Curious about Wirenuts

Old 08-03-01, 11:03 AM
MKM is offline
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I went to the local home improvement store to pick up a jar of (red) wirenuts. I'd never really noticed before, but there were a few different kinds, with a good variation in prices. There were hex's and wings, and something I don't remember and the good ole plain ones. The plain ones were the cheapest, and those are what I bought. I'm just curious here - what's so great about the shape? Is it worth the extra price, etc?

Old 08-03-01, 12:35 PM
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If you were able to get 10 electricians to tell you the absolute best wire nut, you would get 25 different answers depending on the intended use of the wire nut. As long as these wire nuts are UL approved then they will pass inspecton. However there are reasons for different designs. Picture you being an electrician installing hundreds of wire nuts a day. Wouldn't it be important to you to use the wire nut that you are convinced has the best connection to enhance a good track record and limit call backs due to loose connections. Then through in the fact that your fingers get sore. If you can find a wire nut that gives you confidence in its ability to make a reliable connection without problems of a wire not making connection in the wire nut when connecting several wires under the same nut, and also find that same wire nut that makes you fingers less sore by the end of the day. Would you then spend a little more for that wire nut ? Would you also spend a little more on that wire nut if you were aware that 80% of the fires in the nation are started due to a loose connection. Considering these wire nuts making those connections and with a thought of you children sleeping in that home would you also tend to spend a bit more for a wire nut? Manufacturers are often convinced their wire nut is the perfect design therefore worth having a little higher price on their wire nut.

Different colors depict a certain usage designed for that wire nut. Yellow usually are designed for 14 or 12 awg connecting only two wires. Brown is the have way in between that will accept 12 or 14 with maybe 3 wires in that connection. Red is the wire nut designed to take 12 or 10 awg with around 3 - 10 awg or 5 - 12 awg. Blue tends to be intended for the larger 8 awg or 6 awg with two wires to connect. The above is an estimate from my memory. These numbers are subject to a lot of change depending on brand name of the wire nut.

Hard bakelite wire nuts were originally limited to stranded wires only or a combination of solid and stranded wires. Hard bakelite style wire nuts to my understanding are now approved for use with all solid wire combintation. I dont care for using all solid conductors in a hard bakelite wire nut due to the expansion and contraction of these wires while in use. If you use a hard wire nut and use solid wire only then there is no give anywhere in that connection. Making a good connection with that hard wire nut with solid wire seems to be much harder to maintain during initial installation inviting loose connections or a wire touching but not making it under the pressure of the wire nut when screwed on. Just my personal thoughts on that one.

If you received a dozed replies on this question in this forum or any other forum you will get so many different personal feelings about these different types of wire nuts you probably will end up more confused than before you asked the question.

Hope this helps

Old 08-03-01, 05:53 PM
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Thumbs up

My index finger on my right hand is actually rotated outward ( abducted is the medical term)as compared to my left from years of twisting on wire nuts. Perhaps electricians can identify each other via this subtle work related phenomenon???

All goofin' aside, Wg is right about the trade being picky about even sundry goods like wirenuts.

Old 08-03-01, 09:06 PM
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Gosh guys, I must have been confused. I thought that the question posted was about the product wirenuts, not the person Wirenuts, who figured.

Just kidding.

What Wirenuts said must be so true. I am what they call amodextorous or however you spell that word. I work pretty well evenly both right handed and left handed. Guess what !

I always tightened wire nuts for too many years on the job, using my thumb and middle finger.

So I'm a bit different.

Big thing is my middle finger on both hands have a distinct angle at the end of both middle fingers that turn away from my thumb. Never thought about it but I think that I have the same affliction as WireNuts spoke of. Just didn't put two and two together.

Does any other long time electricians in this forum have the same trait?

Just curious


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