#6 Stranded Wire... How to Splice?

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Jonathan S. Weirmeir:
I picked up some #6 wire in 25' long scraps I found recently littered in a ditch. I found it near a lighted parking lot, I suppose the contractor didn't want to dispose of it properly.

Anyway, this is nice, thick wire. This would make a great antenna ground wire!

So, I helped keep my community clean, and took the litter home.

Now, I'm wondering how to join this wire. There isn't a wire nut I can find large enough for this massive wire. What do I do?

Steve Katz:
Assuming it's copper, why not just twist and solder it?  A reasonable soldering iron (250-300W gun, or 120-150W wide-blade iron) and ordinary radio solder should solder this stuff just fine, as will a small propane torch and solder.

If it's aluminum, I'd toss it in the garbage, which apparently the contractor was too lazy to do!


Pete Allen:
Hi: The disadvantage of soldering two pieces of heavy wire together is that the solder will melt if it gets hot enough. And it will get hot enough if lightning hits it.

     If you go to an electrical supply store or a tool and machinery supply and ask you will find there are commercial splices for almost any size copper you might have. The only thing is they are clamps, they cost around a buck apiece, and they look more like a nut or a sleeve with a bolt hanging out the side than the usual brightly colored plastic cone.  

      Strip about 6 inches off each piece, slip one clamp on each piece of wire, put the two pieces of wire next to each other, and tighten away. If you want to have an extra solid splice wrap the space between the clamps with #12 or 14 bare copper. TIGHTLY! Bring the ends of the wrap wire together and twist them together.

     If you need to insulate the wire, use self adhering rubber tape inside and two or three layers of 3M #33 on the outside.

    73  Pete Allen  AC5E

Charles E. Harris:
The best way to splice stranded copper wire larger than AWG 8 is with "split bolts" which you should be able to get at any good hardware store.  Overlap the two stripped ends for a length at least 4 times their diameter, clamp the ends with two split bolts and then waterproof the splice with "liquid electrical tape."

Soldering isn't recommended for lighting ground, because the joint will simply be blown to smithereens from the surge current.

Steve Katz:
Who would use #6 stranded wire for a lightning ground?

I was under the assumption the original post was discussing a "station ground," to ground his equipment.  Possibly not.




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