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taped splices in panel


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On todays inspection I found taped splices in the panel. I don't remember seeing this and want to make sure its incorrect before I call it.

Is it possible there is a correct splice under the tape? I know that wire nuts are usually the method but I was wondering if there is another accepted method.

Could the splices in the picture be ok or are they wrong?

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Splices are permitted in panelboards long as the maximum fill is not exceeded.

312.8 Enclosures for Switches or Overcurrent Devices.

Enclosures for switches or overcurrent devices shall not be used as junction boxes, auxiliary gutters, or raceways for conductors feeding through or tapping off to other switches or overcurrent devices, unless adequate space for this purpose is provided. The conductors shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 40 percent of the cross-sectional area of the space, and the conductors, splices, and taps shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 75 percent of the cross-sectional area of that space.

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Splices are permitted in panelboards long as the maximum fill is not exceeded.

312.8 Enclosures for Switches or Overcurrent Devices.

Enclosures for switches or overcurrent devices shall not be used as junction boxes, auxiliary gutters, or raceways for conductors feeding through or tapping off to other switches or overcurrent devices, unless adequate space for this purpose is provided. The conductors shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 40 percent of the cross-sectional area of the space, and the conductors, splices, and taps shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 75 percent of the cross-sectional area of that space.

I'm not questioning if splices are allowed in the panel. I'm questioning the method of splicing.

I believe they used barrel crimps which are ok for equipment grounds but not ok for current carrying conductors.

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I know there should never be tape on wire nuts...

How did you come to know this? I know it's not required and likely has little or no value, but I don't know of anything prohibiting the use of tape on wire nuts. I knew and worked with many electricians that taped every wire nut they installed and never had an issue with approval from the electrical inspectors.
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Crimped connectors are allowed for wiring splices.

Copallum connectors for example are the approved crimp repair for alluminum wiring.

If by barrel connector you mean the cheesy crimp connector readily found at auto stores nationwide for stranded wiring, these are not suitable. In fact they only work well if you use an appropriate crimping tool properly to shape the crimp.

That is the key to crimped connections: using the right tool! Crimped connectors do exist for and have long been used by electricians and code says you must use the manufacturers tool.

If you want to examine every splice to verify it was done correctly go right ahead, but it is beyond the scope of a home inspection.

If you suspect a problem pass it off to further inspection, but you already knew that, be prepared to explain your call.

110.14

(B) Splices. Conductors shall be spliced or joined with

splicing devices identified for the use or by brazing,

welding, or soldering with a fusible metal or alloy.

Soldered splices shall first be spliced or joined so as to be

mechanically and electrically secure without solder and

then be soldered. All splices and joints and the free ends

of conductors shall be covered with an insulation

equivalent to that of the conductors or with an insulating

device identified for the purpose.

Last line says electrical tape alone will be insufficient. With taped wire nuts, the tape is not the insulator (unless its screwed up and the insulation was stripped back too far) just messy.

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I know there should never be tape on wire nuts...

How did you come to know this? I know it's not required and likely has little or no value, but I don't know of anything prohibiting the use of tape on wire nuts. I knew and worked with many electricians that taped every wire nut they installed and never had an issue with approval from the electrical inspectors.

Maybe I'm imagining I heard it, I don't know. Thanks and I'll remember that it's not prohibited.

Thanks to Brad for calling me on it as well.

Now, in this panel, taped wire nuts were not the concern, even though I mentioned that practice in my previous post above. The taped splices in the above pictures are not wire nuts. They are some other type of splice. That's what Ill be writing up for further review.

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Crimped connectors are allowed for wiring splices.

Copallum connectors for example are the approved crimp repair for alluminum wiring.

If by barrel connector you mean the cheesy crimp connector readily found at auto stores nationwide for stranded wiring, these are not suitable. In fact they only work well if you use an appropriate crimping tool properly to shape the crimp.

That is the key to crimped connections: using the right tool! Crimped connectors do exist for and have long been used by electricians and code says you must use the manufacturers tool.

If you want to examine every splice to verify it was done correctly go right ahead, but it is beyond the scope of a home inspection.

If you suspect a problem pass it off to further inspection, but you already knew that, be prepared to explain your call.

I'm aware of Copallum and that my be what is under the tape. But I thought Copallum uses heat shrink insulation so why would standard tape be wrapped on them?

I recently read in a Douglas Hansen book about barrel crimps designed for equipment grounds should not be used on current carrying conductors. I could quote the language but that's his copyright. Maybe he'll come along and verify that my suspicion might be correct. To be more exact, in the book he called it poor practice.

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I have some crimped connections in some of the outlet boxes of the 1968 parts of my house. They are small copper rings that were crimped and taped.

They were ok at that time.

I have replaced a few and found them all to be still tight, but the tape has dried out and is no longer secure, so they are poorly insulated.

It is a judgement call, John. I imagine you've made it by now.

If it looked professional, I would put a note simply that they are present, and I couldn't determine the splicing means under the tape.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Originally posted by rkenney

Crimped connectors are allowed for wiring splices.

Copallum connectors for example are the approved crimp repair for alluminum wiring.

If by barrel connector you mean the cheesy crimp connector readily found at auto stores nationwide for stranded wiring, these are not suitable. In fact they only work well if you use an appropriate crimping tool properly to shape the crimp.

That is the key to crimped connections: using the right tool! Crimped connectors do exist for and have long been used by electricians and code says you must use the manufacturers tool.

If you want to examine every splice to verify it was done correctly go right ahead, but it is beyond the scope of a home inspection.

If you suspect a problem pass it off to further inspection, but you already knew that, be prepared to explain your call.

110.14

(B) Splices. Conductors shall be spliced or joined with

splicing devices identified for the use or by brazing,

welding, or soldering with a fusible metal or alloy.

Soldered splices shall first be spliced or joined so as to be

mechanically and electrically secure without solder and

then be soldered. All splices and joints and the free ends

of conductors shall be covered with an insulation

equivalent to that of the conductors or with an insulating

device identified for the purpose.

Last line says electrical tape alone will be insufficient. With taped wire nuts, the tape is not the insulator (unless its screwed up and the insulation was stripped back too far) just messy.

[/quote

I tape wirenuts on to keep maintenance guys from playing with stuff they shouldn't,I also tape wirenuts on machines/equipment that vibrates a lot

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I tape wirenuts on to keep maintenance guys from playing with stuff they shouldn't,I also tape wirenuts on machines/equipment that vibrates a lot

I have no problem with taped wire nuts. You just pointed out two good reasons for them. As long as the tape is not a substitute for the proper connector.

'Course the problem with tape is you don't know what's under it till you remove it. That's messy, as is any repair that requires access. Just a PIA from a service point of view.

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