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View Full Version : Importance of good wire stripping


steveparrott
01-30-2008, 12:49 PM
A contractor called us the other day complaining that he was getting a 7 volt loss on one of his wire runs. One of our guys visited the site, examined the wire and found that at least half of the strands had been cut on both ends of the home run wire because of really sloppy stripping.

We cut and restripped the wire correctly and, voila, the voltage loss was 2 volts.

This is why, in our seminars, every attendee sits with wire strippers and practices till he gets it right.

Pro-Scapes
01-30-2008, 05:43 PM
its pretty hard to screw up stripping if you use the idea stripmasters and the correct tooth size.

This is EXACTLY why untrained people should not be doing lighting. If you couldnt figure out a bad splice you should not of hooked up the system to start with.

Mike M
01-30-2008, 05:52 PM
This is why, in our seminars, every attendee sits with wire strippers and practices till he gets it right.

So, let's say I am in the upper 5% of the class, and have a real knack for using automattic wire strippers without breaking off several strands. Are you saying that I have to sit there and wait for the 'special' guys to get with it? I mean, did these guys come to "CAST school" in a little yellow bus? Why not send them to a modified 2-day seminar? KIDDING.

JoeyD
01-30-2008, 10:04 PM
Hey some of these guys that we all train are coming in at ground level or are self taught at these minor skills and have never been shown the right way. It is important to teach the proper way to strip wires. Anyone with half a brain can strip wires with a wire stripper but making a good strip is another thing. The key is to use one hole larger on your wire strippers, so if stripping 10ga wire use the 8ga cut. Go in at an angle and then use your thumb as leverage to pull and snap the insulation. If you here the insulation snap your making a good strip of the insulation. You want 0 copper strands taken off with the insulation.

Mike M
01-30-2008, 10:10 PM
I might add that is a standard practice of mine to cut of the end of my leads where certain manu's provide pre-stripped ends that have cut strands on just about every strip.

JoeyD
01-30-2008, 10:17 PM
If you are reffering to us I will suggest an ECO to not strip the ends of cables if indeed we are breaking copper. We use a stripping machine that is very expensive to ensure this does not occur. There is a difference in broken copper strands in a sense that I could envision a possibilty of the wire end bending where stripped during shipping. I will however look into this first thing in the morning.....I am sending an email as we speak.

Mike M
01-30-2008, 10:37 PM
Chill Joey. Ain't you. :)

By the way, I love the quality of Unique leads. Very easy to work with.

Mike M
01-30-2008, 10:43 PM
And for equal political exposure, I like the tin coat wire on all of CAST leads, too.

And I bet Gambino wires are nice.

And DGLights are most likely associated with some kind of good wire too.

eagle irrigation
01-30-2008, 11:23 PM
I have never gone to school to learn how to use strippers. But I do pay strippers so they can go to school. One dollar at a time.

SamIV
01-30-2008, 11:30 PM
Now that was funny.

irrig8r
01-31-2008, 12:38 AM
I have never gone to school to learn how to use strippers. But I do pay strippers so they can go to school. One dollar at a time.

Ahh, you're the one. How's it working out?

JoeyD
01-31-2008, 10:03 AM
Nothing better than having a few good strippers in your truck at all times..........

irrig8r
01-31-2008, 11:56 AM
Seriously, I put aside the "automatic strippers" a long time ago. I didn't like them for irrigation wire and they took up too much room in my pocket/ holster.

Joey, I don't remember which brand of strippers I use (red ergonomically curved handles... might be Klein, Ideal or GB) but I discovered years ago that they make one for solid and another for stranded. Since I went to the stranded version I don't have to go to the larger size notch.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-31-2008, 12:05 PM
Nothing better than having a few good strippers in your truck at all times..........

I'm with you Joey.... I always have a few good strippers in the trailer as well as at least one in the truck with me at all times. You never really know when you are going to need a good stripper... and if your friends are around, it is good to have more then just one.

In the trailer, I keep the stippers handy at all times, usually attached in some fashion to the floor to ceiling pole that is close to my work space. This way they are always ready to do their job.

Have a great day.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-31-2008, 12:18 PM
Seriously, I put aside the "automatic strippers" a long time ago. I didn't like them for irrigation wire and they took up too much room in my pocket/ holster.

Joey, I don't remember which brand of strippers I use (red ergonomically curved handles... might be Klein, Ideal or GB) but I discovered years ago that they make one for solid and another for stranded. Since I went to the stranded version I don't have to go to the larger size notch.

Gregg, I agree that most automatic wire stripper suck. I have found some that don't. These are really quite good. I have been using them for about 5 years now and they never cut a strand. They are fast, effective, and rather inexpensive. I go through one or two in any given year.... But the time they save is very much worth it.

I have seen these branded by a number of companies now, including Irwin Tools. Check them out....

http://www.princessauto.com/moreinfo.cfm?TAG=95475&SCAN=CAN

Have a great day.

Pro-Scapes
01-31-2008, 12:21 PM
If a contractor couldnt figure out the basic bad splice in trouble shooting this countractor should not be using pro grade equip. Every one gets the bad problem sometimes they just cant figure out but this is the very basic of issues here.

