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  1. #1
    Jeff Eastman's Avatar
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    Default Bundled wires...

    Last edited by Jeff Eastman; 12-19-2007 at 01:43 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Eastman View Post
    Well, after all our discussion last month or so on bundled wires, it sure enough came up again.

    I wrote, stealing mostly from Jerry P:

    NM cables are improperly bundled together going through a single fitting resulting in a large bundle of conductors contacting each other, as well as not having the proper strain relief causing safety hazards. Proper repairs needed.

    The electrician left a voice message basically saying: "HUH?! and you are wrong".

    Did I miss something ? I think I'm right, though.
    This:

    NM cables are improperly bundled together going through a single fitting resulting in a large bundle of conductors contacting each other, as well as not having the proper strain relief causing safety hazards. Proper repairs needed.

    Should be more like:

    More than three current carrying conductors in NM cables bundled / lack of maintaining spacing through a raceway or fitting resulting in not having the proper strain relief clamps (creating safety hazards) and needing derating - verify that that this condition does not exist for greater than 24" or apply derating to circuits (otherwise risk of overheating and fire exist - which is a safety hazard); separate NM cables into proper NM cable clamps. Proper repairs by qualified and licensed electrical contractor needed (if electrical contractor does not understand the issue, find a "qualified" licensed electrical contractor who does understand wiring and electricity and understands why this is not allowed and why this needs to be corrected).



    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Eastman View Post
    More than three current carrying conductors in NM cables bundled together
    Talking two separate issues: "bundling" and "lack of maintaining spacing" - if you don't use the "lack of maintaining spacing" they will likely come back to you with 'but they are not "bundled" together'.

    and are not separated into proper NM cable clamps resulting in not having the proper strain relief creating safety hazards.
    This part needs work, and, I would also put this with the "bundling and lack of maintaining spacing" stuff for consistency of thought when reading it:
    It also appears the NM cables lack the proper spacing through the raceway and need possible derating. Have electrician verify that proper spacing has been maintained for greater than 24" or apply derating to circuits to prevent potential safety hazard of overheating/fire.
    Proper repairs by qualified and licensed electrical contractor needed (if electrical contractor does not understand the issue, find a "qualified" licensed electrical contractor who does understand wiring and electricity and understands why this is not allowed and why this needs to be corrected).


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kelly View Post
    There is no way to prove you are right (or wrong) without opening up a wall.
    The wall doesn't need to be opened up to see that the proper nm cable clamps were not used.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
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  5. #5
    Chris Roust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    Dan,

    I certainly write this up. I ask myself why it is required in the current codes. If it is a concern that could cause my client a health, safety or significant cost concern, it goes in the report.

    In this case, bundled wires can cause overheating and deterioration of insulation leading to potential short circuiting and fire. And unsecured NM cables can cause a short circuit if strained and potentially a fire. It does not matter if it is a new or old house, except that an older house is more likely to have a problem as conditions deteriorate over the years.

    Last edited by Chris Roust; 11-18-2007 at 02:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Roust View Post
    I ask myself why it is required in the current codes. If it is a concern that could cause my client a health, safety or significant cost concern, it goes in the report.
    The evidence for this became sufficient that during the 1962 code review cycle (which typically takes place during the time the previous code was effective, indicating that this probably started being discussed in the 1956 code cycle and then adopted during the 1959 code cycle) that this was adopted to be in the 1962 NEC.

    It is safe to say that it was a problem long before that as (typically) things do not get into the code when first brought up. They are usually kicked around a few code cycles first.

    Which likely puts this knowledge back into the 1940s (and maybe even earlier).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Which likely puts this knowledge back into the 1940s (and maybe even earlier).
    I was watching TV and the light came on ...

    When the wiring methods started changing from K&T (where bundling and lack of maintaining spacing is not a concern) to the early rubber insulated NM cable, that's when this issue reared it ugly head.

    After a few years of working on the issue and doing investigations, that is likely when talks probably started about adding it to the code, and a several years later (another one or two code cycles) is when it came into the code.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  8. #8
    Chris Roust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    Jerry,

    Would you report these or any other conditions that were allowed or not addressed in the codes when the house was built?

