC (armored cable). They are placed between the outer metal armor and the conductors forming a protective shield at the point where the wire is bent during the final connection. In the trade, they are referred to simply by their sizes 0 through 8 depending on the cable or Greenfield size.
Red HeadWhen used with AC cable or Greenfield, Anti-Short bushings protect the wires from being chafed by the armor rough end at the point of connection. NEC article 333-9 requires their use on AC (armored cable). They are placed between the outer metal armor and the conductors forming a protective shield at the point where the wire is bent during the final connection. In the trade, they are referred to simply by their sizes 0 through 8 depending on the cable or Greenfield size.
Red ScotchlockA red wire nut
Red Seal CoverSee ‘Raised Cover’
Redhead JumperJumper clamps, usually black and red, that are insulated
REDI-LOCA registered RACOtrademark for MCI, AC and HCF cable connectors
Reduced BushingA threaded steel or malleable iron bushing used to make transitions from one trade size of rigid/IMC to another
Reduced WasherA stamped steel washer which, when used in pairs, reduces the size of an opening in an enclosure
ReptileAn insulating line hose, (see also ‘Snake’)
RETRO-BRACEA RACO old work adjustable brace for fixture or ceiling fan support
RETRO-RINGA RACO old work, steel mounting bracket for 4 in. square boxes
Ridge PinA metal pin used on the top of a pole
Right Angle Clamp (RC)The Right Angle Beam Clamp (RC) attaches pipe at a right angle to a beam. Associated products are the Parallel (PC) and Edge (EC) clamp. Comes in sizes from 3/8″ to 4″ conduit.
Rigid BenderThere are two types of hand-operated benders: hickeys and hand benders. While both are usually iron, hand benders are also offered in aluminum. The real difference between them is the size of the head. Hickeys are 60% smaller then benders allowing the user to make very tight bends close together. As a rule of thumb, you would use a hand bender most of the time and save the hickey when you have to make several very tight bends that a hand bender couldn’t do. Hand benders, however, have the advantage in that they have degree scales and bending indicators etched on the side to aid in the bending process.
Rigid Metal ConduitGalvanized Rigid Metal Conduit comes in 10′ lengths with nominal trade diameters ranging from 1/2″ to 6″. Unlike EMT, which is a straight tube, rigid comes with a 3/4″ NPT thread on both ends. A coupling is threaded on one end and a color coded thread protector on the other. RED represents 3/4″ and 1-1/4″. BLUE is used on all even sizes (1″, 2″, etc.) and BLACK is on all the 1/2 sizes (1/2″, 2-1/2″, etc). GAL can be in wet or dry locations and exposed or concealed in a variety of circumstances. As a protection against metal-to-metal contact and for oxidation related corrosion resistance, the conduit is coated with zinc using the hot-dip galvanizing process. See the product called COLD GAL to see how it applies to this conduit.
Rigid Nonmetallic ConduitThree types of rigid nonmetallic conduit are listed by UL: (1) rigid nonmetallic plastic Schedule 40 and 80 PVC; (2) rigid nonmetallic underground plastic; and (3) rigid nonmetallic underground other than plastic, fiber type.
Rip CordThe string inside of cables used to split outside jacket
Riser PoleA transition pole for going from overhead to underground distribution
RMCGalvanized Rigid Metal Conduit comes in 10′ lengths with nominal trade diameters ranging from 1/2″ to 6″. Unlike EMT which is a straight tube, rigid comes with a 3/4″ NPT thread on both ends. A coupling is threaded on one end and a colorcoded thread protector on the other. RED represents 3/4″ and 1-1/4″. BLUE is used on all even sizes (1″, 2″, etc) and BLACK is on all the 1/2 sizes (1/2″, 2-1/2″, etc). GAL can be in wet or dry locations and exposed or concealed in a variety of circumstances. As a protection against metal-to-metal contact and for oxidation related corrosion resistance, the conduit is coated with zinc using the hot-dip galvanizing process. See the product called COLD GAL to see how it applies to this conduit.
Robertson Head ScrewA type of screw with a square key that is popular in Canada. A special tool (called a Robbie) is required to drive the screw.
Rod Coupling NutThis coupling joins two pieces of threaded rod together and is ordered in sizes matching the diameter of the rod. Under the T&B number shown below, it is a H195 under Kindorf but H-119 under Superstrut.
RomexFlexible, nonmetallic sheathed cable, typically used to wire houses
Rope (Pulling)A rope used by mechanical pulling machines to draw pipe through conduit. It comes in a variety of lengths, widths and tensile strengths depending upon the pull being performed.
Rope (Wire)Service Entrance cable which picks up where the utility service drop leaves off. Typically, it connects at the top of the service mast with utility rated bug nuts and runs down to the meter base. From the meter, it is usually used to enter the building and connect to the distribution panel. Sometimes you may see it used on branch circuits as permitted by the National Electrical Code.
RoughneckA trouble chaser
RS CoverAttach wiring devices to this and then this attaches to 4/5″ box. Many combos.
Saddle (Bender)A piece of a larger pipe / conduit bending tool
Saddle PinA crossarm-type pin that fits like a saddle
Saddle WasherA saddle-type washer for strut
Safety PlateNails to wood stud where cable passes through to protect wire & plumbing pipe from nails driven into the wall sometime in the future (see also ‘Stud Plate’; ‘Safety Plate’; ‘Cable Protector’)
Sav-A-ClimbUniversal fitting for laying lines over crossarms and through trees with a stick
Sawdust MachineA brace and bit (hand powered manual drill), or drill (see also ‘sawdust pump’)
Sawdust PumpA brace and bit (hand powered manual drill), or drill (see also ‘sawdust machine’)
Saws AllA reciprocating saw
SawzallA reciprocating saw by Milwaukee. Commonly used to describe any reciprocating saw.
SealtiteOriginally invented by Anaconda in 1947, Sealtite is the Trade name for the flexible, liquid-tight conduit. It can be found in applications as mundane as an air conditioning whip all the way to nuclear power plants. It is essentially a flexible metal core (much like Greenfield) covered by a moisture-resistant covering in its many forms. The typical construction for general use in electrical construction is a crush-resistant core made from high-grade galvanized steel with a smooth bore for easy wire fishing. The PVC jacket covers the core to protect from moisture, dirt, and abrasion. This product can also be ordered in low smoke, low toxic version for Transit Authority work.
