Maintenance Tips & Tricks – 2000 – #8

By Plant Engineering Staff August 1, 2000
Terminating wires
Problem: Devices such as switches and receptacles are usually daisy chained to one another to serve multiple locations via a single circuit. What practices are approved to terminate wiring and device connections?

Solution: There are three approaches available to perform this task.

Approach A uses both terminals of a standard receptacle. Failure of this device can affect other loads downstream on the circuit. The device’s terminals and the removable tab between them carry the full circuit’s ampere load. Making two connections adds time to complete and provides an additional point of possible future failure.


Approach B incorporates a wirenut to create a pig-tail jumper. Wirenuts add a possible point of failure and their cost could be significant on very large jobs. The devices only carry their connected load.


Approach C is the best practice. The conductor’s integrity is not altered. Additional components, such as wirenuts, are not required.


A failure (not internally shorted) within the device should not affect the overall circuit. A full wrap beneath the terminal screw provides a proper connection.

Contributor: J. Michael Stone, Maintenance Coordinator, Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., Greensboro, NC; 336-273-8201; mstone@smurfit.com

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