How To Install Electrical Wire
Learn how to install electrical wire safely without the use of an electrician
Electrical wires are made from solid or stranded copper. They are covered with a rubber or plastic heat-resistant insulation. To install an electrical wire to a terminal or to another wire, you need to strip the ends of the wire first.
Before you start, make sure the electrical wire is not connected to any power source. If it is connected to a cord or appliance, make sure it is unplugged. If you are working with wire in an outlet, make sure the fuse to those outlets is turned off. Go to the circuit box, and flip the fuse. You do not want to get shocked!
Once that is done, strip the ends of the wire. Using a set of wire strippers, feed the wire into the hole of the correct gauge. It has several holes depending on the size of the wire. Then, close down on the wire stripper. When you squeeze the handle, the wire strippers will cut through the insulation. Rotate the tool to get an even cut all around the wire, and push to the end of the wire. The insulation should fall off, away from the wire.
Now you can connect the wire to another or to the terminal. Here are directions for both:
1. Wire to terminal
a. Connection to screw terminal
This is probably the easiest installation. Just take the end of the wire and wrap it around the base of the screw. The screw head should sit tightly on top of the wire. Always loop the wire clockwise, and make sure there are no loose copper strands.
b. Connection to push-in terminal
Take the stripped wire and feed it into the terminal holes. The holes will clamp on the wire. If you need to release the wire or cannot get the wire in, take a screwdriver and press it into the release slot; this will open the hole wider.
c. Connection to spade lug
Take the stripped end of the wire and slip it into a lug sleeve. Then, take the sleeve and crimp it with a wrench or pair of pliers. Now you can install the lug into the connection.
2. Wire to wire
Again you will need to strip the ends of the wires. Then, hold the stripped wires, and place a screw-on wire connector over them. Twist the connector clockwise; this will twist the wires together inside. If you are working with very thin wires, you can twist them before you put them inside the connection.