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How to twist electric wire together

Applies to residential applications where twist-on wire connector is used
how to twist electric wires

linesman pliers
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Linesman pliers
Utility knife at Amazon
End cutting nippers at Amazon
twist two electric wires

Do not solder solid copper wires together

Amperage on wire is heat, and can melt solder causing failed connection, and fire hazard

Solid copper wires do not need to be twisted together.
Twisting gives more permanence to connection.
Strip wires back to same length
Use correct wire connector so it grabs both wires and covers all bare copper

connect stranded wire and solid wire How to connect stranded wire and solid wire
If stranded wire is thinner than solid:
Strip back stranded wire so there is more copper visible than solid wire.
Wrap stranded wire around solid copper.
Leave solid wire straight.
When connecting two solids and one stranded: twist solids together first, then wrap stranded wire around solids.
Apply wire connector very tight.
Pull stranded wire to make sure it is tight.
If stranded wire is same diameter as solid:
Cut off both same length
Don't twist together, cover with wire connector.
Twisted wire 1) Strip stranded wire longer
2) Wrap stranded around the solid wire
3) Twist wire connector over both wires
4) Twist wire connector very tight
5) Pull stranded wire and make sure it will not come loose

Silver-colored stranded wire shown in image is steel and not aluminum. Steel stranded wire is available on some small electrical devices to save higher cost of using stranded copper wire.
Never use aluminum wire. Residential codes do not allow aluminum wiring.
Aluminum wire is a valid conductor used for power lines, but connections require compression fittings and devices that are rated for AL.
Improper use of aluminum inside a home is a fire hazard. Must use switches and outlets rated for AL.
Connecting aluminum and copper using ordinary wire connector instead of specified compression fitting is fire hazard since the aluminum expands when heated by amperage. The expansion and contraction of wires loosens connection, creating gaps for arcing that causes more overheating, that begins to melt the connection, eventually failing.


Look inside wire connector and see steel spring.
Screw on wire connector and steel spring cuts into soft copper wire.
Tighter you screw wire connector, the stronger the steel spring holds the wires together.



Test for breaks in wire/ Test for voltage
Most appliance require 80% rated voltage to function correctly
Multimeters at Amazon
Electric testers at Amazon 
How to test and replace element
How to test thermocouple
Element tests for 120 volts
How to test wire
Safety when testing wires:
Never touch wet or previously flooded appliance.
Never stand on wet surface when working on electric.
Never stand on bare soil, put down dry boards.
Tape tester leads to wood sticks to keep hands away from power.
Use non-contact voltage tester before touching wires.
Never touch or lean into any made of metal.
Remove metal objects from pockets.
Do not use oxygen or fuel accelerants in same room as electrical repairs

Basic house wiring

Non-contact voltage tester

Test for power without touching connectors
NEVER assume power is OFF

Non-contact voltage tester Amazon
Electric testers at Amazon
How to test electric power is off
wire connector assortment

Twist-on wire connector assortments

Do not reuse old connectors 

Connector assortment at Amazon
Connector assortment at Amazon

How to select and install twist-on wire connectors
Weatherproof wire connector

Weatherproof wire connector

Connector cavity is full of silicone
Built-in cover keeps silicone in place
Protect from water, dust etc
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Weatherproof size 22 to 8 Amazon

How to select and install twist-on wire connectors
Wire connector wrench

Wrench to apply wire connectors

Tighten connector 

Wire connector blaster
Twist connector wrenches at Amazon

How to twist wire
How to select and install twist-on wire connectors
Push on wire connectors

Push-on wire connectors in place of twist-on connectors

Push on wire connectors Amazon
Red 3P connector for 10-14 gauge wire
Lever connectors for stranded wire at Amazon


Terminal kit
Blue for 16-14 wire
Yellow for 12-10 wire
Read about terminals

How to install terminals
Insdulation under screw plate
Larger image
Both wires MUST be same gauge
Straighten each wire
Tighten screw very tight against copper wire

Larger image

Connect stranded and solid with wire connector and run jumper to screw plate.
Or add solder to stranded wire to make solid.
See example image

Fire safety

Use only solid copper wire, and no insulation under screw plate.

Max 2 wires under screw plate

Both wires same gauge

Do not use stranded wire, it will come loose with heat expansion and overheat and cause burning. Turn stranded wire into solid wire by soldering stranded wire.

Always keep enclosure (box) cover closed

Fire caused by stranded wire
Do not use stranded wire under screw plate
Applies to timers, wall switches, wall outlets, pumps etc.
Small devices, with small loads, such as lamp socket, stranded wire is fine.
Keep enclosure door closed at all times.
Timer caught fire

30 amp breaker use 10 gauge / 

10-2 gauge/ 30 amp
10-3/ 30 amp
Southwire electric tools
Yellow 12 gauge 20 amp

Yellow/ #12 gauge wire for 20 amp
with ground
12-2 gauge/ 20 amp
12-3/ 20 amp

Rolls of stranded wire

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground
White 14 gauge 15 amp

White/ #14 gauge wire for 15 amp
with ground
14-2 gauge/ 15 amp
14-3/ 15 amp

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground
50-60 amp breaker use 6 gauge / 
6-2 wire
6-2 wire
Southwire electric tools
NMB is house wiring
UF is underground
40-50 amp breaker use 8 gauge / 
6-2 wire
8-2 wire
Southwire electric tools
NMB is house wiring
UF is underground

Copper ground wire
Use same size as other wire in circuit

Spools of ground wire
Ground rods at Amazon

Household NM-B Wires are color-coded so inspectors/ electricians can easily identify which wire is used during construction
Match wire size and breaker amp rating
If your home was wired by professional electrician who pulled permits, then circuit breaker and wire size will match. If manufactured home or travel trailer has not been altered by homeowner then breaker and wire size will match.

If breaker is oversized for wire... fire danger
Breaker can let too much electricity travel through the wire. Wire can overheat and cause fire.
Call electrician if you suspect wiring is not correct,
Absolute electrocution danger when removing cover off main panel. More information below.
Main breaker terminals are still Hot when main breaker is turned off.

Wire wire at Amazon
Select correct wire and breaker size
How to replace circuit breaker
Electricity leaves power plant What is 3-phase electric: power plant to end user

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