Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

May 3, 2021

FlirBy Rob Milner, Global Business Development Manager, Condition Monitoring, FLIR Systems

When you think of test and measurement tools, you are most likely not thinking about thermal imaging. You might first think of traditional tools like non-contact voltage detectors, multi meters, clamp meters and videoscopes. Today, you can find electrical tools like clamp meters and multimeters integrated with thermal imaging capabilities. A primary benefit of this matchup is that users can now quickly and safely “visualize” potential electrical issues using thermal then verify volt and amp measurements, all with one tool. You can even find videoscopes with thermal imaging, enabling temperature readings on electrical equipment in hard-to-access places, such as underground utility vaults.

Thermal imaging captures relative temperature based off the target’s “emitted energy”. This is ideal for professionals that must do inspections with their target under full load conditions. Thermal allows the user to safety inspect for common issues like loose connections, load imbalances, and abnormal temp measurements from cables from 3 to 5 feet away from the given target. This allows the user to avoid approaching a potentially dangerous situation. Most electricians are not looking for precise temperature measurement, they are looking to see if there are any differences in temperature that are not typical with that target’s load or normal working conditions. Given this, the lower IR resolution capabilities embedded in test and measurement tools are sufficient if the arc-flash limit of approach allows. For applications where absolute temperature measurements are needed or the target is located at a greater distance, higher resolution thermal cameras may be required.

Users need to be aware that when using a test tool with integrated thermal imaging to perform electrical scans, there are several effects that can create false readings, specifically low emissivity surfaces, like shiny metals, reflections, forced convectional cooling such as wind, solar loading or low or no load targets. Given these situations, it is very important that users understand the basics around thermal imaging. It is highly recommended to take, at minimum, a basic thermography course to understand how to take and interpret a thermal image.

Simply put, when using a test tool with thermal imaging users can quickly and safety pinpoint potential issues allowing them to work more efficiently and to also be able to clearly verify the issue was properly fixed.

Understanding CAT Ratings

While thermal imaging is an ideal first step in visually identifying potential issues, now we need to consider when the test instrument is being used to collect voltage/amp data. This leads us to understanding the CAT rating of a test tool. Make sure all meters, test leads and probes have an adequate category (CAT) safety rating. Sometimes, the only thing standing between an electrical worker and an unexpected spike is their meter and test leads. If you use the wrong equipment with the wrong voltage, you could be putting yourself and others at risk. So, before conducting any test, make sure your choice of instrument is correct. Professionals should determine the proper category (CAT) rating required, based on the highest hazard exposure throughout their day.

The CAT rating method of classification, divided into four parts, known individually as category (CAT) ratings: CAT I, CAT II, CAT III and CAT IV, provide a quick and simple guide to match the right tools for the job. Understanding what each of these categories means is vital to avoid exposure to unnecessary risk, including significant injury or death. 

In the CAT ratings system, the roman numerals, (i.e., I through IV) refer to the location of a circuit in relation to the power source, defined in terms of the total potential transient voltage danger.   

• CAT I describes secondary circuits not intended to be connected to the mains electricity supply, such as personal electronics, and circuits powered by regulated low voltage sources. 

• CAT II is defined as local-level electrical distribution, such as a standard mains socket and plug-in loads. This category includes household appliances, such as washing machines, and portable plug-in power tools.  

• CAT III references a building’s electrical installations, including circuit-breakers, wiring, switches and industrial equipment.  


• CAT IV involves the source of the low-voltage power installation, essentially the power grid infrastructure, such as underground utility vaults or outdoor power lines.  
Figure 1

However, determining the appropriate voltage category is only half the story. Simply matching the presumed voltage to the test and measurement device will not provide adequate safety assurance. Failed electrical units can experience impulse or transient voltages on the order of many times a particular electrical tool’s rating. For example, a line may normally have a voltage of 120 or 240, but the transient voltage from a lightning strike can generate several thousand volts, causing a short circuit and arcing that may severely injure personnel working with inadequate equipment.  

IEC supplies a quick-reference chart to determine whether or not a given electrical tool is appropriate for the task at hand.

Rated Voltage

IEC 61010-1

2nd Edition

UL 61010B-1
(UL 31111-1)

 

CAT IV

CATIII

CAT II

CATIII

CAT II

CAT I

150V

4000V

2500V

1500V

2500V

1500V

800V

300V

6000V

4000V

2500V

4000V

2500V

1500V

600V

8000V

6000V

4000V

6000V

4000V

2500V

1,000V

12kV

8000V

6000V

8000V

6000V

4000V

Resistance

2-ohms

 2-ohms

12-ohms

 2-ohms

12-ohms

30-ohms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matching the Right Electrical Tools for the Job

Included below are some test and measurement examples where thermal imaging and CAT ratings play a crucial role in the user’s safety and efficiency.

Multimeters
Thermal imaging-enhanced multimeters can help guide electrical professionals to the precise location of temperature anomalies and potential problems. For instance, when facing a maze of wires or scanning complex electrical panels for issues, that visibility is invaluable to pinpoint likely issues without requiring any direct contact with the test site. Once an issue is observed, leveraging a properly CAT rated multimeter’s current, voltage and other advanced functions will allow the user to accurately diagnose the equipment problem.

