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# Junction box question. Could use some help.

#1
01-16-06, 08:35 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3
Junction box question. Could use some help.

I have a junction box with five cables going in. So thats five neutral wires. What is the max number of neutral wires you can tie together using a marrette?

(4)------(3)

() is a marrette.
------ is one neutral wire joining them together.
4,3 is the number of neutral wires.

I hope you understand what Iam tring to explain. I have a junction box with five cables coming into the box , but I can't tie 5 wires together using a marrette. I wanted to know if using a spare neutral wire to join the to together is ok or not?

#2
01-16-06, 08:45 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 1,338
Originally Posted by paramedic416
What is the max number of neutral wires you can tie together using a marrette?

(4)------(3) () is a marrette.

I wanted to know if using a spare neutral wire to join the to together is ok or not?
You don't state your gauge but I am pretty sure I've done Five #12 in a blue Ideal. (First time I've heard 'Marrette'! Thanks for expanding my vocab!)

Otherwise I have also had situations where I had to run jumpers between wirenuts for grounding.

I would guess that's OK for neutrals too because the alternative is to not bond them, and at best that wouldn't work right and at worst would be a hazard.

#3
01-16-06, 08:46 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 995
I understand your "picture" and your question. But I have no idea what a marrette is. Are you in the US? Is it some kind of wirenut? Can you use a bigger one? However, the answer to your question is yes. How many different circuits are using this neutral?

Of course, right after I post this, I'll be Googling "marrette"...

Edit: a "marrette" is a wirenut. I guess I'm too young...

#4
01-16-06, 09:03 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3
Junction box

Not sure how many circits are in this junction box. Working with a house thats 30-40 years old. But Iam in the process of figuring it out. Is there an easy way to find out where these wires are going? Can't follow the lines, there behind walls. The centre of the house is on one circit and the fuse keeps going when the micowave is turned on. Iam tring to take one of the bedrooms off of the circit thats over loaded and tie it into another circit. I guess I just have to find a way to identify which recepticals, and lights are on which circit. Not so easy.

#5
01-17-06, 04:50 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 1,338
Originally Posted by paramedic416
Not sure how many circits are in this junction box.

Is there an easy way to find out where these wires are going? Can't follow the lines, there behind walls.
Sorry my previous post was based on the assumption that all five wires were on the same circuit. Definitely do not bond the neutrals of separate circuits unless this is a multiwire circuit, which in residential is generally two hots sharing a neutral.

You need an outlet tester, also a non-contact neon tester such as a Fluke 1A, and preferably a meter, pencil and paper. With the power off isolate & wirenut all the hot wires in the box and then with the neon tester start checking to see which fuse or breaker controls which hot. Draw a diagram of all the affected lights, switches and receps and start connecting them with the pencil. Good luck.

#6
01-17-06, 04:58 AM
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Fort Mohave, AZ
Posts: 99
bink

#7
01-17-06, 05:30 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,219
If you are using wire connectors of any sort, you need to be aware that there are allowed limits for the sizes and numbers of wire to use. You have to read the instructions and determine if you are applying the connector correctly. If you look at the package that the connectors came in, you will see instructions stating the types of wire that you can use (solid, or solid and stranded), the material (usually copper only, but there are wire nuts listed for aluminium), and the wire gages and combinations. Often there is an abbreviated list of allowed combinations, and you need to look up the complete list.

Here is the 'allowed combination' list for Ideal Industries, a company that makes 'WireNut' brand wire connectors, among others:
http://www.idealindustries.com/pdf/Combinations.pdf

A properly sized connector should be able to take 5 conductors. If you are using 14ga wire, you might want to consider using an Ideal #22 set screw wire connector; with these you insert the conductors (not twisted) into a brass sleeve, and then tighten a screw to make the splice. You can inspect the splice from all sides to be certain that you've captured all of the conductors correctly. The brass sleeve then screws into a plastic cover. I love these for any 'difficult' splices, though they are a bit expensive (about \$1 per splice).

-Jon

#8
01-17-06, 12:34 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3
junction box

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