crimp connections for 110v wiring

Page 1 of 3  
I need some wiring advice. I have managed to survive until now just using wire nuts for my home projects, but I am at the point where it would be nice to use crimp connections in a switch or outlet box, connecting 14 or 12 ga copper wire.
Here's my question. When I go to Home Depot, all they carry for crimp sleeves appear to be made out of copper or some copper alloy. Anyway, these sleeves are pretty soft. They deform pretty easily (too easily, I imagine), and they fail my pull test. To top it off, the crimping tools at HD are pretty cheesy.
My only experience crimping wire is non-electrical, but there you use a "swaging tool" and a steel crimp sleeve. Once it's set properly, it's almost as strong as the wire.
So far, I've just been staying away from electrical crimping, as I don't want to burn the house down, but it would be very useful to be able to do some safe crimp connections.
Any advice gratefully accepted.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Good policy. Crimps are only listed if you use the right tool and use it properly. A good crimping tool is usually in the $50 and up range and it is only listed for that particular style of terminal. The rings are crap on a par with backstab receptacles..
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You figured out the problem right away: It's difficult to find a crimping tool that's not useless. The ones at Home Depot and many other home centers are simply crap. They flatten the connector, instead of shaping it. Whoever designed these tools was sort of just kidding around. Stupid, in other words.
This is a proper design: http://www.mactools.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ItemNum=TCT1028
I have an older version from 20 years ago. You place the connector into the appropriate groove in the jaw, based on the size of the connector. The groove keeps the connector from being flattened. The tooth creates a concave dimple which really grips the wire nicely. I can't pull apart the crimp connections I make with this tool.
If you have an electrical supply store where you live, you might check them out for tools like this. I can't imagine Mac Tools is the only company that makes such a thing. If you can't find one at a retail store, contact Mac Tools customer service and find out who owns tool trucks in your area. Bring some of the actual crimps you'll be using and make sure they fit the tool correctly.
When you're deciding where to actually use crimps, be sure to keep in mind whether you or someone else may have to go back into a particular electric box and change the wiring. You'll usually have to cut away an existing crimp, and if the wires are already too short, things can get ugly for a number of reasons. If you're doing new circuit work, you have the option of leaving extra wire, but that's not always the case.
Side issue: If you ever see Panduit wire ties available, probably at an electric/electronics dealer, buy some. You'll never buy the ones from Home Depot or Lowe's again. Smooth....really smooth.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 11 Jan 2006 19:37:22 GMT, "Doug Kanter"

The manufacturer of the terminal is usually the best source of the crimper to use them.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Some heaters come with crimped wire connections. I assume they have a pretty good tool. I've seen them turn black after a few years. It looked to me like they were burnt. Just because something is approved, doesn't mean it's safe.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It means the manufacturer used lousy crimp connectors. It's not easy to find the good ones. The solid colored ones that you see in most places tend to be cheaper, and turn brittle easily especially when exposed to high temperatures. Then, there are the translucent ones - same color codes as the others, but much more flexible at a wide range of temperatures. I wish I recalled the brand. The wires will melt before those crimps will cause problems.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I use crimp connectors for my job, they fail a LOT.
Wire nuts are way better and easily replced too, for wiring upgrades or changes
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Doug Kanter wrote:

Sure it is, especially if you are a manufacturer. The problem is that so much stuff is made to meet a price point that they can't afford to use quality components.
The solid colored ones that you see in most places tend to be

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

OK. Not easy if you're a retail customer like most people, just walking into home supply or hardware stores. You might get lucky, or you might not.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Doug Kanter wrote:

You just have to go to a real electrical store. There are at least three in my area that stock either T&B, Panduit or Amp.
I do agree that most of the crimp stuff you find in the big box places should be kept in the craft/toy aisle and not the electrical aisle.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 11 Jan 2006 20:13:50 GMT, "Doug Kanter"

I hope I GET LUCKY !!! :)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

probably Thomas and Betts (T&B) www.tnb.com
--
-- Welcome My Son, Welcome To The Machine --
Bob Vaughan | techie @ tantivy.net |
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mr_Bill wrote:

If you're gonna make crimp connections, like gfretw said, use a decent crimping tool or forget it.
Try this: http://www.twacomm.com/catalog/model_C-24.htm?ref=Froogle
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Source for the right connectors: http://www.panduit.com/products/browse.asp?classid 37
You'll have to jump through a few hoops to find a dealer, but it's worth the trouble.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Doug Kanter wrote:

Other considerations
Are they UL listed? This some indication of suitability and is required for NEC wiring. A very limited perusal of Panduit didn't find UL listing.
Are they listed for solid wire or just stranded? Not an issue if you are using just stranded. Some Panduit crimps are just for stranded. I have had bad luck crimping #14 and larger solid.
As referenced by another post will they be used at high temperature. There are nickle alloy crimps for high temp.
bud--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Take a look at each product individually. For instance: http://www.panduit.com/search/product_details.asp?NP00001+151+3000387+5000013&Ne=1&region=USA&recName=BSN10%2DD
They're also approved for home wiring in many locales. Most people don't ask, though, so they're not aware of it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Doug Kanter wrote:

http://www.panduit.com/search/product_details.asp?NP00001+151+3000387+5000013&Ne=1&region=USA&recName=BSN10%2DD
Yes, that covers UL. No mention of solid or stranded - are all in that set good for solid wire? What is your experience crimping #12 and #10 solid?

I don't remember any NEC restriction on wire connection devices for general wiring other than they be UL listed (actually listed as conforming to a UL standard). If listed and used within their ratings crimps should be acceptable to the NEC. Presumably to comply with the listing you have to use a manufacturer recommended tool.
bud--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bud-- wrote:

Where I am special crimp connections are required by code for making Al-Cu connections. However the equipment is so expensive no one stocks it or rents it. Richard
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What sort of equipment? If it has to be usable in some of the confined spaces where you often have to make connections, wouldn't it have to be in the size of range of other hand tools?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well this came up when I looked at a job in a high rise condo. There were many badly damaged outlets and upon inspection it was clear that there had been a lot of overheated connections. Even some burning. The building was from the 70's and the wiring was all aluminum. I have had bad experience with aluminum badly installed. One power distribution room I was in had so much arcing in it you really didn't need to have the lights on. Anyway it's on Sam's here: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/electrical-wiring/part2/section-16.html and initially here: http://www.mikeholt.com/mojonewsarchive/Safety-HTML/HTML/NewsFromCPSC~20030502.htm The tool required is AMP PART NO. 933150-1. They will only sell to licensed electricians who have completed their (AMP's) training program. Cost of training, $2000 and actually the tool cannot be purchased only leased. Cost of a 3 month lease, $700-$800 dollars. I presented this to my client with the option of replacing everything with copper and he hired someone else and they used wirenuts. In talking to a longtime employee of the building he said "Yah there have been a lot of electrical fires in the building." Richard
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.