Clamp Meters
Clamp meters with built-in thermal imaging can eliminate guess work to quickly identify issues while keeping a safe distance from contact with panels, cabinets, or cluttered wires and cables that may present a safety hazard. For a situation where the issue appears to be a failing motor or compressor, a thermal camera-enabled clamp meter can help quickly verify the source—is it the power supply, or something else? For clamping around electrical conductors, ensuring the device has the right CAT rating for the job becomes crucial to maintaining an appropriate safety environment, no matter what additional precautions are taken.

Videoscopes
An industrial thermal and visual videoscope with a properly CAT rated probe tip can help professionals quickly and safely find hidden dangers in difficult-to-access locations, especially underground electrical distribution vaults. Crews can safely, efficiently, and effectively inspect vented manholes and identify potential problems without having to remove the cover or even having to enter the structure. This reduces the physical effort required, the time it takes to complete an inspection and enhances data collection activities to support regular infrastructure planning and maintenance.

Keeping Safety and Efficiency Top of Mind
Thanks to advances in test and measurement equipment with integrated thermal imaging technology electricians and service technicians have the ability to diagnose and solve electrical system problems quickly and safely. Another advantage is they can then go back with the thermal camera and take an image to verify that the work done has actually solved the problem. However, it is important to remember that although CAT ratings and thermal imaging provide an additional layer of safety, they are not a complete replacement of the other tried-and-true safety protocols, including wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the job and following all local and national safety codes, and ensuring that where jobs require extreme caution, the operator never works alone.

Changing Scene

  • Prev
The federal governemnt has officially launched a call for proposals (CFP) for the  ...
The Electrical Contractors Association of BC (ECABC) has announced the impending departure of ...
The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough was at ...
The launch of the Apprenticeship Service stands to help overcome financial barriers employers face ...
The National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO) is pleased to announce that they will be rolling out ...
43 years ago, Steve Silverstein bought a table saw and a delivery van and began a revolution in the ...
E.B. Horsman & Son (EBH) has announced their Victoria location will be officially moving to a ...
 The Maritime’s largest Mechanical and Electrical event took place last Wednesday and ...
IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. is calling all professional and student-apprentice electricians to come out ...
Vivi White has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Electrical Safety Authority ...

Become a Wiser Approved Installer

Wiser Approved Installer

Get access to exclusive benefits, product discounts and resources that will help you drive more business, and lower energy bills for your clients.

 

 

 

Read More


 



Government of CanadaThe federal governemnt has officially launched a call for proposals (CFP) for the Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative (ZEVAI). The initiative’s 2022 CFP will help fund new and innovative projects that aim to increase awareness and knowledge of ZEVs and charging and refueling infrastructure thereby increasing public confidence in these vehicles and their economic and environmental benefits.


Natural Resources Canada will provide funding through non-repayable contributions of between 50 and 75 percent of the total eligible project costs, with a maximum funding of up to $300,000 per project. The CFP will close on August 18, 2022.

Read more


 

Omnicable joins ETIMETIM North America announced that OmniCable has joined the product classification standards organization. Headquartered in West Chester, PA, OmniCable has 24 locations throughout North America, and also owns Houston Wire & Cable (HWC). The company partners with many electrical manufacturers and only sells to distributors.

According to John Dean, Director of Marketing & E-Commerce, OmniCable/HWC, “The wire and cable industry is often called commodities, but there are very distinct features and attributes for the different products our manufacturers produce. 

Read More

 


 

Atkore United Poly SystemsAtkore Inc. announced that it has acquired United Poly Systems, a manufacturer of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pressure pipe and conduit, primarily serving telecom, water infrastructure, renewables, and energy markets.

“We are pleased to complete the acquisition of United Poly Systems, which strengthens Atkore’s product portfolio, expands our manufacturing capacity and further enables us to meet HDPE customers’ needs,” stated John Pregenzer, President of Atkore’s Electrical business. “HDPE pipe and conduit is a growing market that is expected to benefit from U.S. infrastructure legislation, and United Poly Systems is a great addition to Atkore. We welcome these employees and look forward to working together to continue to serve and support our customers.”

Read More


 

Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 permit....no record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion

 


 

Grimard is More Competitive and Produces Estimates 3X Faster with Procore

ProcoreWhen the pandemic lockdowns started in March of 2020, Grimard (an electrical contractor) had to decide whether to shut down its operations entirely or implement a new platform with people who were now freely available for work. Once they implemented Procore, they found a way to efficiently communicate with stakeholders and offer full transparency in terms of project costs and planning. It also allowed Grimard to utilize historical data to make project estimates more accurate. Grimard was able to streamline its bidding process, which made it more attractive to potential clients and helped the business grow.

Read More


 



 

Iron+EarthThe RenuWell Project partners are excited to announce the groundbreaking of two pilot sites located near Taber, Alberta. These pilot sites are the first of their kind to repurpose inactive oil and gas infrastructure as a foundation for renewable energy development and job creation.

