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Thread: Solid or Stranded Electrical Wire??

  1. #1
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    Solid or Stranded Electrical Wire??

    I have to go buy wire for my new shop. I've got a pretty good handle on what I need, but I'd like to know which type of wire works best. I just wired up my wife's greenhouse, and I used solid wire, because that's what I had. The solid wire worked well, but it was a little difficult getting all the wire back into the boxes because of stiffness. The greenhouse was a small job. I wondered if the more flexible stranded wire would be better for the shop because it will be a bigger job.

    John
    John Bailey
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  2. #2
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    John, Stranded wire will do just fine as long as it is sized to match the circuit breaker sizes, It is easier to bend in the boxes, and say #12 wire will carry 25amps in either solid or stranded. It's your choice.

  3. #3
    Paul Kunkel Guest

    conduit

    if you use the stranded, you will have to use conduit, and it is more expensive than romex. At the Oak they say you can't put romex in conduit

  4. #4
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    John,

    It sounds like you're running conduit if you're pulling individual conductors. Stranded is more flexible - THHN/THWN is what you'd use. Do yourself a favor and oversize your boxes, it'll make the wiring job easier when you're tucking the wire back into the boxes with the devices.

    Charles,

    #12 may have an ampacity rating of 25 amps based on 60 or 75 degree terminals, but article 240.4(D) specifically limits the overcurrent protection for #12 to 20 amps.

    Rob
    Last edited by Rob Russell; 03-19-2006 at 9:47 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Kunkel
    if you use the stranded, you will have to use conduit, and it is more expensive than romex. At the Oak they say you can't put romex in conduit
    Long time Paul, How you been!!
    TJH
    Live Like You Mean It.



    http://www.northhouse.org/

  6. #6
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    I'm running conduit through the shop for the wire. I'm using #12 with 20 amp circuits. Sounds like stranded will be easier to use.

    Rob,

    I bought the biggest boxes at HD. They had two sizes. Is that what you meant by "oversize?"

    John
    John Bailey
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Bailey
    I bought the biggest boxes at HD. They had two sizes. Is that what you meant by "oversize?"
    Yep. Give yourself the extra work room.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Kunkel
    At the Oak they say you can't put romex in conduit
    It's actually an NEC requirement that you protect NM cable in certain circumstances and sleeving it in conduit would accomplish that.

    Article 334 is specific to NONMETALLIC-SHEATHED CABLE: TYPES NM, NMC, AND NMS.

    Article 334.15(B) Protection from Physical Damage, reads "The cable shall be protected from physical damage where necessary by rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, electrical metallic tubing, Schedule 80 PVC rigid nonmetallic conduit, or other approved means."


    That section continues with "Where passing through a floor, the cable shall be enclosed in rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, electrical metallic tubing, Schedule 80 PVC rigid nonmetallic conduit, or other approved means extending at least 150 mm (6 in.) above the floor."

    So, not only is NM in conduit allowed, in some cases it is required to be protected and conduit is one way of doing that.

    Rob
    Addy protocol: Experienced but unlicensed, homeowner who enjoys wiring



  8. #8
    john, when i wired i pulled 10ga stranded (thhn) for all my 110 circuits. the 220 single phase circuits are all 6ga and fitted with the appropriate breaker for the machine. my theory is that should i ever need to change equipment/motors all that will be required is a breaker. going oversized on wire really doesn`t cost much in the beginning and won`t hurt your equipment one bit and for me the flexability made sence. .02 tod
    Last edited by tod evans; 03-20-2006 at 11:09 AM.
    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN; I ACCEPT FULL LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY POSTS ON THIS FORUM, ALL POSTS ARE MADE IN GOOD FAITH CONTAINING FACTUAL INFORMATION AS I KNOW IT.

  9. #9
    Multi strand carries more current. If that's an issue then it's a great way to go.

    When I run a sub-panel or a high energy circuit I prefer multi strand wire.

