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wiring home generator and transfer switch wiring a 220 volt range cord outlet Wiring for GFCI Outlets Wiring Outlets and a Switched Outlet How to Installing and Wire Ceiling Fans and Remote Controls wire dimmer switch wiring diagrams for switches wiring a dryer cord and 220 outlet circuit breaker panel
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Wire Stripping


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Summary: Electrical Wiring Question: I noticed a few web sites warned about not getting nicks in the wires as your stripping them.


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Electrical Troubleshooting Question:
I noticed a few web sites warned about not getting nicks in the wires as your stripping them. I only found this mentioned on a few web sites but it got me wondering about it. Is this really true or not because using wire nuts to connect wires or wiring a switch(screwing the wire down) is going to scratch up the wires anyway?

When I unscrewed the last wire nuts I used, I saw it had cut deep gashes in the ends of the wires(18ga) I was connecting. If its true, what should I consider a nick: a deep cut, a scratch, or anything I can feel that isn't smooth?

Almost every time I strip the wire, there is at least some nick or scratch at the cutting/stripping point, sometimes hidden by the insulation.
Thanks for any help Mike.




Hi Mike, Great Electrical Repair Question!
I think the main concern is to not nick the insulation, however a severe nick in the copper or aluminum wire could cause the wire to break off. The only time this could really be a problem is when a person uses a pair of wire strippers and uses the wrong gage, for example stripping a #12 in the #14 slot. This can cause the wire to break off. I would not worry about the marks the wire nuts put on the wire, that is the spring material that grips the wires and keeps them together firmly. The same goes for the marks made on the wire from the terminals of a switch etc. You want the wire to be firmly tight, not just snug. Be very careful when it comes to internet advise, there are a lot of unqualified people answering questions who have never worked in the field as an electrician!

Thank you for the information. I thought the same thing about taking advise from the internet but the article came from PopularMechanics.com and I wasn't sure how credible they were

The little I knew about that magazine was for automotive advise.
The article is at http://www.popularmechanics.com/home_journal/tools/1274236.html?page=2 Here is what some of it says: "That last point is an important one. If you nick a conductor in the process of stripping it, you've created a stress riser that could lead to a crack forming. This is especially the case with connections that experience a heavy current load. The heating and cooling action can cause a nick to form into a crack. Eventually, the current can end up traveling through a much smaller cross section than the original wire had. The result is that the wire gets overheated and this further propagates the crack. Eventually the wire will burn through. Aside from the risk of fire, this can also lead to an open circuit. There are several things you want to avoid. Most importantly, don't nick the conductor. Pay attention and insert the wire into the correct stripping hole. Properly stripped wire has no tool marks on it."

I just can't see how that last statement can be true unless you use a gauge one size larger to cut your wire, and then twist the insulation off.
Thanks


Home Electrical Wiring

Wire a GFCI Outlet without a Ground Wire

Helping You Wire it Right

NOTE: A List of All my Helpful Videos
Will Display at the End of This Video
So Keep Watching So I Can Help You Wire it Right!

Check out my YouTube Channel:
» AskTheElectrician «
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  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Includes:
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.




Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.





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