Electrical cables, when damaged, are fire hazards. Not only that, you may electrocute yourself when you touch a damaged electrical cable. Knowing these facts make people careful when dealing with electrical cables. Nevertheless, accidents do happen.
Should this unfortunate accident happen in your home, here are some things you should do:
- Switch off all power sources. Go to your circuit breaker and switch everything off, even for the connections with undamaged electrical cables. It is better to switch everything off to prevent electrocution.
- Cut the cable covering. Make a slit near the damaged rubber covering of the cable. Expose the electrical cables that are inside for you to have a good look.
- Inspect the conductors. Take a good look at each electrical cable and watch out for signs of damage, broken wires, or burns. If there are no damages, proceed to the next step. If there are, you will need to see the next section of this article.
- Cover the exposed electrical cables with electrical tape. Make sure to separate each conductor. Wrap them individually with electrical tape. After that, cover the damaged rubber cable covering with electrical tape.
In some cases, damage to electrical cables is serious enough to affect each electrical cable inside the rubber covering. You cannot just repair this by wrapping everything up in electrical tape. For one, when the wires are cut, there will be no electric current passing through. Secondly, there will be an electrical spark once the wrong wires touch each other. Here are the things you need to do should this happen:
- Follow the first three mentioned steps above. Basically, it is only when you have already done the first three steps will you see the need to do the more serious repairs.
- Cut the damaged sections of the wires. Also cut around half an inch of the rubber covering to expose the ends. You will need to expose the ends to be able to make a connection.
- Prepare the materials needed for reconnection. You will need a metal junction box to place the wires in. Consider the number of wires that will be put in in buying the appropriate size. Also prepare around 2 feet of 8-3G cable, four ¾ inch cable clamps, and some wire nuts.
- Connect the wires. Arrange the ends of the wires in the metal junction box correctly meaning, the colors of each electrical cable will be your guide. Secure each wire with the cable clamps. Get the ends of the wires of the same color and twist them. Interlock each strand carefully. Secure the connection with the wire nut. Pull the wires to see if your connection is secure. Follow the same procedure with the remaining wires. Apply proper grounding.
- Install the cover plate of the metal junction box. Fasten the box to your wall or ceiling with large cable staples or cable straps.
While modern homes have circuit breakers that prevent fires springing from damaged electrical cables from happening, they should not be left damaged for obvious reasons.