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Old 08-30-2008, 08:19 PM   #16
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Nicks on electrical wiring


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I don't think the abrasions caused by a needle-nose plier will do any harm. After all, how else are we supposed to wrap the wires around screws of outlets, etc?
You dont grab the wire with needlenose pliers to install outlets.

You use the hole is the strippers to bend the stripped portion, slip them around the terminal and tighten the screw.

Don't damage the insulation if you can help it. Sometimes in rework you need to grab the insulation but be careful.

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Old 08-30-2008, 08:35 PM   #17
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Nicks on electrical wiring


I can't believe this is being debated. I strip with my dykes if a stripper isn't handy, and I'm not the only one. Some of the older guys don't even carry strippers. And by the way, I've never had a house burn down or a mill go down because of a nick in a wire
Have you ever looked at the conductors after the wirenut is taken off to add a wire or remove one. Do you cut all the wires and restrip them every time you take a wirenut on and off.
How about a mechanical lug? Do you think the set screw touches the exact same spot everytime you have to change out a valve, limit switch or whatever?
If you cut the conductors off every time I would hate to follow your jobs after there's around an inch of free conductor left. How good of a connection do you think you get when you try to twist a nut back on in these circumstances?

Quit being so damn anal and screwing everybody that comes along after you.
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Old 08-30-2008, 08:43 PM   #18
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Nicks on electrical wiring


Try pulling a wire from a breaker and take a look at how retarded it looks. Or remove a wire from an outlet/switch terminal.
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Old 08-30-2008, 08:45 PM   #19
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Nicks on electrical wiring


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Try pulling a wire from a breaker and take a look at how retarded it looks. Or remove a wire from an outlet/switch terminal.

Absolutely, glad so see some common sense being shared
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Old 08-30-2008, 08:58 PM   #20
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Nicks on electrical wiring


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I strip with my dykes if a stripper isn't handy
Why would your dykes be handy if your strippers were not? Don't you keep your tools together?


I'd strip with my teeth if I had to but it's a helluva lot easier to do any job with the right tool.
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Old 08-30-2008, 09:42 PM   #21
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Nicks on electrical wiring


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Why would your dykes be handy if your strippers were not? Don't you keep your tools together?


I'd strip with my teeth if I had to but it's a helluva lot easier to do any job with the right tool.

No, actually I don't like to carry more tools than I have to. If I'm doing troubleshooting I don't usually carry my full pouch. I'm just as fast with my dykes as with strippers anyways.

Give it a few more years and you'll wean yourself off the big bag too.

The best strippers I've ever had was a pair of dykes with a #12 gauge hole blown into them from cutting a hot and neutral together. I don't have them anymore but I've considered many times about doing it on purpose again just because I liked them so much, I just can't get myself to blow a hole in a good pair of Kliens on purpose.

But now that you have me thinking about it again, well ...................Maybe.

Last edited by Silk; 08-30-2008 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:07 AM   #22
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Nicks on electrical wiring


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If you cut the conductors off every time I would hate to follow your jobs after there's around an inch of free conductor left.
Haven't you ever followed the guy who leaves 18" of extra wire on every circuit in the panel, just in case he has to cut off a 1/2" chunk in the future? The panel looks like a bowl of spaghetti. Drives me nuts.

Oh, and I agree with you about this is getting a bit anal. My one exception is with small aluminum conductors, a ring around a #12 aluminum is a invitation to a busted wire the second time the device is pushed into the box. I've never seen a problem with nicked wires other than that.
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Old 08-31-2008, 01:31 PM   #23
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Nicks on electrical wiring


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Give it a few more years and you'll wean yourself off the big bag too.


There aint too many years left son
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:15 AM   #24
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There aint too many years left son
At my age, carrying in the tools I MIGHT need, is easier than making multiple trips to the truck. And stripping wires with a pair of dykes is like driving nails with a pair of pliers. It'll work, but it sure is a time waster. Dykes modified by cutting a hot wire being the exception.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:40 AM   #25
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Nicks on electrical wiring


It sure would be nice if Klein made a pair of dykes with a #12 and #14 in them already back by the pivit point so they wouldn't be in the way. I have a pair of Klien needlenose pliers made that way and it's nice but I don't have my needlenose with me all the time, I always have my dykes on me. Dykes are about the handiest tool around for electrical. I can cut wires, strip wires, ream out 1/2 inch emt, use it with a screwdriver as a hammer to tighten locknuts................ and best of all use it for Christmas and birthdays to cut all the $%$#^*&%$^^$%^%$ wire ties on all the kiddies toys!!!!!
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:53 AM   #26
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And stripping wires with a pair of dykes is like driving nails with a pair of pliers. It'll work, but it sure is a time waster.

