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Best way to connect three 10awg wires together

nickmckinney

Active User
Active Member
#1
I am running 10awg to a couple of machines and question what other options are there (code and safety wise) that would be better than trying to twist connector 3 of them together at a junction box.
 

davidh

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#2
I am running 10awg to a couple of machines and question what other options are there (code and safety wise) that would be better than trying to twist connector 3 of them together at a junction box.
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split bolt connector and insulating tape is a very positive method but i still like the twist type better. ya got the insulator built right in. . .
 

kd1yt

Active User
Active Member
#4
Electric supply places that sell to the trade carry an item, I don't know the proper name, that is a metal block with holes in it, with hex-head setscrews, all covered in thick resilient insulation. Works better than a split bolt or a wirenut, and you aren't dealing with the tape. Make sure, especially with three wires, that the setscrew gets a good bite into all the wires and that all the wires get good contact with the block.
 

JimDawson

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Staff member
Director
#5
Electric supply places that sell to the trade carry an item, I don't know the proper name, that is a metal block with holes in it, with hex-head setscrews, all covered in thick resilient insulation. Works better than a split bolt or a wirenut, and you aren't dealing with the tape. Make sure, especially with three wires, that the setscrew gets a good bite into all the wires and that all the wires get good contact with the block.
Distribution block. Normally used in control panels to break out the mains to distribute the power to the various components.
m_hpb3091.jpg m_hpb1013.jpg
 

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jgedde

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Active Member
#6
I am running 10awg to a couple of machines and question what other options are there (code and safety wise) that would be better than trying to twist connector 3 of them together at a junction box.
Large wire nut (grey colored). The grey ones are rated to handle 3 #10 wires. Any good electrical supply store will have them in that size... Maybe even the big box store will.

Three #10's isn't all that big that you need "bug nuts" or junction blocks.

John
 

jim18655

Active User
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#7
Split bolts are only rated for two wires. Wire nut or wing nut will work fine. This is the connector someone else mentioned. wire connector.jpg

wire connector.jpg
 

GA Gyro

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#11
Wirenuts... or twist connectors, are NEC (national elec code) approved... for specific wire size groups to specific color wirenuts.

First, be sure NONE of the wires are aluminum... that requires a special wirenut.
There is a specific length of the wire that needs to be bare (stripped).
Hold all the wires in one hand, with the ends parallel and the tips even, then twist all three of these bare wires together with linemans pliers (cutters) for a neat and clean twist... be sure the twist is 'clockwise'.
Then apply the wirenut onto the twist.

If you really want to make it secure, get some NoLux and put a small amount onto the twisted set. NoLux is basically silicon grease with carbon particles in it (messy). It coats the wires and both protects from corrosion as well as improving electrical conduction. Thing is... if the connection gets 'hot' the NoLux can run... thus creating a conductive path. So do not over-apply.

If it were me, I would tape up each large wirenut joint... just to hold it together and keep it separate from the others.

Hope all this helps... :)

GA
 

mzayd3

Active User
Active Member
#12
Use eye stakons and bolt them together solidly. Wrap in varnished cambric tape, insulation putty, then finally in electrical tape.

Or you could bolt them and wrap tightly in electrical tape until there are no sharp edges felt around the "bug"


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rdhem2

Active User
Active Member
#13
If you read the container the wirenuts are contained in, you will find a list of wire combinations the connector is approved for. And it specifically states
"DO NOT TWIST WIRES BEFORE INSTALLING CONNECTOR".
I agree, tape is the sign of a true amateur.
Just follow the instructions on the container.
 

CoopVA

Active User
Active Member
#14
I am an Electrician. We always tape our wire nuts on motor loads... Non motor loads, not so much...

We also always twist the wires before wire nutting...


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jim18655

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#15
Electrician also. Twisting causes a poor connection. The wire nut has a spring inside to compress the wires together. Twisting prevents the spring from doing this. Imagine trying to compress a spring. Straight wires side-by-side will be held together by the wire nut at the proper contact pressure. Tape won't hurt but is unnecessary on a properly installed wire nut. Real nit-pick NFPA 79-2007,( Electrical Standard for Industrial Machinery) 13.5.9.2 states, "Electrical connections at motor terminal boxes shall be made with an identified method of connection. Twist-on wire connections shall not be used for this purpose." Really only applies to industrial machinery construction, not your home shop. Just thought I'd throw it out there before someone complains about wire nuts in a motor
 
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markba633csi

Active Member
Active Member
#18
I'm the quirky one so I like to group the bare ends then wrap with a few turns of 22ga bare copper wire, then solder, then heat-shrink. It's a good method when space in the box is limited and the wires are big. Also good for old motor wires with crumbling insulation; no twisting.
Mark S.
 

