How To Strip an Electrical Wire

Need to have some basic electrical wire stripping done in your home? Electrical wire stripping that's done neatly and accurately can ensure safe and durable electrical connections. If you're sure you want to do it yourself, you need not worry because it's one of the easiest DIY electrical wiring projects you can do. But that doesn't mean to say you can throw caution to the wind. Follow these simple steps for how to strip an electrical wire.

  1. Mark the wires to strip. To avoid stripping or even cutting the wrong wires, you should mark the wires you intend to strip with a bit of electrical tape or a colored marker.
  2. Use specialized wire stripping tools. Any technician or handyman knows that you can strip all sorts of cables and wires whether it's a home wire, ground wire, or power wire, with just the use of a utility knife or even a sharp pocket knife. But sometimes for first-timers and especially if one is not accurate in using a knife, the copper wire itself might also be cut accidentally. We all know that nicked wires make you susceptible to electrical ground. It also leads to overheating of the wires that can seriously damage appliances plugged to an electrical socket, and in worst case scenarios, even cause a fire. To be on the safe and accurate side, it's best if you would use a specialized wire stripping tool instead. A wire stripping tool has many holes of different sizes, where you can put the wires through, and cutting blades that cut off the wire insulation. It's relatively cheap and affordable and can be bought at any hardware store. It's a practical investment and a handy multipurpose tool you should have in your home.
  3. Estimate and mark the cutting point. Allow for at least 1-2 inches of wire insulation to cut off. If you're not sure about your estimated cutting point, you can use a ruler to measure the 1 or 2-inch point and mark it.
  4. Put the wire through the right hole in your wire stripper. Make sure that you know the size of the wire that you're going to strip. Pick up your wire stripper and look for the correct hole or the notch that has the same measurement for the size of your wire. Place the wire through the hole or the notch and position it exactly over the cutting point that you marked earlier.
  5. Cut the wire insulation. Squeeze the wire stripper to cut through the wire insulation. Do this slowly but gently. If you grip or squeeze too hard, you might accidentally cut off the wire. Remember that you are not cutting off the wire itself. You are just going to strip off the insulation or the wire's protective covering. Do this until you have cut off the entire marked portion.
  6. Pull off the wire insulation. Gently pull off or peel away the wire insulation. This may be a bit tricky to do because if it doesn't pull off easily, you might have to bend the wires to get it off.
  7. Last reminders. To make the wires straight, trim when necessary. If you accidentally cut through the electrical wire, you have to repeat steps 3-6 until you get it right.

Relax and don't be too nervous when stripping an electrical wire. It's very easy to do. All you need are the right tools, and pay attention when cutting the wire insulation to avoid cutting through electrical wires.


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