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Thread: Looking for ideas on connecting 120vAC (mains) wiring

  1. #1
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    Default Looking for ideas on connecting 120vAC (mains) wiring

    I've done all the "hard" design and building, with just some simple connections left to be made. Simplifying the description, I basically have to tie together (in parallel) 5 120vAC circuits - that is, line, neutral and ground each. I have limited space to fit this into, and it needs to be water-resistant (wiring enters from the bottom, but the top & sides are plastic without any entry points for water). I don't like to use giant wire nuts for this type of work. The input is #10AWG stranded copper, the outputs (4) are #16AWG stranded copper. I would like to use crimp-on ring terminals on the stranded conductors, then some type of terminal block or stud to connect the ring terminals together.

    Problem is that local vendors (big box - HD, Lowes, etc) have plenty of terminal strips, but no terminal bus bars (other than for neutral/grounding in breaker panels - and for solid conductor wires). The terminal strips are all "n x 2", meaning "n" circuits, connecting two wires each. I know that terminal strips/bus bars are available online, but I don't have time to wait for delivery. Does anyone have a suggestion for sourcing something like this (terminal strips) at local brick and mortar stores (sometimes knowing the right name/trade name helps) - or another method for connecting 120v conductors together?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Looking for ideas on connecting 120vAC (mains) wiring

    If you are a prime member, this may work for you. https://www.amazon.com/Terminal-Nega...%2C175&sr=8-14

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Looking for ideas on connecting 120vAC (mains) wiring

    I use that for my low voltage distribution (works well). It's only rated for 24v (and I don't need/want fused distribution). Good thought though.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Looking for ideas on connecting 120vAC (mains) wiring

    What about push in terminal connectors? I know you specified using crimp terminals but if you can't find buss bars these might be worth considering. They're rated for typical 120 mains voltage and readily available at Lowes or Home Depot. They have different ones for different wire gauge and port number. For example: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Ideal-In...-203734782-_-N

    Since you require 5 parallel connections, you could take two of the 4-port connectors and connect them together, push in one source wire, then push in the remaining five wires you need to connect and then repeat this for ground, neut, and line.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Looking for ideas on connecting 120vAC (mains) wiring

    Check out Wago connectors. You can get them with 2, 3 or 5 wire entries.

    www.da-share.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Looking for ideas on connecting 120vAC (mains) wiring

    Thanks for both suggestions above. Researching to see if either/both can accommodate the type/gauge of wiring I'm using.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Looking for ideas on connecting 120vAC (mains) wiring

    Try aan electrical supply house, ask for a terminal strip with jumpers. There are many types . Graninger should have them, Mouser and Newark will have them also.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Looking for ideas on connecting 120vAC (mains) wiring

    The simplest work-around for now ... depending on the size of the ring terminal (they vary from #6 stud to 3/8" bolt).

    Match the ring sizes (1/4" is a good start). Simply have a 1/4x20 nut and bolt and tie the hots together, the neutrals together and the equipment grounds together. Tape the bolts and rings with 3-5 layers of 3M 33 tape for insulation. DONE. The dielectric of the 3M tape is sufficient so insure the connections are taped and no exposed metal. You do not have to tape the equipment ground - as we leave bare copper in boxes when using ROMEX in residential jobs. It is your choice to tape it or not.

    In the field, we do this quite often - especially for dual voltage motors. This is a standard procedure when wire nuts are not allowed. For 120v, nothing fancy needs to be done.
    -Eddie

    The missus wants to ride!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Looking for ideas on connecting 120vAC (mains) wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by David_AVD View Post
    Check out Wago connectors. You can get them with 2, 3 or 5 wire entries.

    Wago wire nuts are rated for 20A and the largest wire size is #12
    -Eddie

    The missus wants to ride!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Looking for ideas on connecting 120vAC (mains) wiring

    Just curious why you skipped over the panel buss bars you mentioned in the first post. There's nothing stopping you from using three of those, one for hot, one for neutral, and one for ground. Just because they're usually used for neutral and ground in a panel doesn't mean you can't use them for the hots too. You just need to mount them so they're insulated. A plastic backerboard would work just fine for that. Or if it's designed that the mounting studs are insulated, you could even mount it to metal.

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