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Tool Review – Mille-Rod Polymer Series Wire Pulling System

January 6, 2011

Mille-Rod uses Mille-Rods range of Polymer Push-Pull rods (Fish Rods) and accessories are some of the most versatile tools you will ever purchase and will become an indispensable addition to your tool box. These fish rods or fish sticks are used to install coax cables, electrical and phone & data wire and cable in finished walls.

They require very little care and can be used in a large range of environments and jobs from house and car to leisure and boat. The fastest way to connect two points or reach those impossible to get to locations. This high quality, affordable product is the ideal wire-pulling system for the amateur and professional user alike. Mille-Rods enables the installation of wire/cable over long runs and through hard to access voids and cavities.

Why Mille-Rod Polymer?

  1. Construction – the Mille-Rod is made from advance polymers in a single piece mold; this makes them incredible strong! The usual points of failure on a fiberglass rod are at the ends, where a metal piece has been glued onto the fiberglass – these come off or break off – and the rods themselves, which will shatter and/or break if you over bend them or just in shipping. Neither can happen with the Mille-Rod!
  2. Convenience – both the 7′ and 14′ sets, glow and standard, come in a convenient 18″ tube. Fits in a large tool box or you can clip it to a belt.
  3. Cost – Mille-Rod Polymer 7′ standard set is just $19.95. Not only are these sets competitively priced, but they also come with 5 accessory heads at no extra charge! (4 for the glow sets). And of course, this is just your up front cost – shipping is cheaper too, and you won’t have the regular replacement you do with the product you’re using now.
  4. Safe – Since there’s no metal at all, the product is completely arc/shock resistant and will not rust or corrode.
  5. The Mille-Rod uses standard 1/4″ threads, so any accessories you’re using now, you can keep, and you can even combine your current product with the your new favorite.
  6. LIFETIME NO HASSLE REPLACEMENT GUARANTEE – Millepede (Americas) is so confident in the performance of their rods they offer a Lifetime no Hassle Replacement Guarantee. If for any reason your Mille-Rod polymer rod or attachment should break or no longer operate effectively simply send back the defective part along with the appropriate handling and postage costs ($1.50 per item) and they will send you a new part.

I have to admit, that I was used to the 5′ and 6′ fiberglass rods. So, these rods seemed a little flimsy at first. However, the more that I used them, the more that I liked them. I found that they worked best fishing wires up and down walls. I really liked the less stiff rods for making bends around corners; like pulling the rod out of the outlet hole or pushing the rod into an attic and having it bend along the roof line to get to a more accessible area.

Because the fiberglass rods are so long, you are charged a higher shipping price from the shipping companies due to the oversized package. I’ve also had a few of the fiberglass rod kits show up broken in shipping. This won’t happen with the Mille-Rod kits. Each kit also includes a 5-piece standard attachment set consisting of 1 – hook, 2 – eyes, 1 – bullet and 1 – claw; as pictured below. These cost extra with the fiberglass kits.

Standard attachment kit

This is the 14′ standard kit:

Standard attachment kit

While I’m going to keep my 5′ and 6′ fiberglass kits, I will also use the Mille-Rod set and highly recommend these to everyone.

Where can you purchase a set?

Pass & Seymour RT1 Seven Button Digital Timer Review

June 30, 2010

Conserve energy and save money with P&S Timers. And get the quality, performance and functionality you’ve come to expect from P&S. Businesses and homeowners are going green and looking for ways to reduce energy consumption. Their timers are a simple, effective solution that makes saving energy easy. People forget, but their timers always remember! P&S Timers add convenience in other ways, too. They provide simple, intuitive operation. And illuminated models are available, making it easy to find a control in the dark.

The P&S Timer line offers all the choices you need to meet any residential or commercial requirement. That includes models with 20-Amp capacity — enough to operate many types of fans and pumps — plus mechanical and digital models that handle up to 600 Watts of lighting and multiple lighting types (incandescent, fluorescent and low-voltage). You can select models with time delays from 15 minutes up to 12 hours. Now’s the time to make energy savings automatic.

Introducing the RT1 7-button digital timer. It’s great for walk-in closets, kids’ rooms, basements, recreation areas, garages and pantries.

Pass & Seymour RT1 7-button digital timer controls
  • UL listed.
  • 5-year warranty.
  • Manual ON/OFF.
  • Seven-button preset time switch.
  • Adjustable time delay: 1, 5, 10, 20, 30, 60 minutes.
  • Lighted switch for visibility in darkened rooms.
  • Controls most types of lighting. Incandescent, fluorescent, compact
    fluorescent (CFL), magnetic low-voltage (MLV),
    electronic low-voltage (ELV) and up to 1/6 hp motors

Fast, easy installation with pre-stripped leads.

Pass & Seymour RT1 7-button digital timer wiring

Quality construction — ensures dependability and a long service life. Smooth, contemporary design — a great fit in any décor.


