Introduction: USB Cord Repair

About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first to…

This is the 30 pin connector to USB charging cord for my iPad 2. The outer covering has broken open, and that will add stress to the wires. I want to reinforce this part of the cord without cutting the wires so I can slip heat shrink tube over the flawed area, anyway. This Instructable will show how I used heat shrink tubing without cutting the wires.


  • Heat shrink tubing
  • Frosted cellophane tape


  • Scissors
  • Heat source

Step 1: Cut a Piece of Heat Shrink Tubing

I have some heat shrink tubing that is about 5/16 inch in diameter. It is too small to slip over the USB connector on the cable, also too small to slip over the 30 pin connector. I cut a piece about 5/8 inch long and slit it open.

Step 2: Wrap the Cord

I wrapped the piece of heat shrink tubing around the cable.

Step 3: Tape the Tubing

I used common frosted cellophane tape to keep the heat shrink tubing wrapped somewhat tightly around the cable.

Step 4: Use a Heat Source

I used a heat gun to shrink the tubing while covered with tape. The tape did not melt and the heat shrink tubing worked as if it had never been slit. The heat shrink tubing adhered to itself and made a fairly rigid strain relief, as well as shielding the break in the outer cover.

I probably used more heat than necessary. Notice the puckering in the cable covering above the end of the heat shrink tubing. There is also another unexpected consequence shown in the next step.

Step 5: Oops!

In my effort to shrink the tubing as much as possible, the white plastic fitting on the 30 pin connector began to open along a center seam. There is a little wiggle. I do not think it is a problem, but I may press some epoxy glue into the opening.

All in all, I am pleased. Heat shrink tubing will stick to itself, even if opened with a slit. The cord charges the iPad 2 as it should. Next time I will use less heat and try to concentrate it away from the white plastic connector body. The flame of a match may be a good option.

I did use a knife to pare the cellophane tape away. The heat shrink tubing remained firmly in place, and did not unwrap.