Electrical short


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Old 12-12-17, 02:51 PM
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Electrical short

I am putting up new sheathing on the house and accidentally hit a 12/2 with ground wire with my nail gun. The nail seemed to only contact the bare ground wire but caused the breaker to trip. The black and white insulated wires seem fine. If I wrap the ground wire with electrical tape and then wrap the 3 wires together am I ok? I really don't want to take walls apart and crawl around in the attic if I really don't have to replace the wire. Many thanks.
 
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Old 12-12-17, 05:29 PM
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Short answer is no. Since the breaker tripped you have obviously damaged the insulation on the hot (black) and made contact between hot and ground or hot and neutral. Wrapping the bare ground will do nothing as it has no insulation in the first place, you need to repair the insulated wire(s).

The best repair would be to replace the damaged section of cable. I would opt for replacing the section of cable and/or adding a junction box, or two.

Since the outside is not finished/sided you should remove the sheathing and find the damage. You could then install one of these: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Tyco-Ele...-000/202204326

I also recommend using shorter nails.
 
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Old 12-12-17, 06:00 PM
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Thank you, Tolyn. I didn't understand why I got a short with the nail hitting just the bare ground but with your great explanation I obviously have damage to the insulated wires that I didn't see. I will replace the wire since that would be the safest thing to do.
 
 

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