    I was a building official for 17 years and it always frustrated me that I could not enforce the current building code standards on older houses when it was obvious that the older houses needed the protection of modern safety standards as much if not more than new construction. Egress (Emergency Escape and Rescue) windows and smoke detectors were about all we could enforce as a municipal inspector but now as a HI, I can at least recommend that all buildings meet the current level of knowledge in building safety.

    Just because it's an older house does not mean that the owner should be less safe.


  9. #9
    steve potvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    It appears that there is a pop-in bushing, not a conduit in this instance. There is no spec that I know of that calls out a number for how many wires can go thru a bushing. The code would require "staple or fastening within 12 inches just as with any other box. As a note, I keep hearing about heat, as regards bundling, where in the code or other site has this been addressed?


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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Roust View Post
    Would you report these or any other conditions that were allowed or not addressed in the codes when the house was built?
    I did as I became aware of them and learned about them. Which was one reason my inspections kept taking longer and longer, and why my reports kept getting longer and longer.

    I was a building official for 17 years and it always frustrated me that I could not enforce the current building code standards on older houses when it was obvious that the older houses needed the protection of modern safety standards as much if not more than new construction.

    Egress (Emergency Escape and Rescue) windows and smoke detectors were about all we could enforce as a municipal inspector but now as a HI, I can at least recommend that all buildings meet the current level of knowledge in building safety.
    That is because, as the "enforcement" official, you are only allowed to enforce what was code for the structure when the plans were submitted. The "enforcement" officials job is simply to try to assure "minimum" code adherence.

    As a "home inspector", you are not bond by those "minimum" requirements as you are not there as an enforcement official but as a 'consultant' (so to speak) to your client.

    Just because it's an older house does not mean that the owner should be less safe.
    Spoken like a true home inspector looking out for their clients best interests.

    There are, however, "minimalist" home inspectors out there who only inspect to minimum standards of practice. While a code inspector/official is only 'allowed to inspect to the minimum code' the house was permitted to, a home inspector is 'allowed to inspect to any level above' their minimum standards of practice.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  11. #11
    Kevin VanderWarf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    I had a warranty co. give me a lot of grief over not writing such a thing up in my report.
    My mistake was it was an older home where I don't call out code as much. I did however; as I often do on older ones, recommend the electrical be evaluated by a pro.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    Quote Originally Posted by steve potvin View Post
    It appears that there is a pop-in bushing, not a conduit in this instance. There is no spec that I know of that calls out a number for how many wires can go thru a bushing.
    From the NEC.
    - 314.17 Conductors Entering Boxes, Conduit Bodies, or Fittings.
    - (B) Metal Boxes and Conduit Bodies. Where metal boxes or conduit bodies are installed with open wiring or concealed knob-and-tube wiring, conductors shall enter through insulating bushings or, in dry locations, through flexible tubing extending from the last insulating support to not less than 6 mm ( in.) inside the box and beyond any cable clamps. Except as provided in 300.15(C), the wiring shall be firmly secured to the box or conduit body. Where raceway or cable is installed with metal boxes or conduit bodies, the raceway or cable shall be secured to such boxes and conduit bodies.

    That means it requires a "clamp" there, not a "bushing". This may be "built-in" as part of the box or inserted into a knock out opening in the box.

    The code would require "staple or fastening within 12 inches just as with any other box.
    That's "outside" the box past the strain relief clamp (NM cable clamp).

    As a note, I keep hearing about heat, as regards bundling, where in the code or other site has this been addressed?
    From the NEC.
    - 310.15 Ampacities for Conductors Rated 02000 Volts.
    - - (B) Tables. Ampacities for conductors rated 0 to 2000 volts shall be as specified in the Allowable Ampacity Table 310.16 through Table 310.19 and Ampacity Table 310.20 through 310.23 as modified by (1) through (6).
    - - - (2) Adjustment Factors.
    - - - - (a) More Than Three Current-Carrying Conductors in a Raceway or Cable. Where the number of current-carrying conductors in a raceway or cable exceeds three, or where single conductors or multiconductor cables are stacked or bundled longer than 600 mm (24 in.) without maintaining spacing and are not installed in raceways, the allowable ampacity of each conductor shall be reduced as shown in Table 310.15(B)(2)(a).
    - - - - - [note: there are exceptions and a table between (a) and (b)]
    - - - - (b) More Than One Conduit, Tube, or Raceway. Spacing between conduits, tubing, or raceways shall be maintained.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  13. #13
    Jim Hime's Avatar
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    Post Re: Bundled wires...