John Hasler

Active User
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#19
I am running 10awg to a couple of machines and question what other options are there (code and safety wise) that would be better than trying to twist connector 3 of them together at a junction box.
Compression is always best.
Just twist and solder, then wrap with tape?

Cheers Phil
You should not use solder for electrical connections unless it is backed up by a secure mechanical connection that won't fall apart if the solder melts. Don't rely on vinyl tape as insulation: it always drys up and falls off. Heatshrink is best.
 

talvare

Ted A
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#20
Personally, when connecting wires together for machinery, I always use Sta-Kon ring terminals, screwed together with machine screws and nuts and wrapped with 3M Scotch 33 electrical tape. This method has worked well for me in industrial application for many years.

Ted
 

uncle harry

Active User
Active Member
#22
If you read the container the wirenuts are contained in, you will find a list of wire combinations the connector is approved for. And it specifically states
"DO NOT TWIST WIRES BEFORE INSTALLING CONNECTOR".
I agree, tape is the sign of a true amateur.
Just follow the instructions on the container.
Yes, having worked in the outdoor sign business I learned this procedure to be true.
 

Wireaddict

Active User
Active Member
#23
The auto industry [GM anyway] always used sta-kon lugs held with screws & nuts then thoroughly covered with several wraps of 3M #33 tape. They occasionally used cambric tape on the connections ahead of the 3M tape but apparently phased that out where I worked during the 1980s [at least in Flint, MI]. Motors above about 30 hp. sometimes had set screw lugs on the leads. One advantage of using lugs over wire nuts is that the stripped wire ends don't get damaged from repeated motor replacement. My practice here is, if the motors come with lugs on the leads I'll use them & if not I'll use wire nuts & tape them for 480V connections. Also, I prefer hard plastic wire nuts because the soft wire nuts sometimes never completely tighten on the wires. Wire nuts have an insulation rating of 600 & 1000 VRMS depending on the application.
 
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woodchucker

Active Member
Active Member
#26
If you read the container the wirenuts are contained in, you will find a list of wire combinations the connector is approved for. And it specifically states
"DO NOT TWIST WIRES BEFORE INSTALLING CONNECTOR".
I agree, tape is the sign of a true amateur.
Just follow the instructions on the container.

Taping is not an amateur thing. Many pros will tape to completely seal the connection from air. It eliminates oxidation, and ensures the connection remains optimal for years to come.
Not taping might be the true sign of an amateur.
 

dieselshadow

Do you smell something?
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#27
Why do we need to call one an amateur if we use one method vs another? I suppose it makes me an amateur either way you look at it. I tape wire nuts when it's on a piece of moving or vibrating equipment, no tape on stationary joints. It's not required to tape a nut, but it's a nice piece of insurance that only costs a few pennies and a moment of your time.
 

Tony Wells

Former Vice President
Staff member
Administrator
#28
I think maybe the insinuation was that an amateur might use tape only, after twisting the wires together. If so, I would tend to agree that if someone used that method, they were uneducated in electrical work and therefore an amateur. But, we shouldn't be name calling in an insulting manner in any case.
 

abrace

Active Member
Active Member
#30
I always pretwist with a set of lineman pliers. Way I was taught in tech school and they way I have done it since. Never had a problem and never failed an inspection due to it.

Ideal changed their instructions 20 years ago to now say that 'Pre-twisting is unnecessary' versus not recommended or not allowed. I havent seen a box or bag of Ideal wirenuts in years that says anything else.

I always recommend pretwisting. It is a lot easier than trying to use the wirenut to do it...because either way the wires are getting twisted. Easier on my thumb and fingers to use the linemans.

Also, they taught us in school never to solder line voltage terminations. They taught us that solder had too much resistance versus a properly twisted pair of copper wires and wirenut. Dont know if that is true or not, but it is what they taught us.

As for 3 10AWG wires, I always use large blue wirenut from Ideal. Handles them perfectly...can also handle a few #6's instead. I always keep a few in my bag.