Author Topic: Wago wire connector nuts  (Read 3970 times)

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Online mwolczko

  • Posts: 60
Wago wire connector nuts
« on: July 22, 2020, 11:31 PM »
Does anyone know why Wago doesn’t make a 4-port lever nut?  I just tried one of the 4-port Chinese knock-offs on Amazon and they’re junk.

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Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1791
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2020, 05:58 AM »
I've wondered that myself. They have 2, 3, and 5 port.

Why no four port version is a mystery.

To me anyway, someone knows the answer.

I only buy the genuine Wago Lever Nuts. There are many tests showing the knock-off items are junk and dangerous as they don't have the load capacity that the Wago nuts do plus; and probably just as important; they are not tested or  listed by UL or another recognized NRTL hence can not be used per NEC.
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Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 681
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2020, 06:06 AM »
If you have solid wires, they do „push-in“ versions with 4 contacts.

Don’t know why they don’t do it on the clamping ones...

Offline AstroKeith

  • Posts: 164
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2020, 06:33 AM »
In fact they have a 4 way push-in for solid and stranded wire up to 2.5mm2. photo below. I think the one posted by grobkuschelig is their 4mm2 version, which is indeed for solid wires only.

As Bob says, I'd never knowingly buy the Chinese versions. My workshop Chinese made led strip lamps have push in terminals and at least 10% didnt grip under a light "pull test".
Retired engineer/scientist

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1791
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2020, 07:39 AM »
Yes they have the push-in versions but not a 4 port lever nut which is reusable like a twist-on wire nut.
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It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline AstroKeith

  • Posts: 164
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2020, 08:15 AM »
Yes they have the push-in versions but not a 4 port lever nut which is reusable like a twist-on wire nut.
Actually the Push-in type are officially re-useable. To release a wire you "twist and pull".
However I also wish they did a 4 way lever style. (Is it to discourage double spurs being run?)
Retired engineer/scientist

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1980
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2020, 10:47 AM »
My guess is the 2 and 3 are the most common (they are for me at least).  Anything larger might be less common and there isn't much harm in covering both bases with just the 5 if the larger ones only cover 15-20% of sales.  It's not that much larger than a 4, of course, that statement really depends on what you or the electrician crammed into the box.  With all these "smart" things we're jamming into junction boxes these days...there just isn't room.
-Raj

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4054
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2020, 01:07 PM »
While they're very easy to use, I have learned to not trust stab-in connectors over time.  The spring tabs tend to weaken and get corroded at the contact point, leading to high-resistance shorts, opens and possibly fires. 
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 968
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2020, 01:40 PM »
While they're very easy to use, I have learned to not trust stab-in connectors over time.  The spring tabs tend to weaken and get corroded at the contact point, leading to high-resistance shorts, opens and possibly fires.

Right, that's why folks want the 4 wire lever locks.   Lever locks are amazing, they are not coming free.  Once you use them, you pretty much want to see wire nuts band.  No way the wire is coming out, the exposed bit is extremely small (compared to a wire nut), and you can attach and re-attach over and over, which is very helpful for a number of things.

Push in need to go away.

Offline AstroKeith

  • Posts: 164
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2020, 02:28 PM »
While they're very easy to use, I have learned to not trust stab-in connectors over time.  The spring tabs tend to weaken and get corroded at the contact point, leading to high-resistance shorts, opens and possibly fires.

Right, that's why folks want the 4 wire lever locks.   Lever locks are amazing, they are not coming free.  Once you use them, you pretty much want to see wire nuts band.  No way the wire is coming out, the exposed bit is extremely small (compared to a wire nut), and you can attach and re-attach over and over, which is very helpful for a number of things.

Push in need to go away.

Have you tried to pull wires out of each? It is just as easy to pull wires out of a lever type. The internal wire clamping mechanism is almost identical, the main difference being the lack of insertion force in the lever types. The lever is not a lock, it is a lift. This indeed may make it preferable, but there is not a difference in reliability if the wires are stripped and inserted properly.

If the correct wire stripper is used then there is no increased danger of exposed wires if the transparent plastic is used to view the conductor has reached the end of the receptor, (as per the instructions).

