I found that the wiring in my garden had been damaged, likely by wildlife chewing through the insulation. As an amateur homeowner without much electrical experience, I wasn't sure if I could safely repair it myself or if I needed to call in a professional electrician. However, with a few simple tools and some caution, I learned that it's possible to quickly fix minor garden wiring damage without too much trouble or expense.

Inspect the Damage

The first step is to closely inspect the wiring and identify where the damage is located. Put on thick rubber gloves for safety. Then, follow the length of the wire, looking for chewed insulation, exposed copper, or breaks in the line. Also, check any connections, junction boxes, outlets, or light fixtures along the wire path. Determine how much wiring needs to be replaced or repaired.

For me, the damage was located on a wire leading to my garden pond pump. About two feet of the insulation had been chewed off, leaving the inner copper conductor exposed. Luckily, the wire was still intact with no breaks. I determined I would need to splice in a short section of new wire to replace the damaged part.

Turn Off Power at Main Source

Before doing any work, it's crucial to make sure the power is OFF to avoid getting shocked. For outdoor garden wiring, turn off the circuit breaker in your main electrical service panel that powers the affected circuit. If you don't know which breaker to switch off, turn off the main breaker to disable power to the entire house just to be safe.

I strongly recommend testing wires with a non-contact voltage tester to confirm power is off before touching anything.

With the power off, I was able to safely work on my damaged wire without fear of shock.

Gather Necessary Materials and Tools

For a basic garden wire repair, you'll need:

I gathered these supplies from my basement workshop so I didn't have to buy anything new. If you need additional materials, check your local hardware store.

Cut Out the Damaged Section

With the power confirmed off, use the wire strippers and needle-nose pliers to carefully cut out the damaged wire section. Make sure to leave enough undamaged wire on either side of the damaged part to splice in a new section.

For my situation, I cut out the two feet of chewed up wire, leaving about 6 inches of good wire on each side. **Be sure to make clean, straight cuts so the wires fit snugly together.

Strip Wire Ends

Use the wire strippers to remove about 1/2" of insulation from each wire end you'll be connecting. This exposes the inner copper metal that you'll join together. Be careful not to nick the copper when stripping.

I stripped the insulation off the ends of the newly cut wires as well as both ends of the new wire I was splicing in.

Connect Wires Together Securely

There are a few options for joining the wires, but I prefer using wire nuts. Follow these steps:

  1. Line up the stripped wire ends so they overlap slightly.
  2. Twist the wires together clockwise. Ensure there are no stray strands poking out.
  3. Screw a wire nut over the twisted wires, twisting clockwise to tighten.
  4. Tug firmly on the wires to confirm they are solidly connected.

Repeat these steps to connect both ends of the new wire section to the existing wires. Make sure all splices are tight and secure.

For my garden wiring, I joined the new wire to each cut end. I gave each splice a hard pull test to check my work before moving on.

Wrap Splices With Electrical Tape

As an extra protective measure, wrap each wire nut splice tightly with electrical tape. Make sure no copper is exposed. This helps insulate the connections and provides an extra layer of protection from moisture.

I wrapped tape around each connection I had made. Taking this minor extra step greatly improves the safety and longevity of the repair.

Restore Power and Test

Once all wire connections are complete, you can restore power and test that everything is working correctly. Turn the breaker back on and use your voltage tester to confirm power is flowing properly through the repaired wires before touching.

I turned on the pond pump circuit and verified the pump was getting power and operating normally. My repair was successful!


While the idea of fixing electrical wires can seem daunting, I learned that minor garden wiring damage is actually quite easy to repair yourself. The most important steps are turning off power, making solid wire connections, insulating splices properly, and testing your work. Follow basic safety precautions, use the right materials, and take your time. With a little care, you can take care of many garden wiring issues without calling an expensive electrician. This straightforward repair saved me money while giving me confidence to tackle more home electrical projects.