Service ClampThe service wedge clamp provides a mechanical strain relief for self-supporting drop wire. It gets attached or wedged to the support wire on incoming utility ACSR, Aluminum or AAAC conductors which typically range from #6 to 4/0. This fitting protects the cable from breaking under adverse weather conditions and is a convenient device to support the cable while the drop portion is cut to size. They are available from several suppliers such as Blackburn, Madison, and Porcelain Products with different part numbers depending upon the wire type and size.
Service DropThe conductor connecting a pole and a terminal on a building
Service Entrance Cable (SE)Service entrance cable can be compared to nonmetallic sheathed cable (Romex) in large conductor sizes, with a weatherproof nonmetallic outer covering. It is often encased by rigid, IMC or EMT conduit for additional protection.
Service Entrance HeadAn enclosed fitting intended for use at service entrances where open wiring is connected to a service entrance cable or raceway system
ServitSplit bolt connector (looks like someone taped over a bug) used to mechanically join two or more wires together
Servit PostSplit bolt connector used to mechanically join two or more wires together
Sesamee HookA resettable combination lock, not utilizing a key
Sesamee LockAn “Open Sesamee” lock. There is no key, only a resettable combination lock
Set BackThe distance a box is set forward on a stud to accommodate the thickness of the finished wall and leave the face of the box flush with the front surface of the wall.
Set Screw ConnectorA fitting which terminates a run of conduit into an enclosure using set screws to secure the conduit
Trade term for an octagon box, factory installed on a bar hanger
Set-Up Box
Sharp Point ScrewSharp Point Screw
A self-drilling Phillips round wafer head sheet metal screw. It is also referred to as a Sharp Point, Wafer, Peanut, SMS, RWH or a M/T head. It is used to attach lathe or Caddy type fasteners to metals studs. It is a #8 screw in lengths from 9/16″ to 1-1/4″ but is usually ordered in 1/2″.
Sharp ShooterA narrow-blade shovel for digging into hard ground
SharpieA brand name that has come to be used to describe any sharp tip black permanet marking pen for blank write-on books
SheathMaterial, usually an extruded plastic material applied outermost to a wire or cable. Often called a jacket.
SheavesA set of rope blocks (pulleys)
Sheetrock ClampsHolds gem box in sheetrock by offering counter pressure to the box ears
Sheetrock Support(See ‘Sheetrock Clamps’). Holds gem box in sheetrock by offering counter pressure to the box ears
Shin GuardFits in end of conduit to shield cable from sharp edges during a pull
Shoe (Bender)A component of a large pipe / conduit bending device
Shoe FlyA temporary line used to get around something
Shielded CableA cable in which the insulated conductor(s) are enclosed in a conductive mesh envelope. The mesh is intended to protect the enclosed conductor(s) from external electrical interference.
Short Hook UpA cord and clips for an electric drill
Shot Gun StickAlso spelled Shotgun Stick, an insulated pole, usualy made of fiberglass, used by electric utility workers when engaged on live-line working on energized high-voltage electric power lines, to protect them from electric shock (see also ‘egg sucker’).
Sidewinder BenderIn addressing conduit bending, the NEC requires that “bends in conduits will be made so that the tubing will not be injured and that the internal diameter of the conduit will not be effectively reduced.” The Chicago-Type manual benders accomplish this quickly and reliably. It consists of a carriage to provide firm support, a removable bending frame so the user can work off the carriage or workbench, a 0 to 90degree bending indicator, a short handle and a shoe to accommodate specific conduit sizes. The user puts a piece of rigid pipe into the short handle to gain greater leverage. Shoes come in sizes from 1″ to 2″.
Silver BulletA self-drilling Phillips round wafer head sheet metal screw. It is also referred to as a Sharp Point, Wafer, Peanut, SMS, RWH or a M/T head. It is used to attach lathe or Caddy type fasteners to metals studs. It is a #8 screw in lengths from 9/16″ to 1-1/4″ but is usually ordered in 1/2″.
Single JackA large pry-bar used for a variety of purposes ranging from persuading the large heavy object to move a few inches, to pulling spikes to stripping construction materials during demolition.
SinkerA steel pin pushed through crossarms
Sister EyeAn oval eye bolt eyelet with a hole for inserting a bolt.
Sister HookA safety and securing device used in cable pulling applications. The figureeight design opens sideways and once connected to the pulling equipment, it won’t open because it snaps shut. NOTE: The sister hook is made from malleable iron and will be the weakest link if used with steel devices. They are sold in sizes by the eye opening and each size has a different safe pulling load before it will shatter. They are available in 9/16″ (430lbs) through 1 1/16″ (2065lbs).
Sit-N-SpinA rotating coil dispenser used for Greenfield, Armored Cable, Romex and any other product that is pulled from a coil during installation. The design allows easy dispensing and avoids the tangling that often ruins armored cable and takes valuable installation time to straighten out.
Skil SawA brand name that has come to be used to describe any brand of circular saw
Sky HooksThese are practical joke terms that foreman typically use to break-in the apprentices. It gets amusing when the apprentice sends the request up the line where it gets ordered by purchasing and sent to the distributor. Usually it stops there but sometimes it will be a new inside person who asks around the office how to code a bucket-of-steam or some other prank item.
Sky TieA quarter-bend bus drop cable clamp is that both supports at a 90° angle and anchors the bus-drop cable where it connects to the bus-duct. Comes in 1/2″ TO 1-1/8″ sizes. Essentially it stops the bus-drop cable from drooping and supports the weight of attached air lines and portable tools.
Skywire / Sky WireA wire on top of poles, towers, and buildings that protects lines and wiring from lightning
Slave MarketAn employment agency’s office
Sleeve AnchorSleeve type heavy-duty masonry anchor that comes with a variety of head types. The installation base does not have to be solid like is necessary for the Wedge Type Anchor. Can be used in concrete, brick, block or stone.
Sleeve NutThis coupling joins two pieces of threaded rod together and is ordered in sizes matching the diameter of the rod. Under the T&B number shown below, it is a H195 under Kindorf but H-119 under Superstrut.
