Quick and Dirty Wire Repairs




About: Engineer making renewable energy products for African entrepreneurs.

Panic! The GFI outlet on my patio failed... The apartment complex will fix it for free in a few days but in the meantime I have my air pump plugged into an outlet inside my home and going through the sliding door space to my hydroponic garden: https://www.instructables.com/id/EQBFMQANUAERV7BV0D/ .

By freak (and by freak I mean screw up), I closed the door too hard and it severed/shorted the wiring on my pump. The breaker tripped but the cord was damaged. I used this opportunity to extend the cable and add a switch (so I wouldn't have to buy an extension cable when I relocate my pump closer to the garden).

This is my quick and dirty -- but effective - wiring repair... Saved me $12 (pump=$15) - well $22 if you count the extension cable :P

Step 1: Getting Started

Grab your tools and supplies.

A wire repair cord costs $3... while this little extension cord costs $1.25. So, I also got SP rotary switch for $1.50....

Go ahead and cut the bad wiring off - then cut the female portion of the extension cord off.

Step 2: Strip and Solder

Strip a section of wiring... If whatever you're repairing has a ribbed side and a smooth side - be sure to match each side of the wire to its counterpart. This is how polarity is handled in the ac electrician world :P

Glob on a bit of solder. If you have heat shrink (and I do not), don't forget to throw some on first. Otherwise, solder away - I know messy, but this is a hack - not something to be nice.

Step 3: Enter the Dirty

I was caught off guard... No electrical tape... no Duct Tape!!!

Solution, extra liquid gasket material. This is a fast setting stuff that dries pretty hard. Goop on and let it cure....

As for the switch, follow the directions on the box ;)



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    5 Discussions


    12 years ago

    Well done :P Easy, but well documented. And nice use of improvisational techniques.. But improvising is only good for so long, you should really get some duct tape :P Good Job! :P

    2 replies

    Reply 12 years ago

    hehe, yeah I will - next time I get to the surplus store :D I should have mentioned that you should not cut the wires straight across... If you stagger each wire so that the solder joints are not next to each other -- you run less of a risk of shorting....


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Nice tip.

    It also allows you to add a wire tie between your joints for strain relief prior to insulating. (Not there there should ever be a lot of tensile load on your wires, but with extension cords and stuff, there often is some, and this offers a bit of extra durability)

    (-) =========================||======(solder)=============


    12 years ago

    You also may want to be careful with duct tape, some brands have conductive backing, but I like the liquid gasket idea, how hard does that stuff cure? can you cut/peel it off again if you need to?

    1 reply

    Reply 12 years ago

    This particular material cures hard... really too hard for something like this. A better alternative would be black RTV which is softer and has that nice silicone rigidity :P