As with other systems, these connectors are for use either within a cabinet, or in conjunction with the Wago junction boxes that include cable strain relief and are self extinguishing if flamed.

I have no connection with Wago, but I have use them for years in a professional capacity and know something about the testing and approval regime they have all gone through. Probably the most stringent in the world. (they are German after all!)
Retired engineer/scientist

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1484
  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2020, 02:35 PM »
Interesting question! I took the liberty of forwarding the question to Wago. Let's see if they feel playful enough to answer. :)

As AstroKeith pointed out, 221 is spring loaded/tensioned as well.

Correctly installed, genuine Wago connectors will not come loose/corrode or lose tension - and will actually withstand much higher loads than what they are rated for. They are safe-safe.

Kind regards,
Oliver

Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6349
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2020, 02:54 PM »
Neither allowed by code in Chicago, and amendment in surrounding municipalities.

Some recessed lights come with them pre-installed, have to cut them off and wire nut.

Tom

Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 431
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2020, 06:23 PM »
Quote
Neither allowed by code in Chicago, and amendment in surrounding municipalities.

Some recessed lights come with them pre-installed, have to cut them off and wire nut.

Sounds like Big Wirenut has taken control.  :-)

The lever nuts are especially handy when a previous individual has not left enough wire in the box.


Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 968
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2020, 10:26 PM »
Neither allowed by code in Chicago, and amendment in surrounding municipalities.

Some recessed lights come with them pre-installed, have to cut them off and wire nut.

Tom

Would like to see what it says.  I know things like can lights come with the push ins on them, I cut those off and use Wago Lever Locks.  I can see someone getting lever locks and push ins confused for each other.

The only way a wire falls out of the lever locks is if you don't get it in, in the first place.  I have done my own "testing" trying to yank them out, trying to get one to fail, just not going to happen.

I dislike wire nuts very much, trying to get everything together right is hard and even when you do it all correctly, you still get wires that pull out.  Going thru old stuff, I've found a good number of wires that soon as you move things, a wire will come out the back of the wire nut. It is just too error prone of a method.  Plus you are making wires that are difficult to put back, you pretty much have to keep cutting the ends off and starting over, in time, there is no more wire left.  Then you have the crimp rings, were you have no choice but to cut things each time.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1791
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2020, 05:32 AM »
I like the Wago lever nuts for light fixtures. Most of the new fixtures have lighter gauge wire and sometimes trying to join that with a traditional twist-on wire nut to a piece of #12 or #14 solid wire can be difficult, especially in tight quarters or with multiple conductors.

Not a problem with the lever nuts. And when you want to change the fixture a couple years from now it's a simple task. No straightening of twisted wires as was mentioned and you're not trying to stuff 3 or 4 #12s twisted together into the back of the box.

In the tests I've watched on YT the wire insulation smoked and burnt away before the Wago nut. In short the end result was the same as for a twist-on wire nut. The plastic of the lever nut smoked and melted (same as the twist-on wire nut) but the latching mechanism never let go. And that was at triple the rated amperage of the nut.

I don't like the push-ins. To me they don't give any confidence in the connection. Any time you have a conductor loose enough that you can easily spin it around with such little effort how can you have a solid and reliable electrical connection. I'm not saying they will fall apart on their own (or will they), but there must be a higher resistance at that point created by the loose connection and limited contact area between the conductor and the push-in connector than when you have a more robust connection such as the tried and true twist-on nut.
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Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6849
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2020, 05:50 AM »
I like the push-in connectors, I am very glad for us the wire nuts are a thing of the past.

I do realise everything is easier here in 220v country as we only need half the hardware for the same load.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 968
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2020, 11:57 AM »
I like the push-in connectors, I am very glad for us the wire nuts are a thing of the past.

I do realize everything is easier here in 220v country as we only need half the hardware for the same load.

What gauge/mm^2 wire do you guys run in the walls?

