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Electrical Slang

What do a "bug" and a "cherry" have in common?

They are both electrical slang terms!

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Scroll through our collection of slang terminology used in the electrical industry!

Whether you are an electrician, contractor, or just someone trying to understand what your local electrician is jabbering about, use the glossary to learn trade slang and electrical jargon.

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The device that a power blower shoots through a conduit system when fishing the initial line. It typically has a hard plastic core with a flexible foam body that fits a specific pipe size. It comes in 1/2" through 6" conduit sizes and has a loop at both ends to attach the fish line.

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Green #12 or #14 solid wire with ground screw affixed to the an electrical box to provide a ground connection.



Draws knockout tool punch into the die to punch holes in sheet metal.



These devices detect the presence of voltage without direct contact with the wire. One style (Greenlee 1010 or Fluke 1ACA1) looks like a pen and you touch the tip to a possible power source such as a wire or outlet and if the tip glows red, you know there is some level of voltage present. An upgraded version of the Greenlee 1010 Volt Tick called the 1112 includes a flashlight. The other style is an audible detector that chirps as you get closer to the load, detects a higher and lower voltage range, detects both hot & neutral, and detects if breakers are powered.

Proximity Detector Image



The steel conduit hanger is used to secure 1/2" to 4" rigid (GAL) or EMT conduit to some type of support using the hole on top of the hanger. Typically, the pipe is suspended from strut or directly from the concrete using a piece of threaded rod but the hanger is also used to attach conduit directly to an insulator or some other surface. Manufactured by Steel City, Erico (Caddy), Bridgeport and others; the hanger is available with or without the lower bolt and nut. Originally invented by Minneralac in 1904 as the Standard Conduit Hanger.

"I hit my head on another pain hanger."

Mae West Image



Breaker locks are used to prevent someone from accidentally turning-on a breaker which has been switched off by a maintenance worker or contractor in compliance with OSHA's Lockout/Tagout standard. Usually used in conjunction with lockout tags that explain the who and why the breaker was locked-out. The model number shown below is specifically for the Square D QO single-pole breaker but there are versions for all the major manufacturers. You have to pay very careful attention to the catalog description to see if it fits the specific model of the manufacturers breaker you are trying to fit.

Breaker Lock Image



When EMT is run along the surface of the wall and you want to connect to a wall box, the EMT won't align with the box knockout. This offset connector raises the connector just slightly so it meets with where the box knockout is.

Offset Emt Connector Image


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