You are what your tools are.
As an electrician, you depend extensively on the tools of your trade. Without them in top condition, you may be unable to deliver premium-quality service to your clients. This might even result in the loss of business.
8 Ways to Maintain the Tools of the Trade
In this article, we explore how the best electricians in Australia can maintain the tools of their trade.
What could go wrong with your electrical tools?
Some of the common issues that can affect your tools of the trade are:
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- Your tool may have a damaged part which could affect how it functions. This could also impact safety and make your tool unsafe to use.
- Your tool could get rusted and become permanently unusable.
- Your tool may not perform optimally because of a low battery, frayed wires, or a faulty component.
- Your tool might overheat, produce shrill sounds, or emanate a burning smell all of a sudden.
- Your tool might completely break in the midst of using it.
- Your tool might be stolen when you’re working on-site. You may end up having to replace your tool.
To prevent these from happening and to ensure that you’re not forced to always repair or replace your tools, you’ll need to care for them in the right way.
Here are the top 8 tips to protect your electrical tools and equipment:
1. Store them in a clean place when not in use.
Dust can absorb moisture from the atmosphere. When the dust settles into the nooks and crannies of your tools, this moisture can start to rust the tool from the inside. Additionally, high quantities of dust can become fire hazards when you operate your electrical tools. This can pose a threat to your life and your staff/clients’ lives.
To prevent dust from accumulating on your tools, clean them after use using a lint-free cloth. Store them in their original equipment box so that the dust doesn’t accumulate when the tools are not in use.
2. Keep your tools away from extreme cold and heat.
High temperatures like the extreme heat and extreme cold can both have a corrosive impact on your electrical tools. Plus, they can make your tools brittle and prone to wear-and-tear. To preserve their structural integrity, store your tools in a safe space where temperature changes won’t affect them. Ideally, this should be a water-proof and heat-proof box.
3. Replace the insulation regularly.
Insulation is what makes your electrical cords safe to use. Without insulation, there is a very high risk of electrocuting yourself when you’re working with your power equipment.
It’s very important to check the status of your cord insulation before using the tools. If the cord appears frayed or damaged, then use heat shrinks or electrical tape, insulated liquid tape, or rubber coating onto the cords. These insulation materials are available in a variety of heat ranges, thicknesses, voltage ratings, and colors. You can use the same process to insulate your hand tools, such as screwdrivers as well.
To prevent your cords from fraying, don’t wrap cords tightly when not in use. Keep them in a loose loop instead.
4. Oil your tools regularly.
Oiling your tools performs two purposes. In tools that require lubrication to work optimally, oil provides the lubrication needed. This also prevents the premature wearing-and-tearing of your tools.
Additionally, oil prevents the rusting of your electrical tools by preventing the absorption of moisture. Ideally, you should use 1-2 drops of oil on your tools each day, before you start work.
When oiling your tools, remember to choose specific oils designed for hand, power, and pneumatic tools each.
5. Consider Portable Equipment Insurance to insure the tools of your trade.
Depending on the type of tools you use for your electrical work, your hand and power tools can cost you anywhere up to $500 per tool. Your entire kit of electrical tools might be worth thousands of dollars. That’s a lot of investment, especially if you are a small business. This expense is magnified when you also have a team of electricians working under you.
Losing such expensive equipment, either through accidental breakage or theft, can be a huge blow to your business. Without these tools, you’ll be unable to provide your electrical installation and repair service.
Replacing the lost or damaged tools may not be the right option for you. After all, electrical tools are so expensive. Portable Equipment Insurance can help you here.
Portable Equipment Insurance is special insurance that is designed to protect the loss of the tools of your trade. Portable Equipment Insurance can help you limit the expenses you incur from such tool damage. This gives you the financial freedom to purchase new tools and resume work quickly.
Public Liability Australia, has insurance packages that specialise in insurance for electricians. We offer Portable Equipment Insurance at really compelling terms. We’re sure you’ll find this policy very helpful to your business.
While you’re evaluating our Portable Equipment Insurance, do consider indemnifying yourself with Public Liability Insurance and Personal Accident and Illness Insurance. Both of these policies safeguard you from financial losses that might occur due to on-site electrical accidents. While the former provides financial protection from client lawsuits, the latter helps you cover any staff medical bills that arise out of on-site accidents.
6. Straighten bent prongs before using them.
Bent prongs can’t fit inside electrical outlets. Trying to force them in will damage the outlets too. One way to maintain the structural integrity of your prongs is to straighten them using pliers.
Straighten the prongs in slow and gentle movements, as this ensures your prongs don’t break because of the force.
7. Never let battery-powered tools sit unused for days together.
Unused batteries die out within a few years of purchase. In some cases, batteries can leak and spill out toxic chemicals, which can either pose fire risks or be health hazards. If you’re planning on not using a battery-powered tool for a few weeks, take out unused batteries and set them aside.
To maintain the performance of your batteries, do a controlled discharge of your battery once a month and recharge the tool fully.
8. Test the tools before you take them on-site.
This is a really important maintenance tip. When you test your electrical tools before you take them on-site, you’ll be able to identify any safety or performance issues they have.
This will give you the opportunity to repair your tools, so they don’t pose an operational or safety issue when you’re on-site.
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