Choosing Proper Wire Nut Size and Brand


Old 04-12-16, 11:48 AM
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Choosing Proper Wire Nut Size and Brand

This is probably somewhat self-explanatory, but what is the best way to choose the proper wire nut size? I get a little confused when looking at the manufacturer charts, because there is overlap. I never know if I should use a smaller nut near capacity, or if I should size up to a larger connector. I assume it doesn't matter as long as its rated for the connections, but I'm just curious from a practical standpoint. I've typically been using the Yellow ideal connectors, even though in certain instances, I could use the smaller Orange ones instead. I want my work to look professional, so that's the main reason that I ask.

My other question was about the specific wire nut that I should use. Someone recommended that I try the 3M Performance Plus. He said they're superior to the Ideal ones that I have. Is it worth buying them? I was going to order a box of the R/Y+ and possibly the O/B+.

Thanks for any input!
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Old 04-12-16, 11:56 AM
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It really doesn't matter at all as long as you follow the size chart on the package. Everybody has different preferences as to which style they like, but there is no technical superiority beyond the basic UL safety and function tests that every brand follows.
Old 04-12-16, 03:59 PM
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Personally I never use anything smaller then yellows except for special things that has 18ga wires like ballasts, thermostats, and doorbells. Most cases I use 3M reds (not found in stores) that can handle anything from a single wire to 5 #12's. If I am working with mostly #14 I will use yellows, if it is mostly #12 then it's reds.

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 04-12-16 at 04:34 PM.
Old 04-12-16, 08:41 PM
Join Date: Nov 2015
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I try to use smallest wire nut that will work. Smaller wire nut is easier to fit in the box. This usually turns out to be yellow wire nut.

It may depend of the manufacturer but usually yellow should be good for 2 to 4 14 AWG or 2 12 AWG and red should be good for 2 to 6 14 AWG or 2 to 4 12 AWG.
Follow the manufacturer's chart or just try them on. You can tell by how easily it goes in and tight, but wires don't just pull out.

I usually use orange or brown wire nut for attaching light fixture because they comes with light fixture. If not, use yellow.

I don't care much about the brand as long as they have metal spring in them. Some real cheap ones that come with light fixtures don't have metal spring. When I see them come with light fixture, just throw them away and use mine.

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