How to Use Wire Nuts

You’d really like to connect these two wires, but just twisting them together seems kind of temporary. Here’s how to use a wire nut to make a firm, safe, and long-lasting connection.

You can find wire nuts at any home improvement or hardware store.

The nice thing about a wire nut connection is that it securely for as long as you need it to, but you can take it apart whenever you want to. That’s what makes it semi-permanent.

If you have some extra wire, you can practice this several times before you make a necessary connection. You can use the same wire nut over and over again!

Prepare the Wires

First, make sure the two wires you’re connecting are stripped – you have to be able to see at least a quarter of an inch of copper. If you haven’t stripped a wire before, take a look at our page called How to Strip a Wire

Lay the two bare copper ends side-by-side. Now use your fingers to twist the ends clockwise so that they twist together..

If one is solid core, like a piece of old wire from a house, it’s not going to twist much at all, but the other wire will twist around it, and that’s fine. 

Twist the wire nut clockwise onto the wires.

Attach the Wire Nut

Now put the wire nut over the twisted ends. Gently push it onto the wires, and turn it clockwise until it’s tight. There are threads inside the wire nut that pull the wires even more tightly together, forcing a connection. Turn the nut as tightly as you can. If it pops off, do it again, just a little less tight. 

Tape the wire nut and the wires together.

Tape the Wire Nut Connection

Hold the wires side-by-side. Starting about half an inch below the wire nut, wrap an inch-long strip of electrical tape around the wires and up onto the nut so that it’s taped to the wires. That’s a secure connection.

You can do the same thing with three or more wires that all share a connection – simply use a larger wire nut.

Make sure to tape off the connection – if you pull hard on un-taped wires, the nut can pop right off. 

That’s it: you’ve made a tight, semi-permanent electrical connection. You did it!

Please Note: Do not use this procedure if you are not certain that you can complete it safely, or if it does not seem accurate. Skippity Whistles provides this information as advice, and cannot accept any liability from your usage of it.

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Published by John Reinhart

Author, technical writer, videographer, actor, and naval historian John D Reinhart is a very busy guy. You can find his novels as Smashwords.com.

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