connecting small wires to 12 gauge wire


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Old 04-08-14, 06:56 PM
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connecting small wires to 12 gauge wire

I installed some ceiling fans but don't like my connections. I stripped about .5 inch off small wire and wrapped around 12 gauge and capped and taped but the small wire barely held onto big wire. Is the key to strip lots off small wire and do numerous wrap arounds?
 
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Old 04-08-14, 07:08 PM
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Normally, the wire for something like that would be 14 gauge, not 12. I wouldn't worry about the connection. If you used a wire nut & tape, there shouldn't be a problem.
 
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Old 04-08-14, 07:15 PM
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Don't wrap or pre-twist. I generally will strip about double the amount of insulation from the smaller wire and then bend it back upon itself. Hold the smaller wire next to the larger and screw on the wire nut. I have never had a failure using this method.

Just a couple of nights ago I installed a switch and indicator lamp (LED) for an outside yard lamp. The supply conductors were #12 stranded, the outside lamp cable was #14 solid and the indicator had maybe #20 stranded conductors. All went together just fine.
 
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Old 04-08-14, 07:17 PM
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A trick that I've found works well for that is to untwist the strands of the smaller conductor, shape them into a narrow brush, lay that next to the solid conductor and then tighten a wire nut on.

Two tips:
  1. Make sure every strand in the stranded conductor is intact. Every strand.
  2. If you can't tug either conductor out of the wire nut then the splice is good. If you can, it needs to be made over.
 
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Old 04-08-14, 07:28 PM
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If you used the "wire nuts" that came with the fan they may have been "fake" wire nuts with no spring inside. You find these often in economy fixtures from BigBox. The proper thing to do with these is throw them in the trash and go buy good quality wire nuts. With quality wire nuts of the correct size you should never need tape.
 
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Old 04-08-14, 08:26 PM
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Never tape over a wire nut. If it isn't holding, replace it.
 
 

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