THWN wire - strand vs. solid


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Old 02-08-04, 11:30 PM
Kray
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THWN wire - strand vs. solid

I was buying THWN wire for use in an outdoor circuit (with PVC conduit). I believe I should use the solid variety for this, but was curious about the other kind that is made of numerous small strands. Could this be used also? In general, I was wondering about the recommended applications for solid and strand wire. When is one preferred over the other?
Thanks.
 
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Old 02-09-04, 05:50 AM
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It is an installers choice. Stranded has some additional requirements for terminating on some devices, but is easier to pull. Most choose solid for #8 and smaller.
 
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Old 02-09-04, 12:18 PM
Kray
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I will have some bends in my circuit and might consider strand wire due to the flexibility advantage. So your comment about termination requirements has my attention. I'm doing a 20 amp circuit that will include a couple of receptacles and one light switch. Are there any special requirements I should be aware of? Thanks.
 
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Old 02-09-04, 09:42 PM
arcspark
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Solid wire is easier to bend around the receptacle screws than stranded wire. If you use stranded wire, watch out for stray strands when bending around the screws. A better method with stranded wire is to use a crimped on forked terminal (sta-kon or equiv) or buy the more expensive commercial receptacles that utilizes a compression screw termination on the sides. I would not use the pushin stab holes on the rear of the receptacles. They give lots of problems.
 
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Old 02-10-04, 01:20 AM
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Stranded wire would be a better choice if you were using it to carry radio frequency (rf) signals due to something known as the skin effect. I'm sure there are some articles you can find on the web about skin effect.

For low frequncy applications like audio or mains (60Hz) skin effect is pretty much non-existent. From a current carrying prespective solid and stranded of the same guage should be very similar.

If you expect the wire to be flexed many times stranded would probably withstand it better than solid which may suffer fatigue and break quicker.
 
 

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