Wire nuts wrapped with electrical tape?

Reply

  #1  
Old 06-30-07, 06:30 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Seattle
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Wire nuts wrapped with electrical tape?

I've recently replaced some dimmer switches in my house.

I've noticed that many of the connections made by the previous owner were with wire nuts... but then the wire nuts/wires were wrapped with black electrical tape.

When I remove the tape, the connections appear to be secure with just the wire nuts (as you'd expect.)

Is having the tape on there any sort of safety hazard? Any reason to open up dimmers elsewhere in the house to remove tape (assuming they were all done this way?)
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 06-30-07, 06:32 PM
HotxxxxxxxOKC's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 8,044
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It's actually recommended you wrap electrical tape around the nuts. I wrap the nuts and wrap every receptacle with tape.
 
  #3  
Old 06-30-07, 06:42 PM
nap's Avatar
nap
nap is offline
New Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: north
Posts: 4,163
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Originally Posted by HotinOKC View Post
It's actually recommened you wrap electrical tape around the nuts. I wrap the nuts and wrap every receptacle with tape.
AAAAHHHHHH!!!!! not that arguement again.

I don;t know who recommends wrapping the nuts but I never will wrap them unless it is a temporary situation to prevent water entrance to the joint that will be replaced with the proper connection once I have it.

Wrapping the nuts serves no legit purpose that I know of or have ever been told. It creates a mess. The nuts are fully rated to be effective by themselves and need no tape applied.

Now wrapping receps is another story. I often wrap them, especially if they are part of a multi gang device group or whenever I use a cut in box held with Madison straps.

I prefer it in a single gang masonry box as well due to the narrow box. It prevents accidental shorts when removing a energized device as well as accidental electrocutions.

I have had engineers require wrapping receps (as a matter of fact, the spec was 2 complete wraps with an approved electrical tape).

but never the nuts. Please leave the nuts bare. I hate that ooey gooey mess that results.
 
  #4  
Old 06-30-07, 06:54 PM
mango man's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sw FL
Posts: 2,122
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
there was a thread on breaktime recently about it

you can do a search , the link wont work

ill weigh in with a sometimes
 
  #5  
Old 06-30-07, 06:57 PM
HotxxxxxxxOKC's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 8,044
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
lol. I'm no electrician, but it makes me sleep better at night if I wrap them up. If I do everything correctly, I should not have to ever deal with the gooey residue it may leave behind.

I only do electrical work in my own home by the way, before I get burned.
 
  #6  
Old 06-30-07, 07:36 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NA
Posts: 1,065
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
I can only add to naps opinion. It is sometimes spec'd in commercial work to wrap the receptacles, but normally this is just a preference by the electrical contractor. However in my years in the skilled trades I have never been taught formally or informally to wrap a wire nut. In fact if I worked for a contractor and I used tape he was supplying to wrap wire nuts I'd probably be looking for a job. I might be looking for a doctor to repair my head injuries after the guy behind me had to unwrap that sticky mess. It serves no purpose... can you tell us what good it does to wrap a wire nut? Never mind forget it...it's a pointless argument. The last time I dealt with a bunch of tape on wirenuts I just took my cutters and made it easy on myself.

Roger
 
  #7  
Old 06-30-07, 07:50 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Just to put on a bit more fuel I once read a warning in a how-to book not to do it because the inspector may wonder what your trying to cover up and red tag it.
 
  #8  
Old 06-30-07, 07:58 PM
HotxxxxxxxOKC's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 8,044
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The OP just wanted to know if it was dangerous to have tape on the nuts. We can minimize the personal opinions of it.

It's not dangerous and you can remove the tape in the rest if you want too.
 
  #9  
Old 06-30-07, 08:06 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NA
Posts: 1,065
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Smile

Hey Oklahoma..... just passing a Saturday evening. Poking a little fun your way.
Been raining like the dickin's here in Kansas lots of flooding. 8 inches in 2 days... heard it is worse your way.


Wasn't that a heck of a play at the end of the bowl game last year!? Oh crap there I go again.....

