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I am trying to plug 3 stranded wires into a 3-conductor pushwire wago (see below).

The pushwire is made for 0.5-2.5mm², so it should be technically compatible. The issue is that the stranded wire split and doesn't plug itself into the socket properly.

Is there a specific way to plug it, or a safe workaround?

The pushwire looks like this:

Pushwire wago

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  • 3
    Glad you got an answer. For future reference, actual pics of your wire and wiring attempts are more useful than a stock image of the connector involved. Also, it's considered appropriate to list the source of your images (if they're not obviously pics of your own).
    – FreeMan
    Oct 10, 2022 at 11:40
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    There are crimp terminals that you can use but getting the correct connector is likely cheaper.
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 10, 2022 at 11:49
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    I'm not an electrician, but I wonder if you could solder the exposed stranded wire to make it appear solid? Oct 10, 2022 at 23:30
  • 1
    If this is for low-voltage or "signal" wires you can often make it work by VERY CAREFULLY twisting the wire ends tight, then very carefully inserting them. You should not, of course, do this with power wires.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 11, 2022 at 2:30
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    @OutstandingBill No, don't you ever try to do that. Soldering anything that's going to be clamped/screwed down is a really bad idea. Solder is too soft for that and will gradually deform under the clamping pressure, compromising contact and creating a hotspot (fire risk).
    – TooTea
    Oct 11, 2022 at 10:22

6 Answers 6

41

The image you posted is a Wago 2273-203

This connector isn't made for stranded wire, it is designed exclusively for solid wire.

Why don't you use one of the Wago 221 series? Houses both solid and stranded wire. Is (more or less) worldwide up to code.

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    This. The posted version is a one-time use that relies on a solid wire to push through teeth that bites into the wire to keep it secure. The stranded wires are not strong enough to do that, and the teeth will actually rip off the strands when pulled, creating a very dangerous situation.
    – Nelson
    Oct 11, 2022 at 8:53
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    @Nelson While they are kind of annoying to release, they are technically not one-time use. (Source in German)
    – AndreKR
    Oct 13, 2022 at 1:58
  • @AndreKR Ah, you're right. Here's a PDF with instructions: free-instruction-manuals.com/pdf/pa_1597529.pdf "To remove, simply twist and pull the connector and conductor at the same time." But for sure a stranded wire won't be able to handle that and it'll cut the thinner strands.
    – Nelson
    Oct 18, 2022 at 8:32
19

That connector is only for solid wires according to the manufacturer.

COMPACT splicing connector; for solid conductors; max. 2.5 mm²;

Push-in termination of up to eight solid conductors

PUSH WIRE® connection terminates solid (“s”) copper conductors

0
4

Using the appropriate connector as suggested by @Martin is the correct solution.

In case that is not possible, a safe alternative is crimping a ferrule connector that will allow a stable connection to be made. The one linked is an example, there are different colors\types depending on the current rating that you can choose from depending on your application.

Be mindful that also the length of the ferrule changes, so look for the datasheet of the specific one you are thinking to buy to make sure it is of the right length to make proper contact in the connector.

It is also a bit more difficult to crimp and use it properly, so might be better to use them only if you have the proper equipment and in low voltage applications.

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    Voted up because it's good to have it mentioned here. But IMO for DIY high voltage in-wall non-professional use this is not a good approach. If you don't get practiced with the ferrule crimper you are creating an additional point of failure and unreliability. The 221 solution is better for low-volume homeowner use because it's incredibly easy to become good at it, there are fewer problems with mixing solid and stranded wires of different gauges successfully and it's harder to damage wires especially old brittle ones because there is so little stress put on them.
    – jay613
    Oct 11, 2022 at 16:26
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    The ferrule in your link has a metal part 8mm long. This is not enough to reach the end of the wago push connector in the question, which (from memory) requires 11mm of bare conductor.
    – Ralph
    Oct 12, 2022 at 8:49
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    @Ralph Yeah, the skirt on most ferrules will not allow you to insert them deep enough into most Wago-likes. There are extra-long ferrules on the market, but watch out for compatibility with your crimper (they can be too long for some crimpers and not crimp properly). Skirtless ferrules are another option, but they're a bit harder to work with.
    – TooTea
    Oct 12, 2022 at 11:31
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    Yeah definitely not the best solution for high voltage stuff in general, but it should be good enough for low voltage stuff. Length is also something else to be aware of, I'll update the answer with those details.
    – bracco23
    Oct 12, 2022 at 17:06
  • Your regular reminder that "low-voltage" doesn't mean what you think it means. Home owners will never encounter anything except "low voltage". For those Europeans with 415V three-phase power: that's still "low voltage"; "medium voltage" starts around 2kV. Oct 13, 2022 at 9:48
3

You could buy a different product rated for stranded wires like this:

Ideal In-Sure® Push-In Wire Connector, Model 33 3-Port Orange

enter image description here

2

You need the right connector for the job.

IEC 60228 divides conductors into four classes.

  • Class 1 is solid conductors.
  • Class 2 is conductors with a small number of coarse strands.
  • Class 5 is flexible conductors (as would be found in an appliance flex)
  • Class 6 is very flexible conductors (generally seen in special applications like test leads)

(there do not appear to be a class 3 and 4, presumablly they were used in some now obsolete standard).

Wago's data sheets use the terms "solid", "stranded" and "fine stranded" but don't reference any definitions for those terms. I assume that when they say "stranded" they mean Class 2 conductors and when they say "fine stranded" they mean Class 5 conductors.

Some of the push wire wago terminals are listed as suitable only for solid conductors while others are listed as suitable for both solid and stranded conductors. None of them are listed as suitable for fine stranded conductors.

If you have fine stranded conductors and want to use WAGO terminals then you need to use the models with a lever to release the spring clamp.

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You can tin the stranded wires which will make them more stiff and they will go thru the connector and lock in. Thats what I did. If you dont know what tinning is Google it. Heat the wire first then apply rosin core 60/40, itDon't use will flow into the wire. Dont buy that lead free solder its crap.

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  • Tinning stranded wired ends is not equivalent to a solid wire Nov 5, 2023 at 2:40

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