Melted wire nuts

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Old 06-30-13, 06:58 PM
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Melted wire nuts

I have some what of base electrical knowledge (prob enough to get me in trouble!) Anyway some history of the problem I'm having. Bought my house 3 years ago, the garage was a later addition which is wired with 2 20 amp circuits from the house. We wanted to use the attic storage area so we needed lights. I cut a wire in between outlets in the attic, installed a junction box, and hooked up two light fixtures on a switch.

I didn't have enough slack in the junction box to wire nut the wires back together along with the new wire, so I made a jumper inside the box.....telling myself i'd pick up more junction boxes and wire to fix it later. Well that never happened until some outlets on that circuit quit working and i found the "hot" wire nut inside the junction box melted. There is a fridge, police scanner, and florescent light on that circuit that stays on constantly.

Time to fix it, more wire and junction boxes added in. Well that worked for about a month and the same outlets quit working. Went straight to what I had added in and found the "neutral" wire nut melted.

Not sure where to go from here so any help is appreciated. Did some studying and it sounds like maybe an open neutral.
 
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Old 06-30-13, 07:13 PM
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Welcome to the forums! I trust you have the correct j boxes and cabling in place now. Tell us a little about the wire nuts you used. Did they have a metal insert inside them, or were they just turned plastic innards? How many wires under each cap....I think 3. What color wire nut did you use?
 
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Old 06-30-13, 07:15 PM
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Probably a loose connection. See: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-marettes.html
 
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Old 06-30-13, 07:35 PM
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12-2 with ground wire, red wire nuts.....not sure on the innards. Yep junction boxes in place without jumper wires now! Am I right on guessing if they are plastic on the inside they are too cheap??? They are smooth with wings (sounds like a female pad!!), not the thick textured type like i've used in the past.
 
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Old 06-30-13, 08:12 PM
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Yeah, you should make sure they have wire insides, and aren't the cheapest on the market. Review the post Ray made as well.
 
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Old 06-30-13, 08:20 PM
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So do y'all think its simply a loose connection with the wire nuts?
 
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Old 07-01-13, 04:41 AM
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A bad neutral will show up in the end light/appliance. Poor connections at the bcaps can cause arcing. If the connection is solid and capped properly, it is as if it wasn't there and the wire was continuous. Different schools of thought on twisting the conductors prior to placing the bcap on. With only two conductors I usually don't twist them. Get more than that, I usually give a little twist to keep them together while I place the cap on.
 
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Old 07-01-13, 10:03 PM
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So do y'all think its simply a loose connection with the wire nuts?
Did you twist the wires into a splice and protect that with the wire nut or did you trust the wire nut to make the splice?
 
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Old 07-01-13, 10:07 PM
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I initially trusted the wire nut to make the connection, but I've since twisted them together and capped it off with the wire nut. Thanks for everyone's help, hopefully this has it fixed.
 
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Old 07-01-13, 10:40 PM
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I initially trusted the wire nut to make the connection, but I've since twisted them together and capped it off with the wire nut... hopefully this has it fixed.
We hope so too.
 
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