I guess it just peeves me because I see the amount of service work we do for systems with poor performance. Obviously this contractor should not of been installing lighting and/or needs some more training. This is why we NEED regulation guys!

On the auto strippers... I have no issues with my ideal/cast ones besides the screws coming loose sometimes. Little shot of wd 40 and periodic tightening of the screws with a dab of locktite and mine have been fine for over 2 years. If you use a tooth bigger than needed its just fine. 8ga gets stripped with a diff tool as do small leads such as kichler and others.

irrig8r
01-31-2008, 01:03 PM
Gregg, I agree that most automatic wire stripper suck. I have found some that don't. These are really quite good. I have been using them for about 5 years now and they never cut a strand. They are fast, effective, and rather inexpensive. I go through one or two in any given year.... But the time they save is very much worth it.

I have seen these branded by a number of companies now, including Irwin Tools. Check them out....

http://www.princessauto.com/moreinfo.cfm?TAG=95475&SCAN=CAN

Have a great day.

http://www.princessauto.com/prodimages/CAN/2990264.gif


Hmmm. You're right. Looks just like these. Tool-up has a local brick and mortar store where their prices are always less than online too...

http://www.toolup.com/imdir/product/Vise-Grip/regular/2078300.jpg

http://www.toolup.com/Vise-Grip/2078300.html

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-31-2008, 01:08 PM
http://www.princessauto.com/prodimages/CAN/2990264.gif


Hmmm. You're right. Looks just like these. Tool-up has a local brick and mortar store where their prices are always less than online too...

http://www.toolup.com/imdir/product/Vise-Grip/regular/2078300.jpg

http://www.toolup.com/Vise-Grip/2078300.html

Try them Gregg... you will be impressed.

irrig8r
01-31-2008, 01:13 PM
Thanks James.

Looks like I'll be making a rainy day run today or tomorrow to Tool-Up to pick up strippers and the True RMS meter that I meant to put on my Christmas wish list.

JoeyD
01-31-2008, 01:18 PM
Hey Gregg let me know what kind of RMS you get. I am having a hrd time locating a hand held version, the one I have is sort of a counter top type meter. Portable but not really one I want to throw on the ground if you know what I mean.

Pro-Scapes
01-31-2008, 01:35 PM
I use sperrys or ideals in the field because they can get left behind...wet... dirt in em etc. Put them against my fluke 336 and they always seem reallllll close on the measurments. Fluxuations so small they can be atributed to line voltage fluxuations with the ac coming on and off. The Fluke stays in the truck. Too expensive to be thrown around a jobsite.

I just found this one which would be awsome

http://www.amazon.com/Extech-EX830-Ampere-Infrared-Thermometer/dp/B000BF0ZQI

irrig8r
01-31-2008, 01:38 PM
What do you think of the specs on these:

http://www.toolup.com/Greenlee/CM-850.html

http://www.toolup.com/Greenlee/CM-950.html

http://www.toolup.com/Greenlee/CMI-200.html

Pro-Scapes
01-31-2008, 01:42 PM
What do you think of the specs on these:

http://www.toolup.com/Greenlee/CM-850.html

http://www.toolup.com/Greenlee/CM-950.html

http://www.toolup.com/Greenlee/CMI-200.html

sometimes thoes big ones are HARD to get inside a trans and on the commons.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-31-2008, 01:45 PM
What do you think of the specs on these:

http://www.toolup.com/Greenlee/CM-850.html

http://www.toolup.com/Greenlee/CM-950.html

http://www.toolup.com/Greenlee/CMI-200.html

Gregg... go with that CM-850. It is best suited to our needs and the price is sure right. Those are $225 here! Want to pick me up one while you are at it? I had it on my Christmas list, but Santa didn't deliver...

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-31-2008, 01:49 PM
sometimes thoes big ones are HARD to get inside a trans and on the commons.

Ya Billy you are right! Especially when you are using those horribly designed MDL (Kichler, Hadco, CAST, etc) transformers that provide you with no room inside to do anything. :laugh:

I have never had an issue using a clamp on meter in a Nightscaping Powercenter, mainly becuase of the ample room provided for wiring. Oh and don't forget those massive terminal lugs they make use of mounted so that wiring is easy to see, understand and connect. :)

What can I say.... it was just sitting there waiting for me....

Pro-Scapes
01-31-2008, 02:02 PM
Ya Billy you are right! Especially when you are using those horribly designed MDL (Kichler, Hadco, CAST, etc) transformers that provide you with no room inside to do anything. :laugh:

I have never had an issue using a clamp on meter in a Nightscaping Powercenter, mainly becuase of the ample room provided for wiring. Oh and don't forget those massive terminal lugs they make use of mounted so that wiring is easy to see, understand and connect. :)

What can I say.... it was just sitting there waiting for me....

forgot to mention... Got a failed power center sitting on my bench now about to head to redlands. Sockets where fuses go are terribly corroded and rusted out. Client is running off my demo trans in the meantime.

irrig8r
02-02-2008, 05:17 PM
Gregg... go with that CM-850. It is best suited to our needs and the price is sure right. Those are $225 here! Want to pick me up one while you are at it? I had it on my Christmas list, but Santa didn't deliver...

