Summary: Learn how to strip cable, prepare electric flex and prepare electric cable.
When you connect new cable or flex to electric terminals, you will need to strip away some of the protective PVC sheathing to expose the colour-coded cores. The colour-coded insulation then has to be carefully removed from the ends of the copper cores.
Preparing electric flex
- Bend the flex or cable at the point where you need to remove the protective PVC covering. This is generally about 40mm from the end of the flex. Using a sharp knife make a cut, taking care not to cut the insulation around the cores.
- With the flex bent a split will form around half of the PVC sheathing’s circumference.
- Bend the flex in the opposite direction and carefully make another cut.
- Straighten out the bend and pull away the cut piece of PVC sheathing to expose the colour-coded cores.
- If necessary cut each core to the right length to reach their respective terminals.
- Match the cores’ diameter to the corresponding aperture on the wire strippers and remove 15mm of coloured insulation from the cores. Rotate the wire strippers by half a turn and pull the insulation away.
- Finally, twist the ends of the copper cores and the flex is ready for connecting to the terminals.
Preparing electric cable
- Holding the cable down on a cutting board, slice along the sheath for about 100mm with a sharp knife, following the cable’s centre line to avoid cutting the cores.
- Pull the cores free and cut off the split PVC sheathing.
- Match the cores’ diameter to the corresponding aperture on the wire strippers and remove 10mm of coloured insulation from the cores. Rotate the wire strippers by half a turn and pull the insulation away.
- Take a length of yellow-and-green PVC earth sleeving and cut off enough to cover all but the end 10mm of the earth core.
- The cable cores are ready for connecting to the terminals.
- Insulated screwdriver
- Power drill
- Masonry bit
- Brick bolster
- Club hammer
- Padsaw (For plasterboard walls)
- Spirit level
- Flush-mounted socket OR surface-mounted socket OR double socket OR new faceplate
- Yellow-and- green sheathing
The colour-coding system for electric cable changed in 2006, make sure you read Electric cable and flex to view the new information.