WARNING! IDEAL WING NUT WIRE CONNECTOR 452 RED

SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
To any of you installing solar systems, or standard branch circuits on AC side using IDEAL wing nut 452 red for the splicing of 10awg and 12awg, please be aware that I am noticing defects with the wing nuts on branch circuits I have been installing from solar systems to normal housing branch circuits. I am noticing a significant amount of depreciation in roughly 2 of 150 wing nuts installed. I will no longer be using the ideal brand sold at the local home depot.
Yesterday I had a system down due to the faulty wing nut.
These wing nuts are UL486C rated and are not conforming to the UL specifications. Most of these wing nuts are melting at under 75C*, and under 600V ratings within and under 15amps of branch circuit loads. This is an indication there is contamination with spiral locking mechinism within the wing nut, and the rubber shielding is not conforming to meet spec.
As a professional I do not recommend the use of this wing nut.
This should be stickied for installer beware.

Comments

  • zonebluezoneblue Solar Expert Posts: 1,218 ✭✭✭✭
    Those things are silly, and not used here at all. All power outlets and fittings have spare terminals for bussing and dasiy chaining. Where any kind of cable join is required, you are required by code (NZ) to use either crimped and glue lined double heat shrink, or an insulated screw terminal device with at least 2 screws per conductor.
    1.8kWp CSUN, 10kWh AGM, Midnite Classic 150, Outback VFX3024E,
    http://zoneblue.org/cms/page.php?view=off-grid-solar


  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    I crimp and heat shrink conductors anything larger than 6AWG according to NEC.

    Anything exceeding 45amps requires a different method of splicing and bonding. The wing nuts on this branch circuit didn't exceed 15amps continuous.

    NewZealand requires alot more effort assembling conductors. Labor rates are also different.

    I have now decided to spend the extra money on splice/crimp connectors. For peace of mind, warranty, and protection against liability.
  • animattanimatt Solar Expert Posts: 295 ✭✭✭
    I am not sure where solarpowered is located. I am imagining he is referring to what here is called a "wire nut". I am not a professional at all. Just worked on several solar systems. I try to use crimp connectors on most all splices. Very rarely will I use a wire nut. I did not read anything bad about wire nuts . I just have very little faith in its connection method.

  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    AC side branch circuits may use wire nuts, or any DC method.
    DC side circuits require crimp bonding, lugging, or locking.

    So for micro inverter systems MC4 connections DC side. Wing nuts, crimp, or lugs, AC side.
  • Ethan BrushEthan Brush Solar Expert Posts: 235 ✭✭
    AC side branch circuits may use wire nuts, or any DC method.
    DC side circuits require crimp bonding, lugging, or locking.

    Anything exceeding 45amps requires a different method of splicing and bonding.

    I do not believe you will find any code section or general UL requirement stating any of those things.

    Wire nuts are usually not installed correctly. I recommend pre twisting conductors before installing the wire nut as it assures the required number of twists has been achieved and allows visual inspection
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Scope for UL486C

    Determines the use of polarity, for AC splicing.

    Not to be used on any conductor greater than 6AWG.

    Also under UL 486C the wing nut cannot accept over 30amps. While other wing nuts can handle up to 45amp.

    UL scopes do define level of safety in accordance with NFPA 70, and NEC, and as well is recognized by the Canadian electrical code.
  • Ethan BrushEthan Brush Solar Expert Posts: 235 ✭✭
    Scope for UL486C

    Determines the use of polarity, for AC splicing.

    Not to be used on any conductor greater than 6AWG.

    Also under UL 486C the wing nut cannot accept over 30amps. While other wing nuts can handle up to 45amp.

    UL scopes do define level of safety in accordance with NFPA 70, and NEC, and as well is recognized by the Canadian electrical code.

