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I had to open up a wall for a plumbing repair and accidentally nicked the jacket of a NM electrical wire with my drywall saw. From what I can see, only the outer jacket was affected, but I admittedly can't see much. It's 12/2 wire, and it runs to an outlet 6 feet away or so. There is no other junction box near that I can tell, and I would prefer not to put in a new box. How can I repair this while covering it back up? Or do I even need to worry?

nicked wire

  • Is there any slack that would let you get more of the lower section accessible? If not, can you access the section below the stud? – bib Apr 9 '17 at 19:31
  • @bib no extra slack. Picture is rotated, but that stud is vertical. I could pull off more drywall to open up the next stud bay, though I'd prefer not to unless needed – mmathis Apr 9 '17 at 19:51
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I hate to leave questionable connections behind walls. I dream of fire and destruction.

I would repair the tear unless you were certain that the wire insulation was not compromised.

The easiest way to do that is with an inline cable splice.

inline splice

These are mean to be concealed in walls where repairs to existing wiring is needed, and are UL approved. I use them sparingly (they are a hidden connection) but sometimes they are necessary.

Yon need some slack, so you may have to open a bay next to the current one to get more cable. You can then run a new cable to the next box. In a pinch, you could use two splices and a short run of cable between them, but I would try to avoid that.

  • There are limitation to where these can be used. Specifically, they can only be used when "fished", if the are concealed. See this comment – Tester101 Apr 9 '17 at 23:01
  • @Tester101 So, in the present case, do you think it would be allowed or not? – bib Apr 10 '17 at 15:10
  • I would say that it's not appropriate in this situation, but I'm sure it has been (and will be) used in situations like this. Based on the location of the damage, I'm guessing it's going to be difficult to use this device anyway. Unless you can pull some slack, it's going to be a struggle to install it that close to the stud. – Tester101 Apr 10 '17 at 15:38
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    @Tester101 Agreed. He is going to have to go to the other side of that stud. – bib Apr 10 '17 at 17:34
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    Yeah, I figure the stud will prevent this device from being used, regardless of whether this would count as being "fished" or not. There's an outlet ~6 feet away on one side and one ~10 feet away on the other, so I'm going to try and pull new cable. – mmathis Apr 11 '17 at 13:52
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You could cut the wire at the damage and run it to a new single socket (or similar) and then run a new cable from the new socket to the one 6 foot away? (unless you're in a bathroom etc.)

  • Excellent suggestion. Typically it's done this way where the damaged wire is cut away and the remaining slack is rerouted to two nearby lights (or outlets) and a new wire is joined between them. – Kris Apr 11 '17 at 23:22
  • While this is a good suggestion, it does not answer the question. I specifically asked how to make the repair without adding a new box. – mmathis Apr 12 '17 at 14:29
  • It's a matter of terminology so I apologise for that. A box to me is a junction box. In the UK a power outlet or socket would not be called a box, unless you were talking about the 'back box' used for mounting said socket... Language huh. – handyman Apr 14 '17 at 6:36

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