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GingerSnaps 01-05-2009 04:26 PM

Please don't laugh - I'm serious about this question
Hi All -

We have some beautiful outdoor string lights which are, unfortunately, not cheap. These things cost more than they should but they sure look nice. We have laughingly been told that if we ever sell the house we should have night showings as the atmosphere outside is really special. Well, through an accident with some hedgers - one of the wires was cut straight in half. The wire is similar to that of Christmas lights. Now, I am pretty good at rewiring things (basic). I am really hoping that I can peel back the rubber coating and reattach these somehow. Is it possible? Will it be safe in the rain? Replacing this strand will not only be expensive but VERY labor intensive as we have ivy/etc that has grown around it.

Thank you for any suggestions.

travelover 01-05-2009 04:46 PM

Good news - the answer is yes! What you need to do is strip back the wire about 1/4 inch, slide on a piece of shrink tubing (at Radio Shack), then solder the two wires together, then slide the shrink tube over the joint and heat it gently with a hair dryer or even a match at a good distance to avoid overheating it. It will shrink down tightly on the joined wire to insulate it and give it strength.

If you don't know how to solder a wire, maybe you can get a handy neighbor to do that part.

Kerrylib 01-08-2009 01:03 PM

Be sure to get the good shrink tube that has an adhesive liner in it as well. It will melt when you shrink it down and seal tightly to the wire. If you get the plain shrink tube without the adhesive it will be suceptible (sp?) to moisture getting into the splice.

travelover 01-08-2009 02:14 PM

You can just smear a little silicon sealant / caulk on the wire before you shrink the tubing - it will seal tightly.

donmorgan 01-08-2009 06:33 PM

Wire repair
There are water tight crimps available at lots of DIY stores. These work well, however for strength soldering and using heat shrink as mentioned before should also work O.K. I would then maybe coat the splice with liquid electrical tape. This seals well and should hold up for long time. I would be careful of what chemicals come in contact with the bare wire and or solder to prevent corrosion.

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