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Stripping and Splicing Wire


Stripping and Splicing Wire


Two basic skills required for most minor electrical projects are stripping and splicing wires. Stripping wire is removing the wire’s insulation to access the bare wire it covers. Splicing wire is the process of joining two or more pieces of wire together.


According to the National Electrical Code (NEC), wire splices must be contained in junction boxes, which are required to be covered and accessible in case you need to work on the wires in the future.


Check with local building authorities before working on a household electrical project to ensure your project meets local electrical code standards. You may need to obtain a permit and have your work inspected by a licensed professional electrician.


This project guide will walk you step by step through stripping and splicing wire, two skills you can easily master with just a couple of tools.




• Practice stripping and splicing scrap wire before beginning your project.

• Read our Wire Connectors Buying Guide to learn which type and size of connectors are appropriate for the
  wires you’re splicing together.




• Turn the power off at the circuit breaker to the wires you’ll strip or splice.

• Ensure the power is off by testing the wires. See our Using Wire Testers Project Guide for directions on
  testing voltage in wires.

• Be careful not to cut into the wire while stripping it. If the wire is weakened, it won’t pass inspection.

• Make sure all splices are secure. Loosely joined wires can cause shorts.




•  Strip and splice wires yourself and save.




Step 1: Turn off the Electricity

Step 1: Turn off the Electricity

1.  Turn off the power at the breaker panel to the wires you will be stripping and

2.  Use a voltage tester to ensure power is off at the wires.  


Step 2: Strip the Wires

Step 2: Strip the Wires

1.  Measure and make a mark on the wire 1 in. from the end.

2.  Identify the correct hole in the wire stripper for the gauge of your wire.

3.  Place the mark you just made on the wire in the hole in the wire stripper.

4.  Squeeze, twist and pull the wire strippers to pull the insulation off, exposing the

5.  Repeat for the other wire to be spliced.  


Step 3: Twist the Wires

Step 3: Twist the Wires

1.  Hold the wires to be spliced side by side with the stripped ends lined up evenly.

2.  Grab the stripped ends with the linesman’s pliers and twist the wires clockwise
     several turns.

3.  Make sure both wires turn. Don’t twist one wire around the other.  


Step 4: Cut the End

Step 4: Cut the End Leave about ½ in. of exposed metal by using the linesman’s pliers to cut the end off the twisted wire.

Step 5: Attach the Wire Nut

Step 5: Attach the Wire Nut

1.  Select a wire nut designed for the size and number of your wires.

2.  Push the wire nut over the wires.

3.  Twist clockwise until the nut is tight. 

4.  Gently pull on the wire nut to be sure the connection is secure. 


Step 6: Tape the Connection

Step 6 : Tape the Connection Wrap electricians’ tape around the bottom of the wire nut and the wires for extra protection.