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

winnie

Senior Member
Location
Springfield, MA, USA
Occupation
Electric motor research
It is the same tension between learning long multiplication vs using a calculator when you want to be an accountant.

Frankly I would not want an accountant who didn't understand the math well enough to be capable of doing it by hand. But I would want them to actually use a calculator!

Are you a real electrician if you don't know how to solder splices properly?

IMHO the key is to know how to make a splice properly with the splicing hardware you are using, and know how to recognize a bad splice. Pre-twisting does have the benefit of making the spice visibly prior to hiding it behind the wirenut. Frankly my favorite part of using the LeverNuts, I can see all the wires are in place.

-Jon
 

wyreman

Senior Member
Location
SF CA USA
Occupation
electrical contractor
I remember my first training on wire nuts 30 years ago, 3M was talking about their 'live action spring' which meant there was no need to pretwist.
Some electricians have been complaining about how 'unprofessional' it is it ever since.
Exactly! The Knob And Tube guys had a great technical skills
 

wyreman

Senior Member
Location
SF CA USA
Occupation
electrical contractor
It is the same tension between learning long multiplication vs using a calculator when you want to be an accountant.

Frankly I would not want an accountant who didn't understand the math well enough to be capable of doing it by hand. But I would want them to actually use a calculator!

Are you a real electrician if you don't know how to solder splices properly?

IMHO the key is to know how to make a splice properly with the splicing hardware you are using, and know how to recognize a bad splice. Pre-twisting does have the benefit of making the spice visibly prior to hiding it behind the wirenut. Frankly my favorite part of using the LeverNuts, I can see all the wires are in place.

-Jon
and What is a real electrician anyway?
a professional
 

Clayton79

Member
Location
illinois
Agreed, but it's definitely SOP in the industry, lol.
I'm not being as harsh about it as you likely think I am being. I'm a fairly laid back individual.

I still stand by the comment because of the lack of trade specific skill involved in splicing wires without the aforementioned applied knowledge.
I would have "become an electrician" much sooner if I didn't have to first master this ability.

Every sparky I've ever worked for or with have always mocked the idea of "no pre-twist" as just being shotty work that's more concerned about micromanaging milliseconds than it is quality.
I actually agree, here there IS a difference between an electrician and an electrical installer. I say if they are asking the question they just need a little more experience in the trade and they will know the answer without doubt. I also say let them twist any way they want I have made a very good living following up Installers.

No hate, it just is what it is.


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DBoone

Senior Member
Location
Mississippi
Occupation
General Contractor
That's not how I read it.

They are good for up to six 2.5mm metric conductors. Only three #10AWG. It's not easy to decipher. 3M could have done a better job with their instructions.
Was wondering if I was the only one having trouble understanding the conductor combinations
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
I actually agree, here there IS a difference between an electrician and an electrical installer.
So, I know people that have been doing service work for decades, but have not looked at the NEC in years and don't know the current state code requirements for an AFCI or a GFCI. It appears their learning stopped when they got their license.

They pre-twist, are they electrical installers or electricians?
 

Clayton79

Member
Location
illinois
So, I know people that have been doing service work for decades, but have not looked at the NEC in years and don't know the current state code requirements for an AFCI or a GFCI. It appears their learning stopped when they got their license.

They pre-twist, are they electrical installers or electricians?
Very good point, not to fence words too much but I believe you answered the question in your statement.

My opinion, and that is all it is. Is that an Installer does just that, can make the light come on if you will, everyone basically starts there, helpers 1st year apprentice what have you,

An Electrician should in theory actually understand, the theory, and not know it all but be able to research and (find the answer) and then understand the answer well enough to put it into practice. Which is where this amazing forum comes into play for so many of us. Because it brings all those different backgrounds and niches together for (the most part) the betterment of all.

We all know there are soo many niche places, service work for example, where one needs to know the theory and practical application, to troubleshoot from residential all the way to high power,

Comercial ie. Restaurants, theaters, shopping malls, offices,

Industrial ie. Mines, manufacturing,process,

An electrician should be able to at least imho be able to talk to and understand someone from another niche even without direct experience. Then there is the electronic side won’t go there lol

I do love how the simplest and oldest of questions gets the most responses,

And I don’t change my thought, let them pre-twist or not, either way someone sometime in the future will either upgrade, demo, or fix it depending on the situation, I used to get caught up in it but realize you can only control what oneself does, not others...and that it in the end is all that really matters. If a person wants to continue their trade they will strive to do the best regardless of what a coworker says or what the code minimum states as it isn’t a design manual. I try and fail and learn and keep trying best of luck to all who do.


