How to Repair a Cut Power Cord

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You've got that weed whacker humming along and you turn suddenly and slice right through the power cord. Don't be discouraged, because you can repair the cord and be back to work quickly. But first, unplug the cord immediately. Exposed wires are a hazard, especially if it has been raining and the ground is wet. Then you may need a trip to the hardware store to get some heat-shrink tubing and possibly some crimping lugs. After you have these items, you should be back in business in no time.

Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Wire splicing tool
  • Pliers
  • Heat-shrink tubing
  • Crimping lugs (optional)
  • Cut 2 inches of sheathing from both cut ends of the cut power cord with a utility knife. Measure the total length of insulation that you removed and slide an appropriate length of heat-shrink tubing onto one of the sections of cord and slide the tubing out of the way.

  • Separate the wires inside the sheathing and remove 1/2 inch of insulation from the ends of all the wires with a wire splicing tool. Slide a length of heat-shrink tubing onto one half of each of the black, white and green wires. This tubing should be long enough to cover the splice when you are done. Use a smaller diameter tubing than the one you used for the power cord itself.

  • Join the black wires. If the wires are multi-strand, you can twist them together with pliers and bend the twisted wires down. If you have a soldering iron, a more effective way to join them is by soldering them with electrical solder. Use a crimp lug for single-strand wire. Insert the ends of the black wires into opposite ends of the lug and squeeze the ends of the lug with pliers to crimp the wires and hold them securely.

  • Slide the heat-shrink tubing over the repair and hold the flame of a cigarette lighter close until the tubing shrinks. Don't let the flame contact the tubing or it may melt.

  • Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the white and green wires.

  • Slide the larger diameter tubing along the power cord until it covers the repair and then shrink it with a lighter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Heat-shrink tubing will provide adequate insulation for outdoor use, but if you want to take extra precautions, wrap the repair with electrical tape.
  • An alternative for a cut power cord is to attach a male plug to the end that is attached to the tool and use an extension cord to plug it in.
  • Do not rely on electrical tape alone to insulate your repair. It can shrink, peel or slide out of place, exposing the wires.

References

  • Photo Credit The puppy of a great dane playing with a cord image by Rey Kamensky from Fotolia.com
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