I am shocked at the condition of this wire on a Crane humidifier. Would like to repair the wire to return the device to being 100% safe.

frayed wire + internal wiring

With there being plenty of "spare" wire in the 6ft length, I am thinking to cut the wire at the fray, and then route inside and crimp new connections.

I don't think there is much in the existing crimped connections to consider leaving those as-is and splice the wire at a later point, right?

My main question lies in how to replace the "stopper" (big white plastic piece) that is actually part of the white wire? This provides relief to the internal wiring and I worry just using the internal screw-down posts will not be sufficient (the manufacturer had both).

  • 1
    Don't crimp, this isn't your car. Use wire nuts, blue or gray should be about right. Dec 23, 2019 at 14:26
  • 1
    @Harper-ReinstateMonica -- I'd be OK with a proper crimp job here, but you need UL listed crimp connectors and a ratcheting crimp tool for that (not the cheap plier-type tools) Dec 23, 2019 at 17:11
  • Replace the whole assembly.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 24, 2019 at 1:12
  • Isn't it funny how the strain relief protects the cable from breaking at the edge of the plastic housing but instead, it breaks at the edge of the strain relief? Never made any sense to me. I guess it's a case of "We have to do something! Won't somebody think of the children!!!"
    – FreeMan
    Jan 31, 2023 at 13:35

7 Answers 7


Well, it's hard to tell. That part is called a "strain relief" but in these types of mass produced products, it's often molded onto the cord when manufactured. Unless the manufacturer sells a replacement part, it will be near impossible to exactly replace.

There is a possibility that you could slide it off that cord, but will be difficult to thread your "slack" cord though it.

Another potential, depending on your Xacto knife skills would be to try to cleanly cut into it from the side, coax it off, and then put it over the new cord, perhaps securing with some wraps of white electrical tape. The part is held in place by the slot in the cover you removed.

Given the state of the cord, you are doing the right thing, even without the external strain relief, that first cable clamp is doing the internal work. Your repaired device , even without the external strain relief, would be safer than the current condition.

  • 3
    You can buy a new strain relief 'stopper' from ebay pretty cheaply. Alternately, a big cable tie just inside the case will prevent the cable from being pulled through the hole in the case (and thus relieving the strain on the connections) Dec 23, 2019 at 13:32
  • @RobinBennett what's the proper term for it, to search?
    – SQB
    Dec 24, 2019 at 8:06
  • @SQB "strain relief stopper" on ebay in the UK brings up a wide variety. "cable strain relief" brings up pretty much the same items but in a different order. Dec 24, 2019 at 12:38

Nice pun. Your plan will work to get this appliance working again. You can crimp or use blue wire nuts for the connections. As far as the stopper, try cutting it at the seam and then peeling it off the wire and then super glue it back on to the wire at the right spot. This is actually about appliance repair and will probably get flagged. You could also go to an appliance repair shop and get an exact match or go to Crane's web site and look for a new cord.


The strain relief is molded on but can be recovered and reused.

The technique I use is to pull out the copper then drill out the plastic using a hand drill or pin vice until the strain relief is clear enough to allow the remaining cable to be reinserted.

I then feed a little too much cable through the strain relief, add a couple of drops of cyanoacrylate glue (super glue, krazy glue etc) behind the strain relief, then pull the cable (and glue) back into the final position.

It may be worth replacing the whole cable as PVC cables harden over time and an identical looking repair re-using the existing cable will probably not last as long as the original cable did.

Over-drilling the original strain relief to allow a layer of heat-shrink tubing over the first few inches of cable where it where it passes through could result in longer cable life.


I have often used a razor blade to carefully slice through these strain relief molded parts all along their mold seam. This is followed by a repair to the cable followed by wrapping the molded strain relief halves around the replacement cord all bundled up with one or more heat shrink tubes and possibly electrical tape bandaged and shrunk down together.

I actually have to do the same treatment to the Right channel of this headphone pair of speakers. You can see the Left channel has the double shrink wrap over the original strain relief from an earlier repair done to these headphones. The new failure cable frayed right where the cable meets the molded strain relief from flexing so much at that spot. I have to vertically push it up into the strain relief for sound to come through so I know something is fractured right about there.

They make shrink tubing in different colors so long as you match the color the best you can it comes out as a decent looking repair. enter image description here


As DaveM says, repairing the cable without replacing the square strain relief that goes between the two halves of the case is better here than doing nothing.

There is still the possibility that the cable will chafe on the hole, and you will have difficulty finding a square strain relief to match the existing hole.

An alternative is to buy a round strain relief grommet (or cannibalize one off another piece of dead equipment) and drill a new hole in the casing to suit the grommet. you need to find a flat area of the casing that is in the correct thickness range for the grommet.

The area to the right of the current cable exit looks promising (depending on the thickness of the casing there) but would mean the wire exits out the back. Not sure if that works in your application.

Grommets come in two types. One is made of flexible rubber shaped like a donut with a groove around the circumference for the casing material to sit in. These are very simple in construction but fiddly to install. Once the grommet is installed you thread the cable through. The other is of hard plastic in two unequal parts. You install the big part, then the cable, and finally the small part which is like a wedge. In some cases you install the small part before the cable.


Either tie a knot in the cord ahead of the hold down clamp or go to Lowe's and get a grommet to fit in the cutout section. Fix with some gorilla glue or rtv. Will suffice with your needs.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. This doesn't sound safe to me. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. Dec 24, 2019 at 16:06
  • The knot will put less stress on the cord because it will be spread along the entire surface area. What do you think caused the original damage. The molded reliefs are set under pressure with heat!
    – Jeff Davey
    Dec 25, 2019 at 15:39
  • Yes, but the damage has been done; how would this make it safe again? Dec 25, 2019 at 16:33
  • It would figure the cord repair was obvious which was already acknowledged. The remaining fix was for the strain relief!
    – Jeff Davey
    Dec 25, 2019 at 16:52

Simply replace the cord. I would think the hold down would be sufficient unless you plan on twirling it around your head. As far as a special ‘ crimping tool , if you don’t know how to use common sense in your crimping let someone else do it or simply use the small blue wire nuts. Again I really would not worry about the square ‘strain relief’ , I think putting a new cord without the relief would be inherently better as it would allow more movement and not have such a sharp movement radius, if that makes sense. Do not over think it.

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