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Old 12-03-2008, 05:57 PM   #1
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replace crimp-on connector with wire nut?


I have a standby generator and it uses a crimp-on type of connector (a Buchannan "splice cap", I believe) to connect a couple of wires to the transfer switch. I accidentally damaged the connector and I need to replace it (it connected three stranded #10 wires, which, strangely, are not copper colored). I don't really want to buy an expensive crimp tool just to do this one small job, so I'm wondering if a wire nut would be sufficient. Thanks.

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Old 12-03-2008, 06:06 PM   #2
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replace crimp-on connector with wire nut?


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Originally Posted by Jeremy Hillary Boob, PhD View Post
I have a standby generator and it uses a crimp-on type of connector (a Buchannan "splice cap", I believe) to connect a couple of wires to the transfer switch. I accidentally damaged the connector and I need to replace it (it connected three stranded #10 wires, which, strangely, are not copper colored). I don't really want to buy an expensive crimp tool just to do this one small job, so I'm wondering if a wire nut would be sufficient. Thanks.
What kind of wire is this? Is it THHN / XN or is this AL?
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:25 PM   #3
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replace crimp-on connector with wire nut?


Not much of the wire is exposed, but what I can see says:
10 AWG AWM STYLE 3173 XLPE
Searching online for "awm style 3173", I found something about "tinned copper".
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:21 PM   #4
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replace crimp-on connector with wire nut?


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Not much of the wire is exposed, but what I can see says:
10 AWG AWM STYLE 3173 XLPE
Searching online for "awm style 3173", I found something about "tinned copper".
I too think it is tinned copper from what I am finding online, maybe someone else that knows can jump in.

Assuming it is copper, which sounds pretty likely, you can just buy a regular wire nut of the correct size and use that to make the connection. I don't know of anywhere that requires crimp on connectors. I have asked others about them in the past and was told that regular wire nuts are atleast as good as any crimp on connector is in standard applications.

I searched for information about making connections with tinned copper, and I found some people that said it is treated just like regular copper in terms of being able to make connections to it. This is what I suspected, and I really doubt you need to do anything special to make these wire connections, other than the standard making nice clean twists that make good contact.

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Old 12-03-2008, 11:53 PM   #5
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replace crimp-on connector with wire nut?


I think wire nut should be fine also, if it's inside a box.

Be careful though, smaller wire nuts are not rated for 3-#10s, especially not 3 strandeds which are physically larger than 3 solids. You need to get one of the bigger nuts.
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:55 AM   #6
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replace crimp-on connector with wire nut?


Use one blue wire nut.
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Old 12-04-2008, 10:11 AM   #7
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replace crimp-on connector with wire nut?


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I too think it is tinned copper from what I am finding online, maybe someone else that knows can jump in.

Assuming it is copper, which sounds pretty likely, you can just buy a regular wire nut of the correct size and use that to make the connection. I don't know of anywhere that requires crimp on connectors. I have asked others about them in the past and was told that regular wire nuts are atleast as good as any crimp on connector is in standard applications.

I searched for information about making connections with tinned copper, and I found some people that said it is treated just like regular copper in terms of being able to make connections to it. This is what I suspected, and I really doubt you need to do anything special to make these wire connections, other than the standard making nice clean twists that make good contact.

Jamie

I had assumed there might be an issue since there will be some vibration (it is inside the generator case). However, there is another connection inside the same box that is supposed to be made using a wire nut, so I guess that's not the issue. Perhaps it's just a way to save a few pennies and/or speed up the production process, or maybe they just want to make sure nobody every takes this particular connection apart. In any case, I'll go with the wire nut. Thanks again.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:41 PM   #8
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replace crimp-on connector with wire nut?


Wire nuts have internal springs that make them actually more suitable for light vibration/thermal expansion than crimp-on, when installed correctly, believe it or not.
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:43 PM   #9
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replace crimp-on connector with wire nut?


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Originally Posted by Jeremy Hillary Boob, PhD View Post
I had assumed there might be an issue since there will be some vibration (it is inside the generator case). However, there is another connection inside the same box that is supposed to be made using a wire nut, so I guess that's not the issue. Perhaps it's just a way to save a few pennies and/or speed up the production process, or maybe they just want to make sure nobody every takes this particular connection apart. In any case, I'll go with the wire nut. Thanks again.
Faster, most crimp on's that I remove have little to no twist to them, not saying I think it is a good way to do it or correct, but I have pulled many insulated crimp on's that were not twisted at all, I am sure they are very quick to put on.

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Old 12-04-2008, 11:58 PM   #10
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replace crimp-on connector with wire nut?


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Use one blue wire nut.
Blue? At Home Depot I only found gray ones of the proper size---they say they'll take 2 or 3 wires (#10, that is).
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:23 AM   #11
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replace crimp-on connector with wire nut?


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Blue? At Home Depot I only found gray ones of the proper size---they say they'll take 2 or 3 wires (#10, that is).
Are those colors standard, or is it a brand name thing?
I purchased some gray ones a while back, and I believe they are good for 3 #10, but that's probably solid, not stranded.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:36 AM   #12
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replace crimp-on connector with wire nut?


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Are those colors standard, or is it a brand name thing?
I purchased some gray ones a while back, and I believe they are good for 3 #10, but that's probably solid, not stranded.
The genius at Home Depot insisted that the gray will work with stranded as well. But I found the big blue wire nuts at an Ace Hardware, so I think I'll go with that.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:41 AM   #13
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replace crimp-on connector with wire nut?


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The genius at Home Depot insisted that the gray will work with stranded as well. But I found the big blue wire nuts at an Ace Hardware, so I think I'll go with that.
The package will tell you what there UL listing certifies them for. Just make sure it says on the bag what your going to use it for i.e. 3-10awg or whatever it is you need. Then you will be fine.
I am unsure as to how the color coding works and if that is just one brand that follows the system i.e. where blue would be a large wire nut, I have blue nuts that only accept 18-22awg I belive. Pretty small wires.

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Old 12-05-2008, 01:51 PM   #14
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replace crimp-on connector with wire nut?


The colors are not standard, and Ideal makes a Blue that is way too small for 3 10s. It's best not to tell people colors.

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