    I agree with the 6 AWG max wire size, but not on the current limit or AC only. I read through the UL 486C summary and all the manufacturer literature I could find. Can you provide a link that corroborates those two statements?
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    I agree with the 6 AWG max wire size, but not on the current limit or AC only. I read through the UL 486C summary and all the manufacturer literature I could find. Can you provide a link that corroborates those two statements?
    First statement you posted to this thread was correct and should be followed under preparation guidelines of UL 486A and 486B. I follow this rule.This was a bad wing nut that did not meet scope or spec.
    Wire nuts are usually not installed correctly. I recommend pre twisting conductors before installing the wire nut as it assures the required number of twists has been achieved and allows visual inspection
    However. This is what the manufacturer states which doesn't exactly follow UL scopes 486 A and 486 B under connection procedure requirements.Manufacturer claims no twisting is required. This is from the manufacturer call out on the web site.
    IDEAL wrote:
    • Live-action spring expands to accept wire shape and size with no pre-twisting required
    Regarding maximum current, Is the inclusion of the language offered from UL 486C regardng wire sizes and and the temprature ratings. Temprature and wire size infers the maximum allowable amapacity of the wing nuts and why 6AWG cannot be used in a "twisted pair". 6AWG 75*C has an ampacity of 55amp, , 6AWG 90*C has an ampacity of 75amp. Only some not all wire wing nuts allow 6AWG only if paired with a smaller wire that of being 10awg or smaller for the use to reduce voltage drop, not necessarilly because of the ampacity. That is why 45amps is the maximum allowable for any wing nut on the market.
    Here is the language offered from UL 486C.
    UL 486C wrote:
    1.4 This Standard is intended for splicing wire connectors suitable for currents not exceeding the ampacity of insulated conductors rated 75 °C or 90 °C, in accordance with the rating of the connector.
    If we use a wing nut that is rated for 10AWG 2 pair NM-B or THHN 90*C the maximum rating of that wing nut would be 30amp allowable.
    If we used a wing nut that is rated for 8AWG 2 pair THHN 90*C the maximum rating of that wing nut would be 45amp allowabe.
    It is possible to use 6AWG with a 10awg, but then the 6AWG would be engineered for voltage drop and the maximum allowable for that branch circuit would be 30amp maximum. According to UL 486C 1.1, C.
    UL486C wrote:
    connectors intended for use with 6 AWG (13.3 mm2) or smaller conductors; ]
    Some not all manufacturers list on the boxes of wing nuts inffer to the engineering terms that they are intended for non-linear polarity, or non-continuos polarity, which is language refering to AC only.
    Not all manufacturers list this but if you catch the language it is important to pay attention to because linear polarity in regards to DC at the same amp rating used for AC will cycle at higher tempratures than non-linear polarity. This is because lower voltage DC systems such as 12V and 36V generate more heat and require more amperage, it can literally melt wing nuts.
    (I.E) 17" or less of 8AWG THHN can handle 70amps of linear polarity, although the rating is for 45amps. Its the way DC systems can be engineered and that the UL language is simplified that it is inffered not to use for linear polarity, or continuos polarity (DC) systems. Its not smart to use "silly" wing nuts on DC systems at all. As zoneblue pointed out that they are infact "silly", most defenitely for DC systems.

    You seem like a smart guy with the questions youve asked so you don't need use of this article but this is a good article for those that don't know, that are skimming through the posts.

    http://iaeisnv.com/yahoo_site_admin/...y.13573211.pdf
  • Ethan BrushEthan Brush Solar Expert Posts: 235 ✭✭


    However. This is what the manufacturer states which doesn't exactly follow UL scopes 486 A and 486 B under connection procedure requirements.Manufacturer claims no twisting is required. This is from the manufacturer call out on the web site.

    correct, PRE-twisting is not required, but ultimately the conductors need to be twisted. IMO, the problem with twisting with the wirenut vs pretwisting is most folks dont get to the requisite number of twists, then there is the not being able to inspect issue.
    Regarding maximum current, Is the inclusion of the language offered from UL 486C regardng wire sizes and and the temprature ratings. Temprature and wire size infers the maximum allowable amapacity of the wing nuts and why 6AWG cannot be used in a "twisted pair". 6AWG 75*C has an ampacity of 55amp, , 6AWG 90*C has an ampacity of 75amp. Only some not all wire wing nuts allow 6AWG only if paired with a smaller wire that of being 10awg or smaller for the use to reduce voltage drop, not necessarilly because of the ampacity. That is why 45amps is the maximum allowable for any wing nut on the market.
    Here is the language offered from UL 486C.

    I think that was a typo as 6 AWG has a 75 degree column ampacity of 65. Most wire connectors have a temperature rating of at least 90 degrees so one could use the 90 degree ampacity with the connector. So an ideal "big blue" that can take two 6 AWG can be used at 75 amps. I still dont follow how you conclude that 45 amps is the max.
    If we use a wing nut that is rated for 10AWG 2 pair NM-B or THHN 90*C the maximum rating of that wing nut would be 30amp allowable.

    Well it would be 30 amps for the NM as we are required to use the 60 degree coloumn ampacity for NM. THHN could be used at the 90 degree column ampacity (assuming we are using in an application such as a motor where we are not required to use the "small conductor" derating in 240.4(D) and we are not bound by the termination limitation by using 90 degree rated terminals).
    If we used a wing nut that is rated for 8AWG 2 pair THHN 90*C the maximum rating of that wing nut would be 45amp allowabe.

    no it would be 55.

    Some not all manufacturers list on the boxes of wing nuts inffer to the engineering terms that they are intended for non-linear polarity, or non-continuos polarity, which is language refering to AC only.
    Not all manufacturers list this but if you catch the language it is important to pay attention to because linear polarity in regards to DC at the same amp rating used for AC will cycle at higher tempratures than non-linear polarity. This is because lower voltage DC systems such as 12V and 36V generate more heat and require more amperage, it can literally melt wing nuts.

    I have never seen those terms on any wire connector package I have ever used. If such language existed, I agree that NEC 110.3(B) and UL 486 would require us to follow the instructions. But I dont follow your logic here. Per the NEC there is no difference in conductor ampacity for AC vs DC since AC is standardized to the RMS value. So there is no difference in heat. It doesnt matter what the voltage is, the conductors are sized for the current so low voltage systems dont generate "more heat" - just like any installation you use the size conductor required.
    (I.E) 17" or less of 8AWG THHN can handle 70amps of linear polarity, although the rating is for 45amps. Its the way DC systems can be engineered and that the UL language is simplified that it is inffered not to use for linear polarity, or continuos polarity (DC) systems. Its not smart to use "silly" wing nuts on DC systems at all. As zoneblue pointed out that they are infact "silly", most defenitely for DC systems.


