By Dave Rongey Summary:
Electrical Wiring Question:
I noticed a few web sites warned about not getting nicks in the wires as your stripping them.
Check Out What Others Are Sharing at Ask the Electrician: Great website! I just stumbled upon your website today. I wish I would have found it sooner... a lot great, useful information. Joe from Geneseo, New York
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
Electrical Wiring Video #2
Electrical Wiring Tips for Home Electrical Wiring Projects
Tripping Circuit Breaker, Outlet at a Wall Switch, Light Fixture without a Ground Wire, Help with Home Electrical Wiring Projects.
See more House Wiring Videos from Ask The Electrician:
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.
Converting a Fluorescent Light to Energy Efficient How to Convert a Fluorescent Light Fixture from Magnetic Ballast and T12 Lamps to Electronic Ballast and T8 Lamps: Electronic Ballast, Replacement Lamps, Lamp Sockets, Fluorescent Light Color Options, Procedure to Convert the Light Fixture Ballast and Lamps.
Wiring Pendulum Lights For A Creative Application How to Make Light Fixture Wiring Connections: The electrical junction box provides a safe enclosure for the wire connections, and it also provides a way to anchor the fixture, which usually the fixture has a plate or canopy that covers the opening of the fixture box.
Safety Guidelines For Light Fixture Projects How to Install Do-It-Yourself Electrical Wiring Projects - As with any project, electrical or otherwise - Safety is most important, then comes knowledge - they actually go hand-in-hand. Understand what you are planning to do and then understand all the safety factors involved before attempting the project.
Electrical Wiring Methods- Screw Terminals or Quick Connect Is it true that the older method of wiring switches and outlets is to attach the wiring to the screw terminals? How to Connect Wires to a Switch or Outlet: Best Practices for Electrical Wires for Outlets and Switches and Factors Relating to Electrical Connections.
How to Strip Electric Wire How to Remove Insulation from Electrical Wires: Stripping Electrical Wires Without Nicking the Wire, Methods of Stripping Electrical Wires and Making a Connection.
How to Install Wiring for a Second Light Fixture How to Install One or More Light Fixtures to an Existing Light Fixture: Wiring for More Light Fixtures, Preventing Circuit Overload by Calculating the New Circuit Load, Locating the Power Source, Making the Electrical Wiring Connections.
Intermediate to Advanced - Electrical Repairs and Circuit Wiring is Best Performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Basic Electricians Pouch of Hand Tools, a Voltage Tester and a Multi Meter.
Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools, work with electrical wiring, and the available access to the project area. Precaution:
Identify the project circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Modifying existing electrical circuits or installing additional electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
This is a testing tool that 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.
This is great to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring, 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.
A wire stripping tool used 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.
» How To Wire It RIGHT!« Wire it with Confidence! Fully Illustrated Instant Download Now You Can Wire it like a Pro!
I think your site offers the the clearest and best electrical information for homeowners I have ever seen on the net.You have given me confidence to do my own projects which I never had before. THANK YOU! Paul, from Foxboro, Massachusetts
I wish I found this site earlier, it is by far the best electrical related resource I have found on the web. George, from Scranton, Pennsylvania
I love this site for an office worker that does not know anything about electric wiring. Bill, from New York City, New York
This site is so much better than the 3 books I just bought, I wish I came here first. Collin, from Grand Rapids, Michigan
Thank you for answering my question.
I was able to get this done. This site is perfect. I am glad I found it. Please keep it going. Mike, from Chicago, Illinois