Saturday, March 1, 2014

How to strip/splice wire

Wire Stripping

This is a little side shoot from what I've been covering lately, but stripping wire is something you'd better know how to do when doing any home electrical job.

Hey, why re-invent the wheel?  I've linked to a few youtube video's that I thought looked decent.



So I have two of the smaller style wire stripper pliers, but that only works on wire up to 10ga.  For my Generator Transfer Switch series (Part 1) (Part 2), I used some 6ga wire to go between the main panel and the sub-panel.  So if you are going to do a project like I did, do yourself a favor... buy a wire stripper/electrician's pliers that can handle wire up to 4ga.

If you never use your pliers on 6ga or 4ga, you may be out $8.  But on the other hand, if you do need it and don't have it, you could be out one drive to and from the hardware store, the time it took, plus buying a SECOND pair of electrical pliers (not that two pairs are a bad thing!).  In my book, it's worth it to spend the extra $8 to buy the bigger set of pliers.

Wire Splicing

Yep, I'm going to need to do this too.  Some of the wires going to my main panel are not going to be long enough to stretch over to the new sub-panel.  I've never done this, so I thought I'd share some of my research with you... take a look:

Oh, I plan on using wire nuts.  I bought the yellow ones because I am splicing two 12ga wires... if I remember correctly.  I'm going to make the splice inside a junction box, because that's what code requires.  Here's a look at junction boxes:

A typical junction box, often used to house switches.

One quick thought: Depending on how many wire you need to splice, the box above may not be big enough.  I'll be sure to post pictures of how I did it in the future.  Also remember to get the wire clamps!  These protect the wires from sharp edges and getting pulled out in case your children decide to swing from the wires in the basement... I'm sure it's happened before!

Above are two examples of the cable clamps you are looking for.  They are going to be with the rest of the conduit fittings at the hardware store, or you can get them from AmazonNote: If you are doing a big project, save money on a bulk pack.


Junction Box Splices These guys have a nice page on junction boxes.  I don't know if I'd go all out and twist my wires up like that though. has a pretty good page showing wire nuts, junction boxes, cable clamps... the works.  I say it's worth a quick look!

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