Roger
 
  #10  
Old 06-30-07, 08:19 PM
HotxxxxxxxOKC's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 8,044
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
you should see my backyard....can almost swim in it.
 
  #11  
Old 06-30-07, 08:20 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Seattle
Posts: 64
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Just curious... when you talk about wrapping receptacles... I assume you mean around the outside--top, bottom, left, right, so that the screws are covered up? What does it help prevent?
 
  #12  
Old 06-30-07, 08:22 PM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,455
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
"We can minimize the personal opinions of it."

I see it more as "professional opinions", and isn't that what DIYers come here for?

I agree that tape has not place on wire nuts. This is a glaring DIY tactic under the misinformation that it make things "safer".
I have never seen a professional electrician tape wire nuts. There is simply NO reason for it.
 
  #13  
Old 06-30-07, 08:28 PM
HotxxxxxxxOKC's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 8,044
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It's not unsafe and that is what the OP was asking. The OP was not asking if that's what electricians do.


Even this websites How-To's tell you to do it.

http://www.doityourself.com/stry/replacedishwasher

part #4.
 
  #14  
Old 06-30-07, 08:48 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NA
Posts: 1,065
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
I think the phrase you used "that it is reccommended" is what brought the goblins out. You have a point though the op just wanted to know if it was unsafe and you provided a source to back up what you said. So I suppose we better put up or shut up.

Roger
 
  #15  
Old 06-30-07, 10:15 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 1,338
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
When I have three or more stranded conductors approaching a wirenut from different conduits, I will sometimes tape the wires together an inch or two below the stripped point, so they stay in place while I screw on the nut.

But I never tape over the nut. With tape goo on the nut, wouldn't it be much harder to turn the nut by hand? That could lead to use of pliers, which might result in broken nuts. Broken nuts are bad.
 
  #16  
Old 07-01-07, 08:59 AM
nap's Avatar
nap
nap is offline
New Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: north
Posts: 4,163
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
[deleted]

jensenh: Just curious... when you talk about wrapping receptacles... I assume you mean around the outside--top, bottom, left, right, so that the screws are covered up? What does it help prevent?
-----------

If you knwo what a madison strap is it will make sense. For the life of me I cannot find a pic to link. Basically they look kind of like an F with a bit more of the stem sticking up as well/

They are used for retaining cut in boxes in a wall. You put the stem behind the wall, one strap on each side of the bx. The you fold the horizontal parts in to the box to keep the box in. The tabs on top and bottom of the box keep it from going inward through the wall.

Anywy, those parts you fold in are difficult to get to lay flat and sometimes stick out a bit. In a cut in box, there is not a lot of room between the recep screws and the side of the box and the strap ends have occasionally touched the terminal screws. If it touches the hot side, you have a short circuit to ground. If it touches the neutral side, you have a ground being incircuit with a nuetral.

The tape is a precaution to prevent such touching.

Since the wired are so close to the sides, you also have the concern of an accidental touch if you remove the device hot.

as well, when you have devices side by side, depending onhow they were terminated, there are sometime a tail of wire (generally due to poor workmanship, but it does happen) that may touch the other device or something else. Again, simply a precaution.

It also help from fat fingered guys like me getting zapped when I pull a hot device from the box and slip and touch a hot terminal screw. (not that I ever work anythink hot but there are times customers get po'd when you have to shut down their entire office to make a repair so things aren;t always as they should be)
 
  #17  
Old 07-01-07, 09:46 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,981
Received 35 Votes on 30 Posts
Whether it makes the customer upset or not OSHA has strict rules about working anything hot.

If you were to work things hot there are requirements for proper personal protective equipment that needs to be used.
 
  #18  
Old 07-01-07, 11:29 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NA
Posts: 1,065
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
But you live in that perfect world on the other side of the street.

Roger
 
  #19  
Old 07-01-07, 11:57 AM
nap's Avatar
nap
nap is offline
New Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: north
Posts: 4,163
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
OSHA rules do allow circuits to be worked while energized as long as proper safety precautions are used/taken.

I don;t mean to flaunt a disregard for the rules and expect everybody to do everything in their power to work safely. It is your/their life that is involved. If you don;t care if you live or die, then why should anybody else.

