? Stranded wire OK for grounding electrical boxes?

Discussion in 'Misc DIY' started by zxcvbob, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Guest

    It's really difficult to shove all the #12 solid wires back into a
    handybox when wiring a new 20A duplex outlet outlet and another cable
    exits the box to feed the next outlet. And the main problem seems to be
    the #12 wire to ground the box. I'm tempted to use #14 bare wire, since
    the box *should* be grounded by the yoke of the installed outlet. But
    even that would be a stiff solid wire going the wrong general direction
    to bend easily.

    What about using #12 green-insulated stranded wire? Can it be twisted
    into the red wirenut with the other three #12 bare solid wires? Do I
    need to crimp on a terminal lug, or just twist the strands into a little
    loop and hook them under the green ground screw?

    Even better would be to use a stranded wire pigtail on the outlet and a
    stranded wire for the box, so I'd have two solid grounding wire and two
    stranded wires.

    I have one box to wire with *two* cables coming out of it feeded other
    boxes. That one will be really fun to get all the wires in. :-( I'll
    use an extra deep gangable box for that one and wire it up with the side
    removed until I shove wires in from the side.

    I'm too stubborn to use plastic boxes for exposed work, but I am using
    plastic ceiling boxes just so I don't have to ground them.

    Thanks, regards,
    Bob
    zxcvbob, Jan 2, 2004
    #1
  2. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Guest

    Jagoff Jameson wrote:

    >>zxcvbob

    >
    >
    >>It's really difficult to shove all the #12 solid wires back into a

    >
    >
    > What size box you got there space cadet? The cubic inches mandates the number
    > of wires you can put in there. Give up and hire a pro.



    13 or 16.5 cu. in. for a handybox; I'm not sure if this is a 1 7/8" deep
    or 2 1/8" deep box (it looks like a deep box but the cubic inches is not
    stamped on it and I didn't measure it). In any case, the wires and the
    outlet require 13 cubic inches total, so it all fits in either size box
    but it's tight.

    Why don't you go back to doing what you do best if you don't have
    anything useful to say, "Jagoff"?

    Regards,
    Bob
    zxcvbob, Jan 2, 2004
    #2
  3. zxcvbob

    Chris Lewis Guest

    According to zxcvbob <>:
    > It's really difficult to shove all the #12 solid wires back into a
    > handybox when wiring a new 20A duplex outlet outlet and another cable
    > exits the box to feed the next outlet. And the main problem seems to be
    > the #12 wire to ground the box. I'm tempted to use #14 bare wire, since
    > the box *should* be grounded by the yoke of the installed outlet. But
    > even that would be a stiff solid wire going the wrong general direction
    > to bend easily.


    > What about using #12 green-insulated stranded wire? Can it be twisted
    > into the red wirenut with the other three #12 bare solid wires? Do I
    > need to crimp on a terminal lug, or just twist the strands into a little
    > loop and hook them under the green ground screw?


    I believe you're supposed to use terminal lugs for stranded wire used as
    house wire under simple screw terminators.

    This is how I do this - fewer wirenuts.

    Leave the ground wire on the feed cable _very_ long (like 8").

    Run it direct to the closest box screw, half a turn, thence to the outlet
    ground screw (leave an inch or more of slack), thence to a wirenut to the
    ground of the downstream cable.

    I do the same for the neutral (except for the box screw ;-)

    --
    Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
    It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
    Chris Lewis, Jan 2, 2004
    #3
  4. zxcvbob

    Toller Guest

    "zxcvbob" <> wrote in message
    news:bt4i2g$36vgf$-berlin.de...
    > It's really difficult to shove all the #12 solid wires back into a
    > handybox when wiring a new 20A duplex outlet outlet and another cable
    > exits the box to feed the next outlet. And the main problem seems to be
    > the #12 wire to ground the box. I'm tempted to use #14 bare wire, since
    > the box *should* be grounded by the yoke of the installed outlet. But
    > even that would be a stiff solid wire going the wrong general direction
    > to bend easily.


    Are you talking about running a #12 to the box grounding screw, and a #14
    from the box to the outlet ground? Personally I wouldn't have a problem
    with that, but I think it would be a code violation unless you bought one of
    the more expensive outlets that has a self grounding screw hole in the yoke;
    then you don't need to run a wire to the outlet at all. (At least that is
    my understanding, which is not also infallible.)

    > What about using #12 green-insulated stranded wire? Can it be twisted
    > into the red wirenut with the other three #12 bare solid wires? Do I
    > need to crimp on a terminal lug, or just twist the strands into a little
    > loop and hook them under the green ground screw?


