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Title: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: John Schalk on June 15, 2018, 01:41:18 pm
I am using some extra 10/3 cable to wire up three new quad boxes.  I purchased OA Windsor units including milspec outlets.  On my first box, I had some trouble getting all of the fine strands of the 10 gauge SO cable into the opening allowed for the hot and the neutral, so for my second attempt, I purchased some large wire nuts and made small "tails" for each duplex outlet out of 12 gauge wire.  I was able to fit all of that inside the quad box without too much trouble, but I'm not in love with having wire nuts buried inside my portable quad boxes, so I thought I'd seek out some expert advice.

Are the wire nuts okay, or is there a better method to mate 10 gauge SO cable to a 20 amp duplex receptacle?
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Tim McCulloch on June 15, 2018, 04:27:55 pm
I am using some extra 10/3 cable to wire up three new quad boxes.  I purchased OA Windsor units including milspec outlets.  On my first box, I had some trouble getting all of the fine strands of the 10 gauge SO cable into the opening allowed for the hot and the neutral, so for my second attempt, I purchased some large wire nuts and made small "tails" for each duplex outlet out of 12 gauge wire.  I was able to fit all of that inside the quad box without too much trouble, but I'm not in love with having wire nuts buried inside my portable quad boxes, so I thought I'd seek out some expert advice.

Are the wire nuts okay, or is there a better method to mate 10 gauge SO cable to a 20 amp duplex receptacle?

Yes, pigtails are the accepted way.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on June 18, 2018, 12:48:33 pm
If you wanted something better, I'd recomend these

https://eshop.wago.com/JPBC/0_5StartPage.jsp?TopNavi=0_6TopNavi.jsp&Zone=6&Hauptframe=%2FJPBC%2FCommonPageHandler.jsp&activatedPage=CATALOGPAGE

They are a leverlock from Wago-I'm seeing a price of 56 cents each from Crescent Electric, so pricier than wirenuts-but the next smaller version (only good to #12) is really nice-I love them as long as I am not paying for them!  I used to be skeptical, but after being around them for years, I've never seen a Wago spring lock device fail from a bad connection.  In a situation like a this with frequent handling and vibration, these would probably be the most secure option.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on June 18, 2018, 01:55:35 pm
If you wanted something better, I'd recomend these

https://eshop.wago.com/JPBC/0_5StartPage.jsp?TopNavi=0_6TopNavi.jsp&Zone=6&Hauptframe=%2FJPBC%2FCommonPageHandler.jsp&activatedPage=CATALOGPAGE

They are a leverlock from Wago-I'm seeing a price of 56 cents each from Crescent Electric, so pricier than wirenuts-but the next smaller version (only good to #12) is really nice-I love them as long as I am not paying for them!  I used to be skeptical, but after being around them for years, I've never seen a Wago spring lock device fail from a bad connection.  In a situation like a this with frequent handling and vibration, these would probably be the most secure option.

Linky is brokey. Maybe you were aiming for this:

WAGO Compact splicing connector (222-412) (https://www.wago.com/global/installation-terminal-blocks-and-connectors/compact-splicing-connector/p/222-412)

But that part is only rated for up to 12 AWG wire. Since the OP wants to connect 10 AWG to 12 AWG, that connector won't work. I couldn't find any rated for 10 AWG on the site in the 2 minutes I spent there.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on June 18, 2018, 02:59:01 pm
#221-613 was the part I had in mind-not sure why I can't make a link to it-seems like manufactureres want to make it hard to find (or share) their products sometimes.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on June 18, 2018, 03:28:16 pm
#221-613 was the part I had in mind-not sure why I can't make a link to it-seems like manufactureres want to make it hard to find (or share) their products sometimes.

Here ya go:
WAGO | COMPACT Splicing Connectors (221-613) (https://www.wago.com/global/installation-terminal-blocks-and-connectors/compact-splicing-connectors/p/221-613)

Good for up to 10 AWG.

Yeah, the difficulty in doing direct links to products kind of irks me sometimes, too. For Amazon, I discovered you can make a link like amazon.com/dp/ASIN (where ASIN is Amazon's ID number for the product). There are many other sites where you can shorten the URL, too, once you discover the trick for that site. Unfortunately, most places don't give a direct page link, and the URL to the page is full of gobbledeygook related to how you found the product (searches, backlinks, etc.).
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: John Schalk on June 19, 2018, 11:15:31 am
Those look pretty cool, but I have a question on how they work.  The product specs indicate that it is a 3 conductor connector, so will each one of the slots accept two 12 ga and one 10 ga wire?  If so, it definitely looks like it would be easier to work with and stuff into my OA Windsor quad box.

