Proper way to repair a cut wire?

chiefneilOctober 30, 2006

While cutting an opening I managed to damage some wire. What's the proper way to repair it? I know I can just splice in a fresh piece, but does code require that the splice be put in a box with a plate for future access? The wire on the left is cut through so it definitely needs a repair. The wire on the right just has the jacket scratched up - is it ok just to wrap some tape around the scratches?

Here's a photo:

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The type of repair would matter on what the cut out was made for. Doorway, window,etc... also is this on the main floor, upper or basement.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 11:45AM
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I'm installing a built-in wall unit in a den. There's a switched outlet directly below the cut that I want to duplicate above the cabinets so I can plug in lighting, so I made this temporary cut just to pass the wire inside the wall. The outlet (and this cut) will be behind the base cabinets.

I'm planning on pulling the lower outlets forward into the back of the base cabinets. So this repair would either be totally hidden behind the base cabinet, or I can put a box and plate and have the plate in the back of the cabinet as well. It would be easier all around for me just to splice in a fix and drywall it back up, but I don't want to do anything that will have someone down the road shaking their head at an amateurish repair.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 12:03PM
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The splice/repair must be in an accessible box. Putting a box (you'll probably need two) in the back of the cabinet is probably your best bet. And I'd repair both cables. That scratched cover may be hiding a nicked conductor that will cause problems later.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 12:42PM
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I think the neatest way to do this is to run the cables into an outlet or light switch box, and when you've done your repairs you can then put a blank light switch type cover over it.

There's probably a rule in regards to the nicked insulation, but it'd have to be really superficial to just wrap with tape. The tape would have to be wrapped at least as thick as the original insulation, so it won't be pretty - and possibly not legal.

The only consideration is whether you'll have enough slack to cut the cables and join them, and you are right, the joins need to remain accessible.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 1:30PM
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wait--so this cut in the wire is just above the outlet, and just below where you want to put a NEW outlet?

Why can't you simply splice in a new wire at the existing box, and run it up to the upper box? thereby replacing this stretch of wiring?

In otherwords, can you use the outlet itself to create the join?

If not, could you put a second box right next to the existing outlet box, and put the splice in it, w/ a blank plate over it? then you can have that plate down low, out of the way and out of sight.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 3:34PM
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Thanks for the help guys. Talley_sue, the cut is upstream of the existing outlet, so what I'll do is splice in fresh wire up to the new outlet and also run fresh wire down to the existing outlet (as pjb999 pointed out I don't have enough slack to salvage that section of wiring). I've got another j-box and cover plate ready to go, so I think I'm all set.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 3:52PM
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Any damaged conductor- the copper part- should be replaced. But suppose that an examination of the insulation on the individual conductors shows no damage to that insulation, only damage to the outer cover? Obviously any affected area of the outer covering will permit a visual inspection of the underlying individual conductor insulation at that spot. If the insulation on the individual conductor is not damaged, how could the copper conductor be damaged? If the conductor is not damaged, where in the Code is replacement mandated?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 5:36PM
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They make electrical tape for insulation repairs, among other things. I agree completely with Bus that if the copper isn't damaged you can repair the insulation. Replacement is necessary only if the copper is damaged.

It is not considered a splice (requiring a J-box) unless you are actually joining 2 separate pieces of wire


    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 4:56AM
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I posted another message about repairing drilled wire caused by drilling joist for recess light installation. If the copper is not damaged, I can use eletrical tape to wrap around conductor, call it repaired ?? Is it in NEC codes??

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 3:12PM
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The way the NEC is written it either requires things or prohibits things. Things not in either of those categories are "permitted" subject to something called common sense. Since the NEC doesn't prohibit insulation repairs they are permitted.


    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 6:25AM
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I just had a new cable and phone line put in. The installer nicked a romex wire in the wall which tripped a circuit breaker. I reset the breaker and he told me that it was just a nick and that there was no problem. I called the company who sent out an "expert" who exposed the black wire by pulling away the white insulation and saw the nick. He then used hot glue to re-insulate the black wire. Is the use of hot glue a proper repair????

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 7:47PM
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NO. Since a conductor (in this case the hot)is damaged that section of wire needs to be properly repaired as discussed above.
Call an electrician and sent them the bill.
Any damage they cause, I think they are required to pay for or provide a proper repair.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 8:01PM
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I bought a house that was forclosed, I guess whoever lost the house wasn't to happy, because the electrical wires in the basement are cut in half, about 15 of them are cut. I'm an eltrician myself, work for an electric company, but I have never done residental wiring. How can I repair the completely cut wires?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 4:06PM
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