Performing simple electrical repair is not a big deal. What is a big deal is the numerous improper ways in which DIY home electricians crimp and trim electrical wire. As you will see from the following, there is only one correct procedure. If you currently use any of the incorrect methods, you may be in a for a shock-- literally.
Trimming and Stripping the Wire
- Make sure you are using a wire trimmer. This cuts bits of the plastic protective coating off of the end of your wire and exposes the copper and metal filaments.
- If you squeeze the wire trimmers too hard, you will cut through the wires themselves, so gentle pressure is key (especially with really thin gauge wire).
- Then, very gently, pull the plastic coating off with your fingers. NEVER use your teeth, lips or mouth and ALWAYS make sure the power is off if you are dealing with a connected wire.
- It is also important to try and trim the plastic coating at an angle on both sides so that when you pull the coating off, you get a nice angular rest for your fingers and the component into which the wire is thread.
Now the wire is ready to be inserted into the fuse or hole.
Crimping a Wire
More shocking than using your teeth and mouth to trim and strip a wire is the use of ANY tool to crimp a wire. Only a wire crimpers should be used because the wire crimpers will not damage or destroy the wire. People have been known to use scissors, screwdrivers, blunt-end tools like the prying ends of a hammer or a crowbar, etc. These are NOT proper or effective tools for crimping wires. The damage you could cause the wires could result in electrical fires and arcing electrical sparks. If you are not sure of the best grip and pressure for a crimpers, have an electrician like one from Narducci Electric show you how it is done before you attempt it yourself.
A Final Word on Electrical Safety
As with any electrical project, turn the power off. Cut it completely if you are going to work on any wires that are currently installed and would otherwise be "live." Even as you work with the power off, still treat every wire as though it is live and use the correct tools for the job. There are reasons why electricians use very specific tools, and when doing your own electrical repairs, you should follow the electricians' examples.