You use wire nuts to connect multiple electrical wires. Wire nuts can also provide insulation. They are relatively easy to come by. However, if you have ever gone wire nut shopping, you probably realized that manufacturers make these items in various colors. This raises a question. What do those colors mean? Better yet, what is the best wire nut for your situation? Which color should you use? Does the size matter?
How Many Wires In Red Wire Nut?
Red wiring nuts accommodate three 14-12AWG wires. However, you should know that manufacturers do not follow a particular standard when making wire nuts. Therefore, don’t expect every red wire nut to accommodate three 14AWG wires.
|Wire Gauge||Number of Red Wire Nut Can Handle|
The size of the red nut in a foreign nation may vary from what you’ve seen in your home country. This is why manufacturers provide manuals.
If you buy a set of wire nuts, the packaging will most likely reveal the size and number of wires that can fit. Follow these instructions carefully. Otherwise, you could introduce loose connections to your project.
Renovation Headquarters has highlighted two problems that can arise if your wire nut is the wrong size for the number of wires you want to connect.
- If you have a large connector, it will provide a poor grip, creating loose connections. Loose connections can create problems like arcing. The solution to this problem is not a tiny connector.
- If you have a smaller nut than your project requires, the wires will not enter to the required depth. A red nut in such a situation cannot provide the insulation or holding power you need.
If you can determine the number of wires a red wire nut can carry, you can use that information to secure a nut of the appropriate size.
Why Should I Use Red Wire Nut?
All wire nuts have the same purpose. You use them to connect wires. You could use electrical tape, but wire nuts are a better option. Your choice of a nut will depend largely on the size and number of wires you want to connect.
Each color has a different size. If you look at the packaging, it will show you which colors to use depending on the gauge. The wire nut has to fit the cables. Otherwise, it will create loose connections, which can start fires.
Red wire nuts do not perform a particular task that other colors cannot achieve. You will use the red wire nut if you think it is large enough to accommodate the gauge you have in mind.
If the size of the nut doesn’t match your objective, you can use other colors, including blue, yellow, and gray. Red wire nuts are not unique. Make sure you match the color to the task at hand.
If you have doubts about your choice, consult a professional. BuildingMoxie has provided a list of steps to follow if you have to use wire nuts for the first time. But if you lack the necessary experience and don’t want to take any chances, a professional can point you towards the best wire nuts for your cables.
How Many Wire Can A Wire Nut Hold?
- Gray nut which can secure two 22AWG wires (Stranded). It can also hold 16AWG wires (Solid) if you have just two of them.
- The blue nut can hold as many as three 16AWG wires (Solid). Make sure you stay within the range described, especially if the sizing chart on the wire nut packaging has overlaps.
Wire nuts come in different sizes. I don’t want you to reuse wire nuts because the spring that holds the wires in place will stretch over time, reducing the nut’s ability to provide a secure connection. However, many people reuse their wire nuts. Though, you shouldn’t apply the same wire nut to every situation.
From what the Spruce has said, it looks like wire nuts come in various sizes and colors. To avoid weak connections, you must learn to identify the colors and their meanings.
If you know the sizes behind the different colors, you can figure out the number of wires they can hold. Fortunately, these products come with instructions. If you look at the packaging, it will tell you the number of cables a particular color can accommodate.
Be sure to consult the instructions that come with each new set of nuts. Don’t assume that the instructions from the old package will apply to the new one. As you were told before, manufacturers do not follow a specific standard when making wire nuts.
Don’t be surprised if multiple brands of wire nuts in the same region have different sizes. This is why family handyman encourages consumers to visit the manufacturer’s website before proceeding. Don’t rely on the packaging. The website will provide accurate answers.
I’ve provided a table that shows the different types of wire nuts. You have all the prominent colors, including yellow, red, blue, and orange. You also have mixtures like red/yellow, orange/blue, and blue/gray. If you have any questions, look for tables in the manufacturer’s manual or on the internet.
They will point you in the right direction. You don’t have to perform any calculations. The manufacturer did the difficult work for you. They figured out the sizes of the wire nuts and the number of wires they could accommodate.
If you do what this old house says and look at the packaging, the information you find will guide you. Check out this video that shows you how to use the wire nuts.
Nelco has taken things a step further. They want people to ensure that they use the correct connector for the job. That means considering the application, available space, and amount of usage. Don’t assume that wire nuts are the answer without looking at other options.
Does The Holding Capacity Change With Red Vs Orange Vs Yellow Vs Blue Wire Nut?
People use wire nuts because they are better than electrical tape. But wire nuts come in various sizes. You identify the size by looking at the color:
Blue nuts are the smallest. They can hold two 16AWG wires (Stranded). You find blue nuts in light fixtures.
Some people use orange nuts with light fixtures, especially if they receive blue nuts with plastic threads (instead of metal) on the inside. Orange nuts are the better option in such a situation. They can accommodate two 14AWG wires (Solid).
Blue and orange nuts are small. The yellow connectors are mid-sized. They can hold two 14AWG or three 12AWG wires.
These connectors are large enough to hold four 12AWG wires.
The people at Better Homes and Gardens have identified a green wire nut that works on ground conductors. They stand out because the top has a hole through which the ground wire can pass.
They have also mentioned gray twister connectors. These all-purpose nuts are expensive, but people buy them because they can handle small and large splices.
If you have a crowded box, you should consider experimenting with B-cap nuts. Their slim construction makes the connectors perfect for tight spaces.