With that said, real life does not always conform to OSHA rules. One must always perform their work with an attitude of safety, even when using every conceivable piece of PPE made.


about conforming to OSHA rules and the client being po'd.

Like I stated above, OSHA does allow work on energized circuits. In the real world, one must also realize that a pissed customer is usually known as a former customer as well. There is a fine line we dance daily to remain safe and please a customer. I have no intent of being killed on my job and do take actions and work so as to prevent such a result. As a service electrician, I work with hot circuits more than the average sparky. It is a neccessity most of the time. PPE is part of my tool collection and hopefully a bit of wisdom as well is in there.
 
  #20  
Old 07-01-07, 11:58 AM
HotxxxxxxxOKC's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 8,044
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
This thread is getting a little off topic. lol
 
  #21  
Old 07-01-07, 12:01 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
Just one more log on the fire. I never wrap nuts for the same reason nap says. But we have a new inspector in our county, and I had my first electrical by him on Friday, and since it was a remodel I had to pigtail in the new upgrade panel. He said it all looked good, but would I mind wrapping the wire nuts. Of course the next words were "yes sir", and I didn't even ask him why ( I controlled the urge).
 
  #22  
Old 07-01-07, 12:04 PM
nap's Avatar
nap
nap is offline
New Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: north
Posts: 4,163
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
heard and understood but just a note in reponse:

is safety ever really ever "off topic"?
 
  #23  
Old 07-01-07, 12:08 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 995
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
To me, it's not the goo, although that's a good reason not to wrap them, but when I see wire nuts wrapped in tape, my first thought is to assume it was done by an amateur because the first one I found like that was wrapped because there was still bare copper under the tape as the wire had been stripped too long and wrapping the nut with tape was the way they had chosen to deal with it. Now it just irks me every time I see it. I feel like I have to untape it just to inspect it.
 
  #24  
Old 07-01-07, 12:46 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 1,338
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Could the origin of this practice be old methods of splicing?

I don't recall the specifics but an old-timer electrician, who started work right after WWII, told me about soldering and using some kind of rubber gunk on the connections and then putting friction tape over the whole mess.

This was while he was part of a crew rewiring a large building full of these connections. He did the best-looking work I've ever seen, with not a hint of electrical tape on anything. I wish I had some pictures of the wiring in his panels and junction boxes.
 
  #25  
Old 07-01-07, 12:56 PM
nap's Avatar
nap
nap is offline
New Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: north
Posts: 4,163
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
that sounds like the best argument I have heard explaning the situation.

Old habits do die hard. Could simply be carry over from practices past which are then seen or handed down to the younger guys.
 
  #26  
Old 05-26-08, 02:09 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Electrical Tape

Is there any risk if you wrap the wires in electrical tape before you apply the caps? This seems to work fine and make it easier to get the caps to stay on.
 
  #27  
Old 05-26-08, 03:42 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 7,020
Received 111 Votes on 101 Posts
Do not wrap the wires in tape before you install the wire nut. It will make a poor connection between the wires. The wire nut has a metal inside that help make the connection between the wires.
Tape is not required for properly installed wire nuts.
 
  #28  
Old 05-26-08, 04:22 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
And you will want to twist the caps until the wires it is holding begin to twist, too. That way you know you have a good connection in the metal part of the cap, and that all the wires are captured.
 
  #29  
Old 05-26-08, 04:41 PM
HotxxxxxxxOKC's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 8,044
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Oh no.......not the electrical tape thread......
 
  #30  
Old 05-26-08, 06:23 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,808
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by HotinOKC View Post
Oh no.......not the electrical tape thread......

LOL i know how you feel on that one and in other forums it been debated simuair to this one.

For now i will leave this thread open unless it get out of hand i will or other moderaters will lock this up.


For professenal option.,,

I do alot of wirenutting for living and 99% of my time i don't tape it over at all only 1% of time i will tape the wirenut{s} is at the peckerhead [ motor junction box ] due pretty good viberations otherwise IMO it kinda waste time and good set of tape. [ this is my option only ]

Merci,Marc
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: