The miracle of electrician’s tape

To paraphrase William Burroughs: “Warning to young couples with Select Comfort beds: watch out for the family dog!” To be more specific, watch out for dogs that like to sleep under the bed and like to chew things.

Last night I went to adjust the pressure in my side of the mattress, using the wired remote. The partly-wired remote. One of our dogs managed to chew through the really tough insulation on the remote and short out the controls.

Tonight I managed to fix it, using a multi-gauge wire stripper, a large set of diagonal pliers (a.k.a. “dikes”), and electrician’s tape. Here’s how:

  1. Unplug the pump from its electrical connection.
  2. Cleanly cut the control wire at the chewed part, using the dikes.
  3. Using the wire stripper (or the dikes if necessary), strip the thick insulation from both sides of the cut control wire, revealing the five small (22-gauge) wires inside.
  4. Strip all the small wires using the multi-gauge stripper.
  5. Matching colors, twist the cut ends of the bare control wires around each other (white to white, red to red, and so on), and wrap each with a small twist of electrician’s tape.
  6. Once the five wires are reconnected, wrap the whole shebang with electrician’s tape.
  7. Douse liberally with bitter apple spray or the anti-chew remedy of your choice…

Once I plugged the pump back in and checked the control, it worked on the first try. I guess those wild summers as an electrician at CEBAF (now Jefferson Labs) weren’t spent in vain.