What do you use to splice wires together? Wirenuts? push-in connectors (like Wago)? Terminal strips in boxes? I've heard some bits here and there, but was wondering what is used where. And, have you had or seen many problems with a particular method.
Bill, The most common method here would have to be terminal strip connectors in boxes. Providing the screws are tight & PVC terminal blocks are not used in high temperature applications, there are no problems. Also plastic joint boxes with fixed brass screw terminals are common in residential type installations, where flat twin & earth cable is used. We do not use US style wire nuts in the UK. Porcelain wire nuts known as "Screwits" were used in very old installations here, but were banned when cables went metric (solid strand) around 1970.
[This message has been edited by David UK (edited 05-07-2003).]
Re: What do you use for splicing conductors?#136815 05/07/0312:24 PM05/07/0312:24 PM
Strip connectors (choc blocks) and Wagos in Austria. Wagos have been around for more than 10 years I think, and at least in Germany many electricians believe that Wagos are far superior to strip connectors. (can't be overtorqued, don' mash the conductor, easier to install,...). Receptacles with screw terminals have almost disappeared here. Personally I don't like them. One reason is that it is virtually impossible to get the wires back out of some of these. For the second reason see the thread on the swiss receptacle... Wirenuts do exist here, but they're awfully expensive and hardly ever used. ($10 for a 50 bag, only 1 standard size available)
Re: What do you use for splicing conductors?#136818 05/08/0309:14 AM05/08/0309:14 AM
I'll echo our German counterparts on the Wago's. We feel here too that they are much more reliable for the same reasons that Texas Ranger has said. In my view receptacles is a different story. Here we use mainly with screws and I find them much more reliable. The connection is much better.
Re: What do you use for splicing conductors?#136819 05/08/0311:26 AM05/08/0311:26 AM
Oops, I made a jump in my last post. Just to clear up things: I wanted to say I don't like push-in receptacles. I've seen ca. 10 year old Legrand ones where the release buttons were that tight you could hardly press them without breaking your finger. The huge screws our old receptacles had can almost always be opened, even if they're severely rusted. Modern cheap Kopp receptacles and switches have working release buttons, but I don't really trust them anyway. My absolute favs is the 1950ies/60ies Maté series with porcelaine body and screw terminals. Almost indestructible. Of the 8 1960ies receptacles in our living room only 1 is noticeably worn, and it is possible to bend back the loosened springs. Wiring them takes more time, sure. Strip conductor, wrap it a full turn around the terminal screws and tighten them. Fasten receptacle to box. Tools needed: Stanley knife, strip pliers (optional, only for inner insulation, not for Romex sheath), a small and a big straight blade screwdriver, nose pliers or combi pliers (combination of small pipe wrench, cutters and flat pliers) and some patience. Estimated lifetime: 40 years+, maybe tighten thes crews after about 25 to 30 years. Backstabbed: Stanley knife, strip pliers (again optional), small screwdriver. Steps: strip wire, push into receptacle. Fasten receptacle with claws or screws. Estimated lifetime: until the first bad short. the plastic will melt away. Or the backstab connections overheat. What such a receptacle looks like in this case can be seen in the thread on the swiss receptacle. All the plastic around the stab-in terminals melted away and some of the wire insulation is gone as well.
Re: What do you use for splicing conductors?#136820 05/08/0311:55 AM05/08/0311:55 AM
Are you able to easily buy the receptacles with terminals that use a small grub screw to hold the wire in the terminal? Similar to a terminal strip.
The Belgian receptacles I got a month or so ago use that type of terminals, ditto the British-style BS-546 receptacles I have from Malaysia (5 and 15 amp configs).
That's more of an improvement than the back-stab things with the spring action.
We have some of those here in the USA - the more expensive ones...they're normally known as back-wire (as opposed to back-stab). Instead of wrapping the wire around the terminal screw you stick the wire straight into a hole and turn the screw. The Colombian-manufactured receptacles and switches also use those.
A little pair of pressure plate clamps around the wire holding it in place as you tighten the screw. _Very_ effective. I love them and always spring the extra dollar to buy them if I have the chance.
P.S.: Don't buy your receptacles from a discount store or a supermarket!! Cheap, shoddy devices marked 200 percent because they're in a fancy blisterpack.
[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 05-08-2003).]
Re: What do you use for splicing conductors?#136821 05/08/0312:35 PM05/08/0312:35 PM
Note: I edited my post above to read "Back-stab" instead of "Back-wire".
The Back-stabbed receptacles seem to have connection method similar to the Wago type push-in connectors. Many people don't seem to trust them, except on lightly loaded circuits. These connectors seem to be trying for a foot-hold in the US. Do you think the skepticism is justified, from a design standpoint? The ones I've seen are rated at 20A and for solid or stranded wire.
Re: What do you use for splicing conductors?#136822 05/08/0301:26 PM05/08/0301:26 PM
I've only worked with a tiny handful of old ones an electrician left at a new construction site. I doubt you could get stranded into these, you have to push the wire in with quite some force. Also I wasn't able to find out how the release mechanism works, so I only use them for connections I think I won't ever need to open again. I don'T like things I can't figure out how to use, thus my deep mistrust of any connection that works without screws. I only use choc blocks. (And just for fun I recently bought a bag of wirenuts). I also don't like plugs with a casing that snaps shut (quite popular cheap type of Schuko plug). All recent receptacles with screw terminals are backwired. Light switches and some plugs have been backwired almost forever (I've got an early 1900s backwired rotary switch). There are several types of terminals used here: the typical US side wired style where you have to wrap the wire around the screw. Then perhaps the most common style, a simple screw but with walls on 2 sides that keep the wire from sliding out when tightening the screw. then there are the types with pressure plates, sometimes simple phase/neutral screws and pressure plate for the ground, pressure plate terminals are always rated for 2 wires. And then the last type, a solid metal block with a hole in which you push the wire, then tighten the screw. Very popular for plugs, old light switches use it as well. I usually buy Kopp at the hardware store, they seem to last. Or I use salvaged stuff, mainly made by the Austrian companies Maté, PE and MPE (now all Legrand), very reliable stuff. Older german receptacles are weird, they usually have 2 individual ground screws, one for the incoming neutral and one for the jumper to the neutral screw, an easy way to tell apart German and Austrian.