solid vs stranded


Old 07-21-05, 05:08 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 4
solid vs stranded

When purchasing wire such as THHN for use in residential applications are there any differences other than price if solid or stranded is used? Are there advantages or disadvantages of one over the other? Thank -you
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Old 07-21-05, 06:43 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Solid is easier to wrap around screw terminals.
Stranded is easier to pull through conduit when there are turns involved.
Old 07-21-05, 07:01 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NA
Posts: 1,065
Most residential dwelling wiring starting at the main panel is done with "romex cable" utilizing solid copper wiring. Solid copper accomodates connection to, switches, etc.. It saves time and is less expensive than the alternative using conduit. Stranded wiring may be used in underground conduit runs to out buildings but for the most part solid copper is the most common for wiring the interior of homes.

Stranded wiring is more associated with conduit in commercial settings. Stranded wiring facilitates pulling the wires thru the conduit runs. Chicago would be an exception to the rule where conduit is required in homes.

Note: Individual wires whether solid or copper must be run in conduit.
Only exception would be running a green ground wire to facilitate a ground for older homes that dont have ground in the wiring.

If running conduit and stranded wire I would suggest purchasing "backwired receptacles" not backstabbed. These require no bending of the wire around screws or pushing into holes. They use a clamping device to hold the wire. For switches or any fixtures that require bending around a screw head I suggest you wirenut solid wire pigtails to the stranded wire for connection to the device.

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