I' ve always been frustrated when it's time to connect stranded wires
from a device (such as a light or fan) to the Romex non-stranded
Usually it's not too bad when the stranded wire is connecting to only
one solid wire--I strip the stranded wire 1/8 inch longer than the
solid wire. But it never seems like a very secure connection:
essentially the wirenut pinches the stranded to non-stranded.
Sometimes I've had to try multiple times because the wires come apart
when I do the "pull test."
It gets even more frustrating when trying to attach a stranded wire to
two or more solid wires. Usually I end up making a pigtail, connecting
one end to the multiple solid wires and the other end to the stranded
Is there a better way? What about soldering the stranded wire, then it
will contact the wirenut better?
Mr Fixit eh
Use pliers to twist the wires together tightly. Don't rely on hand
tightening. You can try putting the stranded wires on first and then twist
the solid wires on top of them using pliers.
There is nothing wrong with soldering, but it is more work and still must
have a wire connector on it.
On Wed, 18 Aug 2004 12:11:25 -0700, Steve Nekias wrote
Yes, "tinning" the end of the stranded conductor makes for an easier
connection with a wirenut (or around a terminal post) and helps preserve the
stripped end if you have to disconnect and reconnect - keeps the strands from
Alternatively, when connecting multiple stranded conductors, it often helps
to "fan" them out and twist them all together before applying the wirenut.
When connecting small stranded fixture wires to a solid branch circuit
conductor, it helps to use a fixture size wirenut (orange, blue or gray)
rather than yellow. The yellows are rated for 1 #14 and 1 #18, but it's easy
to tear the strands off the smaller wire with them.
There have been lot's of debates in this NG about pre-twisting the wires,
taping them, etc. Follow the manufacturers directons. Some connectors are
designed for pre-twisting, some are not. The box should also list the
allowable wire combinations. For example, the Ideal Manufacturing orange,
blue and gray wirenuts are not listed for conductors larger than #14, so you
should use a yellow when connecting to a #12.
Hope this helps.
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