Crimp on butt-splice connectors allowed for 14ga & 12ga residential wiring?

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Jon456

Senior Member
Location
Colorado
A client is paranoid about EMF. She bought one of those hand-held EMF meters and has been scanning her house. There is a subpanel in an upstairs bedroom closet that registers a small reading on her meter (because the hot and neutral wires separate to go to the breaker and neutral bus, they don't cancel each other out). I've tried to explain there is no heath hazard from this tiny amount of EMF, but she is insisting on relocating the subpanel downstairs. But even after doing that, there will have to be a junction box in that closet to splice the old branch circuits to the stub-up wiring from the new subpanel. To keep the EMF from the junction box to an absolute minimum (just so I can avoid any more headaches from this), I want to keep each pair of hot and neutral as close and as parallel as possible. My thought was to use insulated crimp-on butt-splice connectors to join the wires, and then tape each hot/neutral pair together to simulate a continuous cable.

Would this be compliant?
 

Jon456

Senior Member
Location
Colorado
Out of curiosity, did you open the sub-panel feeder breaker and confirm the panel as being the source of the EMF?

Yes. And there are no other electrical devices in the vicinity. The backside of the closet wall is the hallway.

Of course the homeowner is not willing to give up the wireless internet routers, cordless phones, or cell phones throughout her home. I also demonstrated that the small electromagnetic air pump for the aquarium in her child's playroom sent the meter off the top of the logarithmic scale (whereas the subpanel yielded a very low reading). But some people's minds are simply not open to reason or logic.
 

texie

Senior Member
Location
Fort Collins, Colorado
Occupation
Electrician, Contractor, Inspector
A client is paranoid about EMF. She bought one of those hand-held EMF meters and has been scanning her house. There is a subpanel in an upstairs bedroom closet that registers a small reading on her meter (because the hot and neutral wires separate to go to the breaker and neutral bus, they don't cancel each other out). I've tried to explain there is no heath hazard from this tiny amount of EMF, but she is insisting on relocating the subpanel downstairs. But even after doing that, there will have to be a junction box in that closet to splice the old branch circuits to the stub-up wiring from the new subpanel. To keep the EMF from the junction box to an absolute minimum (just so I can avoid any more headaches from this), I want to keep each pair of hot and neutral as close and as parallel as possible. My thought was to use insulated crimp-on butt-splice connectors to join the wires, and then tape each hot/neutral pair together to simulate a continuous cable.

Would this be compliant?

I don't believe that the connectors you mention are approved for solid wire.
 

texie

Senior Member
Location
Fort Collins, Colorado
Occupation
Electrician, Contractor, Inspector
Yes. And there are no other electrical devices in the vicinity. The backside of the closet wall is the hallway.

Of course the homeowner is not willing to give up the wireless internet routers, cordless phones, or cell phones throughout her home. I also demonstrated that the small electromagnetic air pump for the aquarium in her child's playroom sent the meter off the top of the logarithmic scale (whereas the subpanel yielded a very low reading). But some people's minds are simply not open to reason or logic.

And she likely thinks that RF from a smart meter is also unacceptable, but all her Apple wireless products are fine. I've run into these nut jobs also.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
retired electrician
I don't believe that the connectors you mention are approved for solid wire.
Wire stranding ? Unless clearly marked "Solid," "SOL," "Stranded" or "STR" for a given wire size, wire range or wire combination, conductors in the range 30-10 AWG are both solid and stranded, and 8 AWG and larger are for stranded wire only. Connectors additionally rated for metric conductor sizes may be marked with the letter "r" for rigid solid and rigid stranded conductors, or the letter "f" for flexible conductors.
The above is from the UL Guide Information for "Wire Connectors and Soldering Lugs (ZMVV). This category included crimp type connectors.
 

Jon456

Senior Member
Location
Colorado
I don't believe that the connectors you mention are approved for solid wire.
This is what I wasn't sure about. I looked at the Gardner Bender catalog for their crimp-on insulated butt-splice connectors and, besides the gauge range, it doesn't mention anything about the wire it can be used with.
 

Jon456

Senior Member
Location
Colorado
Thanks Don. I was reading the catalog and typing my reply when you posted. I may call GB in the morning just to check what they say about their products.
 

sandsnow

Senior Member
We had this debate about crimp connectors here. I finally went and got a package of connectors. GB # 20-123 are 16-14 Butt splices and package states solid or stranded. I would imagine the 10-12 version is acceptable as well.
 

rt66electric

Senior Member
Location
Oklahoma
RETREAT let someone else look bad

RETREAT let someone else look bad

I have alway thought that butt splices were a sign of amatuer electrician. Butt-splices on solid wire seem to be problematic, the person resorting to butt-splices very seldom has the correct crimper or skills to complete a tight physical/mechanical connection. Stranded wire, like automative harnesses respond well to butt-splices.
____________RUN AWAY FROM THIS JOB.____

If you need to make and inline connection, choose a small split-bolt or a 2-screw connector similar to "aluminicon" or a polaris. There is a also a underground splice kit that has a 4-conductor splice that would serve well in a pinch.

