Stranded wire question

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  #1  
Old 07-07-07, 06:27 PM
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Stranded wire question

I went to set up my elderly in-laws' window air conditioner. Since I noticed the receptacle had little tension (plugs fell out easily) I decided to replace it with a new one. I got one of those newer Leviton spec grade receptacles ($2 at HD) that you can backwire, but which clamps down on the conductor when the terminal screws are tightened (rather than the spring type backwire that are notorious for failure, especially with a load like an air conditioner). When I removed the wire from the original receptable, I discovered that it was stranded rather than solid (it's THHN 14 ga. on a dedicated 15A circuit). The question is whether you can use the clamping-type backwire receptacle with stranded conductors. I coudn't find anything on the receptacle's box either way.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-07-07, 06:41 PM
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The best fix is to use pigtails of solid wire.
 
  #3  
Old 07-07-07, 07:31 PM
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Backwired Leviton BR-15 series are definitely OK with up to 10 AWG stranded. I have a house full of them on 12 AWG stranded. They are the best way to go with stranded.

As long as all of the strands are intact on the existing 14 AWG stranded, I am not sure why pigtailing with solid would be necessary or helpful; it seems to me that the clamping action is more effective with stranded than solid.

That is, you can use less torque to get greater holding power with stranded than with solid. I suppose since the stranded conductor is more deformable.

But, I am open to new perspectives.
 
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Old 07-07-07, 07:37 PM
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I'm on your side on this one argemematey
 
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Old 07-08-07, 07:22 AM
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I wholly agree. There is absolutely NO reason to use solid wire.

We use stranded wire and back wire receptacles in commercial applications ALL the time.
 
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Old 07-09-07, 08:47 AM
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If you think about it, there will be significantly greater actual contact area using the "flattened" stranded wire.
 
  #7  
Old 07-09-07, 09:13 AM
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Backwire (pressure plate) receptacles are fine with stranded wire. In fact, outside of residential, you won't find much solid wire.
 
  #8  
Old 07-09-07, 09:50 AM
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Most commercial here is solid-wire MC cable when not exposed. And most #12 in conduit is also solid around here.
 
  #9  
Old 07-09-07, 12:09 PM
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> Most commercial here is solid-wire MC cable when not exposed.

I was just thinking of conduit, but you're right about MC.
 
  #10  
Old 07-09-07, 02:27 PM
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I feel sorry for ya MAC. I don;t use solid MC and I don;t use solid THHN unless solid is spec'd by the arc.

I tell folks that as soon as they make stranded NM, then I might think about resi work but until then I'll stick with commercial/industrial.
 
  #11  
Old 07-09-07, 02:33 PM
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I'm with Nap. What little electrical work I do is almost always with stranded. I hate it when I have to deal with solid wire.
 
  #12  
Old 07-09-07, 02:34 PM
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Thanks for the responses. I've done my share of residential wiring but never ran into stranded conductors in 12 or 14 AWG.
 
  #13  
Old 07-09-07, 07:04 PM
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We do most (if not all) of our commercial wiring with stranded wire, solid copper is actually very rare for us (unless we are running an armoured cable) and we use nothing but spec receptacles. I've never heard of pigtail solid onto stranded to make the connection.
 
  #14  
Old 07-10-07, 10:41 AM
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If stranded wire is allowed in commercial why is not allowed or not used in residential?
 
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Old 07-10-07, 11:07 AM
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Stranded wire IS allowed in residential settings. However, it requires conduit, and it is much easier (and cheaper) to string NM type cable which is solid wire.
 
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