Electrical DIYers tool box


Old 11-07-06, 02:50 PM
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Electrical DIYers tool box

I'm a homeowner with very little experience but I'm learning. I've replaced all the plugs and switches in my house and wired up a few things here and ther over the years. I can't tell you how excited I was to create a little tool bag that makes all these tasks easier for the novice DIYer. It set me back about $30. I started with a tool bag and added the following: a wire stripper/cutter for multiple gauges of solid and stranded wire with pliers end to twist and loop wire, plastic insulated phillips and regular screw drivers, a beeper that detects a live circuit, a flashlight, a roll of electrical tape, a package of various sized wire nuts, old hardware from previous projects (screws, wire nuts, conduit fittings etc.), "U" nails for attaching cable to joists and rafters etc. This seems to be enough to make simple tasks a lot simpler. I used to scrounge around the house for tools and said enough is enough. Thanks.
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Old 11-07-06, 02:55 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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Having thing in one place certainly makes sense and makes the job easier.

One comment. It is NOT recommended to reuse certain items, like wire nuts. Wire nuts are really only designed to be used once, and should be discarded when removed from a connection.

Last edited by racraft; 11-07-06 at 04:18 PM.
Old 11-07-06, 04:12 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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As a professional remodleler it is a bit hard to relate, but it sounds like you have the basic tools. There are very helpful books at home and hardware stores dealing with how-to's for home electrical systems. For someone that is a bit past the DIY stage, I recommend "Electrical Wiring Residential" by Mullin. It contains much more than is needed by the basic DIY, but will keep you safe because it also goes more into depth on the NEC.
Old 11-07-06, 05:00 PM
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If you can afford it I'd recommend a clamp-on amp meter (amprobe) that also measures voltage (most do). I'd go with analog because it is less likely to cause "ghost" readings. A quick Google comes up with one for around $50. I even seen one that also had a continuity tester built in.

Even a basic amprobe with voltage meter function though will handle the majority of your testing needs.The reasons for voltage testing is obvious but the amprobe function is very important to for testing why a breaker is tripping or with a device like an electric water heater checking if a heating element is ok. (Does a more accurate job then a continuity test.) On AC units it can tell you if a compressor is probably bad or if another problem is more likely.

If by "U nails" you really mean regular fence staples I must say no you shouldn't use them. If you mean the rectangular NM staples I would say OK but suggest plastic "staples" instead of the conventional steel ones. They are really a plastic strap with two nails that reduce the chance of damaging the cable.
Old 11-07-06, 05:32 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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wiring simplified.

buy the book and keep it in the tool box.

The best tool for any work is the knowledge.
Old 11-07-06, 10:12 PM
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Thanks all for the input. There's still lots of room in the tool bag.
Old 11-09-06, 04:31 PM
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I have a set of quick strips (It custs through and pulls the insulation off)
One of those 3 light plug in testers (reccomend one with the GFCI test).

Cordless drill sets, including a spade bit set.
I have a smaller drill I use for screws.

I have a fishtape someplace.

Hex bit set with a torqe handle.
(although I generally prefer indivudual screwdrivers).

I bought (and need to buy another soon) set of pliers, with Linemans, side Cutters, And needlenose (although I need a set of slip-joint and channel-locks too)

Baggie with bits (crimps, some marettes). A couple chunks of thhn wire.

Couple knives.
Old 11-10-06, 06:18 AM
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Tool bag

Crimping sleeves and crimper tool for making up ground wires. Do not use the crimper which has sharp corners, as it will cut the wire when crimping. There is nothing more frustrating than to have a ground wire break due to damage from an improper crimp of the crimping sleeve.

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