When working to disconnect electrical outlets or lighting fixtures, you will need to use wire end caps. Wire end caps are little plastic caps that go on the end of the wires to finish them and prevent electricity from flowing through them. If these caps are not installed properly, you increase the risk of home electrical fires and electrical shock.
Here, you will learn how to properly install the wire end caps to safely disconnect the electrical wiring for the switch, lighting fixture, or outlet:
To properly install wire end caps you will need a few items:
- Wire end caps, also known as wire nuts – purchase 2 and 3 wire nuts so you have what you need
- Wire cutter and stripper
- Electrical tape
- Electrical tester
Step 1: Cut the Power
If you have not done so already, cut the power to the electrical element you are working with. Test the wiring with an electrical tester to ensure the power has been shut off. You do not need to use a complicated tester to determine if there is electricity flowing through the wires. Instead, purchase a small tester that you simply touch the wires with and lights up if there is electricity presently flowing through them.
Step 2: Expose the Wiring
Open the outlet, lighting fixture or switch that you are replacing. Once the wiring is exposed, you will see if the fixture has two or three wires. At this point, you can determine which end cap you will need for the job.
Step 3: Trim and Strip the Wiring
Trim the wires to the required length. Be sure to leave an extra inch of wiring to connect the end cap. Use the wire strippers to strip 1-inch of insulating covering off of the wire. Position the wires next to each other and check to be sure they are equal in length. Slight discrepancies in size will not hurt, but if one is much longer than the other, trim it using the wire cutters.
Step 4: Install the Wire Cap
Twist the wiring together with your fingers in a clockwise motion. Slide the twisted wires into the end cap and turn the cap clockwise. Turn the cap a few times until the cap is snugly attached to the wire ends. At the base of the cap, wrap the remaining wiring with electrical tape to ensure that it is properly insulated.
No matter the reasoning behind your decision to disconnect the outlet, switch our lighting fixture, when done properly, you will not increase the risk of an electrical fire or electrocution. If you are unsure that you are capable of completing this task properly, contact your local electrician or a company like Narducci Electric for help an dinformation.