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#35937 - 03/24/04 09:25 PM Stranded Vs Solid
eswets Offline

Registered: 03/07/04
Posts: 56
Loc: Lansing, IL, USA
What do you guys use, solid or stranded for #12 or 14 and why. (except romex, isn't that all solid). I use solid 14 and stranded 12. Why, I don't know. Thats what I've always used. I think the stranded 12 is easier to work with. What do you guys think.

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#35938 - 03/24/04 10:11 PM Re: Stranded Vs Solid
crash Offline

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 130
Loc: Calgary Canada
We usually use solid #14 and solid #12. Basically because solid is cheaper. Stranded is easier to pull and easier to use in control applications.

#35939 - 03/24/04 10:19 PM Re: Stranded Vs Solid
DougW Offline

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Chicago, IL
Solid for both.

#35940 - 03/25/04 03:04 AM Re: Stranded Vs Solid
GA76JW Offline

Registered: 03/20/04
Posts: 195
Loc: Suwanee, GA USA
Solid wire is easier to push into a pipe. Stranded wire is a little easier to work with.
Unless it's XHHW and the insulation is melted into the wire. We have ran into this problem with all the wire we are using on our current job.
Someone told me Stranded is a better choice because it has more surface area to carry the "juice" on.
"If common sense was common, everyone would have it"-not sure, someone here

#35941 - 03/25/04 04:28 AM Re: Stranded Vs Solid
electure Offline


Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4229
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
It's solid for #12 in building wiring.
Stranded #14 or #12 in machinery or control applications.
(We don't use #14 building wire)

#35942 - 03/25/04 05:37 AM Re: Stranded Vs Solid
Jps1006 Offline

Registered: 01/22/04
Posts: 609
Loc: Northern IL
I use #14 solid & #12 stranded for residential. We used to use #12 solid for the same reason eswets uses stranded, because we always did. Then after working with others on commercial work I really began to appriciate stranded.

Stranded is better for pulling and stuffing the device into the box, but worse for terminals on devices (unless they are expensive back wired).
#14 solid is so easy to work with, the advantage of flexiblity never seemed to outweigh the ease of terminating.

I do keep a stock of #14 stranded that I use for wiremold in modular sunrooms.

#35943 - 03/25/04 08:57 AM Re: Stranded Vs Solid
ayrton Offline

Registered: 12/21/01
Posts: 205
Loc: Pa
Use of either depends on the application. Flexibility is normaly an issue. The more strands you have the more flexible the wire. Generaly in my experience solid is only used in 12awg or smaller and is specificaly stated in specs to use stranded for anything bigger than 14awg. Stranded will always pull easier in raceway. Solid will obviously push easier in many cases, but not all. Imagine trying to pull or push a solid 500kcmil. Never happen.
In industrial environements I have worked in, solid wire isn't even allowed to be used.
Agood book (tool) which every sparky should have is theAmerican Electrician's Handbook. It goes into specific detail on almost any question like this you would have.
Division 2 Properties and Splicing of Conductors.

#35944 - 03/25/04 04:34 PM Re: Stranded Vs Solid
Tom Offline

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1069
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
The only solid I ever use is in a cable such as NM or MC. I almost always work by myself & I found that I can pull most conduit runs without help. When I used to use solid, I usually damaged the insulation or couldn't make the pull on my own.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

#35945 - 03/25/04 04:50 PM Re: Stranded Vs Solid
Fred Offline

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 461
Loc: Straughn, IN 47387
The only place I use solid is NM cable. I use stranded MC. It's only about $7.00 more per 250' roll than solid and is a lot more flexible. I hate the feel of pulling solid conductors through pipe. If you have trouble side wiring stranded on devices, left-hand twist the strands before you bend the hook around the terminal screw. As you tighten the binding screw the strands won't spread.

#35946 - 03/25/04 05:18 PM Re: Stranded Vs Solid
Mr. Ed Offline

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 30
Loc: Silver Creek, NY USA
Fred: Do you mean twist them CCW? I've got to try that.

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