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I have dikes kleins chanellocks and needle nose and plan to get strippers i am wondering which of those I can do without insulation to make my kit a little easier to put in my tool belt i plan to keep my needle nose and kleins insulated
 

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When I was told I needed to carry a full set of insulated tools, client supplied, so that I could "retorque any loose bus connections on a 480 volt MCC, to avoid an outage", I told them I'll decline to be that foolish and wouldn't carry the set, but would like an insulated 7/16" and 10 mm wrench for working on batteries. Otherwise the rest was overrated.
 

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You mean voltage rated insulation? I think they’re all a waste of money since hot work is strictly prohibited.
Nice thought but totally unrealistic. In a home you might be able to shut off the main any time you open a junction box to ensure every wire is dead (still screwed if the neighbor has a bad N/G connection) but in commercial you can not shut down the a whole store to repair a light fitting which means you run the risk of making a mistake or opening a can of worms that has nothing to do with the loto circuit you are working on.
Industrial live work (over 60V) is just part of the job especially in plc panels that may have 20 independent power sources. I have a full set of insulated sockets, wrenches, Allen keys on the truck that's 20 years old and they have never been used.
Honestly most insulated tools other than screw-drivers and maybe a set of needle nose pliers are to bulky to be of any use and are more for "display use only". Take a set of insulated nut driver for example that can not remove a bus screw from a 120v bolt in breaker as the insulation gets in the way.

It would be nice never having to wear gloves, arc flash clothing or having to use insulated tools especially in florida heat.
 

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I have a full set of insulated sockets, wrenches, Allen keys on the truck that's 20 years old and they have never been used.
That speaks to my point that they are a waste of money. I do plenty of hot work on my own too but each and every time it's a risk I take on my own because if something did happen, all anyone has to say is show me the hot work authorization signed by the competent person.
 

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This is pretty much it:

I’ve also considered getting an insulated ratchet/sockets for doing the utility connections after a service upgrade, but think a pair of hot gloves would be much cheaper and could probably suffice.
 

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That speaks to my point that they are a waste of money. I do plenty of hot work on my own too but each and every time it's a risk I take on my own because if something did happen, all anyone has to say is show me the hot work authorization signed by the competent person.
The hot work permit also needs to be signed by a representative of the facility you are working at. ( times out of ten, they won't sign for fear for the liability.) NFPA 70e Annex J
 

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The hot work permit also needs to be signed by a representative of the facility you are working at. ( times out of ten, they won't sign for fear for the liability.) NFPA 70e Annex J
One facility manager explained it to me like this….which piece of equipment here is more valuable to us than your life? They always made arrangements for shutdowns on anything rather than sign the hot work authorization.
 

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The only insulated tools I NEED are screwdrivers and my meter. The meter kind of goes without saying.

The screw drivers solve two basic problems. So the fundamental problem is that as has been mentioned, you can't realistically always de-energize a control panel. A typical problem is that you can power down local power. It MAY power down everything but there can be some kind of remote SCADA/PLC/DCS that reads dry contacts and runs on an independent power source. You might get lucky and track that down but more often than not you either can't or you miss one. And even if there is NO safety risk such as using 24 VDC controls, you still run the risk of shorting it out and frying some special equipment that is hard to replace or even figure out what is wrong. And even if you test everything and determine it is "dead" if it's an interlock it can power up unexpectedly later. The safest approach is to just assume all control wiring could potentially be energized. Remove it with insulated tools if at all possible (not easy with today's tiny terminals), going one layer at a time if possible.

The second problem area is reaching said terminals that are behind other terminals or even reaching the terminal when there is a lot of messy wiring all over in a panel, or turning an adjustment pot. An insulated screwdriver lets you reach past this stuff or probe around in it much more safely.

I can understand the idea of using insulated tools to say grab onto a wire but in practice the insulation just gets in the way and causes major problems with using the tool. I've found that the safest way is just using standard needle nose pliers until the insulated ones greatly improve.



t
 

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This is pretty much it:

I’ve also considered getting an insulated ratchet/sockets for doing the utility connections after a service upgrade, but think a pair of hot gloves would be much cheaper and could probably suffice.
the biggest problem i see with voltage insulated tools is the first time they get a nick in the insulation, they are technically not voltage insulated anymore

for 120/240V i keep a pair of plain all leather work gloves
they fit very well and dont decrease my dexterity very much
i dont use them for anything else, so they stay clean and dry
clean and dry leather is sufficient in my experience

working inside a meter base with a wrench concerns me more than anything else
that wrench will invariably touch the case if i dont take my time and watch it carefully
since i am wearing all leather gloves i put my hand on the tool so that is is insulated where it is most likely to touch (end of the handle for instance)

i have taped the shaft of my very small tip terminal block screwdriver for the same reasons that paul mentioned
but that is the only tool i have taped,
and i dont own any factory voltage insulated tools
my ideal strippers have a plastic cushion grip and i use them as needle nose pliers quite often

i worked in industry for 12 years, including offshore (think explosion proof everything and corrosion resistant outdoors)
initially i was allowed to work 480 hot, but soon found that if it needed repair, it wasnt being used, so why not turn it off and avoid shorts
a few years later, 480 hot work was outlawed almost every where
since then 120 or less industrial controls are the only thing i work hot for the same reasons that paul mentioned
sometimes i wear my leather gloves for 120, but not below

i dont even do resi hot, i have a breaker finder and just turn it off
it isnt worth the risk/cost of damaging what im working on
not to mention the customer's opinion of you causing explosions in their house lol
 

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I regularly grab 120v circuits with my fingers, trusting my insulated boots. As long as I don't put my body in the circuit, all is good. I don't have the guts to do it with 480. Wonder how good my boots are? 😅

The "never work hot" comments are humorous to me. The practically of troubleshooting various industrial situations without power would be rather impossible.

But to the op, screw drivers are pretty much the most practical tools for voltage rated insulation.
 

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Insulated tools are a gimmick and give a false sense of security that you’ll somehow be safer doing something you’re not even supposed to be doing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Insulated tools are a gimmick and give a false sense of security that you’ll somehow be safer doing something you’re not even supposed to be doing.
I disagree when it comes to screwdrivers. Hardly a "gimmick"

Some of the tool sets and pliers certainly have their applications, but those are limited.
 

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I disagree when it comes to screwdrivers. Hardly a "gimmick"

Some of the tool sets and pliers certainly have their applications, but those are limited.
Why would it matter if it’s a screwdriver or a sledgehammer? 99% of electricians should not be working in hot panels and anything that would suggest it’s fine as long as you have this fancy insulated tool is a gimmick. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked in hot panels thousands of times but I don’t own a single insulated tool.


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The lawyers tell you the klein 11 in 1(or any if their "normal" screwdrivers) aren't "insulated". But they are. I'll stick one on a 480 terminal any time. Just like my wiggy.

Klein's "insulated" screwdrivers have the same handle construction as the non insulated. All they do is insulate the shank.

That's where I'm getting a little hung up. Insulated, or "insulated"


Well just have to disagree as to when to turn the power off.

Come work on a plc running a whole plant and check inputs and outputs for troubleshooting. See how that works out with the power off.

Everyone just gets so damned defensive about not working hot.
 
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