Electrical: Joining Wires

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That is why the appeals process will presume that the authors of the code intended it to make sense. It is a basic principle of law that the writers of the rule in question did not mean to require what cannot be done nor to forbid what must be done. Since you must apply solder to the conductors in order to fuse it to the metal the code cannot be construed to make that impossible. The code language is only intended to prevent the use of solder as a means of mechanical attachment of a conductor to a terminal or for the mechanical stability of a splice. A mechanical splice is "mechanically and electrically secure" without solder but it will not remain that way if you do not solder it. In the absence of solder the connection will corrode and open due to thermal cycling. Once soldered the connection is protected from corrosion and the effects of thermal cycling are minimized by the heat sinking qualities of the solder. -- Tom H
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That's absurd. If it won't remain that way without solder, it isn't "mechanically secure without solder".
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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The CEC has similar wording to the NEC, and as per Knight, soldering _is_ permitted (but he makes quite a point about making sure you do it _right_).
Properly twisted (and undamaged) bare copper inside a box is mechanically secure and pretty much electrically secure too. For a while at least. Solder provides permanence.
The whole point behind the NEC and CEC sections is to ensure that you're not bringing two bare pieces of wire in mid-air into rough proximity, bridging the gap with a droplet of solder, covering it with scotch tape, and calling it a day.
That said, soldering is hardly ever done these days simply because having an iron and taking the time to do it right is generally not worthwhile.
But, there's nothing wrong with it. K&T connections are generally more reliable than wirenut ones.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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On Sun, 03 Apr 2005 08:07:46 GMT, "Wes Stebbins"

This must have been popular with people from Indiana. My house in Florida (homeowner was a snowbird) had a bunch of boxes made up that way. No wire nut or anything. He just wrapped the stranded around the solid, folded it over and crimped it with his pliers. Then taped up. I think I have tracked them all down and reconnected with a listed connector but I have to say I never saw any signs of heating, even on a 1400w bathroom heater.
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On Mon, 04 Apr 2005 20:23:58 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Best stop making sense before you actually effect someone.
;)
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It's not absurd. I think HorneTD is absolutely right. (He is, I believe, an electrician incidentally.) My recollection, from dim history, is that for soldered connections at boxes the wires were cleaned and twisted and pointed down. Then the soldered connection was made by dipping the connection in a solder pot, with all the connections soldered in sequence at the same time.
Bud (also an electrician)
Doug Miller wrote:

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Doug Miller wrote:

I do understand that is your reading of it. If you were the inspector I would appeal your decision and I am confident I would win. Just as you are sure you are right. The NFPA electrical section staff has sided with the traditional method in the past but since no formal interpretation was rendered that is just another opinion. I suggest that we just agree to disagree. -- Tom H
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Fine by me.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That technique was only supposed to be used before soldering. Without solder they were taking a chance on thermal cycling or corrosion opening the splice and causing arcing. -- Tom H
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OK, this is great for a splice. But I want to figure out how to solder the wires to the screws on circuit breakers. The screws are recessed and my 1000 watt soldering iron dont fit in there. It works great on outlet and switch screws, except I only use brown outlets and switches because the heat turns the white ones sort of brown or black and sometimes the screws fall out after I solder. If they do, I just wrap them with electrical or duct tape. It feels good knowing I have the safest wiring in town because everything is soldered.
One other thing. My mains are #000 Aluminum cable. I know how poor aluminum connections are, I want to solder them to the screws on my main breaker. The problem is that I cant turn the power off or the soldering iron wont work. I have to solder them while the power is on. My soldering iron has a well insulated handle so thats not a problem, and besides that, it's grounded. My problem is how to hold the solder without getting a shock. Would cotton or rubber gloves be ok, or should I hold it with an insulated plyers? The main neutral wont be any problem, I'll just loosen the screw and let the solder flow in there before I tighten the screw again.
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Don't do that. Don't even think about it.
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homeowner2004 snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Best thing i found for this is an oven mitt, You can get them pretty cheap at Walmarts. Get one of the 3.99 models that have the metalic covering on the gripping part. This will absorb the electricy. The oven mit will also keep your hand form burning. Another thing that could work is battery cables like you use to start your car? Now i have not tried this but i reckon it will work. Connext one end of the battery cable to something metal and use the other end to hold the solder. The plastic handles on the battery cables will protect you and the electricy will be divereted. The only problem I could see is maybe the teeth of the cables biting the solder to hard and cutting it but you could make some kinda shim out of an old screw or something to keep the teeth form closing to tight.
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wrote:
> I have to solder them while the power is

I honestly thought you were joking!
FWIW, the soldering iron being grounded would propose a problem in the above situation. If you're going to be working on live wires you don't want anything touching the live wire to be grounded. More importantly you don't want to ground yourself at all, or ever touch anything that IS grounded while you're touching a live conductor (a fun task inside the breaker panel). You are not harmed at all directly touching live wires as long as you provide no path for the electricity to flow to ground through you (or the other leg of the 220 circuit).
I hate to admit it, but I accidentally learned this from experience. I once was working on a switched light circuit and began working on the wires with only the light switch turned off. After working on a few fixtures and miraculously never accidentally grounding myself I brushed the water line with my elbow while working on the hot... that happened to be hot. Turns out the circuit was reverse polarized and the neutral was switched. Good thing 110 isn't so bad through the arm only....
A lesson to always turn off the breaker. <G> But since then I have been (unwisely, I admit) more brave about working on live wires. As long as you don't ever provide an electrical pathway through your body you're ok with 110 volts A/C. You won't feel a thing. It's weird the first few times... intentionally touching a wire you know is live.
I like the oven mitt idea. You still don't want the soldering iron to be grounded if you plan on touching it to a live conductor. Don't give yourself a false sense of security just because you aren't touching a live conductor. Your tools can short something out... and will if they're grounded.
Soldering inside the breaker panel... never would have thought.
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wrote:> The only 100% safe electrical connection is to ........ <snip>
I do hope you were kidding. It sure would be safe.... but I hope you were kidding.
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