Wire Nuts

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by cacher_chick, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    Wondering what the general opinion is on the use of wire nuts when splicing wire. I have always stripped the insulation, twisted the wire ends tightly together (clockwise & without damaging the wire), then twisted the wire nut on tight. I normally finish this with a 4-5 turns of tape to prevent the wire nut from coming unscrewed. I see a lot of installations where the wire nuts were put over the straight ends of the wire and twisted. My last home was all soldered and taped (no wire nuts).

    Interested in hearing the consensus on wire nuts and wire splicing in general. Lets limit the comments to techniques used on 12 or 14 ga wire, solid and/or stranded.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    If you use a big enough nut and don't strip the wires too long, I don't see where you need tape. I also find it easier usually to NOT pre-twist the wires. I let the nut do the twisting. This is a plumber talking, so that is my opinion for what it is worth.
  3. solutions

    solutions New Member

    Messages:
    22
    I am around projects i have done almost everyday,and have used either of connections you speak of ,and have noticed no problems to date. My main critera either pre twisted or not is that the wire nut is not loose fitting on the wires,but this is pretty much uncommon providing the right sized wire nut is used. All the electricians i have seen let the wire nut do the twisting with no tape.
  4. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Architect

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    Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Almost all electricians that I have dealt with see tape around a wire nut as a sure sign of a non-electrician that has done the work. All of the instructions for the nuts that I have used don't say to pretwist. Read the instructions for the wire nut, since to be UL listed you need to use or install according to manufacturer's instructions.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Some electricians I have worked with pretwist stranded wire connections but not solid wire ones.
  6. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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  7. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    If you gonna to tape them do it right

    [​IMG]
  8. kd

    kd New Member

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    As I replyed in a post below, Your splice should be mechanically and electrically secure prior to the application of the wire nut. Twist the bare wires. In my class we have experimented with pre twisting. If you do not twist, the connection is weak especially if you are doing more than two wires. One wire can slide out when you are shoving the wires into the box. Some manufacturers say "no need to twist wires prior to application of the wire nut" on the box--some do not. Are you going to stop and read every box? Also, who will be called back to fix a dead circuit? Conclusion: Refer to the King, Chubby Checker: Come on Baby, Let's do the twist!

    One time a co-workers' truck got stuck in the mud. I towed him out with a scrap piece of 12-2 romex. It had a wire nut splice on it that held. I do not think you need tape to hold wire nuts on. If you are concerned about moisture use silicon caulk.
  9. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    Why wouldn't you use a splice kit approved for wet locations?
  10. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

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    If you need tape to hold your nuts, you aint putting them on tight enough.

    I'm thinking....2 #12's in a red nut should take about 8 to 10 1/2 twists. It should twist the wires together inside the nut.
  11. kd

    kd New Member

    Messages:
    207
    The wire nut should twist the wires inside, but I have removed a bunch of them that just tightened on straight wires.
    For wet locations, I do use a wet splice kit. I am talking about outdoor boxes that get condensation in them, standard splices are OK, but I am trying to upgrade the situation. Some wet location wire nuts come with silicon already in them. At least it looks and smell like silicon,--it could be something else.
  12. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    What about all the electrical equipment that is installed outside that has no other protection such as the lamp holder of an outside light, the terminals of outside receptacles or panels the list goes on and on.

    There is no need in upgrading anything
  13. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    An electrician friend showed me a technique that I (a non electrician!!!) feel confident with:

    Strip the ends of the wires to be nutted
    Align them
    Hold the ends in a set of line pliers.
    Hold the wires down 6" from the end with another set of NN pliers.
    Twist (this nicely twists the bare wires AND the sheathed portions securely.
    (Here's the part I like):
    Snip 1/8" off the ends. This gets the wire ends even
    Twist on the wire nut
    Tape or don't tape

    A pro might not need all these steps, but for me, they've been reliable.
  14. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    I would add: strip the wires originally to 1" or so. Then trim however much off you need to have the resulting bare part equal to the recommended length for the wirenut being used. This also gets rid of the nasty bent ends of the twist.
  15. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    I don't twist, but do pull on each wire individually after putting on a nut to verify each is caught tightly in the nut.
  16. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    Location:
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    I use the same technique except instead of cutting them so long I cut the about 7/16 and instead of the piers I let the wire nut do the twisting.
    I save the tape for Sunday afternoons when it might be needed to hold the hood in place.
  17. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    I've also seen nice, solid, securely twisted connection, where the nut was loose enough to fall off. The wires were holding, but the connection was shorting against the metal box.

    IMHO, not pretwisting & checking for solidity afterwards, ensures that you twisted the nut hard enough.
  18. kd

    kd New Member

    Messages:
    207
    After twisting, if the wire nut does not grab, throw it away. I think the time spent trying to pull out each wire could have been spent twisting. I still say do the twist. .... If you think this is a good discussion, try this: should you torque aluminum connections once and consider the job done, or check the torque the next day and re-torque it? Or this: should you torque all connections with a screwdriver type wrench or larger torque wrench?
  19. mikept

    mikept DIY Senior Member

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    Location:
    CT
    Back when i was a freshman in votech high school i did 3 days in electrical and the instructor tought us to pretwist but i' don think i've ever seen an electrician on a job do a pretwist .
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