As far as buying them goes, Crescent Electric sells them individually so I can order less than a full box, but they're nicking me $9 S&H, for total cost of $15 for 10 connectors.  I need 4, but a few spares wouldn't hurt, so does anyone see a better deal than Crescent's?
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on June 19, 2018, 01:29:20 pm
Each hole is rated for from 20-10 AWG solid or stranded.  YOu flip up the lever, insert the wire, and flip lever back down clamping wire.  Unlike push to connects, these are reusable and work well with stranded wire.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: John Schalk on June 19, 2018, 01:34:00 pm
Each hole is rated for from 20-10 AWG solid or stranded.  YOu flip up the lever, insert the wire, and flip lever back down clamping wire.  Unlike push to connects, these are reusable and work well with stranded wire.

Does that mean that I need one of these for each conductor?  If so, then I would need three of these for each quad box?  If that's the case, that might be a pretty tight fit.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on June 19, 2018, 02:17:25 pm
Does that mean that I need one of these for each conductor?  If so, then I would need three of these for each quad box?  If that's the case, that might be a pretty tight fit.

Yes. They are designed for one wire per hole.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Lyle Williams on June 19, 2018, 03:45:53 pm
I have no familiarity with US codes nor wiring products.  I'm on the other side of the world.

To me, pigtails in a portable application don't fill me with joy.

Can you just thin out 25% of the 10ga strands and clamp the remainder in a smaller bootlace ferrule?
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on June 19, 2018, 08:02:10 pm
I would have a hard ime arguing against hinning out a few strands-and I can't say I haven't ever done so-but if you are concerned about meeting codes, that will usually be unacceptable.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Paul Miller on June 20, 2018, 01:38:10 am
Does that mean that I need one of these for each conductor?  If so, then I would need three of these for each quad box?  If that's the case, that might be a pretty tight fit.

They lay very flat and are easy to tuck in below the receptacles. Not bulky at all like multiple heavy gauge wires going into wire nuts.

Here's a picture of a box being built using the 5 way Wago 221 connectors and 12 ga. wiring.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Dave Pluke on June 20, 2018, 10:50:11 am

Here's a picture of a box being built using the 5 way Wago 221 connectors and 12 ga. wiring.

That's pretty slick!  Thanks for the tip.

Dave
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: John Schalk on June 20, 2018, 01:14:01 pm
Here's a picture of a box being built using the 5 way Wago 221 connectors and 12 ga. wiring.

Thanks for posting the picture, it helps a lot.  I think I'll see what deliver times are like for these.  I already have at least $50 into each quad, so what's another $5 per box!
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Lyle Williams on June 20, 2018, 03:58:22 pm
Ok, I was picturing in my mind those twist-on wire nuts that have never been legal down here.  The picture looks nice and stable.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Frank DeWitt on June 20, 2018, 10:00:45 pm
if your going from 10 to 12 gauge for a couple of inches anyway. Why not just cut off a few strands until it fits.  This would reduce the gauge (and increase the resistance) for just a fraction of a inch.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Frank Czar on June 21, 2018, 06:24:58 pm
Hey Guys,

I was just about to ask this same question, "why not cut off a few strands till its 12ga"
It would seem to me your doing the same the with 2 less connections equaling 2 less points of failure. If it is not to code what would make using a Wago 221 a better safer connection?
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Tim McCulloch on June 21, 2018, 06:29:50 pm
Hey Guys,

I was just about to ask this same question, "why not cut off a few strands till its 12ga"
It would seem to me your doing the same the with 2 less connections equaling 2 less points of failure. If it is not to code what would make using a Wago 221 a better safer connection?

Because it's a Code violation?

The Wago 221 can accept a range of wire sizes without compromise.  In some non-USA jurisdictions "wire nuts" are not accepted materials and the 221 was designed to meet that need.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Frank Czar on June 21, 2018, 08:22:51 pm
Hey Tim,

I'm not saying use any wire nuts, I was saying take your 10ga H N G coming in the box and snip a few strands off each one so it is essentially becomes a 12ga wire at the receptacle. In my mind this seems like a better and safer way than adding more connections and crowding the box with the Wago 221's. I realize this may not be code but am I missing something in my thinking that "theoretically" it would be better?
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on June 21, 2018, 08:41:10 pm
So, I've wondered the same thing.  Here is what I found and from my experience it makes sense.  If you trim the strands, then how do you know the strands that were cut are carrying their fair share of current?  After all, the reason for using 10 gauge is to reduce voltage drop.  Yes the strands are in contact-loose contact. I have seen many many examples of wire with a film of corrosion all but isolating the individual strands.  If you trim at both ends, unless you trim exactly the same strands, you could even end up with wire less than 12 gauge that actually has a solid compression connection on both ends.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Tim McCulloch on June 21, 2018, 10:23:18 pm
Hey Tim,

I'm not saying use any wire nuts, I was saying take your 10ga H N G coming in the box and snip a few strands off each one so it is essentially becomes a 12ga wire at the receptacle. In my mind this seems like a better and safer way than adding more connections and crowding the box with the Wago 221's. I realize this may not be code but am I missing something in my thinking that "theoretically" it would be better?

