GOING NUTS WITH WIRE NUTS!
What’s the deal with wire nuts, and why can’t I use whatever I pick up at the store? Believe it or not, there are different kinds of wire nuts for different electrical application. There are even different sizes of wire nuts for the many different sizes of cabling on the market. Luckily for you, this post just focuses on the wire nuts needed for landscape lighting.
DIRECT BURIAL IS THE NAME OF THE GAME!
Just as the title says “Direct Burial is the Name of the Game”. Direct burial wire nuts are still new enough that most homeowners don’t even know they exist. These type of wire nuts were invented to give you the flexibility to bury your splices straight into the ground, no longer do you need to have a junction box at each splice. Direct burial nuts are water proof, corrosion proof, impact resistant, and dirt proof. No, you can’t submerge these straight into a puddle and hope for them to hold true forever. Each wire nut is filled with a silicone sealant that will never harden. This silicone forms a protection around the cut wire splice to protect it from all the elements, even bugs.
ARE THESE WIRE NUTS AS EASY TO USE AS IT SOUNDS?
We have all heard the catchy phrase, “Easy as 1, 2 and 3”. I would be a truth stretcher if I didn’t agree with that saying right now. With a wire cutter and stripper combo tool, you will see it’s as easy as 1, 2, and 3:
1. Cut your wire
2. Strip the outer sleeve of the wire on both freshly cut ends, and match up your wire jacket colors, and strip those ends to expose the wire.
3. Insert both cut ends of the wire into one direct burial wire nut, and give the nut a twist.
Now look at that, a fresh new splice! One of the coolest features about the direct burial wire nut is that there is no pre-twisting of splices anymore. Just match up your similar colored ends and give the nut a twist instead. You will experience some pig tail like twisting in the line of the wire, but that’s ok. Also, be sure to wipe some of the silicone around the bottom of the wire nut. A little will push out when you insert the wires into the nut. This is ok, just smooth out the bottom to finish off your element tight connection.
ANY MORE PRO TIPS?
With a few more tips you will be able to get your new install completed quickly, and be able to enjoy the rest of your day, and hopefully this saves you from some headaches.
- Create a map of your yard, and where you have ran wire. Keep this map in a safe place that can be quickly referenced to in the future.
- Keep extra wire nuts on hand. Accidents do happen.
- Be sure to pick the right colored bottom for your wire needs. Different size wire will use a different colored wire nut.
- Do not keep your splices submerged in water. This has been mentioned twice now. Yes, this has happened.
With that said.. go forth and twist!