    I dont think the manufacturer or the general electrical industry would agree.
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭

    correct, PRE-twisting is not required, but ultimately the conductors need to be twisted. IMO, the problem with twisting with the wirenut vs pretwisting is most folks dont get to the requisite number of twists, then there is the not being able to inspect issue.



    I think that was a typo as 6 AWG has a 75 degree column ampacity of 65. Most wire connectors have a temperature rating of at least 90 degrees so one could use the 90 degree ampacity with the connector. So an ideal "big blue" that can take two 6 AWG can be used at 75 amps. I still dont follow how you conclude that 45 amps is the max.
    I dont think the manufacturer or the general electrical industry would agree.

    South Wire SIMpull, 6AWG although THHN rated at 90*C, only allows 55amp current max. Don't know if it's because of the skin or not, but that is what the manufacturer recommends.

    I'm going through my ugly's manual and it's telling me 8AWG 90*C is 45amp.

    I contacted ideal about 452 red and it's rated for 4 10AWG, 30amp. No 8AWG is to be paired. They tell me it's in the chart.

    I will look for one of the Chinese inverters I just installed. Claims 80amps with 6AWG no more than 17".

    The language is out there.
  • Ethan BrushEthan Brush Solar Expert Posts: 235 ✭✭

    South Wire SIMpull, 6AWG although THHN rated at 90*C, only allows 55amp current max. Don't know if it's because of the skin or not, but that is what the manufacturer recommends.

    I'm going through my ugly's manual and it's telling me 8AWG 90*C is 45amp.

    I contacted ideal about 452 red and it's rated for 4 10AWG, 30amp. No 8AWG is to be paired. They tell me it's in the chart.

    I will look for one of the Chinese inverters I just installed. Claims 80amps with 6AWG no more than 17".

    The language is out there.

    Those numbers are strange. for #6 55 amps would be the 60 degree ampacity which would be used for NM, UF, or if you had 60 degree terminations. For the #8, 45 doesnt correspond to the 60, 75, or 90 degree column. Note I am referring to NEC table 310.15(B)(16) and other industries likely use different less conservative tables.


    Regarding the inverter, probably just another great Chinese translation ;), the manufacturer not knowing what they are talking about in terms of codes (I see this all the time), the manufacturer using different rules than the NEC, or whatever conductor you are talking about may be considered an integral part of the inverter and thus not covered by the NEC. Just a few guesses. I am an electrician so all my discussions/rules are pretty much along the lines of the NEC.
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭

    I am an electrician so all my discussions/rules are pretty much along the lines of the NEC.

    I'm a class B.
    You will overall have a better understanding and comprehensive knowledge than I will in regards to NEC. It's your trade set, remembering that specific trade, is difficult. I know many electricians (journey level and above licensed), still stuck on 2008, and have to advise they purchase a 2014. You know your trade well unlike some of the others I deal with, on a professional level. I design, engineer most of my electrical systems on both a residential and commercial level. Need that good old engineering stamp, for the commercial projects.

    As for me I have a broad yet scattered knowledge of UBC, NEC, and UPC. Each one of the books cost me $600, and out of all 3, I'm less than 1/3 on remembering all 2000+ pages.
    Not to mention NFPA updates every 4 years so I just bought 2014, 3 months ago.

    Serious pain in my rear end, makes my head spin.

    You and I will get along fine, our professionalism will tend to have us but heads together. Just as in the field.

    Be well
  • Ethan BrushEthan Brush Solar Expert Posts: 235 ✭✭

    I'm a class B.
    You will overall have a better understanding and comprehensive knowledge than I will in regards to NEC. It's your trade set, remembering that specific trade, is difficult. I know many electricians (journey level and above licensed), still stuck on 2008, and have to advise they purchase a 2014. You know your trade well unlike some of the others I deal with, on a professional level. I design, engineer most of my electrical systems on both a residential and commercial level. Need that good old engineering stamp, for the commercial projects.

    As for me I have a broad yet scattered knowledge of UBC, NEC, and UPC. Each one of the books cost me $600, and out of all 3, I'm less than 1/3 on remembering all 2000+ pages.
    Not to mention NFPA updates every 4 years so I just bought 2014, 3 months ago.

    Serious pain in my rear end, makes my head spin.

    You and I will get along fine, our professionalism will tend to have us but heads together. Just as in the field.

    Be well

    Yes I work and am licensed in several different states so I have to use both 2008, 2011, and the 2014 NEC which is a pain to keep track of for sure.

    What is class B?
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭

    Yes I work and am licensed in several different states so I have to use both 2008, 2011, and the 2014 NEC which is a pain to keep track of for sure.

    What is class B?

    In California there is General Contractor Class A, and General Contractor Class B.

    Class A is Civil Engineering, Class B is Commercial/Residential.
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