When encountering a problematic (unknowledgeable, ignorant, misinformed, tightwad who wants to help) customer with more time to spend than money, I ask them to get three more bids. Recommend whoever you do not owe a favor to. Give your best enemy/competition fair warning, or else he would return the "favor". Your time is better spent resting and being availble for a paying opportunity.

You are not going to solve this persons insecuities or phobias, leave that upto a person that has more patience and whom could prescibe gooooood medication.

Whoever takes this job will been seen as a fool whether or not he has done a good job or not.

You cannot win, fold your cards, leave your ante on the table. do not accept any money from them or you will be indentured and insulted.
 

sameguy

Senior Member
Location
New York
Occupation
Master Elec./JW retired
I was working with an "electrician" at a state building when we were pulling wire #12 and came up short, he said " no problem let me go get some wire connectors". He came back with but splices, I told him they wouldn't help, we need to pull new wire in to replace the short new wire we pulled. He said "no we do it all the time just add wire and pull it into the pipe!"
We pulled new wire in; but that let me know that through out the Hospital this kind of crap was waiting.
 
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jxofaltrds

Senior Member
Location
Mike P. Columbus Ohio
Occupation
ESI
A client is paranoid about EMF. She bought one of those hand-held EMF meters and has been scanning her house. There is a subpanel in an upstairs bedroom closet that registers a small reading on her meter (because the hot and neutral wires separate to go to the breaker and neutral bus, they don't cancel each other out). I've tried to explain there is no heath hazard from this tiny amount of EMF, but she is insisting on relocating the subpanel downstairs. But even after doing that, there will have to be a junction box in that closet to splice the old branch circuits to the stub-up wiring from the new subpanel. To keep the EMF from the junction box to an absolute minimum (just so I can avoid any more headaches from this), I want to keep each pair of hot and neutral as close and as parallel as possible. My thought was to use insulated crimp-on butt-splice connectors to join the wires, and then tape each hot/neutral pair together to simulate a continuous cable.

Would this be compliant?

If you hold a Guassmeter near a panel you will get higher readings. Do the same thing to the main panel and the meter outside. Show her that this is normal when the meter is held close. Then show her how the readings drop as you go away from the panel.

Does she plan on standing near the panel for long periods of time? Tell her that this is normal.

Now if you have high readings away from the panel you have some type of wiring problem. If the waterlines are metal going into the structure make sure that the GEC connection is made within the required 5'. I have seen high readings when the 'bond' is made near the panel. Understand?

Look for grounded conductors of different circuits tied together in all the "outlets".
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I also agree that if you can't convince customer that some of this is acceptable you will have a never ending job, and who knows if they are willing to pay for never ending job.

Less costly alternatives to splicing than some of what was menioned would be some terminal blocks, strips, etc. You can get 12 pole "Euro style" for around 2-3 dollars.
 

K8MHZ

Senior Member
Location
Michigan. It's a beautiful peninsula, I've looked
Occupation
Electrician
I don't believe that the connectors you mention are approved for solid wire.

I don't think so, either. Even if they were, they don't work worth a crap on solid wire. I use crimps on solid for low voltage work and always solder after crimping. Otherwise it's pretty much guaranteed they will fail. And even with soldering, the wire tends to break right at the base of the terminal.
 

K8MHZ

Senior Member
Location
Michigan. It's a beautiful peninsula, I've looked
Occupation
Electrician
I sure wouldn't take this job!

What I see is someone willing to compromise an electrical installation with splices known to be problematic in order to address a complaint that can't even be validated.

EMF ghosties have never burnt a house down, as far as I know.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
retired electrician
I don't think so, either. Even if they were, they don't work worth a crap on solid wire. I use crimps on solid for low voltage work and always solder after crimping. Otherwise it's pretty much guaranteed they will fail. And even with soldering, the wire tends to break right at the base of the terminal.
I have never seen a box of crimp connectors for #10 and smaller that had anything of the box that said they were not suitable for use with solid wire. Per the UL Guide Information, crimp connectors for #10 and smaller are suitable for both stranded and solid unless marked otherwise on the box.

That being said, I don't think they work very well with solid and would not use them on solid.
 
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