How to Fix a Short in an Electrical Cord

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Electrical cords are the backbone of multiple trades, essential to plumbers, electricians and masons. Cords run from the electrical box on site to a variety of tools, and in the home they direct power from the outlets to numerous appliances in the house, such as Christmas tree lights, toasters and televisions. If a cord is damaged at any point, a short in the wires could occur. Fixing the short is usually the best solution to avoid replacing an expensive cord.

Examine the cord to find the area where the short is occurring, since most shorts are the result of a damaged cord. Unplug the cord from the electrical outlet so you can safely work on the cord without the risk of electrical shock. Place the damaged area of the cord into the wire cutters and cut the cord in two.

Separate the wires from inside of the cord on both sides, noting the colors or stripes for the insulation on the internal wires. Insert the insulated wires from one side of the cord into the wire strippers and clear at least ½ inch of the end of the wires bare. Do the same for both sides of the cord.

Wire the exposed ends of the wires together to replace the connection. Match the color-coated insulated wires to each other, and twist the exposed sections of the wires together. Wrap the twisted sections with electrical tape, or cover them with wire nuts. Wrap the entire area with several layers of electrical tape when finished, and plug the cord back into the wall.


Not all cord shorts can be repaired. Check with the OSHA guidelines for your particular trade if you are working in construction, as frayed, shorting or bad cords must generally be replaced.