I looked at the CM-950 because they didn't have the 850 in stock at the local store.

Seems like some of the brick and mortar prices are higher than online, some lower. I ordered both the Irwin/ Vise Grips strippers ($18.00 locally) and the Greenlee CM-850 ($128.00 locally) both are coming from thei warehouse in Las Vegas and should take 3 to 5 days... but I didn't have to pay up front and don't have to accept them if I don't like them.

The online store is in Michigan, so it would probably take a little longer to get here, plus retruns for any reason would probably be more complicated.

The brick and mortar store is a place I could browse for days comparing makes and models of tools. They carry Milwaukee, DeWalt, Bosch, Makita, Hitachi and a lot more. Nice selection of paper catalogs too.

BTW, what are your favorite ways to carry tools and materials... buckets, boxes, bags, etc. Saw a nice over the shoulders harness/ belt arrangement from Occidental Leather, but it was more than I really needed. http://www.bestbelt.com/

I like this Bucket Boss Extreme electrician's pouch and have been using it for a couple years now...

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/511SKR3QXWL._AA280_.jpg

And I use Stanley organizers for lamps and other parts. They fit nicely in the compartments of my truck's service body. The covers are polycarbonate.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/415fi0Rk%2BhL._AA280_.jpg


This a new one to me and looks like a good idea too:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41E6gY1v7BL._SS500_.jpg

What are you using?

Mike M
02-02-2008, 06:41 PM
good question, greg, I always like to see what other guys are using for storage.

This is corny, but I just bought the Stanley roller that stands upright and folds out into multiple compartments, with all tools exposed. That way I can see everything and not many things are piled on top of each other.

I also bought a medium sized Stanley container that butterflies out to the sides plus has drawers in the middle. This is what I use to divide and conquor many different pieces of hardware and materials.

I use the real big Stanley box roller for demo stuff, with the transformer on the bottom and holes cut out for wires.

I guess I like Stanley tool boxes.

I have a big two-sided bag for electrical and a large wooden box with handle for my solder stuff.

JoeyD
02-05-2008, 04:27 PM
I looked at the CM-950 because they didn't have the 850 in stock at the local store.

Seems like some of the brick and mortar prices are higher than online, some lower. I ordered both the Irwin/ Vise Grips strippers ($18.00 locally) and the Greenlee CM-850 ($128.00 locally) both are coming from thei warehouse in Las Vegas and should take 3 to 5 days... but I didn't have to pay up front and don't have to accept them if I don't like them.

The online store is in Michigan, so it would probably take a little longer to get here, plus retruns for any reason would probably be more complicated.

The brick and mortar store is a place I could browse for days comparing makes and models of tools. They carry Milwaukee, DeWalt, Bosch, Makita, Hitachi and a lot more. Nice selection of paper catalogs too.

BTW, what are your favorite ways to carry tools and materials... buckets, boxes, bags, etc. Saw a nice over the shoulders harness/ belt arrangement from Occidental Leather, but it was more than I really needed. http://www.bestbelt.com/

I like this Bucket Boss Extreme electrician's pouch and have been using it for a couple years now...

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/511SKR3QXWL._AA280_.jpg

And I use Stanley organizers for lamps and other parts. They fit nicely in the compartments of my truck's service body. The covers are polycarbonate.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/415fi0Rk%2BhL._AA280_.jpg


This a new one to me and looks like a good idea too:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41E6gY1v7BL._SS500_.jpg

What are you using?


we use those stanley organizers for our Fixture First Aid kits. They work really well

irrig8r
02-12-2008, 01:31 PM
Finally went down and got my new Irwin/ Vise Grip wire strippers at Tool Up yesterday as James had recommended.... and my new Greenlee CM-850 meter.

I had been waiting to sort through a pile of scrap brass that I took down to the recycler.. more than enough to pay for my new tools...

So then I stopped by a customer to do a little troubleshooting/ repairs where rodents had gnawed through a cable under a deck that surrounds her spa... in splicing in some new cable sections I use it on #10, #12 and #18 cables. Self adjusting... the "blade" portion is not that sharp but exerts sufficient pressure to yank off the insulation and without cutting any wire strands... not a single stand lost, and quick. Lifetime warranty too.

Used the CM-850 for checking amperage on my various runs.. True RMS, easy to read, optional backlight, and a digital rendering of an analog scale along with the numbers in some modes.

Nice new tools, both simple and easy to use.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-12-2008, 02:17 PM
Hey Gregg.... Try to keep track of all the time you save using those new strippers... then at the end of the year, divide the total number of hours saved by 2 (my gift to you) and then multiply the remainder by $65. The cheque can be made out to INTEGRA Works Inc. and sent here to my attention.

Enjoy.

Pro-Scapes
02-13-2008, 08:42 AM
I just got some new auto strippers from snap-on tools. It will go anywhere from 10ga down to 20ga and they seem to be working fine so far. I still have not had the issue of losing strands with the ideal/cast auto strips.

I may check out that meter but the one i am looking at now also has an IR temp gun in it.