Twisting the wires with linesman pliers before using a wire nut?

zappy

Senior Member
Location
CA.
I never have, But a fellow employee tells me I should especially with 277 V. your thoughts? thank you for your help.
 

dpcarls1598

Master Electrician
Location
Minnesota, USA
Occupation
Master Electrician
Same here... Old habits. I still deal with multi wire branch circuits and it’s always best to make sure they neutrals are twisted in case the nut comes off. I’ve had them fall off when pulling wires out of a box. I also just think it makes a better connection. I can’t always guarantee the wires stay aligned where I can see if one has backed out of the twist.
I’m old. I also don’t trust push in connectors or lever locks. Twists and wire nuts for me.


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Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
If it's more than 3, or a larger wire size, I pre-twist. Anything else I just put the wirenut on. I will quite often, depending on how my hands feel, use a tool to turn the wirenut. I can hold the wires and and take the wirenut off and you can't tell the difference if it was pre-twisted or not.

I know this is going to be a "Coke-Pepsi, Ford-Chevy" type thread where it's mostly preference or habit. Just pointing out using the wirenut directly, achieves the desired results most of the time.
 

electricman2

Senior Member
Location
North Carolina
Occupation
Electrician
Same here... Old habits. I still deal with multi wire branch circuits and it’s always best to make sure they neutrals are twisted in case the nut comes off. I’ve had them fall off when pulling wires out of a box. I also just think it makes a better connection. I can’t always guarantee the wires stay aligned where I can see if one has backed out of the twist.
I’m old. I also don’t trust push in connectors or lever locks. Twists and wire nuts for me.


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Me too. Had one come off of a neutral splice in in a 4s in the ceiling once. Let the smoke out of a few wall warts and a printer before I could get the breaker off. I twist pretty much everything except maybe a couple of 14's
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
retired electrician
If you install them correctly there is no reason to pretwist the wires before installing the wire nut.

I found it was easier to get the electricians to pretwist than to install the wire nut correctly, so if you were working for me and wanted to continue to work for me, you would pretwist the solid wire.:)
 

DBoone

Senior Member
Location
Mississippi
Occupation
General Contractor
I usually pretwist because that’s the way I learned. I think I have let the wirenut do the work on some small splices at some point though.
I will say, I have been very interested in changing tactics to letting the wirenut do the twisting on all my splices though....the adapters that go on the end of a drill and spin the connector are something I would like to try.

My connector of choice is a red Ideal Wingnut. Sometimes when splicing five solid 12s I have used a Big Blue to “pretwist” the wires, take the Blue off, trim the ends and put on the Red. The Big Blue makes a great twist so I have no doubt about letting the wirenut do the work.
 

Eddie702

Licensed Electrician
Location
Western Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
I usually pre twist most solid wire connections especially with more than two wires. Lately my favorite tool Is the Ideal screwdriver with the wire nut twister in the handle works good especially with some nerve damage in my left arm
 

dpcarls1598

Master Electrician
Location
Minnesota, USA
Occupation
Master Electrician
I have to try that screwdriver with the twister in the handle. That sounds like a great tool!!!
Now that someone mentioned it, I do not pre twist the small ballast wires but replacing ballasts is becoming a thing of the past too.


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qcroanoke

Sometimes I don't know if I'm the boxer or the bag
Location
Roanoke, VA.
Occupation
Engineering
Me too. Had one come off of a neutral splice in in a 4s in the ceiling once. Let the smoke out of a few wall warts and a printer before I could get the breaker off. I twist pretty much everything except maybe a couple of 14's
That's my biggest reason, nothing like having a joint fly apart and hit the box and leaving you in the dark and blinded by the flash.
 

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
I will add that the tool I mentioned is the Ideal 10-n-1 screwdriver with the nut twister in the handle.
Also need to mention you need to have quality wirenuts. I use mostly 3M wirenuts and sometimes Ideal Twisters. Both have excellent grabbing/twisting abilities. I've tried to use other, probably cheaper, brands that wouldn't grab the wire, then get one of my 3M nuts and it grabbed the wire right away.
 

qcroanoke

Sometimes I don't know if I'm the boxer or the bag
Location
Roanoke, VA.
Occupation
Engineering
....but what about “Timmy too-much” and one wire breaks odd pack and gets stuffed into wire nut?
I have seen that and done that but not from over twisting. It was because I used too small a hole in my strippers and ringed the wire.
 

sparky1118

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
Master Electrician
I always do. I know the wirenut will do the work however I feel more comfortable knowing there is a good connection.


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