piclist 1999\09\19\184810a >
Thread: household wiring connections
picon face BY : Mike Keitz email (remove spam text)

On Sun, 19 Sep 1999 17:23:40 -0700 Michael Barker
<.....meb8208spam_OUTspamspamRITVAX.ISC.RIT.EDU> writes:
>  As long as the
> wires were
> within the proper number, the wire nuts made a firm hold that could
> not come
> loose.

I've done a lot of wiring and found that, as with everything else, wire
nuts have to be used properly and the user should be aware of their
limits.  But done properly they will make a quick, relaiable connection.

The most vital precaution to using wire nuts is to align the wires so the
ends are in the same place before putting the nut on.  If one is shorter
or longer than the others it will cause one or more wires to be loose.
Also, connecting more than 3 wires at a time or wires of widely different
sizes with a wire nut is difficult.  It is essential to select the proper
nut for the number and size of wires involved.  Pull on the nut and wires
after installing it to test for loose wires.

(These also had the metal spring, which would hold onto the
> wires by
> making grooves in the exposed copper.)  To insure the connection,
> however,
> the wires were twisted together tightly using side cutters and the
> wire nuts
> were mainly used to cover and hold the joint.

I don't like twisting the wires first.  The nut does a lot more than
"cover and hold" a twisted together joint since the wires are being
forced into a conical space as you tighten it.  It's important to twist
the wire nut on tightly enough that it twists the wires for you.  The
insulated part of the wires below the nut should start twisting together
too.  (Hold the wires an inch or so below the nut when tightening).  When
the insulated part of the wires twists together, the nut is tight enough.
Especially in the larger sizes, the type of wire nut with wings on it is
easier to tighten by hand.   You can also grab the outside of the nut
with pliers or use a simple plastic tool made for the purpose to tighten

>   Plus,
> this
> was with solid copper, not stranded, which my pose a whole different
> ballfield.

Stranded is about the same but you have to be careful to get all the
strands into the nut.  Stranded works better with different sizes of wire
in the same nut.

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