    NEC 310.15 (B)(2) - more than 3 current carrying conductors in a raceway or cable.

    The first 24-inches of "bundling" is free. Stacked or bundled is a problem where longer than 24 inches, then you derate with Table 310.15(B)(2)(a).

    Home runs should be through a conduit if run through a cementious type wall (concrete, brick, etc.). The wires appear to be run behind sheetrock on an interior wall. Bushing is ok. NEC 334.12(B) - uses not permitted under the following conditions or in the following locations - (1). where exposed to corrosive fumes or vapors, (2). where embedded in masonry, concrete, adobe, fill or plaster, (3). in a shallow chase in masonry, concrete, or adobe and covered with plaster, adobe or other similar finish, (4). where exposed or subject to excessive moisture or dampness.]

    Entry hole into this panelboard is not a raceway. (See NEC definitions)

    314.17 Conductors Entering Boxes, Conduit Bodies, or Fittings.
    - (B) Metal Boxes and Conduit Bodies. This is under "box-fill" in the NEC.
    This fastening specifically applies to switch and outlet boxes; not panelboards in this application.


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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hime View Post
    NEC 310.15 (B)(2) - more than 3 current carrying conductors in a raceway or cable.

    The first 24-inches of "bundling" is free. Stacked or bundled is a problem where longer than 24 inches, then you derate with Table 310.15(B)(2)(a).
    Correct. That's what I've stated.

    Bushing is ok.
    No, the bushing is not okay.

    Entry hole into this panelboard is not a raceway. (See NEC definitions)
    Correct. I never said it was a raceway. The same securing is required cabinets as to outlet, device, pull, and junction boxes, though.

    314.17 Conductors Entering Boxes, Conduit Bodies, or Fittings.
    - (B) Metal Boxes and Conduit Bodies. This is under "box-fill" in the NEC.
    This fastening specifically applies to switch and outlet boxes; not panelboards in this application.
    You've got a bunch of things screwed up in there.
    1) This is not under "box-fill", it is under"
    2) This does not specifically apply to only switch and outlet boxes.

    - ARTICLE 314 Outlet, Device, Pull, and Junction Boxes; Conduit Bodies; Fittings; and Manholes
    - - II. Installation
    - - - 314.17 Conductors Entering Boxes, Conduit Bodies, or Fittings.
    Conductors entering boxes, conduit bodies, or fittings shall be protected from abrasion and shall comply with 314.17(A) through (D).
    - - - - (A) Openings to Be Closed. Openings through which conductors enter shall be adequately closed.
    - - - - (B) Metal Boxes and Conduit Bodies. Where metal boxes or conduit bodies are installed with open wiring or concealed knob-and-tube wiring, conductors shall enter through insulating bushings or, in dry locations, through flexible tubing extending from the last insulating support to not less than 6 mm ( in.) inside the box and beyond any cable clamps. Except as provided in 300.15(C), the wiring shall be firmly secured to the box or conduit body. Where raceway or cable is installed with metal boxes or conduit bodies, the raceway or cable shall be secured to such boxes and conduit bodies.

    For your benefit I will attach another section for you to read. Read it as it is written, do not try to apply your spin to it.

    - ARTICLE 312 Cabinets, Cutout Boxes, and Meter Socket Enclosures
    - - 312.5 Cabinets, Cutout Boxes, and Meter Socket Enclosures.
    - - - Conductors entering enclosures within the scope of this article shall be protected from abrasion and shall comply with 312.5(A) through (C).
    - - - - (A) Openings to Be Closed. Openings through which conductors enter shall be adequately closed.
    - - - - (B) Metal Cabinets, Cutout Boxes, and Meter Socket Enclosures. Where metal enclosures within the scope of this article are installed with open wiring or concealed knob-and-tube wiring, conductors shall enter through insulating bushings or, in dry locations, through flexible tubing extending from the last insulating support and firmly secured to the enclosure.
    - - - - (C) Cables. Where cable is used, each cable shall be secured to the cabinet, cutout box, or meter socket enclosure.

