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ELECTRICAL INSPECTION, DIAGNOSIS, REPAIR
ACCURACY vs PRECISION of MEASUREMENTS
AFCIs ARC FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTERS
ALUMINUM SECs & WIRING
ALUMINUM WIRING HAZARDS & REPAIRS
AMPS & VOLTS DETERMINATION
AMPACITY - the LIMITING FACTOR
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS
BACKUP ELECTRICAL GENERATORS
BACK-WIRED ELECTRICAL DEVICES
BOOKSTORE - ELECTRICAL
BUILDING SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
Cadet & Encore Heater Recall
CIRCUIT BREAKER FAILURE
CIRCUIT BREAKER SIZE for A/C or HEAT PUMP
Classified CIRCUIT BREAKER WARNING
CORROSION in ELECTRICAL PANELS
CORROSION & MOISTURE SOURCES in PANELS
CUTLER HAMMER PANEL FIRE
DEFINITIONS of ELECTRICAL TERMS
DIRECTORY OF ELECTRICIANS
DMM Digital Multimeter HOW TO USE
ELECTRIC METERS & METER BASES
ELECTRIC MOTOR DIAGNOSTIC GUIDE
ELECTRIC MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
ELECTRIC PANEL AMPACITY
ELECTRIC PANEL INSPECTION
ELECTRIC PANEL MOISTURE
Electric Power Frequency Table
Electricity Basics - how it works
Electrical Circuit ID, Map & Label
Electrical Circuits, shorts
Electrical Code Basics
Electrical Grounding Basics
ELECTRICAL OUTLET, HOW TO ADD & WIRE
Electrical Splices, how to make
Electrical Tools & Tests
Electrical Wire Stripping Tips
Electrical Wiring Books & Guides
Electrical Wiring in Old Houses
EMF RF FIELD & FREQUENCY DEFINITIONS
ELECTRICAL GROUND SYSTEM INSPECTION
ENERGY SAVINGS in buildings
FEDERAL PACIFIC FPE HAZARDS
FIRE SAFETY Checklist, CPSC
GFCI PROTECTION,Testing GFCIs AFCIs
HEATING COST FUEL & BTU Cost Table
HEAT TAPE USAGE GUIDE
Hertz - Definitions of KHz MHz GHz THz
KNOB & TUBE WIRING
LIGHTING, EXTERIOR GUIDE
LIGHTING, INTERIOR GUIDE
LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEMS
LOW VOLTAGE BUILDING WIRING
LOW VOLTAGE TRANSFORMER TEST
MAIN DISCONNECT AMPACITY
MOISTURE SOURCES in PANELS
MURRAY SIEMENS Recall
PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER SYSTEMS
PUSHMATIC - BULLDOG PANELS
REMOTE ELECTRIC POWER, PHOTOVOLTAIC
RUST in ELECTRICAL PANELS
SAFETY for ELECTRICAL INSPECTORS
SE CABLE SIZES vs AMPS
SIEMENS MURRAY Recall
UNDERGROUND SERVICE LATERALS
VOLTS / AMPS MEASUREMENT EQUIP
ZINSCO SYLVANIA ELECTRICAL PANELS
This article provides basic tips on how to strip the ends of electrical wires used in homes. Readers of this article should also see ELECTRICAL DEFINITIONS and also SAFETY for ELECTRICAL INSPECTORS. This website provides information about a variety of electrical hazards in buildings, with articles focused on the inspection, detection, and reporting of electrical hazards and on proper electrical repair methods for unsafe electrical conditions. Critique and content suggestions are invited. Credit is given to content editors and contributors.
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Sketch at page top courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.
Do not attempt to work on your electrical wiring, switches, or outlets unless you are properly trained and equipped to do so. Electrical components in a building can easily cause an electrical shock, burn, or even death.
Even when a hot line switch is off, one terminal on the switch is still connected to the power source. Before doing any work on the switch, the power source must be turned off by setting a circuit breaker to OFF or removing a fuse. See SAFETY for ELECTRICAL INSPECTORS and Electrical Wiring Books & Guides
Different kinds of cables and electrical wire are commonly used by the homeowner or electrician when performing routine wiring tasks. These tasks are fairly easy to do but practice with the techniques involved always helps. Before actually working with a type of wire or cable that is new to you, cut off a short piece and try stripping, joining, etc. Experiment a bit to find out which of the tools you have available are easiest for you to use and which do the best job. A little time spent in trial and error will make the job go faster.
Permanent indoor installations are made by running lengths of wire between outlets and switches along or inside walls, floors, and ceilings. An electrical circuit always needs a hot and a neutral conductor plus a ground for safety.
The most commonly used electrical cable for indoor wiring is the flat, white plastic type plastic-covered wire, or "Romex" (a trade name). Properly plastic-covered electrical wire is called "NMC" - non-metallic-sheathed cable. .
While there are many types and grades of non-metallic cable electrical wire, there are three basic kinds of interest to homeowners for most residential applications. Sketch courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.
The type of electrical wire and its intended use is indicated by code letters printed on or embossed into the plastic wire jacket. (Our photo shows an obsolete aluminum conductor NM wire made by Primus).
How to Remove the Plastic Sheathing from Plastic-Sheathed Electrical Wire
Armored cable or metallic-sheathed electrical cable has been in use since 1896 (in the U.K.) and in its most basic form contains two electrical conductors (black-hot and white-neutral) each individually insulated and both usually wrapped with a spiral of paper which is in turn enclosed in a flexible metallic sheathing such as shown in our abandoned-wire photograph below.
Hacksaw method for stripping armored BX cable:
Cutting-tool method for stripping BX armored cable:
Make certain that the electrical power has been turned off and that you've used a test tool such as a VOM or neon tester to confirm that the wires you're working on are not electrically live. Failure to take this step risks a fatal electrical shock.
After Stripping the BX jacket from electrical wire
Protect the conductor wires (hot & neutral) from future damage from the sharp edges of the cut armored cable jacket. To eliminate the possibility of sharp edges of the armor cutting into the conductor insulation, a fiber bushing should be inserted under the armor, at the point where the conductors emerge.
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