Pro Tips: Sticky Feet and Staying Organized

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First Place

A clean heat

When wiring control boxes, cabinets, electrical panels, etc., and using adhesive cable-tie mounts (sticky feet), it helps to clean the surface with alcohol wipes and heat the area. The wipes remove dust and contaminants from the surface. With the heat source, torch or blow dryer, you can see the moisture dissipate from the surface. Doing these two steps greatly aids in proper installation and keeps the adhesive mounts in place.

--Eric Branning
Fort Wayne, Ind.

ConductorOrganized pairing

Have you ever had problems keeping your neutral and hot conductors paired and organized when terminating several NM cables in a panel? What I have found to be my best practice is to cut a 2-inch piece of the NM jacket, write the circuit name and number on it, slide it over the neutral and hot conductor, and then bend a hook on the end of the wire so the label doesn’t slide off. This label can also be left on the conductor to easily identify circuits when the panel cover is off.

--Cody Siebrandt
Valparaiso, Neb.

Write awayParking lot lighting.

Trying to keep track of part numbers and other necessary information for parking lot lighting can be difficult, especially since you want to have the correct items on hand before you begin any relamping or troubleshooting project. One solution we use is to keep a paper copy of the pertinent information (lamp sizes, LED driver part numbers, one-line power diagrams, etc.) on the inside of the panelboard door that supplies power to the lights. You may save yourself considerable time and effort the next time you or your crew go to work on the fixtures.

--Rick Harrahill
Palmer, Neb.

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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