Slip FitterFits on top of a pole to convert 1-1/2″ – 4″ pipe to a 1/2″ or 3/4″ nipple
Slip Thread PVC Female AdaptorAn insulated pole, usualy made of fiberglass, used by electric utility workers when engaged on live-line working on energized high-voltage electric power lines, to protect them from electric shock (see also ‘shot gun stick’).
Slip ThreadPVC Female Adaptor
SlipstickA 6′ hard-wood folding ruler painted yellow with the measurement markings in black. The extension part is a metal (brass) piece that slides out from the first leg of the ruler and extends 6″ to aid in making inside or hard to reach measurements. While the “Slipstick” term is normally associated with the pre calculator age slide rules, the term Slipstick refers to the sliding metal extension on the folding ruler.
SlugA solid blade on open type cutouts that allows the fuse holder to be used as a switch
Smoke TestAerosol spray used to test the proper operation of both commercial and residential smoke detectors. Eliminates the need to light cigarettes or matches in order to generate smoke.
Smooth Step BitA bit that lets you cut multiple pre-set hole sizes in a single bit. Their self-starting tips means that you don’t need to center punch the hole prior to drilling. They are made from high grade steel and are ideal for cutting through thin metals like steel, copper, brass and aluminum. Because there is only one cutting edge, step-bits produce consistently round holes that are de-burred as they are drilled.
Smurf / Smurf TubeElectrical nonmetallic tubing for fiber optic cable. Though it was originally blue, it now comes in a variety of colors, typically orange.
SnakeWhen inserted into a conduit run, it provides a means to attach wires or fish line at one end and pull them out through the other. The flat, spring metal design makes it extremely flexible and capable of navigation through elbows and turns. It is typically sold in 1/8, 3/16 and 1/4″ widths with lengths from 25 to 100′. For convenience, they are also sold within fish dispenser reels to automatically extend and retract the fish tape but most people buy the inexpensive wire fish only and store it in a short piece of Greenfield.
Snake EyesA 250 V Receptacle with prongs that are horizontal instead of verical, 15 or 20 AMP
SoapThe lubricating compound used to reduce tension between cable insulation and the conduit during the pulling process. In the early days of the electrical industry, people used Ivory Soap Flakes to perform this function, earning SOAP. In 1973, inventor Nelson Jonnes concocted a water-polymer solution that would eventually become Polywater. It was initially marketed as “Slippery Stuff” and sold to divers as a body lube to ease into and out of the wet suits. Eventually, it was used as a sex lube, and Polywater sold that division off. The Polywater product caught-on as a cable lubricant initially with the Transit Authorities, which required Bentonite Clay’s use. Polywater Cable lubricant is sold by a wide variety of manufacturers today.
Socket ExtenderWhen you want to extend an Edison base lamp out from the socket, the porcelain socket extender is an ideal choice.
Spacer (Base)When burying multiple electrical conduits in concrete, they need to have specific spacing between each other to ensure the integrity of the resulting concrete pour. Too close together, and the concrete slab won’t have sufficient rigidity. Too far apart, and the installation may not be possible or efficient. Therefore, spacers are used to keep the proper distance between conduits and support them as the concrete is slushing and being compacted around them. The installation uses two types of spacers: Base and Intermediate. The Base spacer, sometimes called a chair, goes at the very bottom of the pile, and the first conduit is laid inside it. The intermediate spacers go on top of each conduit and form both the top of one and the bottom of the next. That is why they are sometimes called the ladder.
Spacer (Intermediate)When burying multiple runs of electrical conduit in concrete, they need to have specific spacing between each other to ensure the integrity of the resulting concrete pour. Too close together and the concrete slab won’t have sufficient rigidity. Too far apart and the installation may not be possible or efficient. Spacers are therefore used to keep the proper distance between conduits and to support them as the concrete is slushing and being compacted around them.The installation uses two types of spacers: Base and Intermediate. The Base spacer, sometimes called a chair, goes at the very bottom of the pile and the first conduit is laid inside it. The intermediate spacers go on top of each conduit and form both the top of one and the bottom of the next. That is why they are sometimes called the ladder.
Spark RingThis is an open-bottomed octagon ring that gets cemented into the building floor (deck) after being nailed to the wood subflooring. Using backplates and covers, it becomes a complete deck box and is available in depths from 2″ to 6″ with knockouts from 1/2″ to 1″. It is called a concrete ring when extending an existing mud box, and it can be called a mud box when it has a backplate and serves as a mud box. A classic mud box, however, comes as one unit with the backplate welded in place.
SparkyAn electrician, or sometimes an electrical engineer
Spider PlateAn adaptor used to affix a lighting fixture directly to an electric box when the fixture and electrical box mounting holes do not line up (see also ‘Fixture Bar’).
SpiderThe Spider is a registered Trademark of Hubbell and refers to a 50 amp temporary power distribution box for both indoor and outdoor construction sites. It has a flat top and sits on “spider” legs to keep the ground and mud’s electrical connections. The typical configuration is 6 20 amp straight blade GFCI receptacles, a 30 amp twist lock and two 50 amp twist locks. The part numbers vary with differing receptacle configurations.
Spin TightAlso called a nutsetter, this tool looks like a screwdriver but is used on hex head nuts. There is a different tool for each nut size. Available in fractional and metric sizes.
SpliceThe joining of two or more conductors
Splice BoxSee ‘Junction Box’
Split Bolt ConnectorSplit bolt connector (looks like someone taped over a bug) used to mechanically join two or more wires together
Spool BoltAn upset bolt used to support spool insulators (see also ‘upset bolt’)
SpoonA cup shaped shovel with a long handle
Spring Nut (Strut)The Spring Nut or Boingie Nut is used to attach objects to strut. The spring holds the nut in place inside the channel while you bolt the object to the strut.
Square Device Box CoverA cover to adapt 4″ or 5″ boxes to accept a wiring device with wall plate added later (see also ‘Combination Box Cover’).
Square to Round CoverConverts a square box to a round opening. Multiple size raises.