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Joe.B

Member
Location
Arcata Ca
Occupation
Building Inspector
and What is a real electrician anyway?
a professional
I love it. Take it another step, what is a professional? I ask because I have been a musician for over 20 years, I even have a college degree in percussion. It always cracks me up when people refer to themselves as "professional musicians" when I know they rely on their day-job to pay the bills. Plenty of musicians I know are skilled enough to be at that level but for whatever reasons (lack of ambition, personality, etc...) they have not actually made a living playing music. I have made money playing, I am skilled enough, but it's never been my goal. I have always had a job and music has been a fulfilling hobby. I think the same logic may apply to any skilled trades. Some people have the skill level to do work at a professional level, but if they don't make a living doing that, are they really a professional? Would someone who works for an EC automatically be a professional electrician? I think not, it would take years of experience, licensing, capital, and reputation, etc. Maybe they could be called a professional installer? Anyways, that's my 2 cent tangent.
 

Jon456

Senior Member
Location
Colorado
That's not how I read it.

They are good for up to six 2.5mm metric conductors. Only three #10AWG. It's not easy to decipher. 3M could have done a better job with their instructions.
While I agree that the metric cross-section chart seems to contradict the assertion, their matrix clearly shows you can connect up to three #10 (sol or str) with up to three #10 (sol or str) for a total of six #10 conductors.

Here's a 3M graphic that includes a Wire Range Capabilities chart that's easier to interpret. Note that the B/G+ are listed from a minimum of four #14, up to a maximum of six #10:


 

Jon456

Senior Member
Location
Colorado
If we continually come out with tech that eliminates the need for base skills (such as splicing with a lineman's pliers), anyone can be an electrician. That's my issue with the whole idea of not pre-twisting. Just spinning a cap on eliminates as a very basic, but very necessary skill.
This is like saying, "You're not a real electrician if you don't use Knob & Tube. MC Cable is for hacks and now that it's on the market, anyone can be an electrician." :rolleyes:
 

flashlight

Senior Member
Location
NY, NY
I remember my first training on wire nuts 30 years ago, 3M was talking about their 'live action spring' which meant there was no need to pretwist.
Some electricians have been complaining about how 'unprofessional' it is it ever since.
Remember 3M scotchloks ? I hated them. They were really popular in the first jurisdiction I worked in, in the 80's. Seemed they would
not give you a positive grab, so that the insulated conductors would actually twist a few times, instead they would spin out. Maybe I was using them wrong, by pre twisting as I had been taught.
 
You guys don’t soldier?
If you mean solder, yes, I do. Just not on NM cable. I also know how to make a Western Union splice. I have even used solder pots.

If you solder, do you use a temp controlled soldering station, or a cheap solder pencil? A real electrician knows how to use both. :)

FWIW, sometimes I pre-twist and sometimes I don't. It depends on the situation. The important thing is how good the connection is.
 

Jerramundi

Senior Member
Location
Chicago
Occupation
Licensed Residential Electrician
So, I know people that have been doing service work for decades, but have not looked at the NEC in years and don't know the current state code requirements for an AFCI or a GFCI. It appears their learning stopped when they got their license.

They pre-twist, are they electrical installers or electricians?
A lot of "electricians" are like this, especially older ones. Part of the requirement of being an "electrician" is continued education.

The whole "installer" thing started as a way to just pay us less. That's all it is really. But there may be a valid distinction between someone who just follows orders and "installs" and someone who is capable of thinking critically on their own merits.
 

Jerramundi

Senior Member
Location
Chicago
Occupation
Licensed Residential Electrician
This is like saying, "You're not a real electrician if you don't use Knob & Tube. MC Cable is for hacks and now that it's on the market, anyone can be an electrician." :rolleyes:
Not exactly. You're taking my comment out of context and applying it to ALL new forms of technology.

Changing from K+T to newer wiring methods resolved some definitive safety and functional issues... and it didn't really remove any base level skills. Whether K+T or MC/Pipe, you still have to know how the system operates, how to install the cable, how to splice it, etc., etc.

Changing to "wire nuts without pretwisting" is a bit different. That's not resolving any major safety or functional issues and it is most certainly removing a very basic skill requirement.
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
Not exactly. You're taking my comment out of context and applying it to ALL new forms of technology.

Changing from K+T to newer wiring methods resolved some definitive safety and functional issues... and it didn't really remove any base level skills. Whether K+T or MC/Pipe, you still have to know how the system operates, how to install the cable, how to splice it, etc., etc.

Changing to "wire nuts without pretwisting" is a bit different. That's not resolving any major safety or functional issues and it is most certainly removing a very basic skill requirement.
Starting to sound like plumbers who don't like Sharkbite push-fit fittings.

I've heard 'em say the same, that "now anybody can be a plumber"

I get it. You feel slighted that you've put time into perfecting your skilled craft, and some manufacturer comes along and chops your legs out from under you.

Y'know, I worked with an old timer back in 1993 who couldn't stand that I was making up boxes using T-strippers instead of a knife and lineman's pliers. Made him even madder that I made up twice as fast by using my strippers.
 
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