    Maybe the above will you you get it right.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  15. #15
    Jim Hime's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    I am trying to figure out why Mr. Peak felt my post was a direct threat to him according to his tempered response when it was not directed at him. I was following a post showing a panelboard on an inside wall. Am I to assume that any post that Mr. Peck doesn't like is a target of such an unprofessional response? But, maybe Mr. Peck could go back and follow the thread of this post. I can only assume that kind of temper and unprofessionalism would be subjected to any client he may have or others which appears to be counter-productive.

    Going outside the original post provided by Mr. Peck which doesn't answer the original question Mr. Peck brought in by himself the NEC 314.17 (under 314.1 Scope which is predicated by the installation and use of outlet, device, pull, and junction boxes; conduit bodies; fittings; and handhole enclosures. Cast, sheetmetal, nonmetallic, and other boxes such as FS, FD, and larger boxes are not classified as conduit bodies but also includes the installaion requirements for fittings used to join raceways and to connect raceways and cables toboxes and conduit bodies.) The original post was not in regard to individual conductors or cables entering into an outlet, device, pull, and junction boxes; conduit bodies; fittings; and handhole enclosures so I don't understand where that came from regarding the home run of wires entering a panelboard with a bushing to protect the conductors from the metal opening.

    Maybe Mr. Peck could share with everyone of his opinion of how home run wires should enter into an interior panelboard and stay within the tread of the post. This would surely be an aid to every electrician, authority having jurisdiction and home inspectors in the United States that have obviously been doing it wrong over many decades. There is no clamp for the home run of concealed interior wall conductors/wires that enter a interior panelboard but I guess Mr. Peck can obviously produce one and provide the documentation from a manufacturer and offer a re-post. I don't expect an apology from Mr. Peck for his apparent uncalled for attack and unprofessional post but that certainly doesn't serve the interest of a national forum for those that have a question. It certainly indicates that no one should ever solely rely on a post from unknown others in regard to a question they have and seek out additional answers from qualified others before they put it in writing within their reports and then accept that liability.


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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hime View Post
    I am trying to figure out why Mr. Peak felt my post was a direct threat to him ...
    I didn't.

    I *did*, however, feel it a direct threat to the knowledge of all reading this thread when you repeated:

    Bushing is ok.
    That bushing is not okay for that use.

    Maybe Mr. Peck could share with everyone of his opinion of how home run wires should enter into an interior panelboard and stay within the tread of the post.
    That has already been answered: With an approved NM cable clamp.

    This would surely be an aid to every electrician, authority having jurisdiction and home inspectors in the United States that have obviously been doing it wrong over many decades.
    Gosh, you mean you have never seen an NM cable clamp?

    There is no clamp for the home run of concealed interior wall conductors/wires that enter a interior panelboard ...
    Have you not seen NM cable clamps before?

    Just curious here as you are sounding like you have not.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    Jim,

    Jerry is not picking on you. He treats everyone that way. And we put up with him because he is such a sweetheart.

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  18. #18
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    After reading this post, it appears that there is no approved way to run NM cable in conduit since there is not a NM clamp available to support the cable where it leaves the conduit. Has anyone ever seen a clamp for this purpose?


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    After reading this post, it appears that there is no approved way to run NM cable in conduit since there is not a NM clamp available to support the cable where it leaves the conduit. Has anyone ever seen a clamp for this purpose?
    I have seen (taking EMT as an example) electricians install an EMT connector onto the EMT, threaded into a coupling, with an NM cable clamp threaded into the end of the coupling. The NM cable clamp held the NM cable.

