How To Splice A Damaged EVSE Cable – Video


Repairing a damaged EV charging cable.

Repairing a damaged EV charging cable.

Here is interesting video prepared by occasional InsideEVs contributor, David Murray, on repairing a damaged EVSE charging cable.

In this particular case we are looking at the Chevy Volt’s EVSE attacked by a dog.

This kind of problem will appear from time to time, but the fix is simple. There are just 5 wires.

Remember to proceed with caution, provide a strong electrical connection and test charging for some longer amount of time before leaving the EVSE on its own.

Category: ChargingChevrolet

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23 responses to "How To Splice A Damaged EVSE Cable – Video"
  1. Carsten says:

    Whilst soldering makes for a good connection, it doesn’t withstand a cable heating up due to the current. My EVSE-cable often get hot. I’d be cautious and crimp it.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      I don’t think the cord would get hot enough to melt the solder.

      Plus, with the liquid tape and heat tube, it should hold them in places unless someone is going to go climbing with the cord…

      1. Bill Howland says:

        Neither did the guy soldering. Of course, he could always just say the dog did it. He’ll get plenty of practice.

  2. GeorgeS says:

    You did it all wrong David 🙂

    Just kidding thx for the Video

  3. Goaterguy says:

    Surprising the amount of videos I see on Youtube that constantly make the disclaimer for asshat commentators that have never posted a video or helped anyone, while always criticizing the video in one way or another… Nice video.

  4. kdawg says:

    Nice vid. If I had to take care of this problem,I’d probably use butt-splices or ring connectors. Not a big fan of soldering, but do it when I have to.

    I guess this is another case of a “pro” for wireless charging though the cable to the pad would need to be protected from dogs.

  5. Glenn says:

    I like to join un-tinned wires in a mesh style joint before soldering them together. I like the liquid tape. I want to get some of that.

  6. Phil says:

    Solder is not strong enough to make a long lasting connection and will fail if the cable is pulled on. Solder is intended only for making the electrical part of the connection, not the mechanical part. You should have provided a way to strain relieve the connection as well. What you have done is probably created a possible fire hazard in the future when the wire joint fails and starts to arc. Ugh.

    1. jdbob says:

      True, it would have been better if had made a loop on each end to make a hook splice. Everything you ever wanted to know:

      1. sven says:

        Great link! Thanks!

    2. Bill Howland says:

      THIS IS HORRIBLE!!!! How DARE You criticize someone making a video!!

      (Why confuse the issue with the truth…..).

      You should never criticize this guy, after all he works for TESLA MOTORS!!!

      I have to thank this guy, after all, someone who worked for Tesla Motors ruined my Power Electronics Module and I got a BRAND NEW ONE (a $13,000 value) for FREE!!!

  7. Kevin Cowgill says:

    Thanks for showing us. Nice, clean work. I always feel the splice under load to makesure it’s not getting too hot.

  8. Jelloslug says:

    That is a satisfactory repair that should work just fine. If a person wanted an even more secure repair you could use crimp connections and then silver braze them with a torch. I would have used self sealing heat shrink tubing rather than the liquid stuff. All in all though it was a good job and a nice video.

  9. Lou Grinzo says:

    For any linear splice, I use a Western Union splice (check the Wiki entry) unless there’s a specific reason to do otherwise.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Thanks, Lou.

      That looks like a secure way to splice a wire which will stand up to linear strain, unlike any of the other methods mentioned here. Even the hook splice looks like it would be prone to fail over time.

      From the Wikipedia article, it’s clear that technique was developed by industry, and presumably its utility was proven out through long practice.

      1. sven says:

        Per Wikipedia: “This type of splice is more suited to solid, rather than stranded conductors. . .”

  10. Roy LeMeur says:

    As David Murray said in the video, there are bound to be folks telling you that you did it wrong in the comments section. I believe I can offer useful information having worked hands-on in the EV industry for more than 16 years and as a mechanic for 35+ years I have spliced thousands of sections of wire and cable.

    First… your repair solution is certainly workable and safe, and better than a lot of folks would do. Also… I have no doubt there will be those that don’t like my approach either. I don’t care 🙂

    My intent is to provide info for others that will lead to a safe and long-lasting repair….

