Curious - Stranded vs. Solid - What's the Diff?


Old 09-03-01, 01:43 PM
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Old 02-23-02, 02:39 PM
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Curious - Stranded vs. Solid - What's the Diff?

I was wondering --- I've seen the stranded THHN at the DIY stores but have never actually worked with the stuff (except for ready-made grounding pigtails) and was wondering about its applications or code issues? Seems like it would be an awful lot easier (being more flexible) to pull through conduit for instance, but I usually end up breaking some of the strands (when I do deal with the stuff, lighting and such) when I twist 'em to attach to another wire via a wire-nut which it seems to me would Not-Be-A-Good- Thing.

Also, it just seems that it wouldn't be as strong as a solid piece of #12 copper, for instance, and I would be willing to bet that NEC has something to say on the issue (seems like they usually do .)

Old 02-23-02, 04:15 PM
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Stranded wire has less resistance that solid wire but not much. Solid wire does not require terminal ends to be installed and can just be wrapped around the screws, studs, etc. Solid wire when installed in a wire nut is to be installed with all solid wire ends even in the wirenut.

Stranded wire must have a terminal end installed on the ends of the stranded wires to connect to screws, studs, etc. When installing stranded wires in a wire nut you must twist the strands of the wire then when you screw on your wirenut the conductors are twisted together.

If you mix stranded and solid under the same wire nut you are supposed to lead the stranded wires a bit ahead of the ends of hte solid wires.

Any conductor larger than 10 awg must be stranded with exception of grounding electrode conductors.

Hope this sheds some light.

Old 02-24-02, 05:18 AM
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Thanks, Wgoodrich! Satisfied my curiosity and learned something in the process .

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