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Old 08-28-2014, 11:13 AM   #1
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solid vs stranded wire


Thanks for a great place to learn and discuss topics of interest to us DIYers!

Mine is a general question regarding the use of stranded wire vs solid wire in EMT and PVC applications.

When and why would you use one over the other?
Is it a personal preference or restricted by code?
Can you mix the two on the same circuit?

Jim

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Old 08-28-2014, 11:27 AM   #2
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solid vs stranded wire


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Originally Posted by tndiyguy View Post
Thanks for a great place to learn and discuss topics of interest to us DIYers!

Mine is a general question regarding the use of stranded wire vs solid wire in EMT and PVC applications.

When and why would you use one over the other?
Is it a personal preference or restricted by code?
Can you mix the two on the same circuit?

Jim
Personal preference, and they can be mixed in the conduit.

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Old 08-28-2014, 11:33 AM   #3
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solid vs stranded wire


for what I know, stranded wire should be 1 gauge larger than solid wire.
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:41 AM   #4
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solid vs stranded wire


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Originally Posted by gmaint View Post
for what I know, stranded wire should be 1 gauge larger than solid wire.
Not true at all!
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:51 AM   #5
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solid vs stranded wire


Is stranded suggested for larger gauges?
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:01 PM   #6
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solid vs stranded wire


Mine is a general question regarding the use of stranded wire vs solid wire in EMT and PVC applications. When and why would you use one over the other?

Quote:
Is it a personal preference or restricted by code?
There are situations where one or the other is a better choice. Solid wire is not easy to pull through conduit when there are bends in the conduit .. especially if it is a long run. Short straight runs it isn't much of a problem or runs that have a gradual bend to them for example when using flexible conduit.

Stranded wire is more flexible and much easier to pull through conduit with bends in the run and over distance. You also need to know how to terminate it depending on what the termination is .. ie .. box lug, non backwire style receptacle, fine stranded wire like in power cords have special connectors called ferrules in many applications.


Quote:
Can you mix the two on the same circuit?
Yes , In my case I almost always choose stranded in raceways/conduits. I only use solid when working with nm style cable or mc cable and the like.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:05 PM   #7
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solid vs stranded wire


The bigger the diameter of the wire, the more stress you put on it when you bend it. I am no sparky, but I gotta figure somewhere in the code it says that if a wire is going to be frequently bent/moved (like an extension cord), the wire must be stranded.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:48 PM   #8
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310.3 Where installed in raceways, conductors #8 and larger shall be stranded.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:49 PM   #9
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solid vs stranded wire


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Originally Posted by gmaint View Post
for what I know, stranded wire should be 1 gauge larger than solid wire.
Where do people find these urban legend codes???
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Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:50 PM   #10
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solid vs stranded wire


Quote:
Originally Posted by SPS-1 View Post
The bigger the diameter of the wire, the more stress you put on it when you bend it. I am no sparky, but I gotta figure somewhere in the code it says that if a wire is going to be frequently bent/moved (like an extension cord), the wire must be stranded.
Nope, this is not a code either.
You're talking about cable, not wire (conductors).
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:53 PM   #11
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solid vs stranded wire


About the only advantage I can see to solid is it costs less (just the wire, not always the complete installation) and it makes up nice in panels, and it can be pushed into a longer run of conduit. Otherwise, my choice is stranded.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:51 PM   #12
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solid vs stranded wire


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for what I know, stranded wire should be 1 gauge larger than solid wire.
me too. I think it's because it squashes out under screws and strands go all catiwhompus loosing amps everywhere
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:06 PM   #13
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solid vs stranded wire


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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Where do people find these urban legend codes???
Possibly because stranded wire is a larger diameter than solid wire of the same gauge? i.e. giving the impression that the stranded wire is a larger gauge, if you didn't know.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:19 AM   #14
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solid vs stranded wire


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubbie
Mine is a general question regarding the use of stranded wire vs solid wire in EMT and PVC applications. When and why would you use one over the other? There are situations where one or the other is a better choice. Solid wire is not easy to pull through conduit when there are bends in the conduit .. especially if it is a long run. Short straight runs it isn't much of a problem or runs that have a gradual bend to them for example when using flexible conduit. Stranded wire is more flexible and much easier to pull through conduit with bends in the run and over distance. You also need to know how to terminate it depending on what the termination is .. ie .. box lug, non backwire style receptacle, fine stranded wire like in power cords have special connectors called ferrules in many applications. Yes , In my case I almost always choose stranded in raceways/conduits. I only use solid when working with nm style cable or mc cable and the like.
Thanks for the great info!
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:12 AM   #15
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solid vs stranded wire


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Possibly because stranded wire is a larger diameter than solid wire of the same gauge? i.e. giving the impression that the stranded wire is a larger gauge, if you didn't know.
That's probably a good a reason as any though I've never understood how someone using electrical wire and reasonable common sense could misinterpret what to use when the wire is clearly labeled as to it's gauge ..ie.. 12awg stranded and 12awg solid both are the same for electrical installations. Speaking copper wire here. Anyone making that misinterpretation on electrical wire shouldn't be working on an electrical installation. I will say I've met many people who are capable of doing it.

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