Crimp-and-tape vs. wirenuts -- for hots?

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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

You can "suspect" it all you want, but the real reason is that while it is indeed, reasonably fast and inexpensive, _LOTS_ of empirical data and lab testing confirm it is quite reliable and safe so more complex methods are totally unnecessary. The point of the code is, of course, to provide a safe and effective set of requirements to the practical application. As someone else already noted, the Code wasn't begun by government but by the insurance in order to provide the benefits accruing to their members by the adherence to such standards. Consequently, when Code is updated to account for new technology, the prime consideration is that it meets these objectives.
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Probably all true. But, I'd like to know what types of people install the wire nuts in testing situations. I've opened electrical boxes and found some interesting horror shows. If they're installed by idiots, they are certainly not safe.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

why there are licenses and inspectors.
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That's going to be news to the NFPA, publishers of the NEC.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

You would use the system as designed by the manufacturer. There is a matching cap designed to be used with those connectors. You can get them at a real electrical supply house.
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Guys,
Brand new to this forum... great stuff here. Searching for info on "wire nuts vs tape" is how I found this forum and thread.
My electrical sub-contractor has been splicing wires with electrical tape. He insists that "3M-33 tape is acceptable for splicing #12 and smaller conductors". I showed both him and my inspector NEC 110-14, which includes the phrase: "... All splices, including ground wires, shall be made with an approved splice cap or wire nut...". They still say electric tape is acceptable, but can provide no evidence for this assertion.
My question: Is there any code that specifically accepts, or denies, the use of electrical tape for splices in residential electrical installations, specifically for wire sizes #12 and smaller.
Thanks very much for your help in this.
Bill Doyle The Construction Coach
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This particular discussion has sort of died because people seem to think it's done. You might want to re-post this as a top level new thread. You'll probably get more responses.
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No, it doesn't. Not in the latest (2005) Code, anyway.
The entire 2005 NEC is available online here: http://nfpa-acs-01.gvpi.net:8080/rrserver/browser?title=/NFPASTD/7005SB
Neither that sentence, nor anything remotely similar to it, appears anywhere in Article 110.14.

The evidence is Article 110.14, which states clearly, "All splices and joints and the free ends of conductors shall be covered with an insulation equivalent to that of the conductors or with an insulating device identified for the purpose." [2005 NEC, Article 110.14(B), third sentence]
If the tape is listed as providing sufficient insulation, then it's ok.

See above.

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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Here's another way to look at the situation: The customer (Bill) is obviously uncomfortable with electrical tape. It's his money. It doesn't matter what the code says. It's not allowed in his home. I've used four electricians in 20+ years. None of them have used electrical tape, except one guy who used little bits of it to identify certain wires in a crowded box while he wandered around working in other areas of the house. He removed it when he was done.
Now, you could reverse this and ask "What if the customer insisted on tape, and the code didn't allow it?" The answer is simple: He might find it impossible to hire an electrician, and he'd have to find another way to get what he wanted. Maybe do the work himself.
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Doug Miller wrote:

...
But that addresses the _insulation_ of a splice, not the mechanical splice itself.
My reading/understanding of the question is that apparently, they're allowing only a twisted connection covered by tape and I don't think that is allowed if so...
Maybe again it goes back to the crimp vis a vis wirenut, but that isn't specifically what this particular poster stated/asked.
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Doug didn't bore you with the whole paragraph
110.14(B) Splices. Conductors shall be spliced or joined with splicing devices identified for the use or by brazing, welding, or soldering with a fusible metal or alloy. Soldered splices shall first be spliced or joined so as to be mechanically and electrically secure without solder and then be soldered. All splices and joints and the free ends of conductors shall be covered with an insulation equivalent to that of the conductors or with an insulating device identified for the purpose. Wire connectors or splicing means installed on conductors for direct burial shall be listed for such use.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Which if the question is to be taken literally as worded makes the answer to the question "no", not "yes"... :)
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That seemed to be what the question was about...

As far as I can see, it *is* allowed.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Mon, 30 Jul 2007 11:40:56 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Allowed or not, it's NOT safe. Quality tape is fine to cover bare wires, but it does NOT clamp the ends of twisted connections. Tape is only intended to cover bare wires, NOT to clamp the wires together. If any twist is not perfect, it will likely vibrate loose over time (or immediately), and start arcing. At least, this will cause light to flicker and electronics to fry. At worst, it could cause a fire. The wires have to be soldered, or clamped in another manner to maintain a tight connection. This electrician must be a real cheap son of a b****. Wirenuts cost 10 cents each (or less). How cheap can he be. I'd either insist that he use wirenuts, or find another electrician, and if you keep this one, the hourly wage spent nutting all the wires should be on him, not on you.
By the way, I often see electricians wirenutting wires without twisting them. This too is dangerous. Yes, I have done it for a temporary connection, but not permanent.
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Sharp wire ends will also puncture tape, no matter how good the tape is.
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Thanks very much for your responses Guys, and especially to Doug for the link to the NEC Online. In summary, the code does not forbid the use of electrical tape as insulation on spliced wires (yes, insulation removed, ends twisted).
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Don't do it.
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billder99 wrote:

The NEC does *NOT* permit twisting the wires and then just tapeing. See gfretwell's post that includes:
"110.14(B) Splices. Conductors shall be spliced or joined with splicing devices identified for the use or by brazing, welding, or soldering with a fusible metal or alloy."
(This is the equivalent in the current code of the quote in your original post.)
Twisting the wires, with no solder or "splicing device identifified for the use" [wirenut], is a code violation and is *insane*.
Twisting and soldering then tapeing is permitted.
(Twisting is not required with wirenuts unless the manufacturer requires twisting.)
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No kidding. Sheesh!
A couple of thermal cycles later, you will almost certainly have an intermittent, arcs, and possibly a fire.
The wire _must_ be positively connected, whether by wirenut, solder or proper crimp device. Electrician's tape is an insulator, not a crimp device.
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Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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On Jul 30, 3:11 pm, snipped-for-privacy@nortelnetworks.com (Chris Lewis) wrote: ...>> The wire _must_ be positively connected, whether by wirenut,

I use tape as insurance. Use a wire nut, then wrap tape over that. I suppose if the wire nut is on correctly it's not necessary, but it makes me feel better.
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