Handling live conductors with hot stick
Types of Hot Sticks
Handling Live Conductors with Hot Sticks, Hot sticks are sticks made of an insulating material .
They have tools and / or fittings at the ends that allow workers to handle live conductors and equipment from a safe distance .
Hot sticks vary in length depending on the voltage level of the energized equipment and the work to be performed. Modern hot sticks are made of fiberglass and / or epoxy. The oldest models were made of treated wood and painted with materials resistant to chemicals, humidity and temperature.
Hot sticks can be fitted with a variety of tools and instruments.
The most common fitting is the NEMA Standard Design shown in Fig. 2 as standard universal fitting.
This fitting allows various tools and equipment to be connected to the hot stick system .
Figure 2 also shows other attachments and extensions that can be used to increase the utility of hot sticks. In addition to the equipment, the heat sticks can also be equipped with: wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, knives, saws and other similar tools.
Handling Live Conductors with Hot sticks can also be seen in telescopic ( Figure 3 ) and so-called shotgun models ( Figure 4 ).
The telescopic type hot stick is made up of several hollow tubular sections that fit into each other.
The uppermost section is first extended and locked into place by means of a spring-loaded button that snaps into a hole. The hot stick user expands as many sections as needed to get the job done.
the telescoping hot stick allows for extra long lengths of hot stick which then collapse into a small, easy-to-carry assembly.
The shotgun hot stick ( Figure 4 ) has a sliding lever mechanism that allows the user to open and close a clamp hook mechanism at the end. This way the user can attach the stick to a disconnect ring and then close it. Once the switch is actuated, the shotgun mechanism is actuated to open the hook.
The shotgun stick gets its name from its similarity to the shotgun.
Figure 5 shows a hot stick kit with several sections and various tools. This type of packaging offers a variety of configurations that will meet most of the daily needs of the electrician and overhead line worker.
The kit includes the following components:
- Six 4 ‘sections of an epoxy hot stick
- Aluminum disconnect head for opening and closing switches and closed cutouts
- Non-metallic disconnect head for use in indoor substations where bus work and switches are nearby
- Plier head for use with 6 ” eye screw ground pliers This is used to apply and remove safety patterns
- Mower attachment with an additional stick and pull cable used to close the mower jaws
- Pruning saw
- Pistol grip saw handle for use when tree branches can be reached and insulation is not required
- Heavy duty vinyl impregnated storage case
Electricians working primarily in interior jobs may wish to substitute other tools for tree cutting and pruning attachments.
Handling Live Conductors with Hot Sticks can also be seen in telescopic & shotgun models. Hot sticks are sticks made of an insulating material
When to use Hot Stick?
A hot stick should be used to insulate and isolate the electrician from the possibility of electric shock , arc or blast.
Typical procedures requiring the use of hot sticks:
• voltage measurement
• Any repair or modification of live equipment
• Operation of disconnections and cutouts
• Application of safety patterns
How to use it?
The specifics of using hot sticks will depend on the task being performed and the location in which the worker is placed. As a general rule, if hot sticks are used, the worker should also wear other protective clothing .
At a minimum, rubber gloves and face shields should be used. However, many recommend that flash suits be worn as well, especially when security grounds are applied.
Handling live conductors with hot stick Before each use, the hot stick should be closely inspected for signs of physical damage which may affect its insulating ability. If the hot stick is cracked, split, or otherwise damaged, it should be removed from service .
Standard ASTM F 711 requires manufacturers to test hot sticks to very strict standards before selling them. Additionally, OSHA Standards require that hot sticks be inspected and / or tested periodically.
The following should be the minimum:
- Hot sticks should be inspected closely for damage or defects
a) Before each use
b) at least every two years
- If any damage or defects are found, the hot stick should be repaired or replaced
- Hot sticks should be electrically tested to ASTM F 711
a) Whenever an inspection reveals damage or defect
b) every two years
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