Pass & Seymour RT1 7-button digital timer dimensions

Click here to get a FREE P&S screwless wall plate


Stanley FatMax 4-in1 Mobile Work Station for Tools and Parts Review

April 21, 2010

Stanley FatMax 4-in1 Mobile Work Station I’m currently working on a larger industrial wiring project where I have to park approximately 1/2 of a mile away and walk almost another 1/2 of a mile on the project. After doing this for the first week and carrying all of my tools, I decided that I needed a better solution for getting my tools back and forth to the pick up daily.

While looking around I found this larger container which was reasonably priced and I initially thought would work well. It was approximately 54 inches long x 36 inches wide x 24 inches tall and only $60.00. I saw the FatMax tool box there as well, but it was only 17 inches long x 22 inches wide x 29 inches tall and $80.00. Then I got to thinking about it, the larger tool box was one larger compartment while the FatMax has 4 plus the middle section can be further divided into 8 more sections, resulting in better organization. Plus if I got the bigger box, I would just fill it and it would be a challenge getting it in and out of the truck each day.

I’ve been using the FatMax tool box for about 2 months now and I like it overall. One of the best features, in my opinion, is the “V” notch in the top cover. This works well and is very stable to set a piece of conduit in and cut it. One thing that I don’t like about it is the tires. They are plastic. I’m going to upgrade mine to rubber with metal rims and bearings. I think this would be a huge improvement.

The Stanley FatMax tool box features 4 storage solutions in one includes toolbox, part bins, portable tray and over sized lower bin for larger items. Patented tiered cantilever multi-level rolling system allows easy access to all 4 storage areas at the same time. Durable Structural Foam construction, telescopic handle for easy maneuvering, easy latch system includes a quick push to close feature, large front latch that locks the entire unit, Ball bearing slides for smooth operation even under heavy load, V-groove on top of lid holds materials such as lumber and pipes in place for cutting. Extra large, heavy duty metal latches with pad lockable eye lets.

I was concerned about the tool box being plastic, but it is holding up just fine on a construction site; including the plastic wheels. They just sound cheap rolling across the concrete floor.

Overall, I recommend this tool box. In the mornings, I throw on my tool bags, grab my benders in one hand and pull the tool box with the other hand. After walking 1/2 to one mile to my work station, I don’t feel like I need a break before beginning work and I’m able to carry a large selections of tools allowing me to complete any task thrown at me.

Click on the link to get your Stanley FatMax 4-in1 Mobile Work Station for Tools and Parts

Leviton Compact Fluorescent Keyless Lampholder with Pig Tail Leads and Optional Polycarbonate Lamp Guard

December 15, 2009

Leviton compact fluorescent keyless lampholder I learned about a new product from Leviton today. They are now making a compact fluorescent keyless lampholder. The cool thing about this lampholder is the optional polycarbonate lamp guard. This means that you may use these in a clothes closet and place them a minimum of 6 inches away from the storage space. I like these because they are going to be quick and easy to install.

I typically install a recessed can, a compact fluorescent lamp with a shower trim in clothes closets that I wire. This configuration costs me approximately $15.00 for the can, lamp and trim. However, it takes about 1 hour to install the can, wire it, install the lamp and trim. The compact fluorescent keyless lampholder costs me about the same money but, I can install one of these in about 30 minutes. By switching to this product I can be more efficient and complete my projects quicker. Plus, I can offer an energy star compliant fixture for a reasonable price.

Leviton states that these can be used in closets, garages, basements, utility rooms and attics. However, I wouldn’t install these anywhere except for closets. You can get a regular keyless lampholder for about $1.25 and a compact fluorescent lamp for about $2.50 at your local home improvement store. However, if you are making your home energy star compliant, then I recommend installing these fixtures in garages, basements, utility rooms and attics.

Here is the item description taken from Leviton’s website –

Compact Fluorescent Keyless Lampholder with Pig Tail Leads Polycarbonate Housing, COF WHITE, 13 Watt CFL Lamp Included. Rated 120 V 18 Watts Max, Two 8-32 Mounting Screws.

Features and Benefits

  • 13W GU24 Base Lamp
  • Keyless Bi-Pin Compact Fluorescent Lampholder
  • Impact resistant thermoplastic construction
  • Optional polycarbonate lamp guard available
  • Pigtail leads provide easy installation
  • Knockout holes on box enable multiple configurations
  • Thread-cutting screws facilitate installation of lamp guard
  • Warranty : 2-Year Limited
  • Lamp Output = 900 lumens
  • Lamp Color = 2700 K
  • Installs in closets, garages, basements, utility rooms and attics
  • Suitable for indoor use only
  • Use with standard wall switch

Catalog number – 9860-LHG

Purchase your Leviton Compact Fluorescent Keyless Lampholder with Pig Tail Leads Polycarbonate Housing on Amazon today.

