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How to join electrical cable

Updated February 21, 2017

Working with electrical cables should never be taken lightly, no matter what skill level one has attained. Following a few careful steps will help you to know how to correctly join and secure electrical cables in a safely enclosed junction box. Most connections with electrical lines are made in the attic or in the wall where the junction box is mounted. Be sure to consult a licensed electrician before beginning your project.

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  1. Turn off the power to the electrical lines to be worked with at the main circuit panel. The main circuit panel is typically located in the garage or utility room.

  2. Mount the junction box to the rafter or stud where the wires that you wish to join come together. Mount the box using the screwdriver and included screws in the kit.

  3. Knock out a couple of the punch out holes on the side of the junction box and pull about 6 inches of each of the wires through the holes and out the top.

  4. Strip back about 3 inches of the outer sheathing on each of the cables, using the utility knife. Be careful to not cut into the interior wires inside the cable. Cut down the side of the sheathing and peel it back and cut it away from the cable.

  5. Strip off about 1 1/2 inches of insulation from each of the wires inside the cable. There will be three or four wires, depending on the size of cable being connected. One wire will be bare and not need stripping.

  6. Black Wire = Hot Red Wire = Hot (if included) White Wire = Neutral Bare Wire = Ground Wire

  7. Twist each of the same colour wires together in a clockwise direction, using the pliers.

  8. Twist on a wire nut to each wire connection. Wrap electrical tape around the wire nut to secure to the end of the wire.

  9. Push the wire back into the junction box and mount the cover plate over the top, using the screwdriver and included screws.

  10. Turn the power back on at the main circuit panel.

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Things You'll Need

  • Junction box kit
  • Screwdriver (Phillips/flathead)
  • Utility knife
  • Wire cutters/strippers
  • Electrical pliers
  • Wire nuts
  • Electrical tape

About the Author

Billy Brainard graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Trinity College. As the department chairman he was responsible for creating and writing the curriculum for 7-12 grade students. Currently he writes for eHow and works part time helping employees by creating and writing resumes to help in their job search.

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