Manufacturer's seem to recommend that electrical connections with wire nuts
be wrapped with electrical tape to complete the job. But I have seen this
done in only a small handful of cases. What do y'all recommend?
Contractors don't seem to do it because of the added
time/labor and it's not a code requirement anywhere that I'm
aware of. The inspector that came out to check some changes
I did for our foster kids rooms noted that I'd taped the
wirenuts and said most people didn't bother, but he thought
it was a good idea.
He also agreed with me that when you wrap the nuts, you
wrap in the direction that would cause the tape (after being
stretched during application) to tighten, not loosen the
wirenut after you're done. He said he also tells people NOT
to wirewrap just because of the stretched tape situation -
wound the wrong way, it can twist the nut in the direction
that loosens it instead of tightening it. But since I'd
done it right consistanly, he even gave me an ataboy on one
of the little yellow thingies they leave behind. Made me
feel good if nothing else.
I have not taped a splice in 25 years, even then it was 15 kv and an
emergency. Taping splices when out when electricians quit soldering every
I have seen people wrap tape around the device before placing it back into a
If the connection is proper, it doesn't need tape. If it is not proper,
tape will not help.
I tape stuff exposed to the weather, thinking maybe it will help keep it
dry; but even that is probably pointless.
Not required, not fun for the next guy working on them, and
as somebody already mentioned you could conceivably do it ass
backwards and do more harm than good.
Bottom line is that if your wire nut is solid mechanically,
the tape is not serving any purpose (again, as others have
Baisez-les s'ils ne peuvent pas prendre une plaisanterie
Tom Pendergast e-mail is for sissies, say it on line
Taped wire nuts are usually a sign that the person making the joint didn't
have the skill to do it properly.....if you find one, take the tape off and
you will usually see some bare wires that didn't get covered by the wirenut,
so the guy taped it.
However, taping wire nuts in outdoor locations will make a difference over
the years. Untaped ones will corrode much quicker than if taped.
I'm with you. I try to always tape my wire nuts -- and crank the tape in the
tighten direction like the other fine worker mentioned.
Just like winding teflon tape on pipe threads, also in the tighten
Thanks guys for all your comments. Some good reasoning for both methods. I
guess the best is to follow the manufacturer's instructions. None of the
packages at Lowe's instruct to wrap in tape although I did see that on at
least one manufacturer's website.
Here's another question on making these connections. I have read that there
should be a good mechanical connection of the wires first, then twist the
wire nut onto the wires. ie: twist the wires together, then twist the wire
nut on. Those packages at Lowe's had instructions just to insert the
untwisted wires straight into the wire nut, then twist the wire nut. In
fact, this manufacturer's site says to do so
http://www.nelcoproducts.com/wire_nuts_d.html . So is it necessary to twist
the wires first? Maybe this defeats the design of the wire nut? I had an
awful time the other night connecting some light gage stranded fixture wires
to much heavier solid hard copper wires for a pendant light fixture; it was
virtually impossible to twist those together and get a good mechanical joint
before using the wire nuts.
"Wire nuts are a quick and easy way to make a secure wire connection without
saudering or the use of any additional tools. Simply strip away an inch and
half of the wires insulation. Then holding the bare ends of the wire parrallel
and insert them into the threaded hole of the wire nut. The wire nut is then
twisted to ensure a low resistance connection every time. Finally rap the wire
nut and connected wires in electrical tape to finish the connection.
Wire nuts should only be used for making connections between wires of the same
This is not a manufacturer and their advise is as good as their spelling.
Thanks. I also abhored their spelling, and just realized that they aren't a
manufacturer. Still, I seem to remember the packages of Gardner-Bender wire
connectors at Lowe's saying the same thing about inserting the untwisted
wires into the wire nut. I'll have to double-check the package, the
Gardner-Bender website is a little light on providing much technical
How about "push on" type connectors? Are they any good?
(yeah, I'm just a homemoaner but I'm also smart and educated and eager to do
things the "right" way)
Nelco makes shrink tubing and wire ties if you look at their company info. They
even refer to "Ideal" wirenuts.
I thought the "strip away an inch and a half of insulation" was interesting and
the "wires of the same color" remark was just baffling.
Ideal is the company that owns the name "wire nut" and they say you don't have
to twist the wires but when using stranded wire and solid it may be "helpful"
to "lead" the stranded wire around the solid to get it started. The
instructions say nothing about tape.
I wrap the stranded around the solid, allowing it to extend about 1/16-1/8"
past the end of the solid, then screw on the nut. That makes a very solid
I have never used the push ins but some people like them. Only time will tell.
I can remember when the push in wiring devices were supposed to be wonderful.
Now they are universally despised because of the failure rates.
Thanks for your comments. Nelco's instruction about stripping an inch and a
half of insulation sounded pretty extreme! I too don't like the push in
wiring terminals on switches, etc, but I thought the push-in (I guess they
are really the crimp type) connectors might be preferable to the twisties.
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