I am trying to splice a third copper wire to two currently present wires inside the electrical box of my switch I am trying to replace. Most resources online are telling me to use a wire nut to attach the third copper wire but perhaps I am just not skilled enough but I am having major difficulties doing this. The wires seem to be 12 awg solid copper wires and are very difficult to twist and bend in such a tight space.

My question is; Is there an easier way to splice this third copper wire without using a wire nut? I have used special splicers for speaker wire before but those don't seem strong enough for solid copper wires. Thank you.

  • Have you tried using a pair of pliers for leverage when pretwisting them together before putting the nut on? Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 1:32
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    Three #12 solid copper wires will fit neatly in the proper size wire nut. I use a red ScotchLok for that. A yellow color coded wire nut is too small. A grey color coded one might be too large. It can be very hard to attach wire nuts if there is not plenty of conductor. There is supposed to be 6 inches of conductor past the outside of the box. I do not pretwist solid copper wires. The wire nuts are designed to screw onto and tighten onto straight solid wires. If you pretwist three #12 copper wires the resulting bundle may expand so much that the bundle will not fit in a red ScotchLok. Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 1:35
  • @ThreePhaseEel I have, but the wires are barely long enough to come out of the box.
    – Derek D
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 1:37
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    Six inches of conductor past the wall is the code, I think. Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 1:43

1 Answer 1


What you're looking for is a "push-in wire connector" that looks something like

push-in wall nut or lever type wall nut.

These don't require nearly the gymnastics required of twist-on type connectors, make a more secure connection over time, and aren't much more expensive either.


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