Cable jointers are highly skilled technicians that specify in preparing electrical cables for jointing or termination. They generally have been trained over a 4-year apprenticeship to sharpen their skills in cable preparation as electrical cables, especially those in the high voltage range, require very specific installation instructions and are required to be prepared to extremely precise measurements. A cable jointers duties include but are not limited to:
- Installing conductors and aerial equipment, as well as underground cables and equipment.
- Installing and maintaining equipment associated with electrical supply, such as transformers.
- Attending to electrical breakdowns and emergencies.
- Conducting routine maintenance on aerial and underground electrical supply network.
- Conducting LV-HV switching operations.
- Preparing LV and HV cable joints and terminations, while connecting and installing electrical equipment and overhead lines.
Cable joiners are generally very adaptable technicians, working in a range of different environments from underground cable pits in crowded public places to overhead powerlines in very remote places around the country. The conditions of their work site can sometimes be very unpleasant, such as cable trenches in wet conditions to high voltage switchgear with a very restricted workspace. These environments can make it difficult to prepare an electrical cable to very specific dimensions whilst maintaining a clean environment. In some instances, workers are required to do works in isolated areas with extreme weather conditions such as extreme heat.
Cable manufacturers worldwide require jointers to be certified to install their equipment. This means cable jointers generally have to prove their skills under training conditions to obtain certification. This ensures that jointers are suitably qualified and competent to complete the task for clients to receive manufacturer warranties on their assets. This training requires the jointers to prepare and install the manufacturers equipment to very precise dimensions with no tolerance for error. The higher the voltage of the cabling system, the more precise these dimensions must be.
Generally, all cables must be prepared exactly the same and to the manufacturer requirements, which leaves little interpretation from the jointer. However, every jointer has a signature. This is usually how they prepare their screen wires to connect to the earthing system. Some jointers are not so concerned with the aesthetics of their screen wires, whereas others are very particular and go to great lengths to ensure a neat job. The standards of a cable jointer can generally be judged by how they prepare their screen wires.
Overall, cable jointing technicians are some of the most skilled technicians I have come across in the industry. While they are generally exposed to undesirable working conditions, their attitudes to completing a job properly is of the highest standard. They are very sought after and valued in the industry and the performance of the network is an excellent indicator of their workmanship.
Have you ever met a cable jointing technician? Do you work with one? What experiences have you had with them?