Vol. 2 No. 10

August 2007

- EB Launches Electrical House of Horrors!
- Safety Issues with Unapproved Portable Generators
- NAED Celebrates 100 Years with Activities
- Easier Access to Knaack and Weather Guard Parts
- Check Out some of these Products
- Coming Events


Electrical Business presents a fun, new distraction at EBMag.com: the Electrical “House of Horrors”.

The concept was born when, in response to the item “Spot the Violations in the Reception Area of Fear!” (April 2007 edition of E-Line: Your Industry News Broadcast), readers started sending in photos of electrical installations gone wrong. Hence, the Electrical House of Horrors was born.

“This special gallery does not intend to educate visitors so much as amuse them,” admits EB’s editor, Anthony Capkun, adding that if visitors leave their computers shaking their heads but with smiles on their faces, then the House of Horrors will have done its job. “If they endeavour to step up their own game, then all the better.”

Visitors to EBMag.com will find the House of Horrors under Online Exclusives. To help the gallery grow, EB encourages everyone to send in photos of horrors they’ve seen on the job. Where possible, include a description. Send them to acapkun@clbmedia.ca or by regular mail to:

Anthony Capkun
Electrical Business
House of Horrors
240 Edward Street
Aurora ON L4G 3S9

CLICK HERE to check out the Electrical House of Horrors.


The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) has received a number of calls regarding the availability of unapproved portable generators for purchase over the Internet and from various Ontario outlets. Following an investigation, ESA has identified they present the following potential electric shock and fire hazards:

• Receptacles and generator control switches do not match the generator rating.
• Receptacles with inadequate over-current protection.
• Control switches do not shut off the generator.
• Improper bonding of the generator receptacle to the generator frame.
• Lack of bonding between the generator and the generator skid or frame.
• Missing nameplates to identify the generators' rated voltage and output.
• Some suppliers are providing double male-ended extension cords (two plugs with a length of cord between them) to allow the generator to be plugged directly into a house receptacle. This can cause potential backfeed onto powerlines, exposing utility workers to electrical hazard. In addition, residents can be exposed to live blades when the cord is plugged into the generator.

ESA strongly advises you against purchasing unapproved portable generators. In the event you already have, stop using it and unplug it immediately. ESA has also been informed that some portable generators bear counterfeit approval markings. If you suspect your generator might be one of these—or you’ve identified a hazard from the above list—again, stop using it immediately, then contact the associated certification agency.

You are reminded that under no circumstance should a portable generator be connected to a building’s electrical wiring system, except through an approved transfer device that makes it impossible for feedback into the utility network.

CLICK HERE to visit ESA for more information about the safe use of portable generators, to report an unapproved electrical product, or to view the recognized certification agencies and their approval marks.


The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) in the United States has launched a year-long observance of its 100th anniversary that highlights the past and focuses on the future of the industry.

Among the activities planned for the centennial celebration are a commemorative book and website with contributions from NAED members, along with special events at regional meetings during the year. The celebration will culminate in May 2008 with a grand finale at the National Electrical Leadership Summit (formerly the NAED Annual Meeting) in San Francisco.

“The Centennial Celebration will be carried out by our members and for our members,” said Malcolm Watson, past NAED chair and honorary chair of the Centennial Celebration Committee. “It is most fitting that they are involved actively as we celebrate our accomplishments as an industry and set the stage for the next 100 years of electrical distribution.”

A special website has been launched with information and updates on the celebration. Through this website, members are encouraged to share their stories on leadership lessons learned through NAED, which may be featured in the special commemorative book, “A Legacy of Leadership: Lessons for 100 Years and Beyond”. The completed work will provide guidance and insight to help distributors shape the future of the industry. To be included for publication, letters and stories should be received at NAED by December 31.

CLICK HERE to check out the dedicated website.


Knaack LLC has made it easier for customers to purchase genuine factory-authorized Knaack and Weather Guard replacement parts by making them available at distribution centres.

