Wirenuts

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: Dave wrote: : > I swear I don't trust these things. You tighten the hell out of them : > but too often one wire does not get pulled in as far as the others and : > is still a bit wiggly, and there is no room to do much of an inspection : > or pull-test. They need to be made out of clear plastic with a square : > end you could twist with a socket wrench -- or maybe install the : > plastic insulator as a second step. : > : : I like the idea of clear plastic. : : I always use wirenuts with a "live spring". The spring does not have : hard plastic behind it and will deform over the wires giving a longer : length of the spring squeezing the wires together. Made by Buchanan, 3M : and others. : : bud--
REcently learned there are wire nuts pre-loaded with silicone caulk, even, when I had to tie some #8s together for underground. I was pleased & surprised when I poked the wirenut seal & there was caulk already in them; I thought I'd have to manually caulk. I worried a little about the pre-loaded caulk being insulating, but ... no sweat - tested for 12 hrs under high load & no heat - guess they worked well. I didn't pre-twist those; it said not to <g>. For specialized applications, it's best to follow instructions to the T.
Pop
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If you don't trust wire nuts, look for the push-in connectors at any of the big box stores. They have an internal spring that grabs the wire when you push it in that prevents it from backing out. You can get them in clear plastic with two to eight ports. They are terrific in crowded boxes with several wire nut connections. They cost more than wire nuts but the savings in time and space are worth it.
http://www.electricalbasics.com/acatalog/Push_In_Wire_Connectors.html
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John‰] wrote:

Isn't that basically the same technology as the "stab-in" connections on switches that are so maligned here?
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You're supposed to line up the ends of the wires, install the wire nut, and twist until you see the insulated portion of the wires start to turn. According to most wire nut makers, this insures that the connection is tight. I always pre-twist if at least one of the wires is stranded.

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: You're supposed to line up the ends of the wires, install the wire nut, and : twist until you see the insulated portion of the wires start to turn. : According to most wire nut makers, this insures that the connection is : tight. I always pre-twist if at least one of the wires is stranded.
It's easier, and better, to take a couple seconds to read the package and see what's recommended for that specific type of wirenut. There are many different kinds and designs.
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Dave wrote:

You need more practice, LOL! Tony
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It is best not to "tighten the hell out of them" - especially when one or more of the wires is stranded, or small guage, as they may be deformed or twisted off. Twist nut firmly, yes, but ensure a low resistance connection by pre-twisting wires with a pair of side-cutting pliers. The nut just insulates the connection, and provides moderated pressure to keep the twist together. For secure connections, I sometimes strip the ends, fine-sandpaper the bare wire, align the ends, then use 1" high qual. elec. tape to wrap just below the stripped part, to keep the wire ends aligned, and thereby suspend the fixture. Then do your wire twist, so that it tapers to the end, and use the wire spring (pricier) insert type wire nuts . Once the nut is tightened, I wrap the nut in a bit of tape in the direction that keeps tension on the nut, and finish wrapping its end around the pre-taped wire itself, as an anchor. I know this sounds compulsive, but I can do it pretty quickly, and it makes a very neat and tidy looking job. As I mentioned, the big advantage of pre-taping before applying the nut is that you can suspend wall fixtures this way, so that twisting can be done at your leisure, with two hands in play.
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: >I swear I don't trust these things. You tighten the hell out of them : > but too often one wire does not get pulled in as far as the others and : > is still a bit wiggly, and there is no room to do much of an inspection : > or pull-test. They need to be made out of clear plastic with a square : > end you could twist with a socket wrench -- or maybe install the : > plastic insulator as a second step. : : It is best not to "tighten the hell out of them" - especially when one or : more of the wires is stranded, or small guage, as they may be deformed or : twisted off. : Twist nut firmly, yes, but ensure a low resistance connection by : pre-twisting wires with a pair of side-cutting pliers. The nut just : insulates the connection, and provides moderated pressure to keep the twist : together. For secure connections, I sometimes strip the ends, fine-sandpaper : the bare wire, align the ends, then use 1" high qual. elec. tape to wrap : just below the stripped part, to keep the wire ends aligned, and thereby : suspend the fixture. Then do your wire twist, so that it tapers to the end, : and use the wire spring (pricier) insert type wire nuts . Once the nut is : tightened, I wrap the nut in a bit of tape in the direction that keeps : tension on the nut, and finish wrapping its end around the pre-taped wire : itself, as an anchor. I know this sounds compulsive, but I can do it pretty : quickly, and it makes a very neat and tidy looking job. As I mentioned, the : big advantage of pre-taping before applying the nut is that you can suspend : wall fixtures this way, so that twisting can be done at your leisure, with : two hands in play. : : Yeah, you're right: the hell with the manufacturer's recommendations on the bvest way to do it for that particular brand of type of wirenut you're using. They're all the same, so there's only one way to it; your way. Right.
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Pop wrote:

    I worked for many years in an industrial environment and I never saw an electrician pre-twist the wires. They always lined up the ends and twisted on the wirenuts. We never had any electrical fires in the plant so I guess they knew what they were doing.     Bob
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Ideal makes a set screw wire connector that can be useful:
http://www.idealindustries.com/IDEAL - EZ/prodcat.nsf/Tables/Set+Screw+Wire+Connectors?OpenDocument
If you don't want to past that together then they're off this page:
http://www.idealindustries.com/wt/Lugs.nsf
You put the wires in the barrel, tighten the set screw, trim off the excess then put on the cap. Easy to verify by inspection and no twisting.
They are much more expensive ($.50-.75/each) than wirenuts and hard to find. McMaster-Carr sells them in small quantities.
Doug
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: : > I swear I don't trust these things. You tighten the hell out of them : > but too often one wire does not get pulled in as far as the others and : > is still a bit wiggly, and there is no room to do much of an inspection : > or pull-test. They need to be made out of clear plastic with a square : > end you could twist with a socket wrench -- or maybe install the : > plastic insulator as a second step. : > : : Ideal makes a set screw wire connector that can be useful: : : http://www.idealindustries.com/IDEAL - : EZ/prodcat.nsf/Tables/Set+Screw+Wire+Connectors?OpenDocument :
Hmm, that's a keeper; thanks!
Pop
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If you twist the wires together first, and snip off any ends that stick out a bit too far, you will get a perfect connection every time. It takes practice. Take wire scraps and practice a hundred times... Once you get it right, it will always be done right. The twisting is what REALLY makes the connection. The wirenut just makes the wires stay tightly together and insulate the bare ends.
wrote:

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Doug wrote:

<http://www.idealindustries.com/IDEAL-EZ/prodcat.nsf/Tables/Set+Screw+Wire+Connectors?OpenDocument
Just checking to see if I could keep the link in a usable form. <http://www.idealindustries.com/IDEAL-EZ/prodcat.nsf/Tables/Set+Screw+Wire+Connectors?OpenDocument
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