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  1. #66
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    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    So taping wiring nuts is a bad idea and unnescessary..

    So here my story as to why many D.I.Y.'s might do this unnescessay
    practice.

    The D.I.Y. goes down to his local, HOME DEPOT, and bring home a new
    light fixture for his wife. (note: I heard that it's also call a luminaire.)

    After unpacking, the good D.I.Y. reads the instructions.

    After all the wire nuts connections are made by our D.I.Y., he then reads
    the instructions again. Now it's telling him to individual wrap electrical tape
    around each wire nut, he just used, in installing this light fixture. Which he does.

    So now the D.I.Y. not knowing any better, now believe that any at home
    project he does, involving the use of wire nuts, must be tape over with
    electrical tape.

    The electrician I talk to, said in school, nothing was ever mention, that
    you should tape up wire nut splices. So he always asked his boss what he
    wants. Better not to tape, then find out your boss if dead set agaisnt
    this practice.

    He believes, that a young electrician might had seen an older electrician do
    this, and that why some tape, but not all electricians tape up wire nut connections.

    Last edited by Robert Mattison; 08-31-2009 at 03:34 PM.
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  2. #67
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    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    AD

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  3. #68
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    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    I've never seen instructions that call for taping the wire nuts. I would like to see them if they exist.
    Yes I have seen instruction sheets from fixtures that are custom made to the crappiest big box store fixtures.


  4. #69
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    Default Re: electrical tape wrap around wire nuts

    I have lots of issues with taping wire nuts and devices and those that practice the atrocities. To keep this "G" rated I'll dwell only on a few

    First and foremost I think it violates the manufacturer's listing because all the wire nuts and devices were tested without tape present and tape isn't specified in the installation instructions. Last time I checked not following manufacturer's instructions was a violation.

    Wire nuts are provided with instructions, including a wire strip length, that if followed will put the bare wires inside the skirt of the wire nut and prevent them touching anything. The wires are either pre-twisted or the wire nut twists them when properly installed. The twisted conductors and wire nut provide the mechanical pressure required by the NEC. Tape is neither listed or approved for this purpose. As has been pointed out, if tape is required to allow the splice to function or prevent it's failure, the splice hasn't been done correctly. In other words, if tape is required at a wire nutted splice the workmanship is definitely in question. On top of all this tape can trap moisture in a wire nut. I'm listening if someone can explain to me how this is a good thing.

    Devices are furnished with strip guides that indicate how much insulation is to be stripped from the wire. Done correctly, this allows the wire to be wrapped around the screw terminal or inserted into the back-clamp without bare conductor extending beyond the back plane of the device. Screws hold devices in place in metal enclosures and prevent the terminals from touching the enclosure. And. most devices have screw heads recessed when tight that would prevent touching anyway. So, now we get down to why you would need tape in these circumstances. And, it is usually because somebody figures they are going to be back working the thing hot at some point - both stupid and illegal. Of course somebody always figures that keeping those 5 sided left hand upside down widgets coming off the line are more important than somebody's life, but I digress.

    Electric forums are always showing results of somebody that had a bad day when working stuff hot. If you need do troubleshoot devices you kill the power, take them out of the box, and then restore power IF the testing requires it, You DO NOT rely on tape to cover your bu** while removing a live device.


  5. #70
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    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    NOTE: not trying to start an argument

    for: Ken Horak


    It not just cheap light fixture, instruction literature.


    I found this:

    Section B High Voltage Wiring
    Pigtail the black to and white to white wires with wire nuts
    provide. Using a U.L. approved electrical tape, secure the
    wire nuts to the wire.

    This I copy down, I try getting a direct link for you, but could not.

    Here what I did. I went to google, and type in the following: is it a U.L.
    listing violation to tape wire nuts.

    Yes I had to look around, but did find something un-related to cheap
    light fixtures purchase from big box stores.

    I think this can from a P.V. installation.

    How do get people to stop taping wire nuts when MFG. are telling then
    they should do it.

    Only the well inform that see this form, and get to read your post will know better.

    Next I shall check with the MFG.'s of wire nuts to get there say in this
    matter.

    To set the record straight Ken, I am on your side.

    Last edited by Robert Mattison; 08-31-2009 at 09:15 PM.