I haven’t used one of these yet, but I will on my next project. What are your thoughts? Will you install these in your home?


Review of the JB250 Wire Caddy – Dispenses 250 Foot Rolls of Romex, MC Cable and Greenfield

December 4, 2009

JB250 Wire Caddy with 250 ft coil of 12/3 romex

I found a new electrical wire caddy which easily dispenses 250 ft coils of 14/2, 14/3, 12/2, 12/3, 10/2 and 10/3 romex and MC cable for a great price. This can also be used to store rope, twine, ribbon and plastic tubing.

The package arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago. So the first thing we need to do is open it up and put this thing together. I documented the steps below.

JB250 Wire Caddy pagkage This is how the JB250 Wire Caddy is packaged and arrived. So the first thing that needs to be done is open the package and take everything out.
JB250 Wire Caddy kit After removing everything from the package, you will find that the kit includes 2 – reel sides, 4 – 4″ x 1/4″ bolts, 4 – 6″ x 1/4″ bolts, 8 – 1/4″ x 1″ flat washers, 8 – 1/4″ x 3″ tubing, 4 – 1/4″ wing nuts.
JB250 Wire Caddy - Assembly step #1 Step #1 – insert bolts through reel side which has pockets for bolt heads.
JB250 Wire Caddy - Assembly step #2 Step #2 – ensure that the bolt heads are properly seated within the pockets.
JB250 Wire Caddy - Assembly step #3 Step #3 – place 4 washers (one per bolt) on each bolt.
JB250 Wire Caddy - Assembly step #4 Step #4 – place 4 – 1/4″ x 3″ pieces of tubing on the bolts.
JB250 Wire Caddy - Assembly step #5 Step #5 – Cut 1″ off of each of the other 1/4″ x 3″ pieces of tubing. Then slide the 2″ pieces over the bolts.
JB250 Wire Caddy - Assembly step #6 Step #6 – place 4 washers (one per bolt) on each bolt on top of the tubing.
JB250 Wire Caddy - Assembly step #7 Step #7 – place the romex onto the wire caddy.
JB250 Wire Caddy - Assembly step #8 Step #8 – place the other reel side over the bolts and secure in place with the 4 wing nuts.

The only wire that I had in the back of my truck was a new roll of 12/3 NM cable. So I elected to use the 6 inch bolts. The manufacturer has made a change to include 4 – 1/4″ nuts to all future versions of this kit. I like that. These nuts will be useful to hold the bolts in place while you are placing the romex onto the wire caddy and putting it together.

If you use the 4 inch bolts, then I recommend placing the 1/4″ nuts on the bolts in step #3 above. Then place those washers in between the wing nuts and the reel side in the final step. If you use the 6 inch bolts, then I recommend placing the 1/4″ nuts on the bolts in step #6 above. Then place those washers in between the wing nuts and the reel side in the final step.

After putting it together, I like the design. It is small, lightweight and rugged. I think it will hold up to the abuse us electricians, homeowners and do-it-yourselfers will put it through.

Now I need to go use it. I’m going to go install a couple of new receptacles and a new circuit for a friend in his unfinished basement. After using it, I really like it. I have a stand which sets on the floor that I used with the wire caddy. This worked perfectly in the unfinished basement; which didn’t have any framing up. The wire reeled off of the coils just fine and everything worked real well.

The manufacturer is working on a stand for this system which will sit on the floor. This will be a great addition to this wire caddy. Until then, you just need to place a 3/4″ piece of EMT through the center hole of the wire caddy. Then fasten or suspend each end of the EMT to existing framing members or span it across the inside of a ladder.

A lot of you are probably thinking why do I need a wire caddy? Well, a wire caddy is used to spool the cable off of the roll or coil and prevent it from twisting and knotting up. The wire caddy also protects your wire from being damaged during installation. The electrical wiring is a permanent part of your home. Why would you risk damaging it during the installation? All professional electricians use a wire caddy when installing romex in a house. Not only do they make installing romex faster and easier, they make it safer by helping prevent damage to the cable.

I think the biggest benefit of this wire caddy is the incredible price. You may purchase the JB250 Wire Caddy over at The Electrical Tool Store for $24.95 + S&H.

Just to give you an idea of how good this price is, Arlington makes a wire caddy which hangs from the framing that you can get for about $75.00. Greenlee makes a nice stud-mount wire caddy which adjusts for 2×4 and 2×6 studs but, it sells for about $150.00 each. For $150.00, it does not include the upper attached caddy as shown in the picture. This costs extra. Greenlee also makes a wire caddy which sits on the floor for about $250.00.

What are your thoughts? Have you used a wire caddy to install your romex, MC cable or greenfield on past projects? Are you going to use one for future electrical wiring projects?


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