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Electricity is dangerous: Electricians must be experienced and qualified to work with electrical wiring. In the UK, any electrical work in the home must be certified as such, unless it takes place in a garage or a designated external part of the house (i.e. a room or enclosed area that may be used for lighting and power, but is not technically part of the designated living area of the house). Therefore, to some extent, the first and most important tool for using electronic equipment is proper certification and the training to support it.
However, as far as hardware is concerned, there are many tools that any competent person's kit should have. Here (in no particular order) are six of the best.
The voltage tester is used to test the voltage passing through the system. It has a positive and a negative probe, and the associated wire touches it to create a circuit and take a reading. Voltage testers come in two types - solenoidal and solid state. Over time, the quality of the solenoidal tester's readings deteriorates as the probe coating wears off. Solid-state testers do not have this problem.
As the name implies, digital multimeters are designed to perform a variety of measurement tasks. With multiple inputs, settings and reading types, multimeters can provide accurate readings in most situations. A multimeter with a low impedance feature will allow an electrician to remove phantom voltages from the equation and get a more accurate reading. It can also be set up to measure many different waveforms (in addition to the sine waves normally measured by standard meters).
Non-contact voltage testers have a specific function - to measure the actual electromagnetic field generated by a circuit. A non-contact voltage tester is placed on a wall or outlet where wires pass through or enter and give a reading based on the pulses found there. Can be used in all situations, commercial and domestic.
The "wireman's pliers" are a standard electrical tool with rubber-sheathed handles and pliers and cutting blades. The blades are located on the two inner edges of the pliers, near the pivot point, and are used for stripping wire while working. Placing the blades next to the pivot point provides additional cutting power.
The quarter-inch screwdriver is one of the most commonly used screwdrivers in electronics. It can remove set screws from many panels and security brackets on electrical equipment. As with all electrical work, the screwdriver should have a rubber boot for safety reasons.
The multi-wire stripping pliers and cutting tool - also with a rubber sheath - allow the electrician to strip the wire in a variety of standard forms. It has graded cutting blades that have been prepared with sharp holes (holes formed when the two jaws of the blades are closed, allowing the electrician to open and close them through different wires), including stranded and solid wires.
As mentioned earlier, there is no such tool as properly qualified. Only qualified and certified electricians can handle consumer units, power wiring circuits and other embedded electrical wiring. Unqualified personnel can replace fuses in plugs or wire plugs, but installing outlets and wiring under the gypsum board requires knowledge that can only be acquired through training. Current qualifications are necessary to ensure that electricians have up-to-date knowledge of relevant procedures, tools and safety.
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