Here the biggest issue is our J-boxes (pattress box) haven't changed in 100 years, the form factor of North American switches, plugs are small, so trying to fit 3 wires in there becomes the challenge (really 6 if feeding the next outlet, and 7 if you count box ground).  Even with the 3.5" deep boxes, if you are doing things like wiring a 20A outlet and have it feeding the next one, you have to go to a square box with cover plate or you violate box fill code.  Newer big devices like GFCI outlets compound this.

Offline threesixright

  • Posts: 600
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2020, 01:13 PM »
I like the push-in connectors, I am very glad for us the wire nuts are a thing of the past.

I do realize everything is easier here in 220v country as we only need half the hardware for the same load.

What gauge/mm^2 wire do you guys run in the walls?

Here (EU, not sure if its universal for the whole EU...) 1.5 mm2 for switches and 2.5 mm2 for sockets. But we run 230V  [tongue]

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6849
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2020, 02:02 PM »

What gauge/mm^2 wire do you guys run in the walls?

Here the biggest issue is our J-boxes (pattress box) haven't changed in 100 years, the form factor of North American switches, plugs are small, so trying to fit 3 wires in there becomes the challenge

I almost exclusively use 2.5 mm2 and that's what I find most in installations.

And I think our boxes are also becomming too small, it is amazing how much wire electricians put in those things in new installations. The push in connectors sure help to keep everything more organised than those old wire nuts.

I've also never seen them come loose or oxidise.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1791
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2020, 03:43 PM »
here's a chart showing the relationship between AWG, mm Diameter,  and mm2.
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Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 968
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2020, 04:43 PM »
Quote
I almost exclusively use 2.5 mm2 and that's what I find most in installations.

Quote
Here (EU, not sure if its universal for the whole EU...) 1.5 mm2 for switches and 2.5 mm2 for sockets. But we run 230V

So most wiring in US houses is 15amp circuits, which here is wired with 14 gauge.  So not much of a difference,  the 20A stuff is done with 12gauge.  Code only requires 20A outlets in a few spots.  Better builders will just wire everything in 20A/12gauge, that helps when people have a lot of different plugs in use at the same time on a circuit. But they cheap out on everything, so really you will only see it on a contracted home were you spec such wiring. 

I'm not sure on the 1.5 for switches and 2.5mm for sockets? are you mixing wire sizes in the same circuit?  Or do you not power lights and plugs off the same circuit?  20Amp circuits can become an issue if used with multi switch lighting, as 20A 3ways get expensive, 20A 4 ways are insane prices.  Best practice is to have lights and plugs on separate circuits in a room, but it's not required, and builders cheap out.  Makes doing work in such rooms "fun", want to work on the lights, no working plugs to plug a lamp into.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 7860
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2020, 10:05 PM »
I installed low voltage outdoor landscape lighting throughout the yard 15+ years ago. There are 30 bollard lamps and 20+ downward projecting fence lights plus several spot lights and some individual small spotlights highlighting small sculptures. All use LED lights and have been absolutely bullet proof over the years.

For me, the success in this lighting was guaranteed by tinning every electrical connection so that wire oxidation wouldn't eventually compromise the entire system and render it useless. An oxidized connection is a clear path to electrical resistance, a potential fire hazard and ultimately an electrical failure.

To ensure the success of this, at the time, I installed Wago push-in connectors which were cutting-edge 15 years ago. They've given me absolutely no problems and the lights are operated from dusk-to-dawn 365 days a year in rain and snow...sometimes to the depth of 3 feet.

Around 2 years ago I decided to replace the inexpensive ($10) bollards with some RAB items which are more substantial. Here's a shot of the Wago connector attached to the original bollard after 13 seasons of outdoor service.




The issue I had with the original Wago push-in connector, is that to remove the wire ends from the Wago by twisting the wire, sometimes the wire is held so tight that the stranded wire breaks before the wire connection is released. Thus I've begun the task of replacing the original Wago connectors with the new 221 lever connectors...a huge difference when it comes to operating ease.

Inspite of the code restrictions, I'm also using the Wago 221 lever nuts inside the house for electrical connections. They are so slick...it's too bad the local rules & regulations are sometimes so far behind the current times.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2020, 09:31 AM by Cheese »

Offline AstroKeith

  • Posts: 164
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2020, 05:30 AM »
Quote
I almost exclusively use 2.5 mm2 and that's what I find most in installations.