  6. #71
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    My uncle was a retired electrical engineer and master electrician. His story went like this: back in the day when wire nuts did not exist connections were made by twisting the conductors together - maybe even soldering them - and then taping the connection. With the advent of wire nuts some (oblivious) old-timers may have continued taping the connections even with the new-fangled nuts attached. Thus began the urban electrical myth that taping wire nuts is required, or even a good idea.

    This could be apocryphal, or it could just be completely fabricated on my part, but it seems likely.


  7. #72
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    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    A.D.

    I personal want to thank you for that last post, on taping wire nuts.




    I love hearing any, story, as to why someone would tape a wire nut.


  8. #73
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    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    Reviving this older topic string to share experience and perspective to the days before siliconized wire nuts, and methods of wiring besides NMC and non-conductive boxes or unsealed junctions in damp, unconditioned "transition" spaces.

    The taping and sealing of both wire nuts and wrapping a switch or receptacle contacts and yoke goes way back.

    Back in the day when metalic cable or conduit as ground. Back in the day when connections were required to be soldered. Back in the day when a non-conductive box and non-conductive parts of devices were subject to breaking/failing like bakalite, and other older materials in use at different times, before thermoplastics, teflon, etc.

    Boxes in unconditoned spaces - outside walls - areas techically damp locations.

    Think back to the days before installs ever involved "back stabbed" devices.

    Think two-wire w/ground provided by bonded conduit or no consistant ground. Think conductive boxes. Think self-grounding switches or receptacles (not using isolation washers to mount), or using isolation washers and using ground from device to grounding screw mounted to back of box, and/or use of bare ground in supplied cable with conductive boxes. Whether or not a device such as a receptacle was wired feed through or pigtailed traditional practice was to have some "lead" to allow working room - i.e. the device can be dismounted and pulled out from the box to make connections properly, then the conductors are carefully accordian folded as the device is re-mounted to the box.

    The reason the old timers instructed to keep the grounds on the same side of the box as the neutrals, and taped the device was to avoid incidental contact (wire shifting, etc.) between either the hot to ground and avoiding an objectional neutral to ground, either while working hot and initially installing the device, or even if working "dead" after installing the device.

    Conduit pulls, work elsewhere on the circuit, and the effects of temperature, age, oxidation on the conductor insulation (stiffening), keeping things safe for the next guy, whoever and whenever that might be down the road. If the box was in an unconditioned space, damp or wet area you'd find an oldtimer taping device and nuts. If the box contained bare grounds, you'd find an oldtimer taping. If the box was conductive you'd find the old timer taping. If the box had a conductive cover plate (which likewise should have been bonded) you'd find the old timer taping.

    Further was to keep the area dry, this included the cap side of the wire nut which the position of same could not be maintained, known, or assured within the box after the device was mounted.

    Back to the taping of wire nuts issue - another reason you'll see the figure 8 taping method on the open side of the cap continuing the direction of taping that started at the closed end of the cap. Always as you faced it using the same rules of righty tighty, lefty loosey.

    It wasn't just for direct but for an arcing deterrant. That's the why behind it. It is permitted, there is nothing wrong with doing it. There are times when it should be done still. It will not make up for other deficiencies in the wiring methods or materials employed, it serves its own purpose. Also keep in mind that conductors for circuits other than those for the "outlet" may be pulled through the box. All electrical wiring is not done using the same wiring method/materials (ex. cabling), also remember box fill, devices, and box sizes used in the past did not always afford the "space" that is currently required/specified - and if you max out every pigtail allowed for a box and use the fill calculations specified in the code to an extreme it is possible to physically overstuff a box and still meet the code table calculations formulae.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 01-03-2010 at 07:57 AM.

  9. #74
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    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    you'd find the old timer taping.
    Thanks, HG. The key point to all that might be "old-timer".

    From a recent inspection:
    1, A pic of some old friction tape in a 200 amp fuse panel, still good.
    2. Plastic tape peeling off a wire nut. How is it helping?
    3. Mystery connections, the part I hate most about tape. What's under there?

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  10. #75
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    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    Excellent never ending debate !

    I have seen electricians use colored tape in 3 Phase installations to properly mark the different wires Blue orange Brown etc....

    As for taping wire nuts - not required.

    Friction tape is used but for other reasons - In the Aircraft business it is used extensively to repair damaged wire sheathing. However these wires are never run thru into a junction box.

