Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-09-2008, 03:41 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 21
Share |
Default

Max number of wires you can splice together


How many wires can you safely wire together in a switch box. I know there are different size caps pertaining to how many wires you intend to splice but what is the max. One of my connections will have (4) 12 gauge wires together. Is this too many??? And if possible, is it safe to splice (5) 12 gauge wires together if I use the proper size box and cap (I have no idea what you call those little plastic cones).

Also, what is everyones preference. Going from power source to outlets and then to switches and lights (ie. panel-outlet-outlet-outlet-switch-lights) or do you prefer (panel-switch and then branch of from the switch box to the lights and outlets respectively) The switches will not be controlling the outlets.

Thanks

firemanpato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2008, 03:54 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 200
Default

Max number of wires you can splice together


Use separate ckts for outlets and lighting.

JGarth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2008, 03:59 PM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 21
Default

Max number of wires you can splice together


I would prefer not to wire the lighting and outlets on separate circuits. The way I have things set up in the area, I need to separate outlet circuits and only a few lights on each of those circuits. There is also no space in the breaker box for the extra lighting circuit.
firemanpato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2008, 04:42 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 302
Default

Max number of wires you can splice together


Finding one that fits 4 #12's is easy, you have to look at the packaging usually they're the red wire nuts and usually the biggest supplied by your local hardware store. They may not be red, some companies it's their black, I've even seen them orange so you have to read the package carefully. If you want ones that fit more, you usually need to go to an electrical supply house I've seen them at my local Home Depot also... they were really big, and whose package said big enough to fit 6 #12's.

You also need to worry about the size of the box, there's limits to how many wires & connections are allowed in a single box. Look at this to help you determine if your box is big enough for all those wires.

http://www.rd.com/familyhandyman/content/19473/

Last edited by Piedmont; 01-09-2008 at 04:50 PM.
Piedmont is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2008, 04:51 PM   #5
Electrician philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lilburn, GA
Posts: 838
Default

Max number of wires you can splice together


It is STRICTLY personal preference as far as lights and outlets together in a dwelling unit in MOST cases. A few times when you can't mix and match include kitchens (in most cases) and bathrooms(in most cases).

It takes a little skill to twist 5 12AWG wires together and insure a good connection. Strip wires 1 inch. I know this seems like alot, but you are going to trim some off. Hold all five wires together with your left hand about 1 inch back from where the bare copper begins. Using your linemen pliers in your right hand, GENTLY grip the wires about half way down the bare copper and start GENTLY twisting to the right. Kinda coax the wires around. As they start to come together grip tighter and keep twisting untill it looks like a work of art. Trim the wires back. At this point, you should have what looks like a logically good connection. Take a RED wirenut and twist on. Keep twisting until you can't twist no more. If you have done all of the steps correctly you WILL NOT be able to pull the wire nut off the wires. You WILL NOT be able to pull an individual wire loose from the connection. You WILL be very proud of yourself.

What kind or size boxes are you proposing for your project?

Andy
Andy in ATL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2008, 05:14 PM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 21
Default

Max number of wires you can splice together


Thanks for the replies.

I have 20.3 ci single boxes for the outlets and a big 4-gang box that I will use to house 4 switches for my lights.

There will be 5 outlets and 8 recessed lights on one of the circuits (12 gauge wire all around with a 20 amp breaker) Is this too much for the one circuit???

Thanks
firemanpato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2008, 07:02 PM   #7
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 7,530
Default

Max number of wires you can splice together


It is if you are in Canada. The limit by code is 12 outlets per circuit.
Choose the proper wing nut.
http://www.idealindustries.ca/wt/Twi...Connectors.nsf

The blue has a minimum of 3 #12 wires. Doesn'T say what the max is but 5 or 6 would be no problem.
joed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2008, 08:59 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 302
Default

Max number of wires you can splice together


Well, the number you can have on a circuit is highly debatable. A few sources say any combo of 10 outlets/lights on a 15A circuit, most sources say it's 11, and some say 12. That being the case, a 20A circuit would equate to 13 per circuit, you're fine.

