I accidentally cut into a wire is there anything I can do?
I cut into an electrical wire in the wall. How can I fix it? How to Splice or Repair an Electrical Wire or Cable, Avoid a potential fire hazard and future problems with damaged electrical wires or cables.
Splicing or Repairing an Electrical Wire or Cable
Electrical Question: I cut into an electrical wire in the wall. How can I fix it?
I was cutting out a piece of drywall, when I accidentally cut into a wire in the wall.
- I think it is electrical, it is thick and white, and inside it looks like I have broken a yellowish layer.
- I have electrical tape, but I am worried about it being a fire hazard.
- Is there anything I can do to make sure it is not dangerous?
This electrical wiring question came from Scott, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Scott.
How to Splice or Repair an Electrical Wire or Cable
Application: Splicing Electrical Wiring.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Certified Electrician or Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Important: Burnt or damaged wiring and circuit components should be replaced with new electrical materials of the same voltage and amperage rating.
Notice: Repairs to Home Electrical Wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes and installing new or replacement electrical parts or equipment may require to have a permit and be inspected.
Avoid Potential Fire Hazard and Future Problems from Damaged Electrical Wires
- The outside protective covering of a multi-wire cable is called the sheath. If the cable is inside a wall and sheath has been nicked then carefully wrap the outside with electrical tape is OK.
- If the damage has gone beyond the outside sheath and damage has occurred to the insulation of enclosed wire then the cable may need to be properly spliced.
- This is best accomplished by a qualified electrician who can identify the wire, examine the damage and make a decision about what needs to be done.
- In cases where cables have had considerable damage
- The cable will need to be cut.
- Place the cable into an approved accessible junction box.
- A new length of wire would be installed from the new junction box which will replace the original remaining length of wire to the destination or existing junction box.
- In some cases, and depending on access, a second accessible junction box may be required.
- If it is not possible to replace the remaining length of cable then a cable loop is installed between two junction boxes.
- If there is enough slack in the wire then an approved inline splice can be installed using just one accessible junction box.
- This is something that should be examined by an experienced electrician who can make a professional assessment and the necessary repairs.
SAFETY NOTE and CODE COMPLIANCE
All junction boxes and electrical splices must be accessible.
More about Splicing Electrical Wiring
Splicing Electrical Wires
Electrical Junction Box Splice
For more information about Electrical Safety:
Electrical junction box splices can be made safely when you understand the method. This example will show you how its done step by step and shows how to make a junction box splice and the related electrical codes.
Emergency Electrical Splices
Wiring Electrical Codes
For Best Results Consult a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Locate An Electrical Contractor in Your Area
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!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, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard 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.
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