Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

May 3, 2021

Test & Measurement SafetyBy Blake Marchand

When troubleshooting electrical issues its important to recognize electrical shock is a result of current (not voltage, although the amount of voltage is a factor) and that it takes a fairly low amount of current to result in injury.

“Electricity needs to be respected. Many times, in our industry that is not the case,” says Fluke sales engineer, Curt Geeting. It is human nature to become desensitized to risk the more we are exposed to it. So, it may not be a matter of negligence as much as complacency when it comes to ‘respecting’ electricity. Or it may be a matter of probability. You’re working with it everyday over a long period of time, mistakes are bound to happen.

Similarly, Terry Becker (P.Eng., CESCP, IEEE Senior Member) notes that ‘high voltage’ does not always equate to ‘high risk’. Low voltage electrical equipment may present a higher or equal risk without the appropriate application of hierarchy risk procedures.

“In the CSA Z462 Workplace electrical safety Standard it doesn’t use the voltage level of electrical equipment to define low risk, medium risk, high risk or extreme risk/danger. CSA Z462 Clause 4.1.7.8 Risk assessment procedure outlines three requirements in completing a risk assessment: identify hazards; assess risks; and implement risk control according to the hierarchy of risk control methods to eliminate exposure or reduce risk to as low as reasonably practicable.”

Becker explains that, “The starting point is the work task description.” CSA Z462 provides a table (Table 2) to help estimate the likelihood of arc flash incident occurring for AC and DC systems. “It provides thirty-one (31) discrete energized electrical work tasks. The voltage of the electrical equipment that will be worked on is secondary and is used to define if an abnormal arcing fault can be sustained and lead to an arc flash occurring. The voltage also determines if a shock hazard exposure can occur. The third consideration in completing the risk assessment procedure is the actual electrical equipment that the energized electrical work task will be performed on.  Following this sequence, a qualitative risk assessment for the Job and discrete work task(s) will be used to determine the residual risk level based on the energized electrical work task description first.”

Causes of arc flash and shock include: loose panel wiring, screws or fasteners that fall into an unsecured panel against a live bus, hand tools shorted across two phases, incorrect test probes, misuse of measurement stools.

With respect to the latter, Geeting says issues occur when, “Measuring across phases with an inline amp meter, creating a short circuit. Measuring continuity on a live circuit with a tool that cannot withstand full voltage. Accidental shorting of phases with a test lead tip that is too long of the safety category.”

Most electricians will require a CAT III rating within the 600 volt range.

When detecting the absence of voltage, often the first device used is a non-contact voltage detector. Even though you are not physically touching equipment the appropriate CAT rating needs to be observed and PPE still needs to be worn.

To verify it is operating properly, Geeting notes, you should use the live-dead-live method by finding an associated live circuit to test and verify the operation of the meter, then “Go into the target circuit, which we're assuming are de-energized and are looking to make sure that it is dead or de-energized. And then we go back to the live circuit again. So, its the three-point method by which to verify my contact or non-contact voltage tester is in fact working.”

“The idea is, obviously, I'm trying to have 100% confidence that circuit is in fact de-energized. And this is the easiest way to figure that out and know that my meter is working and telling me the truth.”

There are instances where you won’t have a reference point to verify the tester. There are handheld units that provide a regulated/fixed AC or DC output voltage, which can be used to verify testers, as well as multimeters and clampmeters.

Test leads may be the biggest weakness in your multimeter systems. Something as simple as wrapping them around your meter can cause issues, “pulling on the leads in any direction and wrapping them around your meter tightly, you're basically going to be breaking the small conductors inside those wires,” says Geeting.

It’s important to confirm the meter has shrouded connectors and finger guards, the insulator is not pulled away and the probe tip isn’t loose, broken, or blown off. Along with ensuring the meter is appropriately rated and designed for the application.

It is also worth noting a few best practices that have been noted by a couple of contractors and industry experts… work on de-energized circuits whenever possible. Maintain your tools and PPE. If possible, don’t work alone. Connect the grounded lead, then hot and disconnect the hot lead before the grounded lead. Use live-dead-live test method.

Given that its not always possible to fully eliminate risk and given the number of hours electricians put it in on the job, its important to recognized mistakes will be made. And often, the most obvious things are the easiest for us to overlook. In this context, the importance of reviewing and following basic procedure and being diligent about the best practices you’ve developed throughout your career can’t be overstated.

Five Tips to Find Time for Field Service Marketing

SimProTime is a precious resource that we all want more of. And if you own a field service business or work for one, you undoubtedly know how hard it is to find time for everything you need to accomplish in a workday, let alone a week, a quarter, or a year.

Like many of us, you do your best to check every item off of the to-do list during working hours while inevitably pushing lower priority items off to another day. And often, marketing your field service business is one of those things that easily falls to the wayside after being pushed back for more urgent matters.

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Changing Scene

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

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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. 

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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.”

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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

 


 

The Canadian Electrical Code for safer electrical installations

Canadian Standards Association

For over 90 years, the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I (CSA C22.1:21), has helped ensure the safety of electrical installations and protection of electrical workers. Its 2021 edition brought 200+ additions and updates that address energy storage systems, climate change adaptation, hazardous locations, and other important topics. To help users better understand and apply the Code, CSA Group developed additional resources and training.

Learn more about available Code packages and resources

 


 



 

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.

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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. 

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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.

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Product News

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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...

 

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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.”

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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


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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. 

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Peers & Profiles

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Copper $US Dollar price per pound

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