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Author Topic: Wire Nuts  (Read 9154 times)
N9KTW
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Posts: 23




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« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2013, 03:24:25 PM »

As a Licensed electrical contractor for over 30 years it is a very rare occasion to see a PROPERLY installed wirenut fail or fall off. I was taught as an apprentice that the reason to twist the wires prior to the installation of the wirenut is so that if it needed to be removed on a live circuit the splice wouldnt come apart creating an additional hazard of live wires fannining out in all directions.

I have used more than a few wirenuts in the shack to connect equipment to the power supply when there isnt enough room on the binding post ( being careful of course to watch the gauge of the initial lead from the binding post). Never had a failure, beats tape, as it doesnt loosen of get gooey if you need to change things.

Just my "2 cents worth" .


73 de Howard, N9KTW
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2013, 03:45:46 PM »

Well, when it comes to good ole fashion American Git-R-Done, the wirenut can and indeed does show up being pressed into service for all kinds of connections other than household 120 wiring. 

Those tiny gauge wirenuts come in handy on low voltage stuff, speaker wiring, too.

And, this old ham as used a pair of wirenuts to extend his ladderline to the antenna, outdoors, no less, you know how it works, it was temporary, at least that's what I said at the time, they stayed out there several winters before I had to address the issue and then it turned out to be the solder joints up at the feedpoint had crapped out, those two weathered wirenut connections were still going fine. 


73
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K0JEG
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Posts: 672




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« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2013, 10:21:47 AM »

Just don't use them to make a "splitter" for your Cable TV.

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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2013, 12:33:16 PM »

Well, I have actually used wirenuts to join to pieces of coax together on Field Day. 

Likely there was an impedance bump, but my antenna tuner did not seem to mind. 

The more fun was had listening to all the hams declaring such to be wrong and impossible, shouldn't be done, wouldn't work, while every one of 'em was standing there watching me rack up CW contacts and logging same.  Of course, non of those knowledgeable chaps could even copy the CW contest speeds being demonstrated right in front of their eyes...

I remember viewing a webpage of a Brit amateur who used hardline as feedline to his rather elaborate topband antenna setups, he spliced hardline together in much the same way, big ugly twist and solder connections, after which he would twist them to point upwards and plop a clear plastic two liter soda bottle overtop as his protection from the elements.  Looked nasty, but then there were all these contacts he routinely made on topband, complete with the great signal reports. 

73
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KH6DC
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Posts: 660




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« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2013, 09:56:57 PM »

All electrical connections behind the walls are in either metal or plastic junction boxes and connected wth wire nuts or wing nuts.  Strain relief in a form of clamps are used plus I pigtail the grounding wire to the box (if metal).
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73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC
KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2013, 12:11:29 PM »

I once tore into the wall of an old house up in Pennsylvania and found ZIPCORD inside, being used to power ceiling light and two receptacles. 

The zipcord was the old rubberized stuff, stiff as a board and cracked all over, yet there obviously had never been a fire. 

Of course, that prompted me to do a total rewire of the property.  I also found romex from the old fusebox that was only in the visible areas of the basement, up inside the walls it magically turned into pin and tube, no wirenuts, big twist connects covered in friction tape.  What a mess.

It constantly amazes me the amount of misuse and abuse our electric system can take without mishap, seeing things like this.  But I'm sure that not all enjoyed the luck of the draw, as it were.  Have seen many an electrical fire as well.  The old buildings in the northeastern part of the country seem to be able to show you anything and everything.  A lot of it just plain wrong. 


73
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K1CJS
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« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2013, 03:43:29 AM »

...I also found romex from the old fusebox that was only in the visible areas of the basement, up inside the walls it magically turned into pin and tube, no wirenuts, big twist connects covered in friction tape.  What a mess....

...The old buildings in the northeastern part of the country seem to be able to show you anything and everything.  A lot of it just plain wrong.

