4 Handheld Tools You’ll Need When You Become a Construction ElectricianFebruary 05, 2019
The population of Ontario is growing, which means new homes and businesses are constantly under construction. All of these new buildings need to be outfitted with safe and modern electrical systems, which means qualified electricians are needed to install those systems. If you’re seeking a career with a lot of opportunity, consider becoming an electrician.
To succeed as an electrician, however, you will need have the right tools for the job and know how to properly use them. Here are 4 tools that you should have in your tool belt once you begin your electrician career.
1. A Multimeter is the Defining Tool of the Electrician’s Trade
A multimeter measures voltage, current and resistance and is used by electricians to diagnose electrical problems. The handheld tool can tell you whether power is running through a circuit, if the circuit is grounded and if it is at the correct voltage, for example. Today, almost all multimeters are digital and many have built-in clamp meters, which allow professionals to measure the current flowing through a wire or cable without having to disconnect the wire first.
Make sure you have a multimeter when you become a construction electrician
2. You’ll Need a Range of Pliers Once You Become a Construction Electrician
Every electrician needs several different types of pliers with them at all times. Long-nose pliers are essential for bending wire and reaching into small spaces, which are tasks you will perform frequently during an electrician career in construction. It’s best to have a few different sizes of long-nose pliers to ensure you always have the right ones for the job.
You’ll also need side-cutting pliers, or diagonal-cutting pliers, which are used for cutting wires—a task that electricians often handle. With both long-nose and side-cutting pliers, it’s important to ensure they feel comfortable in your hand and are easy to grip. They should also be insulated to help prevent you from getting electrocuted.
Electricians use pliers on the job to bend wire and reach into small spaces
3. Wire Strippers are Essential for Electricians Working in Construction
Wire strippers are used to remove the insulation from wires without damaging their thread. Stripping wire is something you’ll do often in construction as new wiring will need to be stripped to connect it to circuit breakers, sockets and switches. Many pliers and wire cutters have built-in wire strippers, but you should still have a pair of high-quality standalone wire strippers. Standalone wire strippers usually have different sized slots so you can safely strip wires of varying thicknesses. Pliers and wire cutters with built-in wire strippers are unlikely to boast the same range of slots.
4. A Label Maker is Especially Important for an Electrician Career in Construction
Electricians use label makers to label wires, switches, sockets, circuits and other materials and devices. While all electricians use label makers to some extent, they are especially necessary if you want to become a construction electrician, because the electrical components you install in newly constructed buildings will often be unlabelled. For example, an electrician working on a new home may end up installing that home’s circuit breaker panel. Since this will be the home’s first such panel, the circuit breakers themselves will need to be labelled to clarify which circuit breaker corresponds to which part of the house.
Are you looking to start a career in the construction trades?
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