Of course, you have to make the call on the loads. 13 in a workshop would likely be too much those tools draw a lot of power, but 13 in a house where you plug in a phone, TV, and don't normally have all lights on at the same time 13 should be okay.

Last edited by Piedmont; 01-10-2008 at 09:11 AM.
Piedmont is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2008, 09:25 AM   #9
Licensed Pro
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SC
Posts: 1,541
Default

Max number of wires you can splice together


Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedmont View Post
Well, the number you can have on a circuit is highly debatable. A few sources say any combo of 10 outlets/lights on a 15A circuit, most sources say it's 11, and some say 12. That being the case, a 20A circuit would equate to 13 per circuit, you're fine.

Of course, you have to make the call on the loads. 13 in a workshop would likely be too much those tools draw a lot of power, but 13 in a house where you plug in a phone, TV, and don't normally have all lights on at the same time 13 should be okay.
There is no debate. According to the NEC, for a dwelling, there is no limit on the number of outlets you may have on general purpose circuits. Local codes may vary.
HouseHelper is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2008, 10:27 AM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3,506
Default

Max number of wires you can splice together


The instructions on wire nut boxes and packages say twisting is not required. I was taught early in my career to twist then install the wire nut. I don't twist anymore. If I need to twist why do I need a wire nut? Its like taping a wire nut. Why? There is no reason to twist the conductors if they fit. I do agree that twisting is logicaly better, but not required.
The wire nut/wing nut was invented to eliminate the need for tape, twisting and soldering? I guess it a personal preference thing.

Last edited by J. V.; 01-10-2008 at 10:30 AM.
J. V. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2008, 03:29 PM   #11
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1
Default

Max number of wires you can splice together


I would suggest using push-in wire connector such as the Ideal In-Sure, instead of a wire nut, for anything more than 2 or 3 14-gauge wires. I am not an electrician but am an engineer, and find it too hard to reliably twist more than 2 wires for good contact. The wire nuts are a lot cheaper, so that's why they are used, but if its your house, I would go for the push-in connector. Get them at Home Depot and Lowe's. BTW the wire nut method can be reliable if you are an "expert" at it and do it everyday as a job. Always use push-in's for 12 gauge wire, its too thick to twist.
t2surfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2008, 05:15 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 302
Default

Max number of wires you can splice together


Quote:
Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
There is no debate. According to the NEC, for a dwelling, there is no limit on the number of outlets you may have on general purpose circuits. Local codes may vary.
If you're talking about just outlet only circuits, I thought the limit was 873 plus or minus a few hundred per circuit as is stated
http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=258209
Piedmont is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2008, 06:46 PM   #13
Res Ipsa Loquitur
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 363
Default

Max number of wires you can splice together


Quote:
Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
The instructions on wire nut boxes and packages say twisting is not required. I was taught early in my career to twist then install the wire nut. I don't twist anymore. If I need to twist why do I need a wire nut? Its like taping a wire nut. Why? There is no reason to twist the conductors if they fit. I do agree that twisting is logicaly better, but not required.
The wire nut/wing nut was invented to eliminate the need for tape, twisting and soldering? I guess it a personal preference thing.
I remember wire nuts from many years ago being ceramic or phenolic with a weak spring inside. I think these would require wire twisting & taping which might be how it got started. The new nuts are made of stronger plastic or nylon and the spring has a sharp cutting edge which cuts into the conductor better. Logically it would seem the 1/4 inch or so of conductors could lie next to each other parallel and the spring would bind them together tightly. The twist tools for wire nuts (the Ideal screwdriver for instance) is much easier to use too when you are holding a few conductors together in a straight line.

handyman78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Two black wires with one white! Please help! ibs325 Electrical 15 11-18-2007 09:38 PM
Splice box/s between subpanel and main panel? SeanR Electrical 5 05-06-2007 02:21 PM
Running wires mt232 Electrical 4 03-22-2007 08:02 AM
Old house, new light fixture, too many wires Persephonee Electrical 3 01-15-2007 08:58 AM
Number of receptacles and size of wires KUIPORNG Electrical 5 06-28-2006 01:21 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.