4

Went to Lowe's and bought the materials to pig-tail an electrical outlet. The guy had me buy some wire nuts. But the outlet and I am going to run the additional outlet from has 3 wire nuts already.

Can't I just reuse the wire nuts?

  • I frequently reuse good quality wire nuts, but I always change out any remaining original "builder grade" wire nuts when I encounter them. Is your wiring copper or aluminum? – Jim Stewart Jun 30 '17 at 11:48
  • I realize you're not a contractor, but as a contractor we always required our service people to use all new material including wire nuts, as a matter of warranty and liability. So why take the chance? – Retired Master Electrician Jun 30 '17 at 18:00
  • Thanks for the great info. I think I have Romex for copper? – Quang Vo Jul 1 '17 at 4:17
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Wire nuts have improved in leaps and bounds in the past 20 years, so if a wire nut is clunky or finicky, I toss it out immediately and replace with new. I will only reuse one if it seems to be performing "tip top".

It isn't like you have to evaluate each nut individually. There are probably only 1 or 2 types in use in your building, you soon learn which aren't very good.

Also, wire nuts are only expensive when buying them in small lots, and you're paying for packaging and the big-box store premium. Once you are buying them in bulk, they're too cheap to care about.

There's also a question of size. Wire nuts have a working range, and it's best to be sort-of in the middle of their range. For instance I like yellow wire nuts for 2 wires, maybe 3; for 3 or more I prefer red. On the fringe of their working range, they will often give unreliable results.

Lastly, don't use wire nuts for aluminum, even if they're purple. Use Alumiconns and an AFCI breaker.

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