Pro Tips: Colors, Coins and Seals

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First Place

Plugging in color

Have you ever tried to plug in something at a temporary power distribution center job site and forgot what cord goes to each power tool or other equipment? Depending on the length of the extension cord, it may be a long walk back to find out. I use colored tape to identify the plugs for various power equipment to make it simpler and quicker on the job. The trick is to remember what color goes with each tool. Labels would also work if you run out of colors or can’t remember what color is assigned to each tool.

--John Hemmings
Charleston, W. Va.

Coin toolsCoins

Coins are great tools in stabilizing toilets and no rust emerges when mopping around them. Also, coins work well as washers if you need extra and are in a pinch. 

--Louie Tammaro
Harriman, Tenn.

Sealant Sealing away

Are you tired of dealing with sticky bars of duct seal that really don’t stick or seal? Here’s a guaranteed unique way to seal off underground conduit raceways or guaranteed feeder raceways entering a building. I use a can of insulating foam sealant to spray the top of the raceway and let it set. It expands and seals the entire raceway and makes it completely airtight. It also prevents condensation and airflow while keeping dirt and other junk from falling into the raceway.

--JJ Waldner
Faulkton, S.D.



Share ideas that have saved you time or money on the job with readers of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR. Your fellow electrical professionals would like to hear about them. Be sure to include a good photo of your idea if you can; hand-drawn sketches may be hard to interpret. Note that some similar ideas are sometimes submitted by more than one person. In these cases, the one that is more clearly written and includes a photo is given precedence. 

Each published author in Pro Tips receives a $50 Lowe’s gift card. In addition, the first-place winner will receive a $100 Lowe’s gift card. 

Use the online submission tool at to send your tip and photo, or email it to or send a letter and photo to Pro Tips Editor, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, 3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 1100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5372.

DISCLAIMER: The ideas presented in this article are for consideration only. Neither ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR nor Lowe’s, Inc. assumes any liability from your use of these or any other ideas. 


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