    That said, I've seen this applied to the use I think you are referring to:

    - 300.10 Electrical Continuity of Metal Raceways and Enclosures.
    - - Metal raceways, cable armor, and other metal enclosures for conductors shall be metallically joined together into a continuous electric conductor and shall be connected to all boxes, fittings, and cabinets so as to provide effective electrical continuity. Unless specifically permitted elsewhere in this Code, raceways and cable assemblies shall be mechanically secured to boxes, fittings, cabinets, and other enclosures.
    - - - Exception No. 1: Short sections of raceways used to provide support or protection of cable assemblies from physical damage shall not be required to be made electrically continuous.
    - - - Exception No. 2: Equipment enclosures to be isolated, as permitted by 250.96(B), shall not be required to be metallically joined to the metal raceway.

    Section 300.12 (below) relates to 300.10 (above) and both provide the same exception for use as support and protection (#1 above).

    - 300.12 Mechanical Continuity Raceways and Cables.
    - - Metal or nonmetallic raceways, cable armors, and cable sheaths shall be continuous between cabinets, boxes, fittings, or other enclosures or outlets.
    - - - Exception: Short sections of raceways used to provide support or protection of cable assemblies from physical damage shall not be required to be mechanically continuous.

    Neither of the above is in conflict with either of the following (although at first look it may seem to be).

    - 300.16 Raceway or Cable to Open or Concealed Wiring.
    - - (A) Box or Fitting. A box or terminal fitting having a separately bushed hole for each conductor shall be used wherever a change is made from conduit, electrical metallic tubing, electrical nonmetallic tubing, nonmetallic-sheathed cable, Type AC cable, Type MC cable, or mineral-insulated, metal-sheathed cable and surface raceway wiring to open wiring or to concealed knob-and-tube wiring. A fitting used for this purpose shall contain no taps or splices and shall not be used at luminaire (fixture) outlets.

    - 300.18 Raceway Installations.
    - - (A) Complete Runs. Raceways, other than busways or exposed raceways having hinged or removable covers, shall be installed complete between outlet, junction, or splicing points prior to the installation of conductors. Where required to facilitate the installation of utilization equipment, the raceway shall be permitted to be initially installed without a terminating connection at the equipment. Prewired raceway assemblies shall be permitted only where specifically permitted in this Code for the applicable wiring method.

    I do not know if any of the above addresses what you are thinking.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  20. #20
    Martin lehman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    I counted 29 circuits in this one...

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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    Okay, Martin ...

    You've got me scratching my head on that one ... and not over the number of conductors (or circuits, which is what you said) - but that is neither here nor there for what I see ...

    That enclosure looks to be a surface mount.

    That enclosure look like it must be recessed mounted.

    That cover looks like it is for outdoor use, i.e., for a 'raintight' use.

    The top of the enclosure inside, though, is definitely NOT for outdoor use exposure (you just do NOT put knock outs in the TOP of the enclosure if it is used outdoors).

    And there is that blue NM cable clamp ... in what appears to be an outdoor location ... in the top of the enclosure ...

    Is that an example of stuffing a fitting or adapter tight enough so one thinks it acts as a strain relief fitting?

    Questions:
    Is that inside or outside?
    Is that surface mounted or recess mounted?

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  22. #22
    Dave Rice's Avatar
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    Unhappy Re: Bundled wires...

    Check this mess out. How many are there. This was a mess.

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    this would be the connector to use

    8600
    COMBINATION COUPLING
    EMT to NM
    Zinc die-cast.
    CATALOG
    NUMBER UPC/DCI/NAED
    MFG #01 8997 TRADE
    SIZE K.O.
    SIZE UNIT
    PKG STD
    PKG DIM
    A DIM
    B DIM
    C
    8600 08600 1/2 3/8 50 500 1.162 1.090 .250-.612


    E60812 LR49636






    Arlington Industries, Inc.
    800-233-4717 | FAX 570-562-0646 | 1 STAUFFER INDUSTRIAL PARK. SCRANTON, PA 18517
    CONTACT US Copyright 2000 All rights reserved. Revised: October 07, 2003.


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    Default Re: Bundled wires...

    Quote Originally Posted by paul hardy View Post
    this would be the connector to use
    In David's photo, I think the correct fitting to use would be C-4, 1/4 pound, packed in the center.



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