Squeeze WrenchA hand operated wrench used for compression or cutting
Squirrel CageSteel brackets that are mounted on poles to support line conductors
STAB-ITA RACO trademark for our line of boxes with built-in cable connectors for flexible armored cable
StakingThe act of surveying and marking new locations for lines and line poles
Stakon ToolA terminal installation tool
Stand Off Strap (Sos)The steel conduit hanger is used to secure 1/2″ to 4″ rigid (GAL) or EMT conduit to some type of support using the hole on top of the hanger. Typically, the pipe is suspended from strut or directly from the concrete using a piece of threaded rod but the hanger is also used to attach conduit directly to an insulator or some other surface. Manufactured by Steel City, Erico (Caddy), Bridgeport and others; the hanger is available with or without the lower bolt and nut. Originally invented by Minneralac in 1904 as the Standard Conduit Hanger.
Standard Conduit HangerThe steel conduit hanger is used to secure 1/2″ to 4″ rigid (GAL) or EMT conduit to some support using the hole on top of the hanger. Typically, the pipe is suspended from the strut or directly from the concrete using a piece of the threaded rod. Still, the hanger is also used to attach conduit directly to an insulator or some other surface. Manufactured by Steel City, Erico (Caddy), Bridgeport and others, the hanger is available with or without the lower bolt and nut. Originally invented by Minneralac in 1904 as the Standard Conduit Hanger.
Steam Boat / SteamboatHolds gem box in sheetrock by offering counter pressure to the box ears
Steering GuideAssist manipulating Fish Bits for accurate placement within the wall
Step BitA bit that lets you cut multiple pre-set hole sizes in a single bit. Their self-starting tips mean that you don’t need to centre punch the hole before drilling. They are made from high-grade steel and are ideal for cutting through thin metals like steel, copper, brass and aluminium. Because there is only one cutting edge, step-bits produce consistently round holes that are de-burred as they are drilled.
Sticky BacksCable tie mounting blocks with peel-off backing available in a variety of sizes and shapes
Stickyback TapeTermed “double sided tape,” this has the sticky stuff on both sides and is used to attach lightweight items that will later be screwed into place. It is more for alignment and ease of final installment than for permanent installation when used in the electrical industry.
Stillson WrenchThe Monkey, Pipe and Stillson Wrenches all fall in the category of a adjustable wrenches that have serrated jaws which grip the pipe or other curved surface being worked on. Although they come in sizes ranging from 8″ to 24″, the 8″ and 12″ are the most popular.
StingerThe wire that connects a cutout to transformer
Stone Of Tie WireTie Wire as used in the electrical construction industry is sold in coils of 12 pounds and generally made from 16 gauge black soft annealed wire. It is popular because it is both pliable and difficult to break. This property of being easy to bend makes it ideal for hanging troffers from black iron, holding victor splits in place for temporary wiring and other uses. It is often ordered in units of Stones or as a Stone of Tie Wire because of the old British measurement of a STONE. A STONE is 14 American Pounds, over time the trade has shrunk it to 12 pounds.
Stove BoltRound head machine screw with nut attached
Strain Relief ConnectorThese are fittings which are used to connect flexible cord (SO, SVO, SJTO, etc) to a box or knockout while protecting the insulation of the cord from abrasion at the point of entry and maintaining the watertight seal as appropriate.
StrapsUsed to support conduit as required by Code. Beam and conduit clamps perform this function in industrial locations.
Street ElbowA short 90 degree, threaded, male to female, ridgid elbow available in short or long without a cover
String-O-LightsThe term String-O-Lights is a Trademark of McGill and it refers to a 100′ prefabricated string of temporary lighting typically found on a jobsite after it has been gutted but lighting is still needed for the workers. It generally consists of two #12 solid wires to which 10 festoon sockets and plastic cages are attached every 10 feet. Competitors offer variations where the wire is rubber cord and/or where laundrydrops are added for power tools but the picture shown here is the typical item requested and sold.
Strong ArmA hoist used to pull wire, often a strap or chain
Stud2 in. x 4 in. or 2 in. x 6 in. wood or steel used to construct walls
Stud Grounding BoltSplit bolt connector used to mechanically join two or more wires together
Stud MountName for mud rings that allow for quick installation to studs, and eliminate the need for far-side support
Stud PlateNails to wood stud where cable passes through to protect wire & plumbing pipe from nails driven into the wall sometime in the future (see also ‘Safety Plate’; ‘Cable Protector’).
Stud PunchWhen installing pipe, flex, data cable or AC/MC in metal studs, there is often a need to make a hole in the stud other than the manufacturer knockout. This tool punches a hole through studs up to 20 guage. Once the stud has been punched, you need to use a bushing or insulator to shield the wire or conduit from the rough edges of the steel. Those insulators are the Greenlee 711, 714 and 715 family of items.
Stud WallWood or steel 2 in. x 4 in. spaced 16 in. or 24 in. on center — drywall or paneling typically is attached to the studs to finish the wall
Stud Wedge AnchorHeavy duty, stainless steel, one-piece expansion bolt that works by compressing the side sleeve against the hole made in concrete or stone. Available in sizes ranging from 1/4″ x 1-3/4″ all the way to 1-1/4″ x 12″.
Stump JumperA lineman
Sure WallNylon or Zinc self-drilling anchor used for #8 x 1″ screws into sheetrock
Surge GeneratorA device used to locate faults in cables underground. This device uses a high voltage discharge to produce an audible thump where the fault exists. The thump is caused by the discharge exiting into the ground. The device is typically selfcontained as a portable device that can be used out in the field, (see also, ‘Thumper”; ‘Banger’).
SweepConduit elbows are available for EMT, RIGID, PVC COATED GALVANIZED, FIBERGLASS and PVC. The standard elbows come in 90 degree and 45 degree but a wide range of bends and radiuses are available. In general, the customer ordering a PREFAB 45 is looking for a 45 degree elbow and you have to ask what kind of conduit it is being connected to.
Switch BoxA metal box, usually 2″ – 3-1/2″ deep with various mounting from ears, nail-on, to masonry
Switch Box SupportHolds gem box in sheetrock by offering counter pressure to the box ears
Switch GuardA guard that protects a toggle switch from accidentally being switched on or off
Switch StickA disconnect stick
Switchboard MattingSwitchboard matting is generally a non-conductive, black rubber mat conforming to ASTM D-178-93 Type I for use as a floor covering around live electrical equipment. The product is available with a smooth finish, a corrugated or diamond a plate surface. It is sold in 3′ widths with varying lengths.
