You can splice a broken or damaged speaker wire at home with some simple tools and techniques that will permanently repair the wire, making it last many years. This allows you to put your speakers back in use for just pennies, using methods that create a functional and aesthetically pleasing final result. In-line wire splicing for low-voltage circuits is one of the most common repairs.
Things You'll Need
- Wire cutter or utility knife
- Wire stripper
- Heat-shrink tubing
- Electronic soldering iron with stand
- Rosin core solder
- Black electrical tape
Prepare the Wire
Lay the wire flat and make a clean cut about an inch from the damaged section of each end of the wire. Cut through both conductors if they are part of the same wire bundle, and separate the conductors for about 2 inches from the cut.
Strip about 1/2 inch of insulation from the end of each conductor, and if the conductor is a braided wire, give it a gentle twist to keep the individual strands from becoming frayed.
Cut two lengths of heat-shrink tubing to about 3/4 of an inch. Slide one length of tubing over each of the conductors on the speaker side of the cable.
Preheat the soldering iron for about three minutes.
Make the Connection
Identify the matching conductors on each end of the cable, typically indicated by the colored stripe on one conductor, so that the connection is made using the correct polarity instead of reversing it.
Line up one set of conductors to point at each other, and overlap the stripped ends for the length of the stripped insulation so that they are side by side.
Wrap the two stripped ends gently around each other for two or three twists to hold them together temporarily. At this stage the conductors should form a straight line from one end of the cable to the other.
Press the hot tip of the soldering iron onto the junction of the two conductors for about a second, and then place the tip of the solder onto the conductors near the iron until the solder starts to melt. Push down on the solder for a brief moment to melt some solder into the junction, and then remove the iron and the solder. Allow the junction to cool for a moment.
Slide the shrink tubing down the conductor and center it over the soldered junction. Place the hot tip of the soldering iron just 1/4 inch below the shrink tubing and allow the heat to shrink the tubing to fit the junction. Move the iron back and forth, and rotate the junction until it has fully formed around the conductor. Repeat these steps for the other conductor.
Wrap a small amount of black electrical tape around both conductors starting about an inch from where the splice is and proceeding to an inch on the other side of the splice using a slow, rolling motion.
Tips & Warnings
- Experiment with the right diameter heat shrink tubing to best fit the project.
- The soldering iron tip is extremely hot and can cause burns or ignite various substances it comes in contact with.
- Using too much solder can cause drips and burns.
- Keeping the heat on the wire for too long will melt additional insulation, and may cause the heat shrink tubing to shrink prematurely.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images