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Old 03-20-2017, 08:46 AM   #1
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Default Old School Splicing

There was some talk about Western Union splices in a recent thread, something a lot of people never heard of now.



I was looking for an image file I had of a poster with a bunch of old school splices illustrated, I like reading about that stuff. I'll use it in a pinch with speaker wire, low voltage lighting, and other stuff.

I did not find that poster but did find a picture of a splice I don't remember seeing before, a three wire variation of the Western Union splice



from http://reference.insulators.info/pub.../view/?id=9630

You basically just twist a short piece of wire in with the spliced wires and make a Western Union splice. I tried it with some scrap, it does clearly make a stronger splice. I'll probably use this in the future with small low voltage wires, splicing 18 gauge or smaller, to make a more durable connection.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:03 AM   #2
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I've used Western Union splices to repair extension cords before (no solder), it worked really well, nice and low profile and very strong.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:07 AM   #3
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Wagos are faster.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:17 AM   #4
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On the other thread they were talking about repairing romex inside a wall.

If you did it right you would make a wire nut splice in an accessible junction box.

It would not be compliant to make three staggered western union splices, shrink tube around each, and an overall shrink tube where the jacket is missing.

Which do you think is safer?

Would solder change your answer?

They were mostly gone before my time so it doesn't mean much but I don't remember hearing very often about finding soldered splices going bad, even very old ones.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:24 AM   #5
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Come on, I was taught that in high school electrical lab.

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Old 03-20-2017, 09:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canbug View Post
Come on, I was taught that in high school electrical lab.
The three wire method?
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splatz View Post
On the other thread they were talking about repairing romex inside a wall.

If you did it right you would make a wire nut splice in an accessible junction box.

It would not be compliant to make three staggered western union splices, shrink tube around each, and an overall shrink tube where the jacket is missing.

Which do you think is safer?

Would solder change your answer?

They were mostly gone before my time so it doesn't mean much but I don't remember hearing very often about finding soldered splices going bad, even very old ones.
Concealing doesn't make a difference as far as safety.

If you are going to conceal a splice, I think the splice should be made like every other splice that we make today.

The only difference is you should pay a little more attention to the details when making that splice to ensure that no one will ever need to find it.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:26 AM   #8
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Ok, not the three wire but nice twist and some flowing solder made for a great splice

Tim.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:38 AM   #9
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Soldering is a skill all it's own. If I have a say in the matter, I don't hide splices.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:10 PM   #10
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Soldered splices and cloth tape is something you would see in older buildings.
I knew one city 10 years ago that still had it in their amendments that all wire splices shall be soldered. It was a pain as it also seemed like splices were much shorter back in the day. Cut up solder splice off and you could end up re-pulling everything (conduit) because you didn't have enough to work with. With the same problem in the next box. I never soldered building electrical myself. I cheated and used those new fanged red twisty things.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:47 PM   #11
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That's the way it is in much of my area, soldered splices on wires that aren't long enough to exit the box, it's like they soldered the connection in the back of the box and added a 2" pigtail to reach the device.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:51 PM   #12
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I thought those old splices were generally dipped in a solder pot? I know one guy that I can ask, he did solder connections back in the 50s. However he is not a huge fan of telephones and not a fan of computers at all so I'll have to either write him a letter or wait until I run into him to ask
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:45 PM   #13
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My understanding is it was dipped in flux.
Then followed by a torch and soder.
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splatz View Post
I thought those old splices were generally dipped in a solder pot? I know one guy that I can ask, he did solder connections back in the 50s. However he is not a huge fan of telephones and not a fan of computers at all so I'll have to either write him a letter or wait until I run into him to ask
I remember an electrician say it took all day for "make up" because he had to walk around with a solder pot and dip all the connections He also said wire nuts really made it a quicker job.
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:16 PM   #15
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In a similar vane, I just taught one of my guys the underwriters knot for pigtail pendants.

He thought I was pulling his leg, until I explained the requirement for strain relief.

I still don't think he believes me, but I am sure he looked it up by now!

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Old 03-20-2017, 05:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navyguy View Post
In a similar vane, I just taught one of my guys the underwriters knot for pigtail pendants.

He thought I was pulling his leg, until I explained the requirement for strain relief.

I still don't think he believes me, but I am sure he looked it up by now!

Old Dog = 1 - Puppies = 0

Cheers

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He may do the same thing if you sent him to the boss to get a wiremold bender.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:07 PM   #17
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Eggggzactly the time honored Electrician Handbook method , before the dark times of the farce.....~CS~
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:19 PM   #18
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I still have all the tools. Soldering coppers, ladles, dippers, blowtorch with hook for coppers and the melting pot. Not sure if they still work, where the hell do I buy white gas?

Ceiling splices you could leave the bare splices pointed down, with rosin flux applied. Then heat up the lead in the pot and fill your little ladle. Take the little dipping ladle around and dip all the splices. Same for any wall boxes that you could access. For all the rest, heat up the copper suspended in front of the blowtorch, and hit as many as you could before it cooled off.

Never, never forget to preheat all your ladles and the pot before dipping the ladle. The ladle will absorb water, so will the pot, and and if you put the cold ladle in the molten lead it will explode, blowing molten lead all to hell. Good way to burn the hell out of you.

Splicing 500 MCM you would sister the wires and serve them up with some solid #12. Then heat the splice and add the solder, not wire solder but lead soldering bars. Haven't seen a soldering bar for ages come to think of it.

Then it was get out the varnished cambric, rubber tape, putty, and mummify the splice. Wrap with that damn friction tape and you are done. Cheaper than kearney's at the time. But then a man's time was not worth much and materials were expensive, now it's the other way around.
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Old 03-22-2017, 01:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navyguy View Post
In a similar vane, I just taught one of my guys the underwriters knot for pigtail pendants.

He thought I was pulling his leg, until I explained the requirement for strain relief.

I still don't think he believes me, but I am sure he looked it up by now!

Old Dog = 1 - Puppies = 0

Cheers

John
I showed one of our utility crews the half hitch knot for pulling cable.
They couldn't believe the pulling strength that it has

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Old 03-22-2017, 01:10 PM   #20
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http://www.legrand.us/wiremold/racew...ld-bender.aspx
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He may do the same thing if you sent him to the boss to get a wiremold bender.
Those work really great for offsets, that's about it though.
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