With a little electrical experience, you can save money by splicing into a home circuit on your own. In U.S. households, where electricity runs on a 110-volt system, that means splicing into a 110 circuit. Whether you are doing it to add a new outlet or add another switch onto an existing outlet, the main task is to join two or more wires into a "pigtail" at an outlet box.
Things You'll Need
- Wire cutter
- Sharp knife
- Wire stripper
Turn off the electricity to the wires being spliced by flipping the switch at the breaker. Plug something in or use a circuit tester to ensure that the electricity is actually off before commencing work.
Open the outlet box where you wish to splice the wires. In the outlet box, choose a hole to pull in the wire that needs to be spliced (the first wire will likely already be in the box). Push the hole cover out with your fingers and insert a cable clamp into the hole. Pull the new wire through the hole so that approximately nine inches of wire come into the box. Tighten the cable clamp with a screwdriver.
Open the plastic covering on both electrical cables by cutting it open with a sharp knife, about four inches from the end. Take the wires apart and remove the paper insulator.
Strip off 0.75 inches of the plastic insulator from the wires to be spliced. Do this by placing the wire stripper over the wire, tightening and pulling out towards the tip. Pull the insulator off the wire's end by twisting the wire stripper back and forth.
Hold the black wires from both cables together and twist in a clockwise manner with the pliers. Repeat with the two white wires.
Place the wire nut over the twisted wire ends. Clip the longer end of the wires if the ends are too far apart to accommodate the nut. When the nut fits, thread it into the twisted wires in a clockwise manner.
Pull on the wires to make sure they are secure.
Fold the wires back into the box. Close the cover on the box.
Tips & Warnings
- If in doubt, ask a licensed electrician to splice the wire for you. Do not risk an accident by attempting to splice a wire if you are unsure how to do it.
- Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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