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Electrical Wiring in the Home/Safe use of Wire nuts Tin wire ends

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Question
Hi Robert,

I am very safety conscience when wiring lamps/lights as a hobby. I have extensive electronics experience ( solder and components/trouble shooting ) and have done house wiring for a Journeyman electrician but really want to double check my work with an expert.

I love to rebuild old lamps and get them working again. Often times I have to wire nut up maybe 5 wires in the same bundle using a large wire nut. I started tinning the wires, then soldering them together, then use a wire nut to screw over the wires and then tape the wires below and up onto the wire nut.

When attaching the light fixture to the wall, I like to tin the wires coming from the lamp then wire nut as normal to the wires coming from the home.

Is the use of solder in my work an issue. I want to make sure the connections are secure and solid because I worry about fire.

I would love your input, I want to be as safe as possible.

Thanks Robert,

Zach

Answer
Robert Wilber
Licensed Philadelphia Electrician
Philadelphia License # 3516 - 16765
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LIFE SAFETY WARNING! [disclaimer]
Electricity is dangerous!
You can be injured or killed!
Improper installations can cause fire, injury and death!
Are you qualified to do this work?
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National Electrical Code definition, NFPA 70 2008 Article 100: Qualified Person. "One who has skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of the electrical equipment and installations and has received safety training to recognize and avoid the hazards involved."
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Electricity is fire in a box!
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Always check with the local “Authority Having Jurisdiction” for an official interpretation before making installation decisions.
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In Philadelphia, it is unlawful for anyone except an individual licensed by the City of Philadelphia to install electrical equipment and wiring.
Homeowners are not allowed to install wiring.
The owner of any property wherein any such installation is discovered shall be issued a violation by the Department of Licenses and Inspections.
The limited exceptions include replacing devices and fixtures at existing outlets.
Contact the Department of Licenses and Inspections for more information.
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You are more likely to be killed by 120 volts than any other voltage [120 volts creates the PERFECT fatal current through the human body's electrical resistance!]
TURN THE POWER OFF WHEN WORKING!
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LIFE SAFETY WARNING! [disclaimer]
This information is provided for the use of parties as they see fit!
I am not responsible for the application of this information by any party, including those lacking sufficient skill or knowledge to perform these steps safely and any hazard created is the SOLE responsibility of the user.
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Soldering joints is NOT a recognized connection method in the NEC at this time.
I know it seems that this would make a better connection, but such is not the case.
Soldered conductors are more likely to break at the extremity of the solder flow where the conductor strands individuate from the solder mass, when a wire-nut is applied.
The answer to multiple conductors is to allow excess conductor and to cut the bundle back after the several wires are twisted together. If you prefer, there are wire splicing devices which comprise a set-screw lug with integral insulator, which threads on the outside of the splicing device after termination is completed - an example is the Ideal 30-322 set-screw wire connector.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Robert Wilber

Expertise

Licensed Philadelphia electrician serving Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania. I install and repair residential, commercial and industrial wiring and lighting. Troubleshooting and repair of problems that stump other people is my favorite. I am willing to help people figure out why things don`t work. I understand motor controls, transformers and machine wiring. I do not teach basics to novices or do free design work.

Experience

Experience in the area I have 44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair, 480 volts and below. This is not to be confused with one week repeated two thousand times.

Education/Credentials
44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair

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