Every month, Jack Pullizzi picks the top four Ideas That Work submitted by you, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR readers. These ideas can't be found in any code or guidebook and are only learned or devised through years of experience and thinking, "There's got to be a better way to do this!" Please remember, the ideas presented in this article are for consideration only. Before using such ideas, make sure codes and safety standards have been fully adhered to. Now, without further ado, here are this issue's Ideas That Work!


Simple circuit tracer
For a simple circuit tracer, slip an old-fashioned flasher button into your droplight, and add a 100-watt bulb. Plug that into the circuit you are tracing, and use a tester at the panel to find the pulse at the breaker.

Peg Preble
Jamaica Plain, Mass.

An easy trace
Working in a carpenter’s shop one day tracing out a home run (tight, I might add), I grabbed one of the carpenter’s clamps from a pile laying there to mark the run as I moved the ladder along. What a great tool that became! We now carry them on all our trucks!

John McLaughlin
Wildwood, N.J.

Rope light beacon
Ever run into a situation where you need to get power to a physically inaccessible section of attic space and are having trouble locating the fishing stick in the attic? Try affixing a 6-ft. piece of rope lighting to the stick. Your helper should easily see the “beacon.” It’s a standard tool on our service vans.

Bob Becker
Scottsdale, Ariz.

Accounting for error in conduit installation
When installing conduit in a slab, the layout is crucial. In an area where tile will be installed, use an 8-in. tube over the smaller pipes. Fill it with sand. This allows some movement in the event something is wrong. Simply scoop out some sand, and add cement to fill in. The tile will cover it. It’s a lot cheaper than having to chip out the floor.

Justin Walecka
North Dartmouth, Mass.


IF YOU HAVE AN IDEA that has saved you time or money on the job, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR readers would like to hear about it. Be sure to include a good photo of your idea—hand sketches are often hard to interpret. Note that some ideas are submitted by more than one person. In these cases, the one that is more clearly written and includes a photo is given precedence. Send your letter and photo to Jack Pullizzi, Ideas Editor, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, 3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 1100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5372, email IdeasThatWork@necanet.org, or use the online submission tool at www.ecmag.com/ideasthatwork.

CASH PRIZE FOR WINNING IDEAS Each published author in “Ideas That Work” receives a $50 American Express gift card from ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR.

DISCLAIMER: The ideas presented in this article are for consideration only. Before using such ideas, make sure codes and safety issues have been fully adhered to. ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine disclaims any liability from your use of these or any other ideas. ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR reserves the right to reprint the words herein at its discretion.

- See more at: http://www.ecmag.com/section/your-business/ideas-work-installing-can-lig...

IF YOU HAVE AN IDEA that has saved you time or money on the job, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR readers would like to hear about it. Be sure to include a good photo of your idea—hand sketches are often hard to interpret. Note that some ideas are submitted by more than one person. In these cases, the one that is more clearly written and includes a photo is given precedence. Send your letter and photo to Jack Pullizzi, Ideas Editor, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, 3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 1100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5372, email IdeasThatWork@necanet.org, or use the online submission tool at www.ecmag.com/ideasthatwork.

CASH PRIZE FOR WINNING IDEAS Each published author in “Ideas That Work” receives a $50 American Express gift card from ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR.

DISCLAIMER: The ideas presented in this article are for consideration only. Before using such ideas, make sure codes and safety issues have been fully adhered to. ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine disclaims any liability from your use of these or any other ideas. ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR reserves the right to reprint the words herein at its discretion.

- See more at: http://www.ecmag.com/section/your-business/ideas-work-installing-can-lig...

IF YOU HAVE AN IDEA that has saved you time or money on the job, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR readers would like to hear about it. Be sure to include a good photo of your idea—hand sketches are often hard to interpret. Note that some ideas are submitted by more than one person. In these cases, the one that is more clearly written and includes a photo is given precedence. Send your letter and photo to Jack Pullizzi, Ideas Editor, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, 3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 1100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5372, email IdeasThatWork@necanet.org, or use the online submission tool at www.ecmag.com/ideasthatwork.

CASH PRIZE FOR WINNING IDEAS Each published author in “Ideas That Work” receives a $50 American Express gift card from ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR.

DISCLAIMER: The ideas presented in this article are for consideration only. Before using such ideas, make sure codes and safety issues have been fully adhered to. ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine disclaims any liability from your use of these or any other ideas. ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR reserves the right to reprint the words herein at its discretion.