Swivel LokA reference for multi-position liquidtight connectors for type B liquidtight flexible nonmetallic conduit and extra flexible liquidtight nonmetallic tubing
T11An outdoor weatherproof switch or outlet box
Table TapConverts a single receptacle opening to 3 openings in a wide brick shaped device
Tag LineA rope used to tie-off line or to control load being lifted
Tag OutA link stick
Tamp InYou use this masonry anchor when you want to attach a machine screw to concrete, block or brick. Sizes from 6/30 to 3/4″.
Tamperproof ScrewdriverA screwdriver for tamper proof screws used in security locations. Drive types include snake-eye, star with pin and more.
TamponA combination of the fish line and the mouse in one unit. Comes in conduit sizes from 1/2″ through 1″ only.
Tap ClampA clamp used when dealing with a hot line
Tear DropA Ground Rod Clamp – a copper mechanical connector used to connect a wide range of wire sizes and types to a ground rod. Those ground rods may be copper or stainless steel. It works by sliding over the ground rod, having the wire inserted under the flat part of the screw, and mechanically tightening down with a wrench.
Telephone ElbowA short 90 degree, threaded, male to female, ridgid elbow available in short or long without a cover
The BatNylon or Zinc self-drilling anchor used for #8 x 1″ screws into sheetrock, (see also ‘Sure Wall’).
The RoundCalled “The Round” by industry leader Honeywell, this single pole – double throw low 24 volt heating & cooling thermostat is a beige round device showing current temperature and desired temperature from 40 – 90 degrees. It works by rotating the clear plastic bezel to which a mercury switch is attached. The mercury switch is simply a glass tube with electrodes at one end. When the tube is tilted so the mercury contacts the electrodes, the circuit is completed. When it tilts away, the circuit is broken. A bimetallic coil acts as a thermometer by combining two different metals into a strip. Since they expand and contract at different rates, the coil expands or contracts in response to temperature. Depending upon the relationship of the mercury switch to the coil, the device connected to the thermostat goes on or off.
Thermoplastic-Sheathed CableFlexible, nonmetallic sheathed cable, typically used to wire houses
Thinwall ConduitElectro-Mechanical Tubing (EMT) is used to protect wires within an electrical system. It is the most commonly used raceway because it can be concealed or surface mounted, it is low cost, lightweight and doesn’t require threading tools like rigid. The bending process, however, requires more skill than rigid because EMT is prone to kink. It is also called “thin-wall” because the wall is much thinner than a rigid conduit of the same nominal size. Available from Wheatland, Allied, LTV and others.
Thomas EdisonThe guy who got us all jobs
Threadless Compression CouplingThis type of fitting uses compression to attach to the rigid conduit. Made of steel, it comes in a coupling or a connector style in sizes 1/2″ to 4″. It is faster than threading pipe and it works well in tight areas when threading is impossible or when the pipe can’t be turned.
Three-Phase SetThree shovels: a spoon, a spade, and a shovel; all three are of different design for different uses
Thru BoltA machine screw or bolt
Thumb GumCompound sealing putty used to seal connectors
ThumperA device used to locate faults in cables underground. This device uses a high voltage discharge to produce an audible thump where the fault exists. The thump is caused by the discharge exiting into the ground. The device is typically selfcontained as a portable device that can be used out in the field (see also ‘Surge Generator’; ‘Banger’).
Thunder TiteYou use this anchor when you want to attach a machine screw to concrete, block or brick. Sizes from 6/30 to 3/4″.
ThunderboltSleeve type heavy-duty anchor that comes with a variety of head types. The installation base does not have to be solid like is necessary for the Wedge Type Anchor. Can be used in concrete, brick, block or stone.
ThunderstudHeavy-duty, stainless steel, one-piece expansion bolt works by compressing the side sleeve against the hole made in concrete or stone. It is available in sizes ranging from 1/4″ x 1-3/4″ all the way to 1-1/4″ x 12″.
Tie WireTie Wire as used in the electrical construction industry is sold in coils of 12 pounds and generally made from 16 gauge black soft annealed wire. It is popular because it is both pliable and difficult to break. This property of being easy to bend makes it ideal for hanging troffers from black iron, holding victor splits in place for temporary wiring and other uses. It is often ordered in units of Stones or as a Stone of Tie Wire because of the old British measurement of a STONE. A STONE is 14 American Pounds, over time the trade has shrunk it to 12 pounds.
Tiger BoxName for a patented switch box for old work applications
Tile CoverCover for 4″ or 5″ box, multiple gang and multiple height raise for tile work
Tilt-In ConnectorThe “tilt-in” 2-piece connector for non-metallic sheathed cable (a.k.a. Romex™) is a labor saving design that lets the electrician clamp the connector onto the cable, tilt it into the knockout and tighten down the screws. The screws both bind the connector to the enclosure and compress onto the cable making a secure fit. This eliminates the need to remove the locknut and re-attach it inside an often cramped box. Originally marketed by Tomic™. Available in conduit sizes from 1/2″ to 1-1/2″, (see also ‘Butterfly Connector’; ‘Tomic’).
Tite BiteYou can order an Greenfield connector or you can order a TITE-BITE connector. When you ask for a Greenfield connector, you get a connector with a screw that clamps a ring around the conduit. The T&B TITE-BITE has a saddle that presses down and is asked for by name. It comes in sizes from 3/8″ to 4″ and in 45 degree through 90 degree. They can be ordered with or without the insulated throat option. All that having been said, on larger sizes of armored cable, you use the Greenfield connector and not the BX connector. You can compare this to the TB254 which is a standard squeeze connector to see the difference.
TKOReferences a combination 1/2 in. and 3/4 in. knockout. The two knockouts are offcenter to enable a 1/2 in. locknut to engage the box for proper grounding of the electrical system.
Toggle BoltInvented by hardware store owner William H. Rubely in the late 1800’s and initially called the “Tuckahoe Toggle Bolt” , the toggle bolt has been used whenever you need to mount something to a non-structural, hollow, thin wall where a screw would simply pull right out. A toggle bolt has wings like a butterfly that fold closed against an internal spring to be inserted into the wall. Once through the wall, it snaps open and provides a secure are wide surface area to fasten an object to the wall using the attached a threaded screw. You’d see it used in sheetrock or wood applications holding a fire alarm box, a speaker to ceiling tile, a bulletin board, etc. When the screw is removed, the wing simply drops behind the wall to the floor below and is abandoned.
