How to Connect Large Gauge Electrical Wire

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Wires are measured in gauge, which correlates to their physical size or diameter. The smaller the gauge number, the larger the physical size of the wire will be. When you are connecting larger wires together, its important to use a special size wire nut that will secure the connection of the wire for safety, but also ensure a good electrical connection. Using lineman's pliers will help you twist the ends of the wires together as you apply the wire nut.

Things You'll Need

  • Electrical test probe
  • Wire cutters/strippers
  • Lineman's pliers
  • Box of large wire nuts
  • Black electrical tape
  • Turn off any power that may be running to the electrical wires that will be connected together. Turn the power off at the main circuit box.

  • Touch each wire with the electrical test probe to double check that the power is turned off to the wiring. If no lights light up or sound emits from the probe, then the wiring is safe to work on.

  • Cut about one inch of wire off each end of the two wires to be connected together to ensure the wires are clean and fresh cut. Strip off 1/2-inch of insulation off each end of the two wires.

  • Twist each end of the wires together, using the lineman's pliers. Twist the wires in a clockwise direction, and until the ends are tightly wrapped around each other.

  • Twist on a large wire nut onto the end of each twisted wire. Twisting/screw the wire nuts on in a clockwise direction.

  • Wrap tape around the wire nut, starting at the top and working your way down and covering the wire about an inch below the nut, to further seal the connection.

Tips & Warnings

  • Lineman's pliers can be purchased at your local hardware store.
  • Never work on or attempt to connect any electrical wiring that is still connected to a power source. This could result in a serious electrical shock or even electrocution.

References

  • Photo Credit wire nuts image by Paul Moore from Fotolia.com
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