IDEAS THAT WORK EDITED BY ANTON MIKEC
Spare Cell Phones, Using HVAC Return Grill and More
Cell phone usefulness
When we update our cell phones, we usually keep the old phones and
chargers. Even though they are not activated, you can still dial 911 and
get through for help. So we keep the phones in our job gang boxes,
trucks, scissor lifts, etc., in case of emergencies. [Editor’s note: You can
also use the phone cameras to document job site findings.]
VAN BUREN, ARK.
Fishing finished walls
If you need to cut a hole when fishing walls with no access,
you can hide the hole with an HVAC return grill. If additional cables need to be installed in the future, just remove
the grill and reinstall it, and no patching or painting are
JAMES ROBERTSON, JR.
FORT WAYNE, IND.
Marking breaker panel
When I get a service call to look for problems in an older
house, I spend a lot of time trying to locate the right
breaker. So I try to mark the breaker for my next visit. It is
also a good idea to do this when installing a new breaker
panel. This simple and cheap fix is worth your time. Just
cut about a 2-in. piece of junk Romex wire, pull out the
wires, and write a description on the jacket where the circuit breaker wire goes. Take the wire off the breaker, slip
your label on the wire and reconnect it. It is a lot cheaper
than buying labels, and it looks good.
Submit your great ideas at www.ecmag.com/ideasthatwork. Visit the site now to read a special request from our Ideas That Work editor.
He’s seeking new ideas and welcomes any new submissions. If you’ve always wanted to share your expertise, now is the time!
IF YOU HAVE AN IDEA that has saved you time or money on the job,
ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR readers would like to hear about it.
Be sure to include a good photo of your idea; hand-drawn sketches
are often hard to interpret. Note that some similar ideas are submitted by
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and includes a photo is given precedence. Send your letter and photo to
Ideas Editor, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, 3 Bethesda Metro Center,
Suite 1100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5372; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or use the
online submission tool at www.ecmag.com/ideasthatwork.
CASH AND TOOL PRIZES FOR WINNING IDEAS Each published
author in Ideas That Work receives a $50 American Express gift card from
ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR. In addition, Southwire ( www.southwiretools.
com) will send the following set of electrician’s tools to each month’s first-place winner:
• Cable cutter
• Fish tape
• Long nose pliers
• Side-cutting pliers
• Pump pliers
• Wire stripper
DISCLAIMER: The ideas presented in this article are for consideration only. Neither ELEC TRICAL CON TRAC TOR nor Southwire Co. assumes any liability from your use of these or
any other ideas. Please see full terms, conditions and rules at www.ecmag.com/ideas-work-official-rules.