Toggle SwitchA switch intended for use in general distribution and branch circuits. Generally an on / off switch and looks like your standard light switch.
Toilet Seat CoverA weatherproof plate for T-11 Boxes with either 1 or 2 flip top lids for receptacles / outlets
TombstoneSee ‘Mouse House’
TomicThe “tilt-in” 2-piece connector for non-metallic sheathed cable (a.k.a. Romex™) is a labor saving design that lets the electrician clamp the connector onto the cable, tilt it into the knockout and tighten down the screws. The screws both bind the connector to the enclosure and compress onto the cable making a secure fit. This eliminates the need to remove the locknut and re-attach it inside an often cramped box. Originally marketed by Tomic™. Available in conduit sizes from 1/2″ to 1-1/2″ (see also ‘Butterfly Connector’).
TongsA tool used to control a pole when setting the pole
ToothpickAdjustable sliding scaffold board
ToqueA hard hat
Torpedo LevelA 9″ level shaped like a torpedo usually with a magnetic base
Trade SizePipe and conduit are referred to by trade size, which is equal to its inside diameter
Transformer BankMade by attaching two or three transformers to the same circuit, typically used when a three-phase transformer cannot be used
Transformer Vibration PadThe term transformer pad can refer to everything from a neoprene vibration isolating pad to a vault box pad that the transformer is mounted to. In this case we are looking at the vibration isolation pads which come in sizes ranging from 3/8″ (economy) to 3/4″ (deluxe). The construction varies but generally consists of an oil resistant corrugated neoprene pad on one surface. As the thickness increases, a 2nd corrugated pad is added to the other side and on the larger sizes, cork is put between the neoprene.
Trapeze (Caddy)Called a Lightweight Trapeze, it allows the user to hang AC/MC or EMT from a length of 1″ EMT. Each trapeze is rated for loads up to 100lbs and is available for 14-2 thru 12-3 MC/AC or 1/2″ through 2″ EMT.
Traveling ChainA movable grounding device
Traveling ChairA two wheel trolley with an attached chain typically used on a steel I-beam
Traveling LadderA wooden ladder with fiber rollers generally used when work or inspection has to be done on transmission hardware or conductor
Triple TapConverts single receptacle opening to 3 openings in a wide brick shaped device
Triplex BreakerThe term Quadplex and Triplex comes from the Murray (ITE) product and, in general, refers to a breaker that offers the benefits of 4 poles in two breaker positions with the advantage that if one phase trips on the 240v configuration, the other phase trips internally instead of relying on the pole handles to be physically tied. A QUAD breaker is when the two outside two poles are tied together and the inside two poles tied together providing two 2-pole 240vac breakers. A Triplex breaker is when either A) the two outside poles are connected for a 2-pole 240v breaker and the two inside poles operating independently as two 1-pole 120v breakers or B) the same as A but switching inside and outside poles. The alternative to using a QUAD or TRIPLEX breaker is to take two twin breakers and physically tie the two inside and/or two outside poles together. The downside is that this method relies on the physical connection of the pole handles for the other breaker to trip instead of the internal trip mechanism.
Tri-Tap ToolA screwdriver with 3 of the common tap sizes (6-32, 8-32, 10-32 or 10-24)
Tri-Volt TransformerTransformer with a three voltage secondary (i.e. 8-12-24)
Trough Edge GuardCreates a wire protection grommet for sheetmetal when cutting into an enclosure
Trubolt Wedge AnchorHeavy-duty, stainless steel, one-piece expansion bolt works by compressing the side sleeve against the hole made in concrete or stone. It is available in sizes ranging from 1/4″ x 1-3/4″ all the way to 1-1/4″ x 12″.
True TapeTape with footage markings that when inserted into a conduit run, an accurate measurement can be taken
T-StripperThis is a hand tool that strips the insulation off wires. It comes in a variety of different configurations that vary the wire size, handle type, and other features.
Tube CutterCuts EMT
Tube GuardA plastic sleeve placed over fluorescent lamps to contain glass fragments in the event the lamp breaks
TupperwareA plastic, insulated protective cover
Turkey WingA steel post insulator standoff used in distribution construction, also known as a ‘chicken wing’.
Twin BreakerIn the space of one 1″ breaker, fits two breakers side-by-side (Twin) or over/under (Piggyback)
Two Men In A Boat (St. Louis Term)Holds gem box in sheetrock by offering counter pressure to the box ears
Two PoundA lineman’s hammer which typically weights two pounds
Type UFSee ‘Underground Feeder Cable’
TY-RAPA brand of cable ties commonly used to refer to any zip tie
U Bangi15 kV rubber line hose
U GuardU-guard is a product that protects cable and conduit installations on the surface of a utility pole. It is often used to protect bare SEU running down a utility pole when the service is “buried” underground. It is available in both Steel and PVC, but PVC has dominated the market for various reasons. The PVC is made from a tough, UV resistant thermoplastic for extra long life and comes in various widths from 1 to 6″ and schedule 40 and 80.
U ConduitA Hubbell trade name for the Universal Conduit Body. The U-Conduit Body’s interchangeable plates/panels allow the body to be configured into any of the five standard conduit body types LB, LL, LR, T, and C, for EMT or Rigid/IMC conduit.
Ug SpliceThe “U” 3 M invented the “U” style connector70’s for communications applications. It eliminated the need to strip and twist the POTS (Plain Old Telephone) wires by using insulation displacement “U” shaped crimping contacts. Insert the wires, crimp the circle shut and you have a secure connection. Over time, a variety of wire sizes and tap types were created and color codes used to tell the wire sizes. The UG is used to tap into an existing line without causing any kind of interruption. Good for sizes 19-26AWG solid telecom or alarm wire.
