SPIKE Tool Inc. is the world's largest supplier of cable spiking tools.
Making electrical cable safety our #1 priority since 1975.
The SPIKE Tool
Cable maintenance personnel must positively ensure an underground electric power cable is de-energized prior to cutting. SPIKE Tool plays an important role in this process.
Responsible electric power system operating and maintenance procedures stipulate that prior to cutting underground or buried electric power cable, it should be spiked to ensure it is de-energized.
SPIKE Tool is designed as a safety device for maintenance linemen to prevent injury or loss of life.
SPIKE Tool is designed for single conductor cable.
What is SPIKE?
SPIKE Tool is a portable, low-velocity, charge-actuated device. SPIKE pushes a 2" spike into a single conductor cable to help line and cable personnel verify that it is de-energized prior to cutting. SPIKE Tool is designed to be operated remotely at a distance of approximately 35 feet to prevent potential injury to personnel.
What Does SPIKE Do?
SPIKE Tool is a safety tool designed to keep electrical personnel safe. SPIKE pierces a cables neutral or sheath and its insulation through to the main conductor. By breaking down the cable insulation, an arcing fault is created if the cable is energized prior to cutting. If the cable is de-energized, there will be no fault. SPIKE creates minimal damage to the cable.
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Why SPIKE a Cable?
Unlike overhead electric power distribution systems, underground or hidden power cable systems cannot be visually traced back to an open point to ensure the cable is isolated.
If, for example, a new transformer must be cut into an existing feeder, a lineman positioning the new transformer between two termination points would be required to cut into a cable. Upon opening a trench, the lineman could see a number of cables identical in appearance. It is difficult to determine which one within the group has been isolated at the termination points.
"As constructed" drawings are often used as a means of identifying cables between termination points but this does not constitute a positive identification. If a trench is dug between two termination points for maintenance purposes, linemen must be certain the cable is de-energized before they cut the cable.
As an overall procedure, it is first recommended that the cable to be cut is identified by the use of "as constructed" drawings. Next, an electronic signal or other electronic means should be used according to local procedures to further identify the cable to be cut. This process should substantially reduce the probability of cutting a live cable.
To provide further assurance that the de-energized cable to be cut has correctly been identified, the last step should be to spike the cable before it is cut. If switching procedures were incorrectly followed or if "as constructed" drawings are in error, cutting a live cable in a trench can be lethal. Detailed instructions of SPIKE Tool operation can be found in the Spike Tool Manual. Please read them carefully.
Don't risk it, SPIKE it.