Here For Maintenance Line-Workers 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 which 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.
The unique benefits provided by SPIKE Tool are:
- SPIKE Tool plays a critical role in providing assurance that cable is not energized prior to cutting.
- SPIKE Tool is operated remotely, thereby removing cable maintenance personnel from danger if an energized cable is spiked.
- SPIKE Tool can be used on thermoplastic or thermosetting insulation.
- SPIKE Tool can be used on aluminum and lead-sheathed cable and armoured cables.
- SPIKE Tool is designed to ensure the spike pierces the cable directly through its center core.
- SPIKE Tool creates minimal cable damage in de-energized cable.
- SPIKE Tool is not cumbersome to use in the field. It weighs only seven pounds.
- SPIKE Tool is fast and easy to operate.
- SPIKE Tool is proudly made and assembled in Canada.
- A larger tool accommodates cable sizes up to 3-1/2" OD.
What Does SPIKE Do?
SPIKE Tool is a safety tool designed for the sole purpose of piercing a cable's 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 and 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.
SPIKE Tool Bonding
SPIKE Tool is designed to pierce a cable's insulation and create a cable fault if the cable is energized. Bonding SPIKE Tool to a solid system ground is important to provide a path for fault current to operate system protection, should an energized cable be spiked.
SPIKE Tool should be bonded to ground by using the 25mm ball stud provided or the split bolt connector supplied prior to July 2018. Using 1/0 AWG copper for the split bolt connector should be limited to system fault currents not exceeding 10k Amps. The 25mm ball stud is able to handle fault currents up to 20k Amps. Click here for the Lab Test. This test constitutes a part of the manual and should be read carefully before field use of SPIKE Tool.
Don't Guess... SPIKE It!
Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
25 Broadway Avenue, Unit 2301
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