Wires Too Short!!

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Old 01-18-14, 01:21 PM
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Wires Too Short!!

Husband was replacing an outdoor light fixture in the eaves of the house. The supply wires are EXTREMELY short. Like about 2 or 3 inches sticking out of the conduit. Much to short to make good wire nut connections.

Someone at one point pigtailed another 4 inches to them but when we went to test the wire nut connections, they were very poor and pulled right off with the springs on the wire. Seems they even put some glue in the nuts!

How do I fix this?
 
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Old 01-18-14, 01:26 PM
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You could solder and heat shrink wrap insulation to the wires. I'm not saying its code.
 

Last edited by Norm201; 01-18-14 at 01:35 PM. Reason: used wrong information
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Old 01-18-14, 01:31 PM
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Add proper pigtails. But since you say
Like about 2 or 3 inches sticking out of the conduit.
the better solution would be to pull new conductors. You should be able to use the existing conductors as "pull strings".
 
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Old 01-18-14, 01:38 PM
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the better solution would be to pull new conductors. You should be able to use the existing conductors as "pull strings"
Agreed, but usually the wires will be stapled to studs in the walls. I corrected my first reply to say that I don't know if soldering pigtails is code or not.
 
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Old 01-18-14, 02:04 PM
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Of course I am trying to avoid pulling new wires, that is more involved than we are willing to undertake for a few reasons.

one option I thought of maybe, but didn't know if its a good idea, was those push-in connectors , I think wago is the brand name.

I think we can make a push-in connection but there wouldn't be room to twist properly.

Are they safe in this situation?

It would be controlling a dead-ended outdoor light with 90 watts of light...
 
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Old 01-18-14, 02:08 PM
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didn't know if its a good idea, was those push-in connectors
Wago would be good for this. You could also use wire nuts with built in pigtails.

 
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Old 01-18-14, 02:08 PM
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Yes, we sell them at our store. Good choice.
 
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Old 01-18-14, 02:13 PM
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These are great for extending wires that are too short. They are kind of like a combo push in and butt splice, but no crimping needed.

SpliceLine™ In-Line Wire Connectors

[ATTACH=CONFIG]24999[/ATTACH]
 
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Old 01-18-14, 02:19 PM
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Not what I meant. Not sure if they qualify.

I meant these:

 
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Old 01-18-14, 04:23 PM
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We used Wago yellow to extend the wire.

Its better than rewiring, but I been looking around on the internet and they don't have a very good reputation, about the same as a backstab outlet. So I am a little nervous since this is our main outdoor light that stays on all night long.
 
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Old 01-18-14, 04:41 PM
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Your outside light is a low wattage device.

The bad reports you were reading is when very high loads are spliced thru those blocks. With just the load of your outdoor light you won't have any worries.... unless those blocks get wet.
 
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Old 01-18-14, 04:47 PM
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What happens if moisture gets them?

Are they not rated to be used in outdoor boxes? No mention of that on the package.
 
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Old 01-18-14, 04:57 PM
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Anytime you have a push in connection and it gets wet you could have a problem with corrosion.
 
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Old 01-18-14, 05:12 PM
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Your outside light is a low wattage device.
I am only pushing 45Wx2 but technically I could go 150Wx2 halogens in this fixture. So 300 isn't low wattage anymore.

Lot of the stuff I reading was saying they are even no good in light fixtures, including the cans that have them preinstalled.
 
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Old 01-18-14, 05:16 PM
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300 watts is still fairly low. You aren't carrying the entire circuit thru those splices so if they do happen to fail..... only your lights won't work.

I installed twenty H-7 cans last week in two rooms. I cut those "push in" connectors off every fixture except the last one in each room.
 
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Old 01-18-14, 05:29 PM
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I installed twenty H-7 cans last week in two rooms. I cut those "push in" connectors off every fixture except the last one in each room.
That's not very reassuring but I don't have much choice!
 
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Old 01-18-14, 06:24 PM
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I cut those "push in" connectors off every fixture except the last one in each room.
Were those the luminaire disconnects? Aren't they required by code?
 
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Old 01-18-14, 07:27 PM
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I think Nash has the best advice...

