Stripping cable is a simple enough job with the right tools and a little practice. Care needs to be taken so that you don’t damage any of the protective insulation.
1. Use good quality cable cutters to cut the cable to length first. Remember that you will need to allow sufficient cable to make the connections themselves.
Trimming back the cable sheath
2. Measure how much of the outer sheath of the cable needs to be removed and mark this on the outer sheath.
3. Using a pair of side cutters, cut carefully through the outer sheath at the end of the cable. Be sure not to cut into the insulation of the conductors.
4. You only need to cut about 20mm of the outer sheath – just enough to give access to the conductors.
5. Use a pair of long nose pliers to hold the end of the bare earth conductor and pull this back through the outer sheath like a cheese wire as far as the mark made earlier.
6. Fold this outer sheath back and carefully cut off the excess with the side cutters.
Preparing the cable conductors
7. Separate the conductors so that you can easily prepare each of these without damaging the others.
8. Adjust your wire strippers to the correct diameter. You can also use wire strippers with fixed size holes for standard conductor sizes or, a pair of automatic wire strippers.
9. Grip the conductor so that the strippers are about ½” from the end, and they cut into the insulation. Pull the wire strippers to draw the protective insulation free from the conductor.
10. The amount of conductor that needs to be exposed depends on the connector being used. Some have a guide on them to show you how much.
11. The uninsulated earth wire should now be insulated by cutting an appropriate length of earth sleeving (green and yellow).
12. Slide the green and yellow sleeving all the way onto the bare earth conductor. This should now have about 1/2″ of the bare conductor showing like the others.
13. Where more than one conductor is being connected to the same screw terminal type fitting, insert them alongside each other. Do not twist conductors together before inserting them into the connection as this may damage them and can also cause problems when testing circuits.