    As a result only UL 94 approved materials.

    As for the tape itself when consulting the #M product documentation sheets electrical tape is used for wire coding, waterproofing of splices and/or repairing of wire insulation.

    See link below

    [IMG]file:///C:/Users/User/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot.png[/IMG]http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/3MElectrical/Home/ProductsServices/Products/SolutionsCatalog

    Any other uses are irrelevant unless particular code requirements need to be met.


  11. #76
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    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    BTW some guys here use it for the Hockey Sticks too......... EH!


  12. #77
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
    Roger Frazee Guest

    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    For the benefit of quality control this thread may be taped.......


    I've been debating whether or not to jump in here and offer some advice (and that's all it is) about electrical tape and wirenuts.

    I didn't knuckle down and read every last detail of this thread...but it appears that the debate ( and I use the term debate as a constructive discussion) is over using electrical tape on wire nuts. The 'debate escalated" over tape being used in the wiring of equipment used in a 'rough and wet" (my terms) environment.

    Assuming the use of the tape over a wirenut in an approved wiring enclosure I think the first thing you have to address is..... am I using the correct tape ? By this I mean what is your purpose or result you are wanting to achieve and are you using the correct product to achieve those results.

    I could debate with you for example if I was wanting to achieve a reasonable water proof connection using tape over a wirenut and I chose vinyl adhesive backed electrical tape to achieve that end result. I would disagree with you because I do not think that is the correct product nor the correct electrical tape for that application.

    I would not disagree on the use of tape in a situation on equipment wiring in enclosures exposed to wet and rough conditions ... just on "what" tape you use.

    Tape in my opinion does not improve the tightness of a connection with any reliabilty for the long term .. but the wirenut should.

    I also believe the use of the wrong tape will be worse than no tape at all. For instance a tape that turns to a gooey mess if exposed to heat over a long period. Adhesive backed tapes will fall into this catagory in some cases.

    So my opinion is rather than say tape is not necessary on a wire nut I would say "why do you want to use tape" and if your answer is ... the enclosure where the wirenut is located is exposed to wetness and dust, severe cold etc then I would follow with .. what tape are you planning on using ?

    My point being vinyl adhesive backed electrical tape is not recommended as a tape used to seal out moisture. In fact it won't achieve that at all. You would get a better result using a moisture sealing tape like 3M 2200 or rubber liner backed or linerless tape like 3M 2242 or similar rated rubber tape. It would seem prudent to me that if I wanted to tape a wirenut splice like I would a split bolt splice exposed to moisture then I would not differeniate that splice from any other splice.I would use the appropriate tape required to achieve the result needed.

    And then there is using tape over a wirenut where it simply will not benefit you ... like in a typical indoors switch box or receptacle box metal or otherwise. Wrapping a receptacle and its exposed screws in a tight fitting metal electrical box like a handybox I have absolutely no argument and it is not uncommonm to see all receptacles in a commercial job regardless of box size where pipe is used wrapped by vinyl electrical tape...in my part of the woods anyway.

    So I would say this ... if I was making repairs on equipment cranes, hoists or equipment where the wiring enclosures are exposed to water spray, dust, dirt, mud etc... and my wiring splice method was ' wirenuts' then yes I would tape them but I would educate myself to the long lost art of proper splicing using the correct electrical tape . So that I would be using the right product to achieve the desired result or at minimum a reasonable result to improve the longevity of the splice due to its environment..

    Btw you likely will not find anything that documents or lists any tape specifically designed for use with wirenuts since they are the listed insulating splice device. Tape is in most cases IMO used primarily for insulating purposes then after that there are secondary benefits designed into the tape by the manufacturer.

    I also think there maybe better ways to achieve moisture protection and "harsh" environment protection for wire splices than wirenuts and tape.

    Some helpful links I drummed up with our friend google.

    http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawe...6EVs6E666666--

    http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawe...6EVs6E666666--

    http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawe...6EVs6E666666--

    Last edited by Roger Frazee; 01-04-2010 at 12:11 PM.

