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Old 02-15-2011, 11:55 AM   #1
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Default Use of stranded wire.

310-3 states #8 or larger shall be standed. But it does'nt say # 8 or smaller can't be stranded. Is there a clear code reference thats denies the use of stranded wire in the smaller sizes ? I have recently been called on using stranded wire, even though i make pigtails for devices using fork terminals and a greenlee crimper. Small shop so pre-fab is a way of life for me. And out here the supplier i do business with has a back stock of stranded wire i'm getting it at killer price. In retrospect job specs always refer to 310-3 in the general notes. Seems black and white to me but could this reference be subject to interpretation? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Doug Larsen (Larsen Electric) Guam, USA

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Old 02-15-2011, 12:25 PM   #2
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There is no code prohibition against it. Matter of fact, on commercial work, it would be difficult to find solid wire unless it was a small quantity purchased specially for receptacle circuits. There are some screw terminals that have a particular prohibition against stranded, but barring that, there's nothing anywhere against stranded in smaller gauges. Maybe a job spec.

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Old 02-15-2011, 12:54 PM   #3
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Can't imagine NOT using stranded wire. It's capable of carrying more amps (more surface area), less likely to get damaged in a pull, easier to handle, and weighs less than solid wire.

Ask where in the NEC that it says solid is better than stranded, not going to happen. Where in the spec's does it have a call out for solid?

The only place I actually like solid is on a device, then, even there, I think electrically, it's inferior to stranded.
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Old 02-15-2011, 01:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
It's capable of carrying more amps (more surface area),
I know what you are trying to say, but would like to point out that small conductors like 10 and 12 AWG have the same ampacity, according to the NEC, whether or not they are stranded or solid.

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Old 02-15-2011, 05:08 PM   #5
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Solid wire is a bit cheaper by the roll than stranded wire. I was brought up in the trade using pipe and wire which was always 100% stranded.
I only encountered solid wire during residential service work.
I still consider solid wire inferior for some reason.
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:18 PM   #6
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As solid is spec'd on every school I have worked on, I finally got a chance to ask an engineer why he kept speccing it.
His answer was that it was the only splice that ever held up on the 25 year test for tight splices without loosening or loosing integrity.

Told him after that, that if he hadn't had a good answer, I was going to smack him for spec-cing in for no good reason.
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:29 PM   #7
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Stranded is defiantly better. I've probably pulled miles of solid 14, 12, and 10 into conduit and that is no picnic.

And you should have no problems landing stranded onto devices, most are UL listed for solid or stranded.
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockyd View Post
Can't imagine NOT using stranded wire. It's capable of carrying more amps (more surface area),
Quote:
Originally Posted by raider1 View Post
I know what you are trying to say, but would like to point out that small conductors like 10 and 12 AWG have the same ampacity, according to the NEC, whether or not they are stranded or solid.
A couple of points

There are air spaces in stranded meaning if the outside diameter remanded the same the ampacity would drop due to less copper.

Stranded conductors of the same AWG are larger than solid.

From table 8

12 AWG stranded 0.092" diameter

12 AWG solid 0.081" diameter
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:36 PM   #9
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The only solid I ever use is Cat 3 and 5. I don't do residential.
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:33 PM   #10
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When I was in the field I used solid on every project unless spe'd otherwise. In my area you'll see more solid then stranded.
I hated using stranded myself
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zinsco1 View Post
310-3 states #8 or larger shall be standed. But it does'nt say # 8 or smaller can't be stranded. Is there a clear code reference thats denies the use of stranded wire in the smaller sizes ? I have recently been called on using stranded wire, even though i make pigtails for devices using fork terminals and a greenlee crimper. Small shop so pre-fab is a way of life for me. And out here the supplier i do business with has a back stock of stranded wire i'm getting it at killer price. In retrospect job specs always refer to 310-3 in the general notes. Seems black and white to me but could this reference be subject to interpretation? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Doug Larsen (Larsen Electric) Guam, USA
Did they provide a code ref?
#12 solid is the only way to go. #10 or larger stranded is easier to deal with.
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Old 02-18-2011, 11:32 PM   #12
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I like pulling tw from the square cardboard boxes..........
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Old 02-18-2011, 11:50 PM   #13
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I like pulling tw from the square cardboard boxes..........
Now you are bringing back some painful memories......especiallly when the box got wet and fell apart.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I like pulling tw from the square cardboard boxes..........
Don't tell me they still make those somewhere.

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Old 02-19-2011, 12:24 AM   #15
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Odd reading all the different views about this subject. We do lots of Govt work and it seems stranded is a major no no here. It also seems that most all other work in the area is the same now too. I think lots of the non govt work are using the same spec book more or less for every job, or generic version. I doubt I could go Monday morning and find more than a few rolls of stranded #12 from out top 3 SH...
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
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A couple of points

There are air spaces in stranded meaning if the outside diameter remanded the same the ampacity would drop due to less copper.

Stranded conductors of the same AWG are larger than solid.

From table 8

12 AWG stranded 0.092" diameter

12 AWG solid 0.081" diameter
Bob, We were taught that electrons flow along the surface for some reason. I would expect stranded conductors to have more surface area than solid.
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:15 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
As solid is spec'd on every school I have worked on, I finally got a chance to ask an engineer why he kept speccing it.
His answer was that it was the only splice that ever held up on the 25 year test for tight splices without loosening or loosing integrity.

Told him after that, that if he hadn't had a good answer, I was going to smack him for spec-cing in for no good reason.

He is full of crap IMO, this spec is included because it was always there and the engineer is too lazy to remove it when he cuts and paste the spec into a new school.
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:58 AM   #18
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Bob, We were taught that electrons flow along the surface for some reason. I would expect stranded conductors to have more surface area than solid.
Only at high frequency compared to the diameter of the wire.
For a 12AWG it starts above 20 kHz.
For a 2 inch diameter cable it's at 60 Hz.
As the frequency increases more and more current moves towards the surface.
Although it's caused by the wires self-inductance, the change is resistive.
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:09 AM   #19
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I love solid wire. It works great for tying ladder and stuff down.
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:12 PM   #20
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stranded vs. solid If you looK in chapter 9 table 8 you'll see that their is a different resistance value for solid and stranded. Stranded wire when calculating voltage drop has a slightly higher resistance per 1000'.I know that voltage drop is not a code requirement and only a informational note, but if you have a specific peice of electronic equipment voltage drop could be important. The skin effect on these smaller wires is usually not a factor.

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