HOW TO STRIP ELECTRICAL WIRES – Stripping electrical wires is essential when wiring anything electrical. Stripping refers to removing enough of the plastic coating from the wiring to expose the copper conductor. There are a few ways you can strip wires but this should be done correctly to ensure that you do not damage any plastic coating where you do not want the copper exposed. In this guide we’ll show you how to correctly strip electrical wires.
Take the piece of cable you want to strip. If you look at the end of the cable you should see an outer plastic coating, two or three wires of which each is coated with plastic. Note that each of the wires has a different colour – Earth = Green/Yellow (although the earth wire may not have a protective plastic coating, Live = Brown and Neutral = Blue.
To remove the outer coating : Take a pair of cutting pliers and snip the end of the outer coating and pull back. You can then take hold of the Earth wire and pull this along the coating which splits it as you pull. Note carefully, that if the Earth wire does not have a plastic coating then you can add a Green/Yellow sleeve so that people are aware this is the Earth wire.
Now that you have your three wires exposed you can take a pair of electrical wire cutters and strip away sufficient coating to expose the copper wire. This is best done with either a pair of electrical wire strippers or a pair of auto-electrical wire strippers. You should not use a pair of pliers to do this as you can damage the copper wire.
Electrical wire strippers – when using these you will notice a series of stripping notches. Each of these is designed for a different diameter of coating so remember to select the correct diameter for the wiring you are stripping.
If you are using Auto-electrical wire strippers then the wire can be placed in the stripper and then simply squeeze the handle. This will remove the plastic coating at a predetermined length.
IMPORTANT - when stripping wiring do not strip too much of the coating. When connecting wires you do not want any copper wiring exposed out of the connector, so only strip off the length you need.
Acknowledgements: Video – UltimateHandyman.co.uk