Butt Splice Line Voltage Wires?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by BobJacobs, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. BobJacobs

    BobJacobs New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    I normally use wire nuts to splice inside a box.

    However I have one situation I think butt splice may be justified. I have a #12 stranded copper wire protruding barely 1.5" from the knock out hole inside the box. The previous owner had twisted a wire nut to it and an additional 8" piece, and now the nut is half way inside the connector and appeared strained. There is just no room to use wire nut in this situation.

    I looked at replacing the wire completely with a longer run, but the conduit is quite full with a mix of solid and stranded and the other end is over eighty feet away and when I pulled the wire from that end a little, it didn't move, indications that perhaps there may be other intermediate junction boxes up in the attic and I am trying to avoid getting up there if possible.

    I am thinking perhaps in this case, a butt splice may be my best bet?

    I am not a pro, so my tools are limited and I don't have any special crimp tool. I found this particular connector.

    Tyco Electronics SolderGrip Heat-Shrink/Solder Multiple Wire Butt Splices, 12-10, 10/Clam

    [​IMG]

    More technical specifications found here.

    http://www.raytech.co.at/products/PDF/ELECDEVS/SLDRGRIP.PDF?PHPSESSID=55624da5b720d20cea136e4a4f8911de

    It seems this would be a pretty strong connection, combining adhesive, solder, and a heat shrink tube.

    What I am wondering is if this type of butt splice connectors are designed to use for 110v line voltage or is it more for low voltage or automotive applications?

    If I could use this type of connectors, I am curious, in order to get the solder to melt I need to set the heat gun to a HIGH setting, and since this wire is inside a metal box near the lip of a connector, I can push all the wires aside, but there are two other wires coming out of the same connector into the box, will the heat gun's heat end up melting the insulation of the other adjacent wires?

    Thank you in advance for any comments and responses.

    Bob
  2. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    329
    Location:
    USA
    what about using something like this?

    [​IMG]


    Ideal In-Sure 4-Port Yellow Wire Connectors (10-Pack)

    made for line voltage.

    all you do is insert the wires in it by pushing. they come in 2 pin,3 pin,4 pin and more variations. a spring clip holds the wire in place, no tools required. don't think soldier / and or butt splices are allowed for 110v.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  3. BobJacobs

    BobJacobs New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    I thought about those, but the wire I have is stranded. What I am concerned is previously when I used these in downlight installations, these didn't work too well for stranded wires, and end up pushing in half way and bent the wire. Seem they work better for solid copper wires. I have noticed some people suggested tinning them and make the ends "solid". The problem is if I can't get it into one of these, I have to cut it and it will then be even shorter.
  4. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    346
    Location:
    Colorado
    You do not want to tin the wire.

    You will not have much luck getting a proper crimp on the butt splice IMO.

    There is a similar connector like the one from Ideal made by Wago. It has levers that clamp down. They work well on stranded.
  5. BobJacobs

    BobJacobs New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    I will check out the Ideal connector.

    As far as crimping, the one I referenced above does not need to be crimped. According to instructions you "bundle" the wire together, slide the connector over it. The heat gun will melt the preflux solder inside the sleeve and cause it to melt and solder the wires together, then the adhesive inside the tubing will coat the entire length, with the heat shrink sleeve forming insulate over. It sounds good in theory...and it's rated for 600V.
  6. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,532
    Location:
    North Carolina
    My first response is that they do not have a third party listing.
    My second response is that the short conductor needs to be replaced not repaired but that is a call you have to make.

    In closing I will in all honesty say that in my home the conductor would be fixed in a manner that would not entail a splice on a short conductor inside the box no matter how much work it entailed. I have moved a device box in my home just for this reason. Cable came in the bottom of the box so I just dropped the box down about 4 inches and the problem was solved.
  7. BobJacobs

    BobJacobs New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    I would prefer to replace the wire as well but I am not able to think of a way to do it without a lot of trouble.

    This particular box is a four gang metal box embedded in a eight inch thick concrete wall. There are four EMT conduits that comes down to connect to it from behind the box, the tubes are located on the other side of that wall, that side being tiled shower area in a bathroom.
  8. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,532
    Location:
    North Carolina
    If the box is being supplied by EMT then replacing the conductors would be easy.
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,915
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
  10. BobJacobs

    BobJacobs New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    Not in my case. The upstream junction box is a long way away and quite congested with old solid copper wires. There must be a bunch of twists and turns as I don't seem to be able to pull on the wire from the other end. Sometimes solid copper wires get tangled up in elbows and you can't replace a wire unless all seven wires are pulled out completely. It's a very long run over eighty feet horizontal, plus the vertical segments.
  11. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    If its too tight for a wire nut, its way to tight to put heat around the other wires to melt solder.

    Crimp it, or screw connect it and heat shrink it - not much heat needed for that. But better to get more wire to work with.
  12. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,532
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I don't see where any of this would matter. Replacement is the only solution that would be compliant and should all this other be a problem then it needs addressing also.

    What we never want to do is make something worse than what it already is but instead always seek to make it better. Trying to splice this conductor together with a device that is not listed for the use is bad but just trying to splice this short wire together is really bad.

    Remember just because it works does in no way mean it is safe.
  13. BobJacobs

    BobJacobs New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    I think the heat required to melt solder is going to cause adjacent wire insulation to melt too.

    Crimping connectors may be one option, will have to see if I have enough room for a proper crimp to be applied. I have to actually put the crimper inside the box in order to orient it properly for a solid crimp...
  14. BobJacobs

    BobJacobs New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    I understand your point on safety, that's why I am trying to rectify this situation - or else I would just close the box and forget about it, since it's not causing a problem at this moment. I don't want any strain to the wire to cause it to pull loose of the wire nut and cause a short in the future.

    However, I am still trying to understand whether if you are saying butt splicing is bad under all circumstances, or are you saying the specific connector I referenced in my first post is a bad one to use for my specific situation. For example, the PANDUIT BSV10X-D BUTT SPLICE VINYL INS 12-10AWG is indeed rated for use in electrical applications, UL Listed and CSA Certified, 600V Max, 221 F (105C) Max Temp Rating, Solid or Stranded 12-10 AWG solid or stranded copper wire. Does it mean these connectors were made for temp or specialized installations?

    Or is there another connector that I should consider?
  15. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,532
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Let me also say that to do something to code standards means that the job is barley safe and to do anything less than what the codes call for is an unsafe installations.

    yes I am saying that butt splicing under the circumstance you outline is wrong.

    yes I am saying that butt splicing under the circumstance you outline is wrong.

    No you should either leave it alone or replace the conductor no other choices involved.
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