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Discuss Cable spiking in the Commercial Electrical Advice area at ElectriciansForums.net

B

Bobster

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Well I was looking over some pictures on my camera, and came across these photos of a job where we needed to spike a cable. They were taken on site in my last job for my apprentices log book. Just thought it might interest some of the domestic lads on here who may never have seen it before.

The purpose of spiking a cable is the last test to prove its dead and safe to work on. This in particular cable is a 4core 75mm, and it was providing a supply for a DB which was made redundant as that part of the site was removed.

The spiking gun itself:



As you can see in the photo it pretty much is what it says on the tin, a gun that fires a spike through the armouring of a cable and then through one or more cores, this proves absolutely that the cable is dead, and if it isn't creates a large enough fault for circuit protection to work. As you can see we are packing the lower half of the gun with lead sheeting, this is because the cable is relatively small and the gun needs to be sat tight on the cable.



This is the gun tightened onto the cable, a 0.44 calibre firing cap is then inserted into the black tube. A length of string is attached to the firing pin, everyone is moved to a safe distance away and then bang. The string is pulled causing the spike to be shot through the cable, this being the aftermath:



I'll try and find some pictures of the firing cap mechanism and apologise for these being a bit rubbish (It was the apprentices fault honest lol)

Hope it proves to be informative for someone

Rob
 
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Nice post rob .....even for some of us older hands,

I can't remember the last time I did this must be 15-20 yrs ago. I always remember the apprentices wanted to fire it, but if memory serves me correctly you needed to be ticketed to do this.
 
B

Bobster

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
Good pics! I take it a firearms license is needed these days?
Yes the senior engineer had one, the ammunition and spiking gun were kept locked away.

Nice post rob .....even for some of us older hands,

I can't remember the last time I did this must be 15-20 yrs ago. I always remember the apprentices wanted to fire it, but if memory serves me correctly you needed to be ticketed to do this.
Correct, although on that particular site it was just the senior engineer who authorised people.
 
K

Knobhead

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Hope one of you had a firearms certificate. They are now needed for spike guns.
The pictures bring back memories.
 
G

Guest111

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
I remember seeing something similar when i was a lad,there were these blokes from manweb isolating a side street where all the houses were being knocked down and they opened up a junction box in the pavement attached 2 heavy leads with a big knife switch on one end and ran it about 10 feet from the box,one of them closed the switch by kicking it and there was a big flash and a bang quite fascinating when you are a kid.Anyway I went and asked what they were doing and apparently they couldn,t locate the fuses for that circuit so the easiest way out was to blow them.must admit I,ve been tempted myself on some old factory boards lol.
 
G

Geordie Spark

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
Well I was looking over some pictures on my camera, and came across these photos of a job where we needed to spike a cable. They were taken on site in my last job for my apprentices log book. Just thought it might interest some of the domestic lads on here who may never have seen it before.

The purpose of spiking a cable is the last test to prove its dead and safe to work on. This in particular cable is a 4core 75mm, and it was providing a supply for a DB which was made redundant as that part of the site was removed.

The spiking gun itself:



As you can see in the photo it pretty much is what it says on the tin, a gun that fires a spike through the armouring of a cable and then through one or more cores, this proves absolutely that the cable is dead, and if it isn't creates a large enough fault for circuit protection to work. As you can see we are packing the lower half of the gun with lead sheeting, this is because the cable is relatively small and the gun needs to be sat tight on the cable.



This is the gun tightened onto the cable, a 0.44 calibre firing cap is then inserted into the black tube. A length of string is attached to the firing pin, everyone is moved to a safe distance away and then bang. The string is pulled causing the spike to be shot through the cable, this being the aftermath:



I'll try and find some pictures of the firing cap mechanism and apologise for these being a bit rubbish (It was the apprentices fault honest lol)

Hope it proves to be informative for someone

Rob
Thanks for that !!

I had heard about this spiking business from a retired bloke who used to do it. The pictures you've shown have made it all clear to me now, but I have to ask ..........


........... could you not have just used a neon screwdriver ?? :tongue3:
 
Thanks for that !!

I had heard about this spiking business from a retired bloke who used to do it. The pictures you've shown have made it all clear to me now, but I have to ask ..........


........... could you not have just used a neon screwdriver ?? :tongue3:
Shame on you Geordie, everyone knows that a voltstick is the correct tool for that job:)
 
G

Geordie Spark

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Shame on you Geordie, everyone knows that a voltstick is the correct tool for that job:)

Wot's one o' them lyke ??? :whatchutalkingabout


Anyway, I'm retired ...... what's YOUR excuse for not grafting on this fine, sunny day ???
 
Last edited by a moderator:
B

Bobster

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
Shame on you Geordie, everyone knows that a voltstick is the correct tool for that job:)

Would be a brave man to get a hacksaw out to a cable using only a voltstick.
 
K

Knobhead

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
There’s plenty of brave (stupid) pikies out there.

I had a blazing row with a foreman when he told me to cut a cable in a trench, I refused until it was spiked. He tried to give me a written warning for refusing. He ended up with the written warning and his HV authorisation revoked.
 
G

Geordie Spark

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
No one wants my services today, there's a recession on ye knaa:)
Well I'm off t' me mate's ..... he wants a lightswitch shiftin. from one side of the door to the other. SOME of us can find work !! ;)
 
P

Paul Tuson

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #21
This is an excellent and very informative post.

I should be writing a blog shortly on hydraulic cable spiking guns. They do the same job without the requirement for a firearms license.

I will link it here as soon as it is written for your interest.

Paul.
 

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