    I don't know of any code requirement on this, but it is a heck of a lot
    easier to crip a terminal on than to try to get stranded wire under a screw.
    Around here ground wires must be crimped together, not wirenutted. Crimping
    is much better than a wirenut if you are going to mix stranded and solid.
    >
    > Even better would be to use a stranded wire pigtail on the outlet and a
    > stranded wire for the box, so I'd have two solid grounding wire and two
    > stranded wires.
    >

    That seems fine, but I would crimp them. They sell a wirenut with a wire
    coming out of the opposite end with a lug on it. That would work nicely in
    this application, though as I said, they would be a code violation where I
    am.

    > I have one box to wire with *two* cables coming out of it feeded other
    > boxes. That one will be really fun to get all the wires in. :-( I'll
    > use an extra deep gangable box for that one and wire it up with the side
    > removed until I shove wires in from the side.
    >

    I hope you never have to use #10. It is much worse than #12. (and so on...)

    > I'm too stubborn to use plastic boxes for exposed work, but I am using
    > plastic ceiling boxes just so I don't have to ground them.
    >

    I use plastic everywhere except where I am concerned about something hitting
    it, but each to his own.
    Toller, Jan 2, 2004
    #4
  5. zxcvbob

    Al Guest

    (Jagoff Jameson) wrote in message news:<>...
    > >zxcvbob

    >
    > >It's really difficult to shove all the #12 solid wires back into a

    >
    > "What size box you got there space cadet? The cubic inches mandates the number
    > of wires you can put in there. Give up and hire a pro."


    Its people like you who really destroy diy.
    Al, Jan 2, 2004
    #5
  6. zxcvbob wrote:
    >
    > It's really difficult to shove all the #12 solid wires back into a
    > handybox when wiring a new 20A duplex outlet outlet and another cable
    > exits the box to feed the next outlet. And the main problem seems to be
    > the #12 wire to ground the box. I'm tempted to use #14 bare wire, since
    > the box *should* be grounded by the yoke of the installed outlet. But
    > even that would be a stiff solid wire going the wrong general direction
    > to bend easily.
    >
    > What about using #12 green-insulated stranded wire? Can it be twisted
    > into the red wirenut with the other three #12 bare solid wires? Do I
    > need to crimp on a terminal lug, or just twist the strands into a little
    > loop and hook them under the green ground screw?
    >
    > Even better would be to use a stranded wire pigtail on the outlet and a
    > stranded wire for the box, so I'd have two solid grounding wire and two
    > stranded wires.
    >
    > I have one box to wire with *two* cables coming out of it feeded other
    > boxes. That one will be really fun to get all the wires in. :-( I'll
    > use an extra deep gangable box for that one and wire it up with the side
    > removed until I shove wires in from the side.
    >
    > I'm too stubborn to use plastic boxes for exposed work, but I am using
    > plastic ceiling boxes just so I don't have to ground them.
    >
    > Thanks, regards,
    > Bob


    Hey, its even harder with #10, practically impossible.
    Everything I've read says you can use stranded wire pigtails
    and my electrical inspector even suggested it, but that was
    many years ago. I would use different colors of stranded
    wire. I think you could drop to #14 stranded wire to make
    it easier since the pigtails are only 2-3 inches, but don't
    know if that is code.
    George E. Cawthon, Jan 3, 2004
    #6
  7. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Guest

    Chris Lewis wrote:
    > According to zxcvbob <>:
    >
    >>It's really difficult to shove all the #12 solid wires back into a
    >>handybox when wiring a new 20A duplex outlet outlet and another cable
    >>exits the box to feed the next outlet. And the main problem seems to be
    >>the #12 wire to ground the box. I'm tempted to use #14 bare wire, since
    >>the box *should* be grounded by the yoke of the installed outlet. But
    >>even that would be a stiff solid wire going the wrong general direction
    >>to bend easily.

    >
    >
    >
    >>What about using #12 green-insulated stranded wire? Can it be twisted
    >>into the red wirenut with the other three #12 bare solid wires? Do I
    >>need to crimp on a terminal lug, or just twist the strands into a little
    >> loop and hook them under the green ground screw?