    *Use high-quality components. Whether solder, shrink-wrap, butt-connectors, crimpers, or electrical tape. Don’t use Harbor Freight quality stuff. Try Quickcable.

    *Always stagger the splices as shown in the video. Actually, a little more separation than shown would be better.

    *Use clean and bright (-no- corrosion or oxidation) high-quality correctly sized butt-connectors and a good crimping tool instead of solder. I have successfully spliced 2/0 cable carrying over 1000A with butt-connectors (the crimper that does this is $200, never use a hammer crimper for high-current connections). A good butt-connection doesn’t even have room for solder inside. If you _must_ use solder, twist or weave the wires together before soldering. Don’t just hold them next to each other to solder.

    *Heat. Though I have used a Bic lighter more times than I would like, a flame makes too much heat and will em-brittle the heat-shrink tubing shortening it’s workable life and may lead to cracking. Use a heat gun.

    *Insulation. I have always stayed away from “liquid electrical tape”, please use heat-shrink tubing to insulate splices.

    *Heat-shrink. I normally strip the outer insulation much further back on one side so I can slide heat-shrink onto each wire before making a connection. I always try to use “two” layers of heat-shrink on every splice, one on top of the other. The second layer slightly longer than the first. I do this for both the small connections and the outer covering. Thick heavy-duty heat-shrink with glue inside is best. Using both butt-connectors and multiple layers of heat-shrink helps to make up for the mechanical strength lost when cutting away the “rope” inside of the outer insulation, not to mention better insulated.

    Hoping this helps! 🙂

    1. sven says:

      Would using “liquid electrical tape” and then using heat-shrink tubing on top of it be a good idea? It seems like this way would give the splice thicker insulation, and eliminate any air gaps between the wire and heat-shrink wrap if only heat-shrink wrap were used.

      1. Roy LeMeur says:

        Correctly applied heat-shrink should have -no- air gaps. Glue-lined heat-shrink may or may not make a good bond with the “liquid electrical tape”.

        1. sven says:

          Thanks for the response!

  11. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Is that solder used ROHS compliant? LOL. J/k.

    Although I might have done it slightly different, it isn’t bad.

    I wouldn’t cut off the ropes in the cord. It is designed to keep the mechanical connection. Since part of the cord is already trimmed, the cord can be tied together to create mechanical linkeage.

    As far as concern for lack of mechanical linkage go. Well, it is a personal repair and fairly expesive EVSE. So, use it with care and DON’T PULL ON THE CORD.

  12. David Murray says:

    After reading all of the comments, I’ll offer a few other insights that I didn’t mention in the video.

    I actually tried doing a twist of the strands before soldering but this wire was tougher to twist than it looks. I also considered butt-connectors but I wasn’t sure if they would handle the current. (I guess now I know that they will) although I’m not sure I have a proper crimper for them.

    I also did inform my friend when I handed it back to him to treat that section of the cable with care. For example, not to wrap it to tightly around the EVSE or to pull on it. I mentioned that over time the solder could break. So far it is still working well for him. However, he is planning to upgrade to a 240V EVSE in the next few weeks anyway, so it won’t be getting much use after that.

    I had also thought about staggering the splices further apart, but I had to make a decision between that or having a longer splice. I wanted the splice to be as short as possible, thus reducing the area of the cable that is compromised.

    I didn’t consider the heat to be an issue with the solder. I believe solder starts to melt around 350 degrees. I think if that cable were that hot, there would be far greater things to be concerned about. I actually measured the cable with an IR thermometer after a few hours and it was around 120 degrees. Not a big deal considering it was 100 degrees ambient temperature out in the garage that night. The splice was no hotter than the rest of the cable. I think it will be fine.

  13. Dave R says:

    The biggest issue with soldering is that soldering creates a stress point in the wire where the solder stops wicking up the copper.

    This is a big no-no in an application where the wire will be subjected to flexion and vibration as this will eventually cause the wire to break at near the solder joint.

    Crimping the wires is the only way to go for this type of application. There is a reason why you never see solder joints used for EVSE cables – everything is hooked up using crimps.