Electrical splices

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  #1  
Old 09-11-08, 11:36 AM
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Electrical splices

Can standard butt connectors be used to extend a wire in a main panel that is too short? Am I required by code to only use wire nuts? Can't I use a butt connector that has a shrink-wrap outer coating to make for a neater install? I have several wires that need extending and I dont want to clutter the main with a bunch of yellow wire nuts if I dont have to..

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Old 09-11-08, 01:40 PM
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Why? You've already got black tape every where... What's wrong with a little yellow to offset it? You could paint a big bumble bee on the front panel... It'd be SWEET....

Heh. Heh.... Kiddin.

Your bound and determined to make it really difficult for the next guy to do any work, huh?

Wire nuts are great if properly twisted on. You could shoot it dead center with a 38 and probably still not be able to pull the two wires apart. I'd just use wire nuts.

If your talking about the crimp on connectors you usually see in the automotive and electronic industry, I wouldn't do it. They're probably not rated for the voltage/amperage that they'll see in your panel. But then again, I'm not sure what you mean by butt connectors...

But yes, the main panel is an approved junction box so wire nut away.
 
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Old 09-11-08, 02:47 PM
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You can use them, but they must be rated for the voltage and temperature of the circuit, and you must use the manufacturer recommended crimping tool, and they must be rated for use with stranded or solid wire in the AWG appropriate to match the circuit. This requires checking the fine print on the crimp connector package. Minimum voltage and temp for a standard circuit run with romex would be 120V and 60°C. Wirenuts are rated at 600V and 105°C.
 
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Old 09-11-08, 02:50 PM
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Hey 'penguin..
ha ha ha..bumble bee motif..(really laughing here)
Nah seriously, there is a reason why I am asking. I am wiring in a reliance transfer switch to the panel and the wires are all a tad short to reach the breakers that I want. Id say that each wire is about 3 inches too short.
Yes, I was thinking the 'automotive style butt connectors but I found some that are rated for 600volts.
As far as all that tape, the stuff is gone.
Bumble bees......hmmm.....maybe I could repaint the panel in that color scheme and get rid of the drab grey....think it will score points with the local inspector??
 
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Old 09-11-08, 06:28 PM
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See, now you've got me considering the use of them. They are pretty stream-lined and fashionable... I hear all the kids are doing it now......

The NEC has pretty much thought of everything. I wouldn't be surprised if it's specifically prohibited to paint your panel.... I'm kind of partial to a glossy black with a multi tone blue lightning bolt on the front myself... Might be something fun to do after a night out of Beer 4U2

If you can relocate the switch or anything in the panel to get you that extra couple inches, that's preferable of course. Splices are always bad no matter how their connected. Maybe bad can be too strong of a word but you know what I mean...
 

Last edited by madpenguin; 09-11-08 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 09-11-08, 06:59 PM
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In all seriousness though, after thinking about this some more, how is this solution:
trim back the wires in question back to the pvc condulette box where I have the wires running through and put wirenut splices (4 of them to be exact) inside the condulette box. I will be splicing a longer wire (but the same awg) to reach into the main panel. Does this sound feasible? This way, there are no splices inside of the main box--only in the grey pvc condulette (1.5 inch conduit by the way).
If you are familiar with the reliance transfer switches, they come with the wires running through 1 inch metal conduit 18 inches long. I modified mine (because of my application) to run the wires in larger 1.5 inch grey carlon pvc with a condulette spliced in to help me pull through the wires. You think this idea will work? Like you, I really dont want to use butt connectors or a ton of wirenuts in the main panel......
 
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Old 09-11-08, 07:07 PM
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Well, if you've got to splice regardless, then the main panel is the best place to do it. It's thick rolled steel and the best junction box around IMO.

Doing it how you just said, there is a "hidden" element involved which I don't necessarily like. But again.... A splice is a splice I guess.

Can't you shorten the conduit some and move the switch closer to the panel?
 
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Old 09-11-08, 07:21 PM
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Nobody is going to see your splices with the panel cover on. Twist the wires, use a good wirenut and terminate the wire. Have yourself a cold one for a job well done!
 
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Old 09-11-08, 09:22 PM
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He'll see them!!!

He might even toss and turn at night knowing that those pesky wire nuts are there....

It's the mark of a good electrician... Or an overly anal one. You choose.
 
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Old 09-12-08, 04:10 AM
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I wouldn't use butt connectors. Even those rated for solid wire will loosen over time if the metals heat & cool.

Plus, you are wiring to a device, not simply extending field wiring inside a panel to a breaker. If you ever have to replace the device you'll lose an inch or two of wire length cutting off the connectors.

Much better to use wire nuts. Many people say that wire nuts are almost as strong as the original wire.
 
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Old 09-12-08, 05:44 AM
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The condulette may not have enough space to make the splices. You would need to know the cubic inch capacity of the fitting.

If you don't want the splices why not just replace the wires from the transfer panel?
 
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Old 09-12-08, 10:10 AM
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If you don't want the splices why not just replace the wires from the transfer panel?
That's what I would most likely do.
 
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Old 09-12-08, 10:39 AM
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Once upon a time I used butt connectors on 480v motors. It was the company way. They seemed to work fine but for personal work I never had much luck, maybe because I long ago lost the expensive crimper I use to use. (Cheap ones go cross ways; the expensive ones I had go length ways.) In my truck you will finfd mostly wire nuts not butt connectors because wire nuts don't pull apart. But of course that is just my opinion.
 
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Old 09-12-08, 12:04 PM
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Thanks for all the responses so far. PC, even before you suggested replacing the wires in the transfer panel, I already thought of that. Turns out that I would have to completely disassemble the panel and I do not want to do that..not a $400.00 panel at that! So, I just bit the bullet and used wire nuts. tightened them pretty good and placed them neatly in the box. Somehow I kind of figured that butt connectors would get a 'nay' from the professionals here on this board so I just did away with that idea altogether.
 
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