Pro Tips: Lubricating and Cleaning

Published On
Sep 15, 2021

First place: Vaseline’s many uses

Shutterstock / UrbanBuzz
Shutterstock / UrbanBuzz

Whenever I’m working on outdoor outlets and covers, I always use a petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) on the screws as I’m inserting them into the boxes or covers. This helps with getting the screws started and will help immensely when and if you ever have to remove the screws to service the switch, outlet or GFCI receptacle. It’s a low-cost way to help get your work done without needing to strip out the screw threads or possibly break off the screw head because it has deteriorated in place over the years. Vaseline is also good at sealing and lubricating rubber gaskets in covers to help prevent them from drying out prematurely and keeping them from sticking when removing or opening the cover/door of a box or enclosure in the future.

Tom Giacobassi
Clinton Township, Mich.

Oldie but goodie: Rag time

To make life easier, cleaner and more productive, I keep a small rag in each of my containers for screws, wire nuts, washers, etc. When it comes to finding just the right piece, I spread out the rag and dump out the contents onto it. To clean up, I simply pick up the rag and dump it all back into the container. Then I put the rag back in and I’m ready to move on.

Joe Lehman
Medina, Ohio

Tool security

Lightbulb with a flame inside

What are ways you prevent others from borrowing your tools without permission? Having the necessary tools when you need them is paramount, and lost, missing or stolen tools can delay a project.

Share your safe ideas with us!

Stay Informed Join our Newsletter

Having trouble finding time to sit down with the latest issue of
ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR? Don't worry, we'll come to you.