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2023-06-14 19:31:00

Most Common DIYer Electrical Mistake - Don't Let This Be You!

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How's it going ?

You guys , it's Scott with everyday home repairs .

And today I want to help you avoid the number one mistake .

I see D I wires do when they're jumping into electrical .

The mistake comes from when you need to connect stranded wire to solid core wire .

This is extremely common in light fixtures such as vanity lights , ceiling lights .

I have one right here which is an led recessed wafer light and inside the junction box , all your connections are going to be stranded with your neutral hot and your ground .

You will also see this with a lot of the smart switches that are becoming more and more popular .

And why this is so important is because a loose connection can equal at minimum additional heat in your junction box which might lower the life of , of these connections and at maximum can equal arcing or a short , which can be a fire hazard .

So let me quickly show you how to connect these two together with a simple wire net and what the best practices are .

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And then we'll finish off with actually my preferred method , which I think is perfect for D I wires .

So here's the example of a common failure .

The wire net is connected , I don't have any exposed copper .

It feels pretty tight and where the wire net is biting into the wire .

But then many people forget to do a pole test .

So if I pull , I can already see that the wires coming out and there the stranded came out and I had a very weak connection .

Now , the wire net still connected on , but that's because it was biting into the solid .

So here's the example , you can see the wire net actually was just biting into the solid core and then the stranded was just getting wrapped around the solid core .

But really with a very loose connection , this is a classic failure point and something that can be avoided with a simple technique .

Let me show you how .

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So first up , we're gonna strip off some new wire and remember in your wire strippers , you do have the gauge call outs for stranded and then on the opposite side for solid .

And those will be different stripping holes depending on if you're doing stranded to solid .

Now , this is 14 gauge .

So 14 gauge solid would be here and usually I'll be stripping three quarters of an inch or maybe just a little bit more .

You'll pull that straight off , you will not pull it at an angle and you shouldn't wiggle the strippers too much because that can cause damage to the copper itself .

Now , that's especially true with stranded because stranded can , you can break off some of those strands , right ?

And then you'd be lessening the current capacity of that wire .

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So 14 gauge here and again , we're going to do about three quarters to an inch again , pulling straight out .

See sometimes if you , if it's a little bit harder , you can go to the piece of insulation that no longer has any wire in it , you can pinch down on that piece of insulation and then pull it the rest of the way off .

Now , for the stranded , it is nice to put a little bit of a pre twist on there just to make sure you don't have any frayed wire .

Then the correct approach is pretty simple and this is going to ensure you get a nice strong connection between the stranded and solid .

What you want to do and what we did wrong last time is we just put the wires , we just put the wires within the wire net .

And what ended up happening is the solid actually led the stranded .

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So the wire net actually just bit onto the top part of the solid and the stranded just got wound loosely around the solid core .

That is not what you want .

You want to actually do the opposite .

You want to lead with the stranded .

You can really do only about an eighth of an inch and that's gonna be enough often when you have solid core wire , many professionals will pre twist , they'll pre twist the wires together prior to putting the wire nut on .

Even though the wire net manufacturers usually call out to not pre twist and to let the wire nut or a wing nut like this do the work .

All right .

So now once we have that folding on , we can look down inside , you can see the stranded is much higher up and is biting into that wire nut .

So that same pole test is not going to pull the wire out like it did last time .

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So you can kind of yank on these all you want and it's just not gonna happen .

Now , a correctly installed wire net is really hard to beat in terms of price and the proven durability , the challenge is it does take a little getting used to .

So if you're starting off on your electrical project , I actually have a better solution and it is the connector I've been using for the last year .

Let me show you one quick note .

If you guys are ever looking to expand your tool collection , you're kind of building out as you build up your diy skills and projects .

You can look down in the description , you'll see our Amazon store .

It has things like my favorite utility knife , which is the Milwaukee Fast back .

You'll see my go to wire strippers which are now this hybrid set from Kics , which are a great brand but they're a little costly .

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So sometimes I will put kind of the higher end and a more mid tier that I also prefer , you'll see the pictures , you can kind of run through it quickly and see if we have a recommendation for tools .

So just something to check out and you'll see that in all of our different videos .

So now on to the connectors that I recommend these connectors are called A wa 221 .

If you've seen any of my other videos , you've seen these connectors because they are my go to now these are both three wire connectors .

They are called lever nuts .

They are not push in connectors , do not be confused with something like this , which would just be a push in connector .

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These are a little bit different why I prefer these , I think especially for D I wires , you can get a more consistent connection using the wao lever nuts than you can with the wire NT considering you're only doing so many electrical projects a year .

So you don't get a lot of reps with the wire nuts , which it does take a little time to get used to them .

The smaller wa 221 , which you can get two pin , three pin , five pin .

Those are the ones I carry on me all the time .

This goes up to 12 gauge and then the bigger one can actually go up to 10 gauge .

So the smaller , which has the smaller envelope which is easier to fit in the junction box is by far what I recommend and why I recommend these for D I wires you will see .

So we open up our two slots here by releasing the lever , we place our solid core in .

You'll see it through the housing , it's fully seated .

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And that chrome bar there is actually the bus bar .

So I'll close that lever and that secures that wire in place .

Then with a pre twist on the stranded just to make sure I don't have any stray strands that get caught up .

I'll also see that in and the big thing is 22 ones are approved for stranded , not just solid core .

There's some confusion out there .

There's also some confusion seems like a lot of pros say that these cannot handle load .

I'll put a link in the description , the silver symbol which is a great youtube channel .

You you guys should check out did a load test and went three times the the rated capacity .

So it went up to 60 amps and the wa did generate heat but had zero issues once it cooled down , still fully functioning .

And that was even after three times the rated load .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

So as long as it's installed as you see here with the wires fully seated , the wa is going to stand up to the test of time .

And actually over in the European markets , things like the wao lever nut are much , much , much more common than wire nuts .

And that's just because it's a solid consistent connection .

And here's an example of that , this is a 221-613 , which can handle 10 gauge .

And we have 14 gauge stranded wire in the middle .

I know others have commented that the levers are loose and they are loose , but that actually does not release the wire .

So we can show here the lever looks like it's starting to come released , but it's actually just some play within the levers .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

And if we zoom out here , you'll see my little cheap test rig and that shows that single stranded wire holding £25 of weight without failing , you could push back a little bit on costs .

These are gonna be quite a bit more costly and cost you 5 to 10 times more than a standard wire nut .

But for us D R wires that aren't doing a ton of jobs , we're not doing commercial jobs .

I don't think that cost really makes a huge difference .

Why I also like the I use them on like temporary light fixture at renovation projects because they're reusable .

You can take them right off the wires are not damaged , you can reuse those .

They're just a great overall connector and I do highly recommend them .

So now , you know , if you're installing that ceiling light or vanity light , you just want to use the standard wire notes in the package .

No problem .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

Now , you know how to safely connect up stranded to solid .

But if you have a few projects ahead of you , I do recommend getting yourself some wa 22 ones .

There's some sample kits that have 23 and five pins .

You'll see that down in the description and I just think it's a great starter kit for D I wires to see if you prefer these type of connectors .

Now , if you want to see other best practices and just things to avoid when you're swapping out outlets around the house .

Check out this video right here , I'll walk you through three issues .

I actually found in a newly built home in my area .

So thanks for joining us on this video and we'll catch you on the next one .

Take care .


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