When a power cable is damaged, splicing --- or joining together --- its two frayed ends is one low-cost way to make it functional again. Though splicing power cables can save you money and a trip to the hardware store, it should only be attempted by someone with at least entry-level knowledge of electronics and wiring. Take your time and concentrate when splicing to avoid further damage to the cable.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Wire cutters
- 1/4-inch diameter heat shrink tubing
- Wire strippers
- Soldering iron
- Heat shrink tubing (50 per cent larger than the diameter of the cable)
- Electrical tape
Unplug the cord from its power source.
Trim the ends of the two separated pieces of cable with your cutters, removing frayed, wet or oxidised wires.
Cut a piece of 1/4-inch diameter heat shrink tubing about 6 inches long.
Remove 4 inches of jacket from each piece of the cable with wire strippers.
Untwist the exposed wires on each piece of cable. Straighten the exposed wires.
Remove any filler material from the wires.
Slide the cut heat shrink over the tubing on both pieces of the cable.
Cut the hot wire of the left-hand piece of cable, 2 inches from the jacket.
Cut the neutral wire of the left-hand piece of cable 3 inches from the jacket.
Cut the ground wire of the right-hand piece of cable 2 inches from the jacket.
Cut the neutral wire of the right-hand piece of cable 3 inches from the jacket.
Strip all the wires down 1 inch.
Cut three 1 1/2-inch pieces of 1/4-inch heat shrink tubing.
Slip one piece of tubing over each wire.
Cross the stripped neutral wires at their midpoint and twist them around each other in opposing directions. Twist until the wires are tightly wound around each other.
Solder the wires together.
Center the 1/4-inch heat shrink tubing over the new splice and shrink the tubing.
Repeat the twisting, soldering and heat shrinking process for the hot and ground wires.
Center a piece of heat shrink tubing about 50 per cent greater than the diameter of the cable over the newly spliced ends of the cable and shrink it.
Wrap the spliced cables with electrical tape tightly and thoroughly.
Tips and warnings
- Splicing works for most three and two-wire power cords.
- Do not cut the cable's ground wires at any time.
- Always splice in a completely dry environment.
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