ULSee ‘Underwriters Laboratories’
Umbrella BoltAlso called a ‘Toggle Bolt’. Invented by hardware store owner William H. Rubely in the late 1800s and initially called the “Tuckahoe Toggle Bolt”, the toggle bolt has been used whenever you need to mount something a non-structural, hollow, thin wall where a screw would pull right out. A toggle bolt has wings like a butterfly that fold closed against an internal spring inserted into the wall. Once through the wall, it snaps open and provides a secure, wide surface area to fasten an object to the wall using the attached threaded screw. You’d see it used in sheetrock or wood applications holding a fire alarm box, a speaker to ceiling tile, a bulletin board, etc. When the screw is removed, the wing drops behind the wall below and is abandoned.
Underground Feeder CableUnderground feeder cable (Type UF) is a group of conductors manufactured in the form of a cable assembly similar to Type NM (Romex) and the physical and electrical characteristics that allow for direct burial in the earth.
Underwriters Laboratories (UL)An independent testing agency that tests and lists electrical equipment to its established standards of safety and performance.
UnibitA bit that lets you cut multiple pre-set hole sizes in a single bit. Their self-starting tips means that you don’t need to center punch the hole prior to drilling. They are made from high grade steel and are ideal for cutting through thin metals like steel, copper, brass and aluminum. Because there is only one cutting edge, step-bits produce consistently round holes that are de-burred as they are drilled.
Universal CrossbarAn adaptor used to affix a lighting fixture directly to an electric box when the fixture and electrical box mounting holes do not line up (see also ‘Fixture Bar’).
Upset BoltA bolt used to support spool insulators
UR Splice3 M invented the “U” style connector in the 1970s for communications applications. It eliminated the need to strip and twist the POTS (Plain Old Telephone) wires using insulation displacement “U” shaped crimping contacts. Insert the wires, crimp the circle shut, and you have a secure connection. Over time, various wire sizes and tap types were created, and colour codes used to tell the wire sizes. The UY is a butt connector for 2 or 3 solid wires 19-26AWG. It is filled with moisture-resistant gel. Comes in three styles: UY (moisture-resistant seal), UY-2 (RUS listed) and UY2-D (dry). A similar product, the UR, handles a larger wire size.
URDUnderground residential distribution
Utility BoxSteel surface mounted box measuring 4″ high and 2-1/2″ wide.
UY Connector3 M invented the “U” style connector in the 1970s for communications applications. It eliminated the need to strip and twist the POTS (Plain Old Telephone) wires using insulation displacement “U” shaped crimping contacts. Insert the wires, crimp the circle shut, and you have a secure connection. Over time, various wire sizes and tap types were created, and colour codes used to tell the wire sizes. The UY is a butt connector for 2 or 3 solid wires 19-26AWG. It is filled with moisture-resistant gel. Comes in three styles: UY (moisture-resistant seal), UY-2 (RUS listed) and UY2-D (dry). A similar product, the UR, handles a larger wire size.
VaultA service box or vault is an underground room into which cables are pulled, terminated, connected, and serviced. They generally have racks to hold the cables and reduce the strain on the connectors and are most often sold as prefab units. Concrete construction is no longer the rule; favoring the lightweight composite designs that afford long life and easier handling and installation. Available with or without bottoms, knockouts, in various sizes, etc.
Velcro TiesHook and loop fastener (more commonly called by the brand name Velcro) cable ties
Victor SplitThis is a porcelain insulator that is typically used to suspend Non-metallic cable (Romex™) from above. The two-piece insulator clamps around the cable and is bound together with “Tie-Wire”. The resulting attachment lets the cable slip through the insulator so it doesn’t strain the insulation.
Vinyl TapeInexpensive, black vinyl electrical tape
Volt (v)A unit of electromotive force
Volt TickThese devices detect the presence of voltage without direct contact with the wire. One style (Greenlee 1010 or Fluke 1ACA1) looks like a pen, and you touch the tip to a possible power source such as a wire or outlet, and if the tip glows red, you know there is some level of voltage present. An upgraded version of the Greenlee 1010 Volt Tick called 1112 includes a flashlight. The other style is an audible detector that chirps as you get closer to the load, detects a higher and lower voltage range, detects both hot & neutral, and detects if breakers are powered.
Wago Wall-NutsThe Wago Wall Nut is a pushwire connector for both solid and stranded copper wire. Using push-in connectors eliminates the twisting and taping of traditional wirenuts while providing the visual access to the wires through the clear shell and offering a test port to allow for continuity testing. Sizes range from 2 to 8 connectors and 12 to 18 gauge.
Walking CrabA lever lift
Wall WartConverts a 2-wire ungrounded outlet so it accepts a 3-wire U-Ground plug. It is rated 120V and 15amp. This is not a safe item to use and should be replaced with a modern 3-prong outlet with a proper ground.
WaterfallA triple-drum puller
Water Pipe Ground ClampWater Pipe Ground Clamps are used for connecting copper conductors to metallic water pipe or ground rods. They are typically made of a bronze alloy.
Watt (w)A measure of the power an electrical device consumes; [volts x amps = watts].
WeatherheadA receptacle located at the top of vertical conduit, referred to as a mast, where overhead conductors enter a residence.
WeatherproofAn enclosure constructed for outdoor use
Weatherproof-While-In-UseA term commonly used to describe covers that are designed to be rain tight with cords installed.
Wedge AnchorHeavy duty, stainless steel, one-piece expansion bolt that works by compressing the side sleeve against the hole made in concrete or stone. Available in sizes ranging from 1/4″ x 1-3/4″ all the way to 1-1/4″ x 12″.
Wedge ClampThe service wedge clamp provides mechanical strain relief for self-supporting drop wire. It gets attached or wedged to the support wire on incoming utility ACSR, aluminium, or AAAC conductors, typically ranging from #6 to 4/0. This fitting protects the cable from breaking under adverse weather conditions and is a convenient device to support the cable while the drop portion is cut to size. They are available from several suppliers such as Blackburn, Madison, and Porcelain Products with different part numbers depending upon the wire type and size.
Welding ReceptacleA 50 amp power receptacle is used for welding machines
WesternsStandard climbers for old type Western Union, (see also ‘hooks’)
Wet LocationsInstallations underground or in concrete slabs or masonry in direct contact with earth, and locations subject to saturation with water or other liquids, such as vehicle washing areas, and locations exposed to weather and unprotected.
