Refitting a Strain Relief

My dad had a break in the power cord of his hair clipper, right next to the strain relief. That should be ironic, except I already know most strain reliefs are too stiff and just move the site of cable stress rather than relieve it. I guess that makes it ironic but expected.

At any rate, the strain relief was molded onto the cable, so the cord wouldn’t just slip out for repair; and the break was so close he didn’t know quite how to splice it back together; and he asked me to fix it for him.

Hair clipper strain relief with broken power cord

At first all I could think of was hideous things like replace the strain relief with a grommet and a huge wad of hot glue. But I let it sit for a day, and realized that the much easier solution would also be both cosmetically and functionally superior.

I cut off the power cord flush against the inner and outer ends of the strain relief, then drilled the power cord out of the center of the strain relief with progressively larger bits until the hole was large enough to push the cord through again. Super simple, and it leaves a very finished appearance — you can only tell it was repaired if you look closely.

It’s more obvious if you look inside, of course. The extra loop on the long wire really shouldn’t be there. I had both wires cut to the same length and spliced, and then the original short leg popped loose of the switch’s crimp connection and it seemed more practical to cut off the splice and fit the new end straight into the crimp. By then I didn’t feel like reopening and resoldering the long connection, so I just mushed it in and let it be.

Good enough.

4 Responses to “Refitting a Strain Relief”

  1. Steve Morris says:

    Nice little tip. I’ll try this out with the next tricky strain relief repair that i run into.

  2. Keith Neufeld says:

    Steve, thanks for the kind words! I felt a little dorky posting about something so simple . . . but it’s a good thing to have in my bag of tricks, and I figured it was worth sharing.

  3. James Stoffel says:

    I’ve done the “hot glue” route – it’s not a pretty sight! Great tip to know for the future! Thanks!

  4. [...] the glue holding the case together was very useful.  Second, I found Keith’s blog post on refitting a strain relief.  Before I found this post, I thought I’d get a new strain relief or I’d finish the [...]

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