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Friday, 25 March 2011 02:49

Strip Cable Sheathing and Wires

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Strip Cable Sheathing and Wires

When performing your own electrical work, one of the first basic jobs you will have to perfect is learning how to strip away the outer sheath of the non-metallic cable and then stripping the individual wires. This is also one of the most important jobs because if you do it wrong, you could nick the wires or cause other problems that can increase the risk of a dead short. But, once you get the hang of it, you will be running cable like nobody's business. Here's how.

How to Strip Non-Metallic Cable

1.Before you can strip the individual wires, you have to first remove the outer sheath ofthe NM cable. There is a specific tool for this exact job. It is called a cable ripper, or some may call it by its more general term, a electrical wire stripper. It is a small chamber of metal that has a hole on the end and a metal tooth on the front.

2.Slide the NM cable through the inside of the cable ripper and bring it out the back side through the hole on the tool. Keep the cable flat within the cable ripper.

3.Apply pressure on the front end of the cable ripper (where the tooth is located) and pull it back along the cable. This will cut the outer sheath of the cable. With the sheath cut, peel it back to reveal the wires and paper insulation. Peel the paper back and check along the length of the wires to make sure you didn't nick any of them with the cable ripper. If all of the wires look untouched, cut away the excess sheathing and the paper insulation.

How to Strip Wires

1.The most important thing to realize when stripping wire is that your wire stripper has certain slots for certain gauges of wire. By matching the wrong slot with your wire, you could cut it too deep, causing a score in the wire which will cause it to break.

2.Take a look at your wire strippers to get more familiar with the slots. The slots should have numbers printed next to them. If you are working with #10-gauge wire, then you should use the slot that is made for #10 wire.

3.Insert the wire on the bottom part of the slot and close the wire strippers. Slowly rotate the wire strippers a quarter-turn. Then, pull the wire back through the closed wire strippers. The length of insulation should slide off, revealing the copper wire underneath. If done perfectly, the wire should not have a score mark at the point where you stripped the insulation away.

4.It may take some practice to get it right, but don't worry, you will get it.


Last modified on Saturday, 07 July 2012 13:08
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