Two many splices? Or OK?


Old 12-21-07, 01:20 PM
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Two many splices? Or OK?

Another Home Depot info motivated question:

I am running a 30A feeder to a small subpanel in a shed. The electricians doing work on the house when we bought it had run some 10-3 NMB to a point within the basement and left it disconnected; it was to be used for electric dryer but we have gas. I decided to extend and use this cable for my feeder.

So, I have a splice to more 10-3 NMB w/G cable to finish run within the basement and plan to splice THWN or THNN 10 awg w/ 3 conductors & EGC for the outdoor run.

Someone at Home Depot made me feel like it was a bad thing to do... to have two splices. I can't see how it is since splices are used in every receptacle, every time you want to split off a run of wire into two sections, etc.

So did I make a mistake extending the NM? I suppose I could have run the THWN from the original termination point, but I didn't want to deal w/ conduit inside (tho I suppose flex would have been easy enough, if it is allowed).

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Old 12-21-07, 01:45 PM
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Nothing wrong with two splices so long as they are done within an adequate size J-box and remain accessible. What is the distance to the shed? If a long distance #10 may not be large enough.

(Note some will say you should have a receptacle for a dryer in case of future sale of your house but that IMHO is not really relevant to your question.)
Old 12-21-07, 05:09 PM
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Another fine BIG BOX moment.
.........Your point of receptacles is the perfect question to ask this guy! Splice away, just follow the "Exposed Box" and "Box fill" rules and you'll be fine.

I do agree with Ray though. A Dryer outlet will never hurt. I bought a second hand electric dryer for the winter months, so the gas bill between heat , hot water, and the dryer dont send me to the poor house. Another one of thse "Maybe I'll need it someday" projects that paid off...
Old 12-21-07, 07:42 PM
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Thanks guys, good to hear.

As for the dryer circuit... I thought about it. My original plan, which I carried out 1/2 way (the ugly half) was to run 20A to the shed but I did the voltage drop calcs and discovered it would be more than I liked. Anyway, running that 20A cable, along with another 20A cable and a 100A feeder was enough nasty and difficult work in the crawlspace. Given the choice between running another 30A cable or extending the one that was already out in the unfinished basement became, for me, a no-brainer. (I did end up with a spare 20A cable in the deal, we'll see if that comes in handy some time.)

I am just playing odds... if the next buyer demands it, I may be back in the crawlspace again... but maybe they won't too... and I got to skip one trip down there.
Old 12-21-07, 07:53 PM
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Numerous splices are frowned upon by some for one main reason.

Every splice is a potential failure point. As wires heat and contract from the current running through them, the connections are stressed. Some connections eventually fail. The more splices in a cable, the more locations to check for a failed connection.

Your splices may not ever fail. Or they may fail. You cannot predict the future.
Old 12-21-07, 09:51 PM
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A point of failure because of a splice is one thing to consider, but in the real world a properly done splice is as good as a straight run of wire.

One thing that bothers me:

DavidT, you wrote: "I am just playing odds... if the next buyer demands it, I may be back in the crawlspace again..."

Please don't think that way. The next owner will have to deal with your shortcuts, and it could cost thousands for something that would have cost you an extra $50 if you had done it right the first time.

Believe me: I'm the guy that bought one of those cut-corners specials.
Old 12-22-07, 12:21 PM
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Rick, I think/hope you misunderstood... I didn't mean that I was cutting corners, just that I decided to use the existing cable now rather than save it for future use for a potential buyer who would have an electric dryer. Had I not used the existing cable, I would have to have run a new one now. If a future buyer wants an electric dryer then either they can install a new cable, or maybe I'd be the one to run a new cable for the dryer. I am just trading off the potential for having to run a future cable for the reality of having to run one today; I am reducing my chance of running a new 30A cable from lets say 100% now (had I left cable for future dryer use) to 50% in the future (should someone choose electric over gas dryer).

For the record, the existing cable didn't reach the dryer area anyway... so one splice was necessary to use the cable no matter what.

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