Quote
Here (EU, not sure if its universal for the whole EU...) 1.5 mm2 for switches and 2.5 mm2 for sockets. But we run 230V

So most wiring in US houses is 15amp circuits, which here is wired with 14 gauge.  So not much of a difference,  the 20A stuff is done with 12gauge.  Code only requires 20A outlets in a few spots.  Better builders will just wire everything in 20A/12gauge, that helps when people have a lot of different plugs in use at the same time on a circuit. But they cheap out on everything, so really you will only see it on a contracted home were you spec such wiring. 

I'm not sure on the 1.5 for switches and 2.5mm for sockets? are you mixing wire sizes in the same circuit?  Or do you not power lights and plugs off the same circuit?  20Amp circuits can become an issue if used with multi switch lighting, as 20A 3ways get expensive, 20A 4 ways are insane prices.  Best practice is to have lights and plugs on separate circuits in a room, but it's not required, and builders cheap out.  Makes doing work in such rooms "fun", want to work on the lights, no working plugs to plug a lamp into.

From what I have learnt, US wiring practice is very different to the UK, and I think EU.

Power sockets are normally fed by a ring main, ie the 2.5mm cable goes from one socket to the next and then finally back to the same breaker in the consumer unit (switch box). Here it is protected by a 32A breaker. A typical house may have two rings, upstairs and downstairs. As extensions are built then typically extra rings are added. It is allowed to run any number of spurs off to one double socket each from any point in a ring using 2.5mm. When I refurbished our kitchen I added its own dedicated ring (32A) plus a dedicated feed (4mm) to the cooker, 32A. The house is 60 years old and when I took the old kitchen apart I discovered the cooker was on a 2.5mm spur, off another 2.5mm spur!!!

Star wiring is not commonly used. If so typically a 20A breaker is used in the consumer unit.

High power items (ovens etc) have their own dedicated cable and breaker.

Lighting (1.5mm) are also on rings but separate. Each ring will have a 5A breaker.

Nowadays we have Residual current breakers RCCDs (Earth leakage) in the consumer unit, usually one for each bank of say 6 breakers. Thus the whole house is protected in one go.

Our UK plugs have fuses, 3, 5 or 13Amp. These are to protect the power cord and attached equipment. Our plugs are big so as to house the fuse. The pins are long and include an insulated section. It is impossible to get fingers to touch the live part of a pin while inserting the plug. All our plugs have an earth pin even if the equipment doesn't need an earth, in which case it is a plastic pin. This is needed as the socket contains shutters to stop 'items' being poked into the line and neutral holes and the shutter is opened by the action of the (longer) part pin. I think the UK is unique in having fused plugs?

Last figures I saw we were down to about 60 deaths pa from electrocution in the UK (pop 70million). Most of these are humans doing something they really shouldn't. The widespread use of RCCDs has vastly reduced accidental electrocution.

So with a ring main, there should never be more than three cables in the back of a socket. The ring in and out, plus a spur. A typical pattress box is 35mm deep, but 25mm are increasingly common. Many newer sockets are designed to fit even the 25mm deep mattresses and still enable three cables. I even have some that have built in USB chargers that fit a 25mm pattress - can be tight though.

A ring main, plus our socket terminal can accommodate three 2.5mm wires, means that wire nuts aren't commonly needed in the UK. A long time ago ceramic wire nuts were used, but these proved nasty (brittle etc( and the whole concept fell out of favour in the UK. If we wanted to splice wires we would use screw terminals in a dedicated junction box. This is what has now been replaced by Wago blocks in junction boxes.

It is now illegal to do wiring unless you are qualified, (similarly for gas) or you get it inspected and tested by someone who is. I dont think this happens much from the amount of stuff that is bought in DIY stores.
Retired engineer/scientist

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6849
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2020, 05:55 AM »
I'm not sure on the 1.5 for switches and 2.5mm for sockets? are you mixing wire sizes in the same circuit? 