When operating, the solar projects will generate 2,030 MWh annually – enough electricity to power 280 average Alberta households or irrigate 11,700 acres of farmland for an average year. This is roughly equivalent to $200,000 in electricity sales per year with 1,100  tCO2e savings in GHG emissions. Over a 25-year lifespan, the projects will generate 50,750 MWh, with GHG emission savings of 28,420 tCO2e.

Read More


 

David O'ReillyBy Elle Bremmer

Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with David O’Reilly, Vice President Home & Distribution and Secure Power Divisions with Schneider Electric Canada for a discussion regarding the Wiser EnergyTM smart home solution, the Wiser Approved training program, and his thoughts on several different subjects, including sustainability and future technologies currently in the works at Schneider Electric. David has been with the company for five and a half years in his role.

We recently published a study (version en français ICI) from Schneider Electric showing a strong interest from Canadians in smart home technology. 

Read More


 

SimplySnap: It Just Works.

SynapseSmart technology is only smart if it works, and SimplySnap? It just works.
Scalable, field-proven, DLC NLC 5.0 qualified, and easy-to-install wireless network
lighting controls are in-stock. Explore energy code compliant SimplySnap
technology here.

Read More

 


 

Product News

  • Prev
Ericson announces upgraded versions of their extremely capable line of Industrial String Lights and ...
Intermatic Incorporated announced its new P40000 Series Load Centers, a set of next-generation ...
Klein Tools introduces new Stand-up Zipper Bags, in a 2-Pack with 7-Inch and 14-Inch sizes, ...
Cree LED, anSGHcompany, announced the launch ofXLamp® Element G LEDs, delivering a new ...
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates 350 employees are killed ...
IDEC Corporation has released a complete product line of S3TL series ferrules, wire strippers, ...
Corning CCH pigtailed cassettes are factory assembled, quality tested, and available in LC and ...
QuickLink delivers the fastest downlighting installation HALO has to offer. Installers can power up ...
Kidde HomeSafe™ is a comprehensive suite of smart home safety devices to help protect against ...
Combination Couplings used to join 3/4" EMT conduit via set screw to 14/2 through 10/3 Steel and ...


Ericson String LightsEricson announces upgraded versions of their extremely capable line of Industrial String Lights and SL, LED Stringlights. These new and updated products have several key features important when safe, code compliant lighting for industrial workspace is necessary.

Infinitely capable, these ruggedly built products have several industry leading & exclusive features including:

Industrial String Lights:

  • A United States Navy Specification since before WWII, they’re time and application tested...

 

Read More


 

 

Intermatic Pool and Spa SolutionIntermatic Incorporated announced its new P40000 Series Load Centers, a set of next-generation panels for pool-only applications, as well as its new PE24GVA 24-Volt Valve Actuator, an easy-to-install valve actuator that allows for tool-free cam adjustments. Both solutions remove obstacles for pool service professionals while delivering lasting performance.

“Intermatic load centers and valve actuators have been the preferred choice of pool professionals for more than 30 years,” says Brian Lamberty, product marketing manager at Intermatic. “The PE24GVA and P40000 Series build on that tradition, helping pool professionals streamline service calls while setting the standard for quality and performance.”

Read More


 

 

Klein Tools Zipper BagsKlein Tools introduces new Stand-up Zipper Bags, in a 2-Pack with 7-Inch and 14-Inch sizes, both designed to handle tough jobsite conditions and stand up so tools and small parts can be easily accessed when working.

Stand-up Zipper Bags, 7-Inch and 14-Inch, 2-Pack (Cat. No. 55559)

  • Perfect for storing pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers, drill bits and other small tools and parts
  • 4 1/2’’ tall zipper bags come in two sizes:
    • 14’’ (36.6 cm) dark gray
    • 7’’ (17.8 cm) royal blue


Read More


 

Emerson HV SafetyThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates 350 employees are killed annually in electrocution accidents, which roughly equals one fatality per day. In the face of these dangers, OSHA officials and industry safety consultants alike recommend eliminating potential hazards on work sites, rather than simply relying on contractors or employees to follow safety guidelines.

To help safeguard employees from electrocution, Emerson has launched its Appleton™ Powertite™ Lock Collar, a device that fastens over plug and connector connections and is secured with a padlock, preventing unauthorized personal from disconnecting the cable connection once in place. 

Read More


 

Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
Watt’s the Word is a recently launched Electrical Industry Podcast hosted by Zack Hartle and ...
Allana Kellett-Jamieson loves working in the electrical sector and is proud of the great focus ...
As the head of ABB Canada's electrification business unit, Éric Deschênes is no newcomer to the ...
Karen Pullen knows what it’s like to be the only woman on a construction site, and as a proud ...
As of February 2021, Martin Stephenson is the new President and CEO of Signify Canada.   ...
This past July, Kerith Richards, who has worked for Service Wire Company for the last seven years, ...
EngWorks was formed in 2004 as an electrical engineering and consulting firm by Allan Bozek, “After ...
Headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Mercury Lighting services national retail, ...
Among the recipients of the 2021 Clean50 Awards announced last month is Carolina Gallo, Vice ...
Sarah Silverstein is a principal with Liteline along side her two brothers Mark and Daniel. ...

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2022 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil