Electrically powered tools abound on the average job site. In order to use them, however, builders and tradespeople need a source of electricity. In this article, electrical contractor Joseph Fratello describes how temporary electrical service can be set up and used on a typical job site. During the early stages of construction, power is often obtained from a temporary panel, and Fratello offers advice on how to run wiring safely, how to protect the circuits, and how to choose which receptacles to use. After a house is closed in, the panel can be moved inside. Fratello recommends placing the panel inside the main entrance and keeping the lights on a separate circuit so that if someone using a power tool trips a breaker, they won’t be left in the dark. Sometimes, however, temporary power is not an option, and so electricity must come from a portable generator. Fratello outlines the disadvantages of this approach, but says that if generators must be used, Honda makes the most dependable models. A sidebar includes suggestions for installing and using temporary lights.
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