“We expect our [...] parts to last a very long time, but after years of wear and tear under the toughest jobsite conditions, occasionally some parts need to be replaced,” admitted Debbie Bergquist, associate product manager, Knaack LLC.

The most frequently requested replacements parts for Knaack products include Watchman III and IV lock systems and tan aerosol paint. Popular Weather Guard replacement parts are Extreme Protection locks for various truck boxes, paddle handle latch and lock kit, vented fuel caps, striker plates, cables and blind fasteners. Replacement gas springs, and ball studs with nuts are available for both Knaack and Weather Guard products.

Easy-to-read packaging provides a clear indication as to the product model and generation that each replacement part fits. The contents of the package are clearly visible for added assurance that the new part matches the old.

CLICK HERE to visit them online.


Wet/dry vacs that really suck!

Ridge Tool offers a new line of Ridgid industrial two-stage wet/dry vacuums (14-gal and 16-gal drum), which are designed specifically for cleaning up heavy debris and liquids. The RV two-stage proprietary motor series and its patented blower wheel are designed to efficiently handle these messes, while a three-layer pleated filter boasts a large surface area for increased motor efficiency and long life. Both models convert to a blower, with 150 mph blowing velocity. Both also feature a two-layer, 10-ft long ProHose. An automatic suction shut-off function senses and prevents liquid overflow, while an integral plug makes draining the vacuum easy. Each model also comes with an attached tool bag on the extended cart handle.

Time and attendance system

The JobClock System from Exaktime eliminates inaccurate, handwritten timecards and helps contractors reliably track time. It’s an all-weather, battery-powered timeclock that remains at each jobsite 24/7. Workers touch in and out with ID keytabs kept on their own keyrings. Attendance is collected via PDA and transferred to TimeSummit software. Then, accurate reports can then be printed or exported to various accounting and payroll systems using AccountLinx software.

Blueprint layout grid

E-Z Scale’s new set of blueprint layout grids—with see-through, colour-coded designs—help save time in obtaining measurements. With built-in transparency aids, you can accurately line up items to be measured, and you see only the scale with which you’re working. For easy retrieval, each scale is colour-coded and printed on clear vinyl laminate for durability.

Heavy-duty jobsite storage boxes

DeWALT launched a line of heavy-duty storage boxes, all of which are designed with the GearGuard multi-point locking system. This is the result of a licensing agreement with Greenlee, whereby it will manufacture, sell and market seven types of DeWALT-branded heavy-duty storage boxes to non-traditional Greenlee markets. However, Greenlee will continue to produce, distribute and market its own line of storage boxes to customers in the electrical marketplace. The new line includes four types of chests, slant-top and flat-top boxes, and a storage cabinet. A reinforced 3-in. thick lid and large, sturdy hinges provide added safety and durability. Other features within the line include skyhooks that allow for fast and safe lifting of storage boxes. An electrical access port lets you recharge batteries while they are securely locked inside.


Federation Cup Annual Charity Golf Tournament
Electro-Federation Canada (EFC)
August 28
Bond Head, Ont.
CLICK HERE for details

Fall Golf Tournament
Calgary Electric Club
August 30
Okotoks, A.B.
FOR DETAILS call 514-3085

IIDEX/NeoCon ''The Lighting Show''
September 27-28
Toronto, Ont.
CLICK HERE for details

Annual Conference & Convention
National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)
October 5-8
San Francisco, Calif.
CLICK HERE for details

Workplace Electrical Safety Conference
Presented by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) in partnership with the Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA)
October 17-18
Calgary, Alta.
CLICK HERE for details

Electrix 2007
British Columbia Electrical Association (BCEA)
October 25
Victoria, B.C.
CLICK HERE for details

National Training Symposium
National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO)
November 2-4
Barrie, Ont.
Details to come. Stay tuned.

CLICK HERE to check out more industry events at EBMag.com.

Want more information, or have information to share? Contact the Editor at acapkun@clbmedia.ca or call (905) 713-4391.

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