WhipA pre-frabricated 6″ piece of BX with connector to quickly wire-up light fixtures
Whiskey StickThe vials in a level have alcohol in them to prevent them from freezing and to avoid condensation. The term whiskey stick came about from colored alcohol used to provide some contrast to the clear glass vial.
WidowA tool used to grip cable, (see also ‘cable grip’)
WiggleSecondary voltage tester, featuring a glow light (see also ‘jiggler’)
Wiggle WireAny kind of formed wire used to secure conductors to insulators
WiggyThe “Wiggy” is a simple, extremely durable line voltage indicator (tester). It has two test leads connected to a solenoid coil inside a moulded plastic casing. A spring presses against the solenoid holding it down. To show the voltage, an indicator bar is attached to the solenoid. As the voltage increases, the solenoid moves against the spring. The user reads the voltage by comparing the indicator’s position with a fixed chart on the face of the tester. If it is reading AC, a neon lamp in the face of the tester lights-up, the unit hums and vibrates. The voltage it shows is a general approximation, not an exact value. Its strength comes from its durability, ease of use and ability to show both AC and DC plus the current’s polarity through the Red/Black indicator lights. Its nickname came from the company that introduced it, the Wiggington Company.
Wildcat ConnectionThree-phase four wire delta
Wildcat LegA four wired delta service, with a center tap connection to a transformer winding (see also ‘wild-leg’; ‘wild phase’; ‘high leg’)
Window ClampWhen a manufacturer says Beam Clamp, they mean the family of clamps that attach members to a steel support beam. While there are many different kinds of beam clamps, the Window Clamp is the beam clamp with U-bolts. Whether you use Kindorf, PowerStrut, B-Line or some other strut manufacturer, they all offer Window Clamps of similar construction because there is generally only one way to mechanically make these things happen. As an aside, when a distributor or electrician refers to a Beam Clamp, they typically mean the “C” style clamp that screws tight to the flange of a beam and has a threaded hole to accept threaded rod. The Window Clamp, however, is the style that U-bolts the strut to the support beam.
Window PoleA disconnect stick which allows a lineman to open and close disconnect cutouts or switches
Wire BallsWire nuts
Wire BenderA hand bender that helps installer bend large MCM cable during installation
Wire BiterAn electrician
Wire Delta Wire Bender CutoutAn open link cutout which protects distributions transformers from current spikes or surges, (see also ‘flip cutout’)
Wire E’sThe lubricating compound used to reduce tension between cable insulation and the conduit during the pulling process. In the early days of the electrical industry, people used Ivory Soap Flakes to perform this function, earning SOAP. In 1973, inventor Nelson Jonnes concocted a water-polymer solution that would eventually become Polywater. It was initially marketed as “Slippery Stuff” and sold to divers as a body lube to ease into and out of the wet suits. Eventually, it was used as a sex lube, and Polywater sold that division off. The Polywater product caught-on as a cable lubricant initially with the Transit Authorities, which required Bentonite Clay’s use. Polywater Cable lubricant is sold by a wide variety of manufacturers today.
Wire Rope ClipThe “Crosby” wire rope clip is a galvanized fitting used to fasten wire rope or guy strand securely. It is extremely durable. The U bolt goes over the wire, and the iron saddle is attached below. Then, the bolts are tightened, and the guy wire is locked in place.
Wire TwisterAn electrician who typically works indoors (see also ‘narrow back’)
Wonder BarA 14″ hand-held demolition ripping or prying bar
Woodhead TesterThis device is useful for quickly determining if a receptacle has power and if there is anything obviously wrong with the wiring. Enhanced models perform GFCI testing, but this tester is essentially idiot-proof through the use of three lights and a sticker explaining the meaning of these lights.
Woonder Bar(See ‘Wonder Bar’) A 14″ hand-held demolition ripping or prying bar
Wrecking Bar(See ‘Wonder Bar’) A 14″ hand-held demolition ripping or prying bar
WRTRAn electrical device that is weatherresistant and tamper-resistant
X-Tract-ORemoves the “S” type fuse adapter from Edison base fuse holders by shearing off the cleats that secure the fuse adapter in place. This is an extremely hard to find item.
Y AdapterConverts a 1/2″ knockout to hold two lampholers or bullets
Yellow 77A lubricating compound used to reduce tension between cable insulation and the conduit during the pulling process. In the early days of the electrical industry, people used Ivory Soap Flakes to perform this function, earning SOAP. In 1973, inventor Nelson Jonnes concocted a water-polymer solution that would eventually become Polywater. It was initially marketed as “Slippery Stuff” and sold to divers as a body lube to ease into and out of the wet suits. Eventually, it was used as a sex lube, and Polywater sold that division off. The Polywater product caught-on as a cable lubricant initially with the Transit Authorities, which required Bentonite Clay’s use. Polywater Cable lubricant is sold by a wide variety of manufacturers today.
Yo-Yo (Thermostat)Called “The Round” by industry leader Honeywell, this single pole – double throw low 24 volt heating & cooling thermostat is a beige round device showing current temperature and desired temperature from 40 – 90 degrees. It works by rotating the clear plastic bezel to which a mercury switch is attached. The mercury switch is simply a glass tube with electrodes at one end. When the tube is tilted so the mercury contacts the electrodes, the circuit is completed. When it tilts away, the circuit is broken. A bimetallic coil acts as a thermometer by combining two different metals into a strip. Since they expand and contract at different rates, the coil expands or contracts in response to temperature. Depending upon the relationship of the mercury switch to the coil, the device connected to the thermostat goes on or off.
Zinc-ItWhen sprayed on ferrous metal, it prevents it from oxidizing. Composed mainly of zinc, is used to galvanize bare metal or to touch-up hot-dipped galvanized fittings and pipes.
Zip CordTwo wire cord used to wire portable lamps
Zip ItNylon or Zinc self-drilling anchor used for #8 x 1″ screws into sheetrock, (see also ‘Sure Wall’)
Zip TiesCable ties

About Blake Sutton

Blake has worked as an electrician for over 10 years, receiving his Journeyman Electrician license in 1998. Looking to take his professional electrical career further, in 2008 he received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) from the University of Texas in Austin. Blake now works full time as an electrical engineer, specializing in power systems.