I don't get that. Grab the wire with the dykes, 1/2 twist each way, and then pull. I alway figured it was faster than reaching back into my pouch to grab the strippers.

The best thing about working with others is watching them and picking up tips along the way, although nobody seems to like mine

The one that I did adopt from watching another electrician was when I seen an older fellow using a cookie sheet set on the floor during trim outs to catch all the little pieces of wire and conductor insulation that fell. Most people wouldn't be too happy about getting their new hardwood floors scratched up from a little piece of copper wire that was overlooked by the electrician.

Later, I have a Labor Day BBQ to go to.

Have fun today everybody
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:35 PM   #27
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Nicks on electrical wiring


Silk, I use my dykes for a lot of tasks too. I'm with you on using them as a hammer and for reaming emt. One tool I try my best not to carry is a hammer. It's heavy and makes me look like a carpenter.

I agree 100% about working with other electricians to pick up tips and practices. Have fun at the BBQ.
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:45 PM   #28
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Nicks on electrical wiring


Wire ratings have a 100% safety factor. In other words #14 could carry 30 amps before the insulation is affected.
The cross section that is reduced by a nick would have to be extreme, to cause a problem.
Mechanical weakness caused by a nick is a different story!
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:18 AM   #29
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Wire ratings have a 100% safety factor. In other words #14 could carry 30 amps before the insulation is affected.
The cross section that is reduced by a nick would have to be extreme, to cause a problem.
Mechanical weakness caused by a nick is a different story!
Sorry to be blunt but your statement is baloney. Dangerous baloney. There is no safety factor in the National Electric Code ampacity tables. Complying with the tables should keep the insulation of the conductors from deteriorating from heat.

Using your example, a #14 copper type TW conductor is rated for 20 amps. If you put a continuous load on that conductor of over 20 amps, that insulation WILL break down over time. Add any ambient heat such as found in a light fixture box and that insulation will break down sooner.

Now string that wire in free air of less than 86 degrees, you can load that wire up to 25 amps without damaging the insulation.

A different insulation type will withstand higher temperatures and those can be found in the code book. Those are not safety factors, they are material limitations and conditions and applications.

Ever pull down an old ceiling light fixture and have all the insulation crumble and fall off the conductors? I have, hundreds of times. And those conductors were carrying say 1 amp of current. 2 60 watt bulbs. Add 29 more amps and you're going to have real trouble. Sooner.
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Old 09-02-2008, 11:04 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by jrclen View Post
Sorry to be blunt but your statement is baloney. Dangerous baloney. There is no safety factor in the National Electric Code ampacity tables. Complying with the tables should keep the insulation of the conductors from deteriorating from heat.

Using your example, a #14 copper type TW conductor is rated for 20 amps. If you put a continuous load on that conductor of over 20 amps, that insulation WILL break down over time. Add any ambient heat such as found in a light fixture box and that insulation will break down sooner.

Now string that wire in free air of less than 86 degrees, you can load that wire up to 25 amps without damaging the insulation.

A different insulation type will withstand higher temperatures and those can be found in the code book. Those are not safety factors, they are material limitations and conditions and applications.

Ever pull down an old ceiling light fixture and have all the insulation crumble and fall off the conductors? I have, hundreds of times. And those conductors were carrying say 1 amp of current. 2 60 watt bulbs. Add 29 more amps and you're going to have real trouble. Sooner.
You should be sure of your facts before making statements like this.
Do you think that drawing 16 amps on #14 wire will cause the insulation to melt and fail. I think not!
UL labs require that insulation be capable of sustaining double its current before the insulation starts to fail.
I don't know how you came to the conclusion that I said that #14 is rated for 20 amps. The insulation has to be designed to be capable of withstanding the heat generated when the conductor is over loaded 100%. For #14 wire, this would be 30 amps.
I'm sure that we all are aware of various current capabilities in regards to being in free air, raceway, jacketed etc.
I was left with the impression that the concern of this post was the danger of a nick reducing the cross section of a conductor, resulting in a hazard.
I stand by my statement that safety factors are built in, to take into account forming damage at terminal points.
I to have taken down fixtures that have had the conductor insulation crumble.
Some fixture manufacterers supply a heat shield for their fixtures, to protect the wire insulation.
The manufacturers recognize that heat from lamps is intense and will damage the insulation.
It not the conductor current that is the source of the heat. The source of the heat is from the lamps.

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