Splicing 3 wires


Old 11-17-12, 04:25 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 68
Splicing 3 wires

Hello, I'm having problems splicing 3 wires together. In the picture below I made a splice for a wire to feed a receptacle, middle of run. The small piece of wire I spliced in rotates/spins on the splice itself. I can rotate it one way and the splice loosens, if I rotate the other way it tightens. I'm assuming this isn't correct... How can I avoid this? What did I do wrong? I may end up skipping the splicing and just feeding through the receptacles...

I've spliced two wires before with no issues, but 3 seems to be an issue.
Attached Images  
Sponsored Links
Old 11-17-12, 05:00 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 614
It's not necessary to twist the wires together. Line them up straight and flush at the ends, 3/8" stripped and insert them into the wirenut.
Old 11-17-12, 05:06 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Or better, yet, push connectors.
Old 11-17-12, 05:24 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 3
Toolman is correct

Hi, I am a retired Electrician. I can tell you the toolman's reply is totally correct. Twisting them together only complicates the ability of a scotchlok to work. Just strip the wires about 1/2 to 5/8" long and put them together side by side so that the ends are all even and put on either a yellow or red (depending on the gauge size of the wire) scotchlok and then if you don't feel comfortable you can still tape wrap them but tape in the same direction that you screwed the scotchlok on.
Old 11-17-12, 11:13 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
The reason the individual wires in your splice can be spun in and out of it is two-fold. 1> You made the spiral too precisely and 2> you stopped twisting, for some reason, when you got to the insulation - a proper splice will twits the wires together well back into the insulated area.

And no, just sticking a wire nut on and twisting it does not splice solid conductors, although it works like a champ for stranded conductors. Just twist the wires a little more, trim the end into more of a point, and twist on the wire nut to protect the completed splice.
Old 11-18-12, 10:00 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,595
I am going to disagree with some points, A properly applied wire nut will apply twist to the conductors even back into the insulation, and secondly, pre-twisting, while not required, does not complicate the application of a wire nut. I also cut the ends of the splice square, not slightly pointed.

A properly applied wire nut should not need tape to hold it on or to cover bare conductor.
Old 11-18-12, 11:03 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 12,288
I agree with PcBoss on all points. I always twist my wires on every splice I make. This ensures a good splice, and good splices = no resistance = no heat = no fires.

I do not recommend using the device for your connection. Your splice looks very good. Put a wirenut on it and move on.
Old 11-18-12, 06:35 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,405
Many manufacturers used to say in their instructions to not pretwist, but now most say pretwisting is not necessary. I prefer to pretwist, but excessive pretwisting of smaller gauges such as #14 can also break a conductor and lead to call-backs.
Old 11-18-12, 06:45 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 46,277
So the moral of the story is...... don't overtwist
Old 11-20-12, 08:16 PM
scoob8000's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 179
I fight with this every time I get into a wiring project. Pre-twist or not to pre-twist. There are two very different schools of thought.

Lately I'll pre-twist if I have 4 or more conductors, or using #12 or bigger.

#14 twists itself very easily with wingged wire nuts. Putting 4-5 #12's under one, not so much.
Old 11-20-12, 09:46 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
I'm thinking that maybe my insistence on twisting may come from seldom working with anything smaller than 12AWG. I prefer spaghetti over fettuccine.

As I said, just the wire nut works best for stranded conductors.

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
Display Modes