It's not true, there is no set rule to this. You can buy the 1.5 mm wires, but out of convenience most people and especially professional electricians use 2.5 mm wires only because you are certain they can take the load.

The issue I had with the original Wago push-in connector, is that to remove the wire ends from the Wago by twisting the wire, sometimes the wire is held so tight that the stranded wire breaks before the wire connection is released. Thus I've begun the task of replacing the original Wago connectors with the new 221 lever connectors...a huge difference when it comes to operating ease.

You are not supposed to use any of those connectors with stranded wires, only with solid wires.

Offline MikeGE

  • Posts: 171
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2020, 08:52 AM »
You are not supposed to use any of those connectors with stranded wires, only with solid wires.

Correct!  However, if the situation requires the use of stranded wire and solid conductor wire is not available, the only acceptable solution (according to my electrical inspector) is to use crimp ferrules on the wire first to effectively make it a solid conductor.  I doubt he would like using this on the Wago connectors, but when attaching cables to screw terminal blocks, not having the properly crimped ferrules will result in a fail.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6849
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2020, 09:52 AM »
You are not supposed to use any of those connectors with stranded wires, only with solid wires.

Correct!  However, if the situation requires the use of stranded wire and solid conductor wire is not available, the only acceptable solution (according to my electrical inspector) is to use crimp ferrules on the wire first to effectively make it a solid conductor.  I doubt he would like using this on the Wago connectors, but when attaching cables to screw terminal blocks, not having the properly crimped ferrules will result in a fail.

Over here in Holland only solid wires are allowed for steady installations. Stranded wires are for things that get plugged into sockets, that are moveable and require flexibility, you are not allowed to make them part of the building.
   
Those crimp ferrules are indeed often used with stranded wires, but with screw terminals only, you should not stick them into the Wago connectors discussed here. I doubt they even fit.

Offline AstroKeith

  • Posts: 164
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2020, 09:54 AM »
Wrong I"m afraid!
The 2773 series is compatible with solid & stranded.

I'm not sure on the 1.5 for switches and 2.5mm for sockets? are you mixing wire sizes in the same circuit? 
You are not supposed to use any of those connectors with stranded wires, only with solid wires.
Retired engineer/scientist

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 968
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2020, 12:25 PM »
The lever locks have usage with stranded and solid as one of the main selling points. Great for connecting light fixtures which often come with 16awg stranded.

Not sure why your codes would take issue with stranded wire in the structure, what do you pull thru conduit?  What do you use for service into the house?

The Typical NM-B  aka (nomex) aka (non-metalic), sheathed wiring used in most residential applications is solid wire, but larger sizes are stranded, and if you are building with conduit, you have to pull individual wires, and that will generally be stranded. Some parts of the country are more extreme like Chicago area, I believe they still require conduit or armored cable for everything, there are special J-boxes just for that part of the country for their codes. Commercial work/multi unit work is also often still conduit or non-metalic.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6849
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2020, 01:23 PM »
Wrong I"m afraid!
The 2773 series is compatible with solid & stranded.

No, I am right I am afraid. Sorry. [tongue]

On the Wago website you can read they make a difference between Solid, Stranded and Fine Stranded wires.

The 2773 series you mention here are compatible with Stranded or 7-Stranded wires as they call it. Not with Fine Stranded wires. I was reacting to Cheese, and he clearly used Fine Stranded wires. The Fine Stranded wires are most common. Good luck trying to push those in. It only worked for Cheese because he tinned the ends together.

Here Wago shows what is compatible in their promo vid for 2773 series connectors:



And these are the Fine stranded wires I was talking about:



And these are the 7 Stranded wires they mean:



Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6849
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #29 on: July 25, 2020, 01:31 PM »
The lever locks have usage with stranded and solid as one of the main selling points. Great for connecting light fixtures which often come with 16awg stranded.

Yes, the lever locks can have all the stranded wires in the world. No pushing in required when the lever is open.

Not sure why your codes would take issue with stranded wire in the structure,

Well, I meant the fine stranded wires. They can't take the loads required for a house.

what do you pull thru conduit? 

What does that mean?

What do you use for service into the house?

What does that mean?  [smile]