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Electrical Slang

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

They are both electrical slang terms!

Curious about what these and other slang terms mean?

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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When you absolutely don't want your beam clamp to have the chance to slip off the beam, one of the two adjustable style beam clamps is the one to use. The standard style (E-160) has a fixed bottom where the threaded rod is attached and the swivel (E-165) lets the threaded rod adjust left and right. To use these clamps on an I-beam, the flange can't exceed .8" and the hook rod which comes in sizes 6, 9 or 12" must reach.

Beam Clamp - Adjustable Image



Typically though of as the goo used in compression and split-bolt connections where aluminum wire is used, the PENETROX product is an oxide-inhibiting grease designed to create an air-tight and moisture resistant joint. The goal is to prevent the oxidation or corrosion of the metal products used in the electrical connection. Depending upon the type of metals found in the joint, you would use a specific version of the product containing suspended particles designed for that metal. Type "A" contains Copper particles and is used for Aluminum to Copper or Aluminum to Conduit (Steel). Type "B" contains Zinc particles and is used where the metals are all aluminum. It has found favor in a number of industries, such as Ham Radio operators, where the grease acts as a lubricant for threaded connections and reduces the chance of them seizing down the road.

Dielectric Grease Image



Split bolt connector (looks like someone taped over a bug) used to mechanically join two or more wires together.

Hey Jim-Bob I need three #6 bugs right quick.

Split Bolt Connector 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."

Minerallac® Image



When a fitting is not required by NEC, you use this insulating bushing to protect data cables coming out of exposed EMT.

Bang On Bushing Image



Converts lampholder socket to a polarized 2-prong plug.



A fuse found in amperage sizes greater than 60amp. If you are asked for a knife blade safety switch, it refers to a 100amp or greater switch because the 60amp will be a cartridge style fuse. Safety switches come in 30a, 60a, and then jump to 100a although knife fuses are available starting at 70a, 80a, etc. The item code shown below is a reference to one type of fuse and isn't an indication at all of what the customer wants. You need to know amperage, voltage, UL Class, interrupting rating and most importantly, application.

Knife Blade Fuse Image


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