Taking into account the age of some of those buildings, some of that wiring was standard practice back then.  Not the zipcord, but pin and tube converted to old gutta percha 'romex'.  Also, the standard way of splicing was to twist the wires together and use friction tape--plenty of it.  You've got to remember that this was before even those old porcelain 'twist ons'--the precursor to wire nuts.

I agree that old wiring like that ought to be replaced when come across when additions or alterations are made, but on the other hand, if it isn't disturbed, there is no reason that it shouldn't continue to do what it was intended to do.  You've got to remember that back then things were done to last--and with materials that would outlast the newer, more modern materials that have been used since then.
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KE3WD
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« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2013, 06:38:54 AM »

Yes, I knew that what I found was once standard practice as regards the pin and tube conversion. 


What I was trying to highlight is that, even though this situation had been allowed to stay there way past its "freshness due date" and all of it was dry, crumbling, tape and cloth covered insulation, it was still working in there all those years, and, apparently hadn't burnt the place down.  Grandpa's generation of electricians knew quite a bit. 


73
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KD0REQ
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Posts: 1006




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« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2013, 09:07:39 AM »

>> You've got to remember that back then things were done to last--and with materials that would outlast the newer, more modern materials that have been used since then

I don't buy it.  the KnT in my folks' house was 18 gauge Copperweld.  no way in heck that stuff is good for 15 amps.  wsn't then, isn't now.  I went whaling on that stuff at every opportunity, and much of it had the gutta-percha or crackly rubber coming off at the touch.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2013, 03:59:35 AM »

Grandpa's generation of electricians knew quite a bit. 

Yes, they certainly did.
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12980




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« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2013, 06:04:21 AM »

Many of the issues you find in old homes are not the result of an electrician. It was usually the result of a homeowner who didn't think about safety doing his own thing. You should see some of the things I've found in old government buildings! For example, a 100 foot + run of #18 zip cord run through an unprotected knockout in a panel and connected directly to a 15A breaker. Guess they ran out of BX cable that day  Wink
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2013, 09:44:30 AM »

Many of the issues you find in old homes are not the result of an electrician. It was usually the result of a homeowner who didn't think about safety doing his own thing. You should see some of the things I've found in old government buildings! For example, a 100 foot + run of #18 zip cord run through an unprotected knockout in a panel and connected directly to a 15A breaker. Guess they ran out of BX cable that day  Wink


I once encountered an entire gummint built office building that was using shared neutrals everywhere. 

They had already remodeled the interior and I was called in to find out what was happening to all the personal computers.  What a mess. 

Place was built back in WWII.   Picked up for a "song" in the 80s to be converted to private use, boy did they buy a pig in a poke.  Cost 'em millions on that attempt at a dynamite deal.

73
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K1DA
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Posts: 524




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« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2013, 09:55:47 AM »

I've never liked the idea of joining ROUND wire by "compression". Not much surface area between the two conductors.  Every wire nut I have used in my home has been AFTER soldering the wires.  Belt and suspenders. 
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6055




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« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2013, 05:06:50 AM »

I've never liked the idea of joining ROUND wire by "compression". Not much surface area between the two conductors.  Every wire nut I have used in my home has been AFTER soldering the wires.  Belt and suspenders.  

Ah, but you overlook the fact that copper wire is very malleable.  Soft wire like that doesn't stay 'round' when it is compressed, it squashes together.  If you've ever looked at a properly tightened wire nutted connection when the wire nut is removed, you'll find that the wires aren't perfectly round, they ARE squashed together, and the imprint of the coil of the wire nut is present on the outer sides of the wires that were joined together.

As a matter of fact, depending on the solder used, a soldered then wire nutted connection may be a poorer connection than one made without being soldered.  The solder may in fact be harder than the wire and may flow again if the connection is heated, loosening the connection itself.  

Properly joined connections made with wire nuts do not need any other means of joining the wires together.  If that weren't the case, the Underwriters Labs would have never approved the use of wire nuts in the first place.  73!  
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G3RZP
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Posts: 4830




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« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2013, 09:01:45 AM »

I think the pressure on the wires actually leads to some cold welding, as with wire wrapped joints.
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