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Video:How to Strip Electrical Wire

with Tom Trace

Does the idea of stripping electrical wire sound intimidating? Fear not. A wiring pro explains the basics of wiring size and how to remove it from its casing.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Strip Electrical Wire

Hi there, I'm Tom Trace for About.com Home. Normally, my pal Steve Crider and I work from his home studio. But today I come to you from our Manhattan studio.

You know it's rumored that this is the building where Madonna rented her very first New York apartment. I guess you can feel a creative vibe in the air. I've been singing in the shower a little more lately.

OK, but we're not here to talk about Madonna. We're here to talk about electrical wiring, so let's get started.

How Wiring Size is Measured

Before you start working with wire, you need to know a few basics. Wiring size is measured by gauge. Basically the heavier the wire, the more current it can carry.

Standard lamp wire is normally less than 14 gauge, where electrical wire, the type that feeds your typical household outlet, is 12 gauge or heavier.

Tools Needed to Strip Electrical Wire

To strip most wire, you need two basic tools: a pair of side cuts or wire strippers and a razor knife. The razor knife is used to split the casing of the wire.

Crimp Down on the Electrical Wire

Once you have split your wire casing with your razor knife, take your wire strippers and move down about one-quarter of an inch on the wire.

Next, crimp down on the wire, but be sure you don't cut all the way through the wire. It might take a couple times but you'll get it.

Slide Off the Wire Casing

From there, you simply slide the casing off the wire, and you're ready to go. Most standard types of wire are available at most hardware stores.

You can buy it by the foot. So buy a few feet and practice, practice, practice. Soon, you'll be stripping like a pro.

Hey, thanks for watching all about electrical wiring. To learn more visit us on the Web at homegarden.about.com.
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