Just bought a log home built in 1980. Doing some remodeling /updating. Almost all the junction boxes have 3M Scotchlok in them. Sometimes they are referred to as "vampire connectors."

Are these connectors up to code? I'm thinking of taking them all out and using the standard twist wire connectors.

The connectors are sized properly. For example, the kitchen outlets are on a 20 amp circuit with 12 gauge wire. The Scotchlok connector model used is 562. Looking on the connector it says "10-12 GA". Looking online I found the product sheet and it is UL 486C compliant as well (not sure that meets the NEC code for wiring a home).

I'm used to seeing these used in car audio stuff... Not in the home. And they usually end up having problems... Like not making a good connection, or failing altogether.


  • I'll let the real electricians weigh in on this one, but I think there's a major difference between these failing with thin stranded wire versus thicker solid household wiring. Aug 13 '16 at 14:00
  • I doubt that a decent electrician would ever use those. Frankly if I ever saw an electrician using those, that would be the last time I would work with them. Aug 15 '16 at 0:35

I checked the spec on the Scotchlok 562 tap connectors. They are UL listed for solid and stranded wire and rated at 600 volts. I have seen them used in manufactured housing before, but rarely. Here is the link to the manufacturers specifications for this product. http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/EMDCI/Home/Products/ProductCatalog/~/3M-Scotchlok-Electrical-IDC-562-BOX-Double-Run-or-Tap-Flame-Retardant-Yellow-12-AWG-solid-stranded-10-AWG-stranded-100-per-carton-1000-per-case?N=5430181+4294891913&rt=rud


Car audio ? Thought that would more be solder and heatshrink or crimps?

Well they are commonly and reliably used for telephone cabling. Don't see many issues with them in that application.

Also tend to see them for irrigation solenoids and same story.

If anything wire nuts are frowned upon in other parts of the world.


No, these are NOT to code for household electrical use. Don't use these. You're only allowed to use twist on wire nuts or a "push on" wire nut (I forget the proper name of them, but they are considerably more expensive compared to traditional wire nuts)

  • 1
    The Scotchlok "vampire taps" are UL listed in the same category ZMVV as every UL listed wire nut on the planet...so Code can't tell the difference either. Aug 13 '16 at 21:29

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