Electrical wiring gone wild - not a question

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Mark Lloyd wrote:

I agree, that's what I'm using. I actually like the receps better as well because it seems like every standard recep in the house has the plastic cracked away around the ground connection like someone was wiggling the plug to get a good connection and the plastic which is very thin in that area just gave way.
It'll all be gone soon, in any case. Bought me a couple rolls of Romex and a fish tape and other assorted supplies last night :)
nate
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To clarify: someone grabbed the insulation with the cutters at one point, slide the insulation down 3/4", and then stripped the end too. Giving two bare points on the wire. Right?
It's done because it reduces the number of connections, and makes the wiring in the box more compact. If you have a good stripper, it's easier than cutting pigtails, and some electricians use it routinely.
This technique is still in use, and is mentioned in Knight at least. It's called out explicitly as an alternate approach to more classic pigtails using short pieces of wire.
I use it quite frequently - it hugely simplifies multi-gang switch boxes, and is sufficiently useful to even use it for mundane things like pigtailing neutrals in mid-string receptacle boxes.
For example, a five-gang switch box with only two wirenuts - for common ground and neutral, and _none_ on the hot. Even with the ground wrapped around one box screw in each box of the gang, and the two big-multi-wire wirenuts for neutral and ground, the box will seem practically empty.
There's nothing unsafe about it. In fact, by reducing wirenuts and wire-to-wire connections, it's safer than a separate pigtail.
I'm compliant with all codes on pigtails, and then some. But I don't actually _use_ short pieces of wire as pigtails.
It's described in the electrical wiring FAQ, where I called this the "mid-strip" technique.
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Eigenvector wrote:

Ev:
Not sure how they do things in eigenspace, and tapping like this is not proper for cable, but it was really common in K & T, as are pigtail sockets like that. Odd that they stripped 4"; 1 1/2" would seem more sensible. With the wire wrapped, soldered, then taped with rubber and friction tape, K&T tap splices are very secure. That old rubber tape is particularly amusing stuff to remove, since it tends to fuse to itself in a solid lump. It looks grody put protects quite well.
There's nothing at all wrong with a properly made tap splice, pigtail splice (twisting the wires "wirenut style") or Western Union splice in copper wire, soldered, and taped properly. The trouble is that some people didn't care enough to learn the proper technique and practice good workmanship. Times change less than we think. :)
The wire was probably stripped by shaving with a knife. I sometimes wonder if this method isn't better than using a stripping tool, since it leaves only lengthwise scratches on the wire, which would not be a weak point like the ringing grooves that wire strippers or lineman's pliers can leave if used improperly. Of course, you can cut into the wire if you're careless. Some people can break a cannonball. :)
Cordially yours: G P
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I can break cannonballs, just watch me.

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