"Snipping a few strands" is a violation of Code, IIRC.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on June 22, 2018, 02:01:52 am
So, I've wondered the same thing.  Here is what I found and from my experience it makes sense.  If you trim the strands, then how do you know the strands that were cut are carrying their fair share of current?  After all, the reason for using 10 gauge is to reduce voltage drop.  Yes the strands are in contact-loose contact. I have seen many many examples of wire with a film of corrosion all but isolating the individual strands.  If you trim at both ends, unless you trim exactly the same strands, you could even end up with wire less than 12 gauge that actually has a solid compression connection on both ends.

That's what I wanted to say, but couldn't form the words correctly.

If a crimp connector is acceptable to local codes, it seems to me that trimming a few strands, then slipping a crimp ferrule over the whole strand bundle (where not trimmed) and crimping would be better than even using a butt splice to join two different wire gauges. It would certainly provide better conductivity between strands than leaving it loose.

But, as has been pointed out many times before, unorthodox solutions are still a code violation, even if superior.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Lyle Williams on June 22, 2018, 06:09:37 am
Can you get outlets that accept 10ga wire?

(Asks the guy on the other side of the planet)

If yes, why not use them?  If no... what does that tell you?
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Kevin Graf on June 22, 2018, 09:52:52 am
Almost all good US dual receptacles are rates for 10AWG wire. But that's probably for in-wall solid or course strand wire, not flexible cord fine strand wire.

Note that contrary to what some manufactures label their products, you plug into a receptacle and mount that receptacle in an outlet box.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Frank DeWitt on June 23, 2018, 08:39:32 pm
strip about  1 1/4 in of wire,  seerate the strands into two bundles.  Don't cut any off.  Every duplex outlet I know of has two screws for hot and two for neutral so use both screws, one for each half of the strands.

Full current carrying cap,  no strands left out.  Probably not to code, but still better then a wire nut and pig tail.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Tim McCulloch on June 23, 2018, 09:22:42 pm
strip about  1 1/4 in of wire,  seerate the strands into two bundles.  Don't cut any off.  Every duplex outlet I know of has two screws for hot and two for neutral so use both screws, one for each half of the strands.

Full current carrying cap,  no strands left out.  Probably not to code, but still better then a wire nut and pig tail.

Nope, not Code compliant.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: John Schalk on June 24, 2018, 09:27:03 am
Can you get outlets that accept 10ga wire?

(Asks the guy on the other side of the planet)

If yes, why not use them?  If no... what does that tell you?

I am using the mil-spec receptacles that were sold with my OA Windsor quad boxes.  10ga THHN wire goes in easily, but the finer strands in the conductors of my SO cord is another story.  Since I have the big red wire nuts on hand I plan to wire up the remaining box with them for now, but the Wago tab connectors look like the way to go for future projects.  Who knows, I might order some and find the motivation to re-wire these quad boxes.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Tim McCulloch on June 24, 2018, 10:46:22 am
I am using the mil-spec receptacles that were sold with my OA Windsor quad boxes.  10ga THHN wire goes in easily, but the finer strands in the conductors of my SO cord is another story.  Since I have the big red wire nuts on hand I plan to wire up the remaining box with them for now, but the Wago tab connectors look like the way to go for future projects.  Who knows, I might order some and find the motivation to re-wire these quad boxes.

The other method I've seen is to use fork or ring crimp-on terminals on the wire.
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Frank Koenig on June 24, 2018, 11:35:30 am
10ga THHN wire goes in easily, but the finer strands in the conductors of my SO cord is another story.

If the receptacle accepts 10 AWG solid it will accept 10 AWG stranded -- it just takes a little patience. Do a good clean strip (no nicked strands),  give the wire a hard twist but not so hard as to cause strands to jump out of their position in the lay, and trim the end with a flush cutter. Twist the end again to fix any crushing by the flush cutter. The wire should be a perfect little rope with a square end. With good light and steady hands aim for the center of the hole without touching the sides. If there is a wayward strand, pull out, twist, and try again. Once you get them all in, lightly tighten the clamp to keep them from escaping. After all wires are inserted in their respective clamps go around and take all the clamps to final torque. Give every wire a hard pull and wiggle to test the connection and relieve stress. Re-torque the clamps. As has been discussed many times here, resist the temptation to tin the wire.

-Frank
Title: Re: Question on wiring up quad boxes
Post by: Corey Scogin on June 25, 2018, 01:12:55 am
Here ya go:
WAGO | COMPACT Splicing Connectors (221-613) (https://www.wago.com/global/installation-terminal-blocks-and-connectors/compact-splicing-connectors/p/221-613)


I just bought and used some of the 221-41x series (24-12AWG) and wow, they are really nice to work with. It's great to be able to visually verify that the cable is inserted properly and stripped to the correct length, especially for stranded wire. The ability to re-terminate them cleanly and connect multiple sizes of wire is also very nice. I'll be buying more.