Ground wire crimp - to avoid wirenut & pigtail

Old 08-20-04, 03:31 PM
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Ground wire crimp - to avoid wirenut & pigtail

Short of buying the full code book, can anyone point me to a reference (or just offer some personal info) on the use of crimp connectors on ground wires inside an electrical box? When is this ok, when not, that sort of thing.

Have had an informal conversation with a local inspector who mentioned that I could save myself some trouble when wiring some new outlets if I crimped the grounds together leaving them to trail out as their own pigtails. (Rather than wire-nutting them with separate pigtail wires, which is what I've always done before.)

I have a few boxes that are near their wire count limit so conserving a bit of space by not introducing any new pigtails seems like a good idea.

So, if this is a generally approved practice, what are the appropriate connectors and crimp tools, or any other techniques or code requirements that I should of in advance?

Thanks a lot,
Old 08-20-04, 05:17 PM
Homer Simpson
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Crimpsleeves, "Ah...To crimp or not to crimp, that is the question."


Yes it is ok to crimp the grounding conductors together. You can buy them
in varying sizes. The size that I use will accomodate 4 #12 wires. I don't
use dikes or the usual crimpng tool that you use on spade connectors for
automotive. I use a Bucannan ( I hope I spell that right or I'll probably hear
from someone) crimpers made for that. It crimps in 4 places with out deform
ing the conductors inside the sleeve. But I have come across plenty of sleeves that have been crimped with dikes, electrical pliers, and other crimpers.

A short note. Alway twist your ground wire tightly together for several inches
before you put on the sleeve. After crimping cut the wires all execpt one and
leave a long lead and stuff it in the box. If it is a receptical leave two long wires un cut. Connect one long lead to the grounding strap of the recep.
Keep the other long lead in case someone that comes after you needs to add
a wire to the box. He has a ground to connect to with out cutting the sleeve
and unwinding your work. That other guy might be you. Sleeves are from
4 to 6 cents apiece and it look more proffessional. Say goodbye, Homer.
PS I like the copper sleeves and not the steel ones.

Last edited by Homer Simpson; 08-20-04 at 05:33 PM.
Old 08-20-04, 10:48 PM
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I've seen every box in a whole house flunked by the inspector because the guy didn't use an official crimping tool to crimp the grounds. So may sure you have the right tool.

Personally, I think the green wire nuts with the hole in the end are the perfect solution for the DIYer.
Old 08-23-04, 11:52 AM
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Thank you both for your replies. I've actually found the Buchanan copper splice caps, am currently looking for the tool - had figured that a proper crimping tool would be required.

Also found Gardner Bender crimp tubes, they're a bit longer which seems like a good thing, but they're steel, not copper.

Have also seen the wire nuts with a pigtail built into the nose. Discounted those as a possibility since I have 3 wires comming in and need 2 pigtails (it's 2 switches in a 4x4, and a third wire from the outlet below)

The Buchanan crimp is #72400, about 3/8" long, 3/16" ID, this appears to be the size specified for 3 #12 wires, though the specifications on the package are a bit vague. Comments? How "tight" should the sleeve/tube fit over the (twisted) wires before crimping?

Thanks again for any additional advice,

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