  13. #78
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    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    WOW! I had not a clue that so much could be written on a subject as to tape or not to tape.......LoL
    U guys are worse than an AHJ.
    As an AHJ, I could give a bugs butt whether or not...taped.
    Makes no difference either way except possibly in two instances;
    High voltage connections in a 'box mounted on a motor' OK
    Connections that may possibly get wet, not OK
    I know I'm repeating what's already said, but, I'm still in hysterics over,
    "wire nuts tested without tape, therefore taping would be a violation"
    Common sense is needed, never as much as when using the hammer of 90-4, ie 'manufactures spec' & how a product was tested for listing.
    Now I'm just as bad....keeping this thread going
    Bob Smit, County Electrical Inspector


  14. #79
    darryl washington's Avatar
    darryl washington Guest

    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    I was always told not to trust a guy with suspenders and a belt on at the same time!


  15. #80
    Cobra Cook's Avatar
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    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    I feel much safer now


  16. #81
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    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    Please STOP, kill this stupid thread already.

    www.aic-chicago.com
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  17. #82
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    50 views away from 2000 views on this thread and 83 replies and it is about wrapping wire nuts with electric tape.

    Life is a blast


  18. #83
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    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    50 views away from 2000 views on this thread and 83 replies and it is about wrapping wire nuts with electric tape.

    Life is a blast
    Yeah, it's a good old thread. Someone was asking about friction tape. We see friction tape on knob and tube wiring that must be close to 100 years old sometimes.

    Here's a pic showing a burn mark on the joist from the electrician's torch. Now was that done with a blowtorch burning naptha? Or was it a patchup job with a propane torch?



    Pic 2 is some of the oldest plastic black tape you'll ever see. This is on a 1949 Marconi AM/FM radio. Just a tiny piece of special tape.

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  19. #84
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    Question Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    D. MacArthur said 'old soldiers never die they just fade away' same goes for good old topic threads.

    I said remember before thermoplastics and vinyl there is more than one type of tape. The good stuff (right materials, right applications) like the pink bunny keeps working, keeps working....

    Nice pics JK thanks for sharing.


  20. #85
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    Wink Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    John Kogel

    Great photo's


  21. #86
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    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    You are most welcome, HG and Robert. Post #87.
    Checking the Marconi with a variac, I realized, oh my goodness, I've got white electrical tape wrapped around the receptacle! I've marked the old rubber power cord for polarity with a little piece of white tape. I've taped temporary cord connections in the chassis with some narrow black tape.
    That is 640 volts AC across the two secondary legs of the power transformer - it's good.

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  22. #87
    William A. Grant's Avatar
    William A. Grant Guest

    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    One more comment... Being a Master electrician and in the trade for 50 years, I guess I would qualify as an old timer. The reason we used friction tape years ago usually was over plastic tape, to give more protection from vibration. In motor connections it paid off. Also, on shaky dust collectors. I still think that was a good idea. We don't do it anymore. I once had an inspector make me go back and tape all my wire nuts. I don't feel it is necessary if the nut is applied right. We should pull on the wires, to make sure they are all engaged. In industry, I have found a wire loose, quite often, and these were all done by qualified, licenced electrician's. It also is a good idea to tape wire nuts where metal dust or shot can get into them. Even with a tight fitting cover, the metal can find its way in. Like foundries. No matter how good we think we are, we can make mistakes. If we check our work, we will find them...... Not somebody else.

    Last edited by William A. Grant; 12-23-2012 at 06:56 AM. Reason: Make a 2nd point.

  23. #88
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    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    WOW! Amazing how much commentary this little question garnered. Somewhere in my murky past, I recall somebody, maybe my dad, saying that taping wire nuts was more important in the aluminum wire days. Electricians quickly picked up that aluminum splices seemed more likely to work loose and taped them up to try to hold them tight, whether right or wrong, true or not.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  24. #89
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    Post Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    There is nothing wrong with either practice; wrapping receptacles may reduce the chance of shock if some one removes the faceplate (or it is broken). Wrapping wire nut connections cane be problematic if the tape is wrapped in such a way that it puts tension on the wire nut. This can loosen the wire nut - I have seen this happen.

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  25. #90
    William A. Grant's Avatar
    William A. Grant Guest

    Default Re: electricial tape wrap around wire nuts

    Right about the connection type....however, I was referring, when talking about vibration, of the connections wearing through, causing a ground or short. We used to even have to fill the motor connection box with duct seal. That was a mess to later deal with, but, we had a lot less down time due to failures. Have a Merry Christmas all.


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