How to Splice Your Home’s Electrical Wires Yourself

Working with electrical wiring can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. As a homeowner, I want to provide some guidance on how you can safely splice or connect electrical wires in your home. With the right materials and safety precautions, you can complete basic electrical repairs and installations yourself.

Understanding Electrical Wiring Basics

Before splicing any wires, you need to understand some electrical wiring fundamentals. Here are some key things to know:

Gathering the Right Splicing Supplies

Splicing wires together requires having the proper supplies. Here are the key items you'll need:

Safety Tips for Splicing Wires

Working with electrical wiring safely is absolutely crucial. Follow these important safety measures:

Following safety procedures prevents electrical shorts, fires, shocks, and electrocution hazards.

How to Make a Basic Wire Splice Connection

Once you understand key concepts and have the right gear, you're ready to splice. Here is a step-by-step guide to making a basic splice:

Step 1: Turn Off Power

Start by switching off the circuit breaker for the wires you'll be splicing. Verify power is off by testing terminals with a multimeter or voltage tester.

Step 2: Prepare the Wires

Strip back 3/4" of insulation from each wire using wire strippers. Make sure not to nick the metal underneath. Arrange and separate wires carefully.

Step 3: Select a Wire Nut

Choose an appropriately sized wire nut that fits snugly when twisted onto the gauges of wire you're joining. Place it onto one wire end.

Step 4: Twist Wires Together

With needle-nose pliers, grasp the bare ends of the wires and twist them together clockwise. Make at least 5 tight twists.

Step 5: Apply the Wire Nut

While holding the twisted wires together, screw on the wire nut in a clockwise direction until tight and secure. Tug on the nut gently to confirm.

Step 6: Wrap with Electrical Tape

As an extra safeguard, wrap electrical tape 2-3 times around the wire nut and exposed wires. This helps provide insulation.

Step 7: Close It Up

Place the completed splice into a plastic junction box and screw it closed. Then flip the circuit breaker back on to restore power.

With practice, you'll become comfortable splicing various wire configurations. Just take your time and prioritize safety. Never rush or take shortcuts when dealing with electricity.

Example of When You Would Splice Wires

One common scenario where you would splice wires is when installing a new light fixture in your home. Here is an example case:

  1. I want to add a new ceiling light in my bedroom. I turn off the power and remove the existing fixture.

  2. Inside the electrical box, I see a black "hot" wire, a white "neutral" wire, and a ground wire coming from the Romex cable.

  3. My new light has a black wire, white wire, and ground wire. I will splice matching colors together using wire nuts to connect the new fixture.

  4. After splicing the matching wires, I secure the connections with electrical tape and mount the new light fixture's base into the ceiling box.

  5. I confirm the wires are not touching each other, close up the box, and turn the power back on to test the new light.

The same splicing process applies when adding switches, outlets, and most other basic electrical work. Follow my safety tips, take it slow, and you can handle it yourself.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

It's easy for splicing projects to go wrong. Watch out for these common mistakes:

Stay focused, double check your work, and you'll avoid these errors. Patience and care will lead to safe and lasting wire connections.

When to Call an Electrician

While many wire splices are DIY friendly, some electrical situations require a professional electrician:

Don't take on complex and hazardous electrical work beyond your skill level. Hiring a licensed electrician is worth it for major upgrades or tricky repairs.


Splicing wires to extend circuits or install fixtures is well within the DIY realm. By following proper safety procedures, having the right tools, and carefully joining matching wires, you can handle your own electrical work. Just take your time, double check connections, and never hesitate to flip the breaker off in any unsafe situation. With practice splicing wires, you'll become more skilled and confident. Only tackle what you're comfortable with and don't be afraid to call a professional when needed. Stay safe and enjoy the satisfaction of DIY electrical projects.