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#83685 - 02/14/03 06:49 PM Terminal barrier strips instead of wire nuts?
SvenNYC Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
Joe's thread on wire-nuts got me thinking (yes, that's a bad thing). What if we do what the Europeans do and start using terminal strips instead of splicing caps for some applications?

The advantage I see to this is that there is less damage to the wires being spliced (especially the cable in the box) and it's much easier to swap devices like light fixtures in and out. A deeply recessed set-screw (grub screw for those of you in the UK) holds the wires in place.

The blocks I'm talking about look like this:



I was wondering also if someone in NEC-land used these to wire in a luminaire instead of splicing caps, would they be violating any codes?

The disadvantage with these terminal blocks is that you can't pigtail a bunch of connectors together. You can only splice two wires together.

So this wouldn't work if you have to join each pigtail of a luminaire to a group of three wires each in the ceiling box. You'll need a splicing cap for that...unless there are special blocks with loop-through functions.

[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 02-14-2003).]

[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 02-14-2003).]

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#83686 - 02/14/03 09:09 PM Re: Terminal barrier strips instead of wire nuts?
lighthouse Offline
Member

Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 141
Loc: philadelphia pa 19125
SvenNYC...i think it all comes down to the price.one wirenut. 3 to 5 cents each. but i have seen these connectors around.

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#83687 - 02/15/03 03:28 AM Re: Terminal barrier strips instead of wire nuts?
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
SvenNYC,

When you do a fire alarm in Rhode Island these are a requirement (actually it would be more accurate to say wire nuts are not allowed) and I use them for FA work in MA too, I like the fact that it's easy to get meter probes on and for installing end of line resisters.

As I usually have some in my truck I sometimes use them for other things.

If you need to tie more then two conductors together you can buy jumpers, more cost.

But to use them for all work seems like overkill to me.

For all we talk about to twist or not to twist I think the failure rate of wirenuts is low when you think of how many are in use.
Bob



[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 02-15-2003).]
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#83688 - 02/17/03 10:25 AM Re: Terminal barrier strips instead of wire nuts?
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
 Quote:

If you need to tie more then two conductors together you can buy jumpers, more cost.


I don't think I understood that comment. You can get three (or perhaps four) conductors per side, totalling six. By the way, what's wrong with using a wire as jumper?

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#83689 - 02/17/03 12:14 PM Re: Terminal barrier strips instead of wire nuts?
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
C-H
The one in the picture that sven posted looks exactly like the ones I use, they will fit up to #12 awg, when I do FA work it is mostly #14 awg, 2 #14s would not fit in the hole and would be a violation of the listing. I also have ones that hold up to #8 awg
The ones I get come in strips of 12 pairs (24 holes) I would call the one in the picture 3 terminals (6 holes) only 6 wires total could be landed and only 3 of the 6 are electrically connected You break off
the number you need.


When you need jumpers they are a flat piece of metal shaped kinda like a comb, you break or cut off the number of jumpers you need these will fit in the terminals along with the conducter.

Doing Fire alarm work jumpers are not needed as we do not "T" tap anything.
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#83690 - 02/17/03 01:14 PM Re: Terminal barrier strips instead of wire nuts?
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
iwire: I'm with you now. They need to be large to accept more than one conductor. (Here in Scandinavia a special type of these is sometimes used: It has only one screw and is open only on one side.)

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#83691 - 02/18/03 04:20 PM Re: Terminal barrier strips instead of wire nuts?
John Steinke Offline
Member

Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 509
Loc: Reno,Nv., USA
I am familiar with this system. Perhaps it is used in Canada- I'm told Canada doesn't allow the use of wire nuts.
These terminal strips differ from what we see in the US by coming in long "blocks"; you break off and use as many ports as you need. There are (noninsulated) "combs" that you use to jumper adjacent ports together.
Usually, the terminal strips are free-floating; that is, not anchored to the enclosure.
Some of the appliances from Europe will come with these. I have no problem in using them.

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#83692 - 02/18/03 05:12 PM Re: Terminal barrier strips instead of wire nuts?
cubby964 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/02
Posts: 69
Loc: USA
John:
If these "combs" are uninsulated, and the connectors are free floating, how are they kept from contact with the enclosure?

I have used the US type, secured to a surface, for low voltage stuff with the jumpers, for years. But, these don't move when they are fastened.

If you have to tape them up with the jumpers in, what is the advantage over wire nuts? Are there no insulated jumpers available?

Just asking the questions.

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#83693 - 02/18/03 05:53 PM Re: Terminal barrier strips instead of wire nuts?
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
I float these in a box for FA work but as I said we do not use the jumpers.

Times I have used the jumpers it would be in a control cabinet like a compactor control or other motor control work and I would screw them down, the one in the picture has holes for this between each terminal.

Bob
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#83694 - 02/18/03 08:24 PM Re: Terminal barrier strips instead of wire nuts?
electric-ed Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
I'm told Canada doesn't allow the use of wire nuts.

Not true. Canada uses the same wiring methods and materials as the USA.

Ed

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