Extending Wires in the Main Service Panel

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  #1  
Old 12-21-12, 08:42 PM
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Extending Wires in the Main Service Panel

I am going to install an interlock kit in my serice panel for my generator as I was unable to find an electrician who was willing to install my transfer panel (not a transfer switch) at a reasonable price.

As (my) luck would have it, the top two slots are filled by my stove's 50 AMP double pole breaker and will therefor have to be moved.

I have researched and it seems to be common practice to use wire nuts in order to extend the wires. I must admit I shudder at the thought of having to do that with 6 gauge wire as it is no fun.

I spoke with an electrician in another state (too far away from me to do the work) who said he uses insulated butt connectors like this:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]6911[/ATTACH]

He said that they are UL listed and a perfectly acceptable alternative to wire nuts. He said he crimps the connectors on the wire and tapes it up and inspectors do not have any issues.

Can anyone confirm this? Butt connectors would give a much cleaner splice, as well as save valuable space in my panel (the electrician who installed it must have thought I never would have taken the cover off!).

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 12-21-12, 10:17 PM
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Butt crimps are good in their place but are too small for use here.
You can buy the raw metal crimps to fit the wire but you need a special crimp tool
red - # 18-20
blue # 14-16
yellow # 10-12

I use these dual screw splices. Very solid. A little rubber tape.....a little black tape and you're done.
These are made by Thomas and Betts.
 
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Old 12-22-12, 12:04 AM
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Crimp connectors are for stranded wire. Using them on solid wire often leaves a less than satisfactory splice. The exception is the Buchanan crimp-cap when crimped with the C-24 PRESS-ure tool.
 
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Old 12-22-12, 02:42 AM
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One important thing is whether your wire is aluminum or copper and the materail you are adding. In a splice two different material need to be kept separate. If they are copper you can use a blue wire nut. If different you could use the larger splice block shown, Polaris pre-insulated connectors ro split bolts.

Split bolts are a lot of work and material to insulate properly.
 
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Old 12-22-12, 09:17 AM
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Thanks for the replies!

@PJmax - there are no concerns with just using tape to cover the exposed connection? I would think that should come with a form fitting insulated sleeve. I worry that tape could eventually peal exposing the metal. Where would one purchase that connector?

@Furd - good point.

@pcboss- luckily all copper in my house but good point about joining dissimilar metals. As a matter of fact the electrician who installed my main service taped the aluminum wires from the power company to the copper mains from the house. Over the years the connection got all loose and charred. I had the power company come out and the guy was livid at the work saying that they are 3 miles down the road and offer the proper connectors for free. He said I was well on the way to a fire and showed me the evidence of it.
 
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Old 12-22-12, 09:22 AM
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In the picture that lug looks gigantic. It's not. It makes the perfect splicing bug. Very compact....no sharp edges. Easy to wrap with tape.
I've only ever used rubber splice tape and electrical tape.

Using a good electrical tape would also work just fine.
You could also use shrink tubing.


Just as an aside.....that bug is also approved for copper to aluminum connections as well.
 
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Old 12-22-12, 09:26 AM
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Tape is commonly used on some types of connections and there is nothing wrong with it. On split bolts I have sometimes brushed liquid tape over the final wrap of electrical tape but with good tape it isn't needed. The problem with butt connectors for a one time use is the cost of the proper crimping tool. If you don't want to tape Polaris or wire nut is the way to go.
 
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Old 12-22-12, 09:31 AM
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Ok that makes me feel better. Now where would I be able to purchase?
 
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Old 12-22-12, 09:34 AM
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Hardware store or home improvement store.
 
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Old 12-22-12, 09:35 AM
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Don't know about big box stores.
Most electrical supply houses carry them.

Made by Thomas and Betts
 
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Old 12-22-12, 09:50 AM
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I'll check out the box stores today and if not a supply house next week. Thanks!
 
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Old 12-22-12, 10:20 AM
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Old 12-22-12, 10:52 AM
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Looks like what you need.
 
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Old 12-22-12, 11:04 AM
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Orange box store. Good if you have a heat gun but more reasons to be careful around panel.
Heat-Shrink Splice Kit 1/O-14 AWG, 1/Clam-CPGI-HS-SPLICE-KIT-1/0 at The Home Depot
 
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Old 12-22-12, 07:28 PM
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Sweet, thanks!

My local homer has 17 in stock according to the site so I'll check it tomorrow
 
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