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Old 02-04-2009, 12:38 AM   #1
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Twisting wires (multiple 12's)


HI;

When I twist together 4, 5 or 6 -12awg wires, I find it very difficult to keep the insulation lined up on all the wires as I twist, and am often not really happy with the way the twist turns out. I always get it to the point where the ends of each wire are up by the tip, but they just don't turn out as well as I would like.

I don't have a problem with twisting, the grounds are all very pretty, I put a bare crimp sleeve on the grounds, then twist, that seems to help keep them together. It's the insulated wires that I have trouble keeping lined up.

2 or 3 wires is really never a problem. Should I try stripping longer? Any other tips or tricks?

I don't do connections like this all the time, but am working on the attic connections now, and there are several places where I will have to do connections like this.

Thanks
Jamie

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Old 02-04-2009, 06:12 AM   #2
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Twisting wires (multiple 12's)


Strip the wires longer then twist them like you do with the grounds. Then cut off short enough to allow the wirenut to cover it. Or connect 3 and 3 with pigtails and splice the pigtails.

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Old 02-04-2009, 07:13 AM   #3
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Twisting wires (multiple 12's)


I know, I hate it when it turns out bad. It sucks when I'm working old work, where I do not have long wire. I found it better to just strip off more insulation and twist. The insulation is usually lined up.

I really like working with 14s.
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:25 AM   #4
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Twisting wires (multiple 12's)


I was always having trouble twisting 4 or more #12.
I found two things that made the job much easier:

1) Purchased a Klein Electrician's pliers
2) Strip more insulation proceed as Bob Mariani said.

It's incredible how much easier the job got when I started using the Klein pliers. I was using a much smaller el-cheapo brand before. The Klein cost me $35, but it was worth every penny!

FW
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:39 AM   #5
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Twisting wires (multiple 12's)


Quote:
Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
I was always having trouble twisting 4 or more #12.
I found two things that made the job much easier:

1) Purchased a Klein Electrician's pliers
2) Strip more insulation proceed as Bob Mariani said.

It's incredible how much easier the job got when I started using the Klein pliers. I was using a much smaller el-cheapo brand before. The Klein cost me $35, but it was worth every penny!

FW
When I was still pulling wire, I came to love my lineman's pliers. I could do everything with them. I have now been demoted to general contractor and still carry them in my belt at all times. If you will pretwist with the pliers, the wirenut will always go on easier.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:42 AM   #6
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Twisting wires (multiple 12's)


Lots of the new wire nuts dont require twisting and they are UL listed for non-twist. I have tried them both ways without problems.
http://www.idealindustries.com/produ...n/wire-nut.jsp
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Old 02-04-2009, 11:16 AM   #7
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Twisting wires (multiple 12's)


6 # 12's? I would be looking at ways to limit the amount of wires in one connection.
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Old 02-04-2009, 02:32 PM   #8
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Twisting wires (multiple 12's)


I've never had to splice 6 of anything in one box, but have worked with 5.
If you have 6 wires, maybe it's better to use two j-boxes, or at least larger than the 4" square, and use pigtails so you don't have more than 4 on one nut.
Even with 5 #12, I had to use the 4" extension ring to make it conform to code.

FW
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Old 02-04-2009, 04:16 PM   #9
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Twisting wires (multiple 12's)


Like some people said stip lots of the insulation and go slow. Also make sure the wires stick out of the box the same amount, it is a real pain in the arse when 1 or 2 wires are 5" long and the rest are 7" long.

If you have some extra wire laying around I would do some practice runs before doing it for real in your box. Like everything it will take practice.

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Old 02-04-2009, 04:32 PM   #10
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Twisting wires (multiple 12's)


5 or six is pushing it for a good connection. Try to avoid it but if you must....

Cut them all the same length. I can't stress this enough.

Strip them a full inch, line them up tight and straight with the ends close but in a slightly tapered patern. Hold the bundle tightly and ease the wire nut over the end with a little jiggle at the start of your twist. crank it down and finish it off with you favorite pliers.

Too tight will split the insulation on the nut, sometimes in the future.


Make it easy and use a blue or gray nut if you have room for it.
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Old 02-04-2009, 06:22 PM   #11
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Twisting wires (multiple 12's)


I always finish it off by wrapping with electrical tape. This should prevent a problem if later the nut splits or even tries to fall off, although I have never had either of those cases.

FW
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Old 02-04-2009, 06:25 PM   #12
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Twisting wires (multiple 12's)


Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
crank it down and finish it off with you favorite pliers.
Tighten a wirenut with pliers? I've never heard of doing that before.
I always use the "wing nuts" and use my fingers only.
They are plenty tight. I have even managed to break one or two (of the cheaper nuts) with my fingers.

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Old 02-04-2009, 06:29 PM   #13
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Twisting wires (multiple 12's)


If I'm putting more than two wires together I strip a lot of insulation off (1.5"), twist two together and add one at a time. If I try to twist the entire set, there's always one in the middle that isn't "twisted" and can pull out. I then cut it down to fit the cap.
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:02 PM   #14
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Twisting wires (multiple 12's)


Or use a wago..... Six #12's Imo is pushing it for a good connection. I'd trust a wago if i wasn't real good at wirenuts with this many wires under them. I have seen some twist two at a time together then stick the 3 pairs into the wire nut (blue one) and twist it on. There are a lot of wirenuts that are put on with cordless screw driver adapters similar to nut drivers... just an FYI.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:41 PM   #15
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Twisting wires (multiple 12's)


Quote:
Tighten a wirenut with pliers? I've never heard of doing that before.
There are occaisions where I feel the need for extra torque and I'll use my needle nose on the wingnut for and extra turn or so. Six #12's under a red nut would be one of those. I'll twist until the wires start twisting.

When splcing larger wires with blue wingnuts, I always use channel locks to complete the mission. Loose connections = bad.

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