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I have a 3 pin socket on the wall that is broken and I'm going to fix it. And while at that, I also want to fix the wall (re-cement it and paint it again). After I dismantle the socket, the 3 wires will become exposed. Is there any special tool to cover it? I search in the web but found no such thing or even if there is I don't know what it is called. I'm imagining something like a non electrical-conducting clip that's sold cheaply so that I can buy as many as I want and cover every exposed wire when I'm working my thing. The reason I what such thing is:

  1. I don't want to power off the whole house electricity because I might need to use some of my electrical tool (corded drill etc from another power outlet).
  2. Using insulation tape (not sure if this is the right word) is time consuming (wrap and unwrap it) and will lead to sticky hand.
  3. There are kids/people in the house and I might need to get to the store in case I need to buy something.

I'm thinking of creating it myself by getting an unused tyre tube. Cut 2 pieces of 1cm x 1cm from it. And then glued each of it to each of the jaw of a plastic clip used for clothes hanging.

So my question is, do such thing exist cheaply for mass/bulk buying? If it doesn't, is the one I'm trying to create myself is safe enough? I lack science understanding and I only know that rubber doesn't conduct electricity. Also I'm very scared when doing electrical stuff because even using a test pen to test for electrical current sometimes I can feel heat or static. Thanks.

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I posted an answer below, but the fact that you say "I'm very scared when doing electrical stuff.." and the fact that you are thinking of jury rigging with your fix, tells me you likely should hire an electrician to handle it. –  MarkD Jul 26 '13 at 17:34

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

What you want to do is terminate the wires in the junction box using Wire Nuts. Simply thread them on to the end of the exposed wire, and you need not worry about live wires touching, kids getting zapped, etc. You should turn off the branch circuit in question (via a circuit breaker or removing a fuse) while removing the outlet and putting on the wire nuts.

If you need to have the box open for a more extended period of time, get a flat cover plate for the junction box (put on the wire nuts, tuck the wire back in the box, attach the cover plate).

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From the wiki link that you gave, it says 'Twist-on wire connectors are used to fasten two or more electrical conductors together. They are a type of electrical connector.' which in my case I'm not going to connect wires but cover each of them. But I guess this 'wire-nuts' will achieve that too although I prefer to not turn off the main power because someone might use electricity in the house. Anyway thanks. :-) –  Baxter BXTR Jul 26 '13 at 17:50
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Wire nuts may also be used to terminate a single wire. My suggestion to cut off the power is only while you are doing the work (never work on a live circuit). So cut the power (likely not the whole house, but only the circuit which contains this outlet), remove the broken outlet, cap the wires, then turn the power back on. –  MarkD Jul 26 '13 at 18:09
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@BaxterBXTR Absolutely turn off the power while you are doing anything with electrical. Electricity can severely hurt or kill you, do not play. I'm very competent with wiring and have been doing it for years, and I always use a non-contact voltage detector basically every time before I touch anything (even if I walk away for 10 mins and come back, I test it), and I highly recommend others to do the same. It's not remotely worth the risk -- people can live without electricity for a few minutes. You only need to turn the branch circuit off anyway. –  gregmac Jul 26 '13 at 18:16
    
I got it. Thanks for the concern everyone. Guess I'll just ask everyone in the house to go for a walk while I turn off the whole electricity in the house just to be on the safe side while I'm working. The main circuit box is very confusing to me though as I don't know which is the branch I want to turn off. I'll borrow cordless tools from my friend this time. Thanks again! –  Baxter BXTR Jul 26 '13 at 18:25
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@BaxterBXTR - You do not need cordless power tools to uncover and remove the broken outlet. You should actually use hand screw drivers when working with electrical fixture wiring to avoid risk of stripping the screws or twisting them off due to over torque. –  Michael Karas Jul 26 '13 at 19:22

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