    >
    >
    > I believe you're supposed to use terminal lugs for stranded wire used as
    > house wire under simple screw terminators.
    >
    > This is how I do this - fewer wirenuts.
    >
    > Leave the ground wire on the feed cable _very_ long (like 8").
    >
    > Run it direct to the closest box screw, half a turn, thence to the outlet
    > ground screw (leave an inch or more of slack), thence to a wirenut to the
    > ground of the downstream cable.
    >
    > I do the same for the neutral (except for the box screw ;-)
    >



    Thanks. That helped tremendously. I just wired a box where I gave the
    ground supply wire 3/4 turn around a ground screw as soon as it entered the
    box and then wired the outlet as usual. The finished wires and device
    shoved into the box much easier.

    I'm gonna use a deep plastic box (about 20 in3) for the one outlet box that
    will have three 12-2wg cables and a duplex receptacle all in one box, so
    I can eliminate the pesky equipment ground to the box altogether.

    I saw some 8" flexible ground pigtails at the store yesterday. They were
    about 50 cents each so I didn't get any until I tried your trick first;
    they had a fork connector crimped on one end and a ring connector with and
    a captive ground screw on the other end of a green #12 stranded wire. I
    might get a couple for my junkbox because they could be really handy sometimes.

    Best regards,
    Bob
    zxcvbob, Jan 3, 2004
    #7
  8. zxcvbob

    Chris Lewis Guest

    According to zxcvbob <>:
    > Chris Lewis wrote:
    > > Leave the ground wire on the feed cable _very_ long (like 8").


    > > Run it direct to the closest box screw, half a turn, thence to the outlet
    > > ground screw (leave an inch or more of slack), thence to a wirenut to the
    > > ground of the downstream cable.


    > > I do the same for the neutral (except for the box screw ;-)


    > Thanks. That helped tremendously. I just wired a box where I gave the
    > ground supply wire 3/4 turn around a ground screw as soon as it entered the
    > box and then wired the outlet as usual. The finished wires and device
    > shoved into the box much easier.


    I thought it might ;-)

    I should also amplify a bit - our code (CEC - or at least our most common
    interpretation of it - the Knight "Orange" book) says that you're also
    supposed to bond together each metal box in a gang box install.

    So, I run the bare wire straight from the feedclamp under one screw from
    _each_ box, then to the outlet, then wirenut to the outgoing feeds.

    This means of course, you may well need more than a foot of bare wire
    off the end of the feed wire.

    When I said "half a turn", I should have said "as much of a turn as you
    can do without overlapping".

    The technique is recommended in Knight as meeting the pigtail rule (so the
    ground doesn't have to be disconnected to remove the outlet),
    eliminating a wirenut, and easier to stuff.

    I do the same for neutrals (leaving out the box connect of course!).
    Ie: for the first connection, I put my wirestrippers where I need
    the loop, slide the insulation about an inch, repeating for each
    loop I need.

    Neutrals require pigtailing for 240/120 4 wire circuits (eg: split duplex
    kitchen receptacles), but Knight recommends doing it with every outlet.

    The technique is also useful with gang switches (feed to gang switch).

    It's really cool when you can wire a 5-gang switch assembly with only
    2 wirenuts. A wirenut for common ground, a wirenut for common neutral,
    and all the hots go to switch screws. No pigtailing of the hot.

    > I'm gonna use a deep plastic box (about 20 in3) for the one outlet box that
    > will have three 12-2wg cables and a duplex receptacle all in one box, so
    > I can eliminate the pesky equipment ground to the box altogether.


    I'm old-fashioned, and use deep metal boxes exclusively.
    --
    Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
    It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
    Chris Lewis, Jan 4, 2004
    #8
  9. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Guest

    Chris Lewis wrote:
    > According to zxcvbob <>:
    >
    >> I'm gonna use a deep plastic box (about 20 in3) for the one outlet box that
    >> will have three 12-2wg cables and a duplex receptacle all in one box, so
    >> I can eliminate the pesky equipment ground to the box altogether.

    >
    >
    > I'm old-fashioned, and use deep metal boxes exclusively.


    Using a plastic box was kind of an extreme measure for me; I like metal
    boxes. But a 3 1/2" deep metal box wouldn't fit; the clamp screws would
    poke through the plywood sheathing. I found a plastic box that was about
    2 3/4" deep and had 2 more cubic inches than a similar metal box. (This is
    an exterior wall of a detached garage with 2x4 studs, and I mounting the
    boxes so the fronts are flush with the face of the studs. If I ever finish
    the walls I'll have to move the boxes out, but that's OK because I mounted
    them with screws.)

    Thanks again,
    Bob
    zxcvbob, Jan 4, 2004
    #9

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