Crimped connections certainly are code-approved most places, they're
UL listed, CSA approved, etc. They take up less space than a wire
nut, and when they're done right they're more vibration resistant.
They're available insulated (commonly 600V rating) or bare metal,
I can't think of any good reason not to use properly-installed crimp
connectors for household wiring, except perhaps on fixtures that are
likely to be replaced somewhat frequently. I certainly wouldn't
worry about homeowner's insurance objecting to code-compliant crimped
firstname.lastname@example.org is Joshua Putnam
I'll expand on Toller's question. Why? What circumstance in any residential
application requires the use of a crimped connection? As one poster
referenced, there may be a code requirement in one locale but I suspect
that's not your case. Now, I'm all for over-engineering something and also
looking for a reason to buy a new cool tool.
So, what is the reason you think you require a crimped connection?
In reply to "No"
Question: why even *want* to crimp, anyway?
my answer: space. (a) my house (1969, Cu wiring) used
crimps when built. There are many boxes where there is
no room for wire nuts when rewiring in an existing box. (b)
I am remodelling my kitchen. new wiring, new boxes. I got
the largest volume boxes I could find, but I am using (an admittedly
over-the-top number of) programmable dimmers which have 5,
count 'em, 5, connections for each dimmer (gnd, neut, data buss,
hot, switched load).
Maybe not a good reason, but that's my reason.
BTW, thanks to all the reply-ers for very interesting and
thoughtful comments and suggestions.
Thanks for commenting back. Sometimes folks take the time to reply to
posters then feel like they are talking back to no one.
Would you mind posting information on the programmable dimmers? Sounds like
they are not X10 given a data buss connection. Why did you chose your
system? Is it easy to retrofit?
regarding the question about automated dimmers. I am
using (mfgr) Lightolier (model) MultiSetPro dimmers, switches,
and controllers. The system is, IMO, fairly clever. The wiring
connections, however, are very complex.
Each switch and dimmer has 5 connections: hot, neut, gnd,
switched hot, and data buss. Each controller (and there *can*
be something like 30, if you want.... I have 2) has 3 connections:
hot, neut, and data buss.
Each switch and dimmer can be operated manually just like a regular
switch/dimmer. In this case, you are manually overriding the system.
The controller has 5 "scenes". Each scene can be any combination
of dimmer/switches, and any individual dimmer brightness setting.
To program, press a scene code (for example "A"),
set up your room the way you want it,
then press a set button on each dimmer
or switch. The dimmer or switch remembers how
it is suppposed to act under program code A.
Same for B, C, D. 5th scene is all units "on".
The buss connection is low voltage, low current,
so you can use a single strand of
insulated wire and snake it to retrofit.
In my case, I had the sheetrock off, so I ran
14/3 romex and used the 3rd wire for the buss connection.
Once you program things, it remembers,
even if you cut the mains, so there is
some ePROM kind of thing in each unit.
There is also a wireless remote, if you
are *really* bored.
In my case, I have under-cabinet fluorescents,
halogen task lighting, and halogen
wall-washer accent lighting for each kitchen
counter, plus halogens around the dinner
table. I have different programs for working
at the counter, sitting at the table,
mininal lighting, and "ambience" illumination
of the cabinets I built myself. Since
I have 2 controllers, one at each kitchen
entrance, I can call each program from
either entrance. It is definitely excessive in terms
of kitchen lighting, but I wanted
to fool around with lighting as a design element.
Even if you don't groove on "scenes",
it is very nice to be walking out of the kitchen and
hit the "OFF" button to kill all the
lights in the kitchen, independent of what is actually on.
It all works. My only beef is that each box
is a rat's nest, a real wiring
nightmare. I wanted to try and clean
things up a bit, and was pondering
the idea of crimping the connections.
Hence the original post.
I actually think I'll get a good crimping tool and
try some crimps, but *NOT* in the kitchen.
Instead, I'll just pick a simple place and try one.
The thread has had lots of good info and opinions.
Again, thanks to everybody
who weighed in.
I'm curious what the NEC's restrictions are (if any) on mixing line
voltage and low voltage wiring in a single box, as these apparently
Probably NO NO NO. unless its a dedicated device that uses both as part
of its operation.
Your NOT ALLOWED to run say a doorbell wire even close to a powerline
wire because of the shockhazard if they should somehow accidently cross
Yea - I can see the benefits of crimps if they will take up less room in the
jbox. Downside is that this is a fairly complicated setup. Crimps are
permanent, if you use them you better make sure you do it correct the first
time. Also, please label and diagram everything and save the manuals. One of
us may someday be living in your house and by having this well documented
will save us the headaches if something goes wrong.
Also, may I suggest - get a couple of spare switches and a spare controller
and a spare anything that is proprietary. This sort of technology seems to
change pretty quickly. 5 or 10 years from now when a wall switch fails you
will have a hell of a time finding a replacement if I were to bet. And one
will fail someday.
Anyway - your setup sounds nice. I am going to research this solution for
myself as well.
Funny you should mention this. I had thought seriously
about this myself, and may do it, BUT...
Each switch or dimmer or controller is roughly $100 ea.
You have to weigh having $300 in unused spares vs the
odds of getting into a thorny problem down the road. My
guess is that there will be something around. Maybe
have to replace all units together, but something that
will be able to use the current wiring.
Dont crimp solid wire.
I dont care if someone says it is right or ok... crimp on wire
terminals just dont hold up well on solid wire.
Ive been working with electrical machinery all my life and while some
will say that its the tool or the person doin the crimping it still
even the 4 way crimpers will loosen up over time...all electrical
If you want a round connector on the end of a solid wire get you a pair
of round nose pliers and form your own connection. I can make a round
"terminal end" on any wire that is far superior to any crimp on
connector...cause there is no joint.
Make the "hole" a tad bigger than the thread portion of the screw so it
doesnt twist when you tighten the screw, its the best electrical
connection you can get.
yes...I believe I stated in my post that "all" electrical connections
will loosen over time. But the simple fact is that a crimped
connection will last longer over stranded wire....they just dont grip
that well on solid wire.
Ive worked with electricity for 25 years....Ive seen them all
fail..wirenuts, crimps, screw terminals......they all loosen over
time...but the fact remains that with solid wire a screw terminal will
hold up longer..and its easier to maintain......
of course this all depends on the competance of the person doing the
work ....... I see wire connections everyday where someone didnt get
the wire into the connector far enough or something "just went wrong"
and the person doing the work either didnt care or didnt know...
I have a interesting one. A switch at the edge of its ratings. It
frequently fries out:(
It uses screw terminals with round crimp connectors screwed on.
out of the connectors once I wrapped the wires directly around the
boy was I surprised the switches last twice as long. apparently the dis
similiar metals, brass screw terminals, copper wire, and different
metal terminals cause heating and ultimate failure
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