How to Splice Electrical Wires Safely


Like water running through a garden hose, electricity must have an uninterrupted path from source to destination. If an electrical wire should become damaged, it will not be able to transfer current. Additionally, a shorted wire can be dangerous as it has the potential to cause shock and start a fire. In order to safely splice electrical wire, the repaired connection must be properly joined and insulated to ensure safe and reliable power transmission.

Things You'll Need

  • Marking pen
  • Electrical pliers
  • Wire nuts
  • Electrical tape
  • Turn off the power to the circuit with the broken wire at the service panel. If you are repairing an extension cord or the power cord to an appliance, unplug the cord from the outlet.

  • Mark the damaged section of a power cord, with the marking pen, on both sides of the damaged area. This will allow you to keep from getting the hot, neutral and ground wires confused when recounting, as some cords do not have color coded wires.

  • Cut the electrical cable in half at the break with the electrical pliers. Trim the cable so all wires in the cable or cord are the same length on both sides of the cut. This will allow you to reconnect the cable evenly.

  • Strip 1/2-inch of insulation from the ends of the marked wire with the electrical pliers. Insert both ends of the marked wire into a wire nut. Twist the nut with your fingers until the nut is tight to the wires. Wrap the nut with electrical tape to prevent it from coming loose. Repeat the procedure with the wire the on the opposite side of the cable, and then with the bare ground wire, if the cord is so equipped. On electrical cords, the ground wire will usually be slightly smaller in diameter than the hot and neutral wires.

  • Connect the ends of the same color wires, when working with circuit wiring. Insert the two ends of the black hot wire into a wire nut, twist the nut tight and tape the nut in place. Repeat with the white neutral wire and the bare ground wire. For extra safety tape the three wire nuts together with electrical tape.

Tips & Warnings

  • To ensure a tight splice, select wire nuts that are the same gauge as the wire being spliced.

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  • "Wiring 1-2-3"; Steve Corey; 2005
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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