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Splicing Electrical Wires Safely


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Splice Electrical Wires: Electrical Wire Types and Approved Splicing Practices, Electrical Wire Size, Solid and Stranded Wire, Tin Coated Copper Wire


Electrical Wire Types and Approved Splicing Methods

Electrical Question: I have a 100 amp electrical service box. In it there are stranded wires in the circuit breakers that run to a old gutted fuse box that is used as a large junction box.

  • The wiring is spliced into old aluminum coated copper wires that service the switches, receptacles, and lighting of the house.
  • Is this stranded wire legal code and proper wiring, or should I disconnect the stranded wire and connect solid #14 wire from the 15 amp circuit breakers to the old aluminum coated copper wire in the old gutted fuse box.

Thank You,
Marvin

This electrical wiring question came from: Marvin, from Kenosha, Wisconsin.

See more about Home Wiring for Wisconsin

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Marvin.

How to Splice Electrical Wires

Preparation

  • Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced.
  • Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
  • Estimated Time: Depends on the personal level experience and ability to work with tools and access to the wiring.
  • Precaution: Identify the circuit, turn it OFF and then Tag it with a Note before performing any wiring.
  • Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring should be done with a permit and inspected.
  • Special Materials: Properly sized wire connectors, anti-corrosion ointment, electrical tape, junction box and blank cover.

Electrical Wire Types and Approved Splicing Practices

  • Electrical Wire Size
    • Splicing electrical wires is permitted when the wire gauges and the type of wire insulation are the same or of the same permitted rating according to the electrical codes.
  • Solid and Stranded Wire
    • Once these other stipulations have been met there is not problem splicing smaller gauges of electrical wire that are solid and stranded wire types as long as the method of splicing is done correctly.
  • Tin Coated Copper Wire
    • Some older homes have tin coated copper wire which may still be used as long as the installation methods are up to code and the cable and insulation is OK, however it is always best to upgrade older home electrical wiring whenever possible.

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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.

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