  10. #10
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    Invest in good outlets and get a good secure connection. Often when people use stranded they fail to get a solid connection on the outlet and switches.
    (No push-in connections) They're legal but cause problems down the line. The type with a good screw down captive connection work slick
    TJH
    Live Like You Mean It.



    http://www.northhouse.org/

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Howell
    Invest in good outlets and get a good secure connection. Often when people use stranded they fail to get a solid connection on the outlet and switches.
    (No push-in connections) They're legal but cause problems down the line. The type with a good screw down captive connection work slick
    good advice tyler! i used crimp on forked terminals for the 10ga and lugged receptacles for the 6ga. for the 110 receptacles look for "hospital grade" a bit more money but you won`t have to do it again...02 tod
    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN; I ACCEPT FULL LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY POSTS ON THIS FORUM, ALL POSTS ARE MADE IN GOOD FAITH CONTAINING FACTUAL INFORMATION AS I KNOW IT.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans
    john, when i wired i pulled 10ga stranded (thhn) for all my 110 circuits and outfitted them with 30amp breakers. the 220 single phase circuits are all 6ga and fitted with the appropriate breaker for the machine. my theory is that should i ever need to change equipment/motors all that will be required is a breaker. going oversized on wire really doesn`t cost much in the beginning and won`t hurt your equipment one bit and for me the flexability made sence. .02 tod
    Tod,

    FYI, wiring the 110v circuits with #10, protected by a 30 amp breaker and using either 15 or 20 amp receptacles is a direct violation of the NEC.

    It's also dangerous because you now have the ability to plug in a tool like a router that can jam on a work piece and suddenly have a full 30 amp breaker to pull current from.

    It's fine to wire with #10 if you want to reduce voltage drop at startup on your tools. To comply with the NEC, however, replace those 30 amp breakers with 20 amp breakers.

    The applicable NEC article is 210.21(B) and table 210.21(B)(3) specifies what size receptacles may be used on branch circuits of various ampere ratings. For a 30 amp circuit, the only allowable receptacle is one rated for 30 amps - you can't put 15 or 20 amp receptacles on a 30 amp circuit. A 30 amp plug is an entirely different configuration than the standard 15 and 20 amp receptacle. Here's a link to the NEMA plug/receptacle configurations, so you can see how the 30 amp plugs won't work for you.

    Rob
    Addy protocol: Experienced but unlicensed, homeowner who enjoys wiring

  13. #13
    thanks rob, there are no 15 amp receptacles in my shop, the 110 is routed through 20amp hospital grade hubbles. i realize the nec doesn`t like what i`ve done and if i`m ever in a position to undergo an inspection i`ll be sure to change the breakers. .02 tod
    Last edited by tod evans; 03-20-2006 at 10:38 AM.
    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN; I ACCEPT FULL LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY POSTS ON THIS FORUM, ALL POSTS ARE MADE IN GOOD FAITH CONTAINING FACTUAL INFORMATION AS I KNOW IT.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans
    thanks rob, there are no 15 amp receptacles in my shop, the 110 is routed through 20amp hospital grade hubbles. i realize the nec doesn`t like what i`ve done and if i`m ever in a position to undergo an inspection i`ll be sure to change the breakers. .02 tod
    Tod,

    What you do in your shop is your business and I wouldn't begin to tell you otherwise. I would politely suggest, however, if you're going to post on a public forum like this - that what you post comply with the NEC. If you still want to post what you have done in your shop, do so - but also state what the code-compliant installation is and that you have consciously ignored the NEC.

    Otherwise, if "someone" read your post and replicated what you have in your shop without understanding the potential safety hazards, "someone" could get hurt.

    Rob

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Russell
    Tod,

    What you do in your shop is your business and I wouldn't begin to tell you otherwise. I would politely suggest, however, if you're going to post on a public forum like this - that what you post comply with the NEC. If you still want to post what you have done in your shop, do so - but also state what the code-compliant installation is and that you have consciously ignored the NEC.

    Otherwise, if "someone" read your post and replicated what you have in your shop without understanding the potential safety hazards, "someone" could get hurt.

    Rob
    very true rob! please don`t follow my lead folks, rob speaks the truth, getting bit (shocked) ain`t no fun! in fact i`ll edit my original post and remove the amperage rating of the breakers...02 tod
    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN; I ACCEPT FULL LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY POSTS ON THIS FORUM, ALL POSTS ARE MADE IN GOOD FAITH CONTAINING FACTUAL INFORMATION AS I KNOW IT.

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