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.© By: Dave Rongey
Removing Insulation from Electrical Wire
Electrical Question: What is the best way to strip the insulation off of a wire?
- Is it code and proper practice to strip the insulation off of electrical wires without cutting or nicking the wire?
- I want to run a 110Volt 20Amp mixed lighting and outlet circuit in my basement.
- The way it has to be laid out is there are 2 porcelain 2-terminal pull chain light fixtures UPSTREAM of 2 outlets in a “T” formation run. I will be using 12 gauge single conductor wire run inside EMT and using all metal boxes.
- The 12 gauge wire is thick, and hard to work with, and the screw terminals on the porcelain are very small and somewhat flimsy.
- My question is specifically, is it code and proper practice to strip each wires insulation without cutting the wire, then form a loop to make the connection at the switched porcelain fixtures, so that there is no chance of poor upstream connections for the down-stream outlets, and less chance of voltage drops, arcing or heat?
The other issue is that trying to put two 12 gauge stripped wire connections on the porcelain fixtures is very difficult due to the small terminal size, and thick wire.
- I have actually seen this done from time to time with ground wires in industrial applications where conduit was used, but cannot recall ever seeing done with the mains.
- I know from practical experience that this is SAFE and a common sense approach, but for the life of me, I don’t know if it is code or common practice with others.
Thank you in advance for your advice!
This electrical question came from: Tom, a Handyman from Detroit, Michigan.
Additional Comments: Awesome Web Site!
Thanks for your electrical question Tom.
How to Remove Insulation from Electrical Wires
Application: Stripping Electrical Wire.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, pliers and wire stripper tool.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and electrical circuit wiring.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Stripping Electrical Wires Without Nicking the Wire
- Yes Tom, when stripping the electrical wire you can just remove the insulation from the wire which will allow you to make a loop for attaching the wire to the light fixture screw terminal.
Methods of Stripping Electrical Wires and Making a Connection
Electrical Tip: Stripping wire correctly is best accomplished by using a good pair of wire strippers that have the built in wire gauge which is visible on the side of the tool.
- Wire Stripping Example for a #12 or #14 gauge wire:
- The length of insulation to remove from the end of the wire is typically one inch long.
- The portion of bare wire should not be nicked or damaged.
- Wire Splicing Example for #12 or #14 gauge wires:
- Before splicing wires together select a wire connector that is approved for the number of wires of the wire gauge to be spliced together.
- When splicing multiple wires together, each wire may be stripped longer than one inch.
- Create the splice by bringing the wires together in a group.
- Aligning the ends of insulation together.
- Using a pair of electricians pliers twist the wires together in a clockwise rotation about one turn or less. This will ensure a solid connection for the group of wires.
- Trim off any excess wire longer than one inch, or the excess over the amount recommended by the splice connector.
- Examples of Wire Strippers
- Klein Tools™ Wire Stripper/Cutter with Solid and Stranded Wire.
- Commercial Electric™ 7 in. Wire Stripper and Cutter.
- Examples of Wire Connectors
- 3M™ Scotchlock™ 2 Connector, Yellow/Red Wing Style.
- Ideal™ Wing-Nut Wire Connector 452 Red.
- DryConn™ Waterproof Wire Connectors.
- Examples of Electrician Pliers
- Klein Tools™ 9 in. High-Leverage Side-Cutting Pliers with Crimping Die.
- Klein Tools™ 9 In. Journeyman High-Leverage Side-Cutting Pliers – Heavy-Duty Cutting.
IMPORTANT: The objective with all electrical connections is to create a solid connection with other wires or attachment terminal of an electrical device. A loose or improper connection will contribute to circuit failure.
More about Electrical Wiring Methods
Electrical Wiring: Wire Stripping
Electrician Explains the Process of Wire Stripping
Electrical Wiring: Wiring for Wire stripping guidelines
Electrician Explains Wire stripping guidelines, and how to strip wire.
Splicing electrical wires can be done safely when you understand the method. This example shows you step by step the process of splicing electrical wires.
How to Splice Electrical Wires
Electrical Code Articles
Electrical Code Directory covering methods of electrical wiring.
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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