You say you have conduit, if this is the case it would take minimal effort to pull new wires in.
 
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Old 01-19-14, 06:01 AM
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You say you have conduit, if this is the case it would take minimal effort to pull new wires in.
Ideally but that's an assumption becuse for me it would mean completely taking apart a multigang switch box, purchasing about 100ft of wire and doing something I have never done before in 10 degree weather.

I'll give the easy fix a try first....
 
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Old 01-19-14, 06:29 AM
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My preference is for cutting a pigtail, making a small coil at one end to fit over the short incoming wire, soldering, and using shrink wrap tube (or electrical tape).
 
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Old 01-19-14, 06:38 AM
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My preference is for cutting a pigtail, making a small coil at one end to fit over the short incoming wire, soldering, and using shrink wrap tube (or electrical tape).



This was my first suggestion, but I question if this is considered proper by local codes or national codes.
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 01-19-14 at 09:00 AM. Reason: fixed quote
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Old 01-19-14, 10:25 AM
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mummy,

I completely understand where you are coming from here, I didn't grow up with tools and fixing junk so there was a point where I was completely clueless with all things home repair. If you are up for learning and would like a great job done here instead of an ok job, try this, it is a way to go about this without knowing how things are wired. It follows the idea of "take apart old, put new in the same way old was".

- First you must find where your conduit runs. It may go to your panel, it may go to a junction box, who knows but that is step one. Look at how many wires are entering the switch box, and when you think you have found the other end, make sure you have the same amount of wires coming in from the pipe.

- Kill power. Always. Unless you have somebody on life support in your home, there is really no reason to work on electrical live in your house. You now need to verify you have the correct wires. You can tape together your switch wires in groups according to which switches they go to. Label the wires (1, 2, 3, etc) and draw yourself a picture of the switch and its screws and label which wires go to which screws (ex: You have a 3 way switch with a black and two reds attached to it... wire 1 - black screw, wire 2 top brass screw, wire 3 - bottom brass screw). Once you have everything labelled so you can easily wire it back up, disconnect the switches and undo any joints so the wires are loose. You may want a helping hand for this next part, but go to your junction/panel/where you think the other end of the pipe is and gently pull on one of the wires from the pipe. Verify you have movement on the other end. Try again with another wire in the same pipe. Once you know you have the right wires. move on to the next step.
- Your wires should be labelled in the switch box, so now begin pulling them back. Do not disconnect anything on the other end yet. Pull one wire at a time if you can. Once you have it pull out, it is now time to label label label. Wherever the pulled wire is connected, label it. (ex: your pulled out wire is labelled 1, label what it is connected to 1) do the same for the rest of the wires. Now would also be a good time to attach a piece of twine or fish tape to your switch box side. You can pull in the fish tape now so it is ready to pull in the new wires. Once everything on this end is labelled so you can easily wire everything back up, move on to the next step.
- Take your new wire and label them like the old ones, matching color and number, one both ends of each wire. Pull them in, leaving at least 6 inches sticking out past the face of the box.
If you did your labelling right, hooking everything back up should be easy now.

Long winded explanation, but wouldn't take you too long to do. As far as the cold, put on extra socks and a jacket.
 
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Old 01-19-14, 05:14 PM
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Thanks Mr Awesome, hopefully it wont have to come to that! Even though it seems pretty straight forward their is fear of the unknown. Its OLD wiring, and I don't want to be pulling and tugging on them unless is absolutely necessary. Don't want to open up a whole can of worms.

Tolyn Iron hand- These are great for extending wires that are too short. They are kind of like a combo push in and butt splice, but no crimping needed.

SpliceLine™ In-Line Wire Connectors
Picked up a pack of those today too to have on hand, looked to be even easier to than a wago since its a butt splice. Unfortunetly my husband said the type of wire we have is not listed on the packaging for this connector....

So the WAGO's are in place, the light been replaced and I am crossing my fingers. There may or may not be enough conductor to be able to get wirestrippers into the box for another 1/2" of splice.... so I am praying this works.....
 
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Old 01-19-14, 06:21 PM
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I have not seen an issue posted concerning the Wagos on any of the professional forums. The contact area is different than a backstab on a device.
 
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