Originally Posted by Bradley
Would there be anything improper about trimming off enough wire strands so that a yellow (#10) connector could be crimped on to the # 6 wire and be sure to use heat shrink the crimp to seal the joint. Seems like this would be less work and one less failure and corrosion
Since #6 AWG wire is roughly twice the diameter (but about 4 times the cross-sectional area) of #12 AWG wire*, connecting the two sizes together is problematic.
The “proper” way to change wire gauges would be to use ring terminals on a terminal or stud block, or a step-down crimping sleeve (butt splice). Unfortunately, the terminal block is large & unsightly, and step down but splices are only available in smaller sizes (maximum I’ve seen are #8 to #10-12).
I don't recommend trimming strands off the larger wire, as this further decreases the ampacity of the installation
This leaves two practical “work-around” alternatives, neither of which is entirely satisfactory:
- Utilizing a #6AWG butt splice, install the stripped #12 AWG conductor bent back on itself 3 or 4 times, making it roughly the same size as the #6 open barrel end.
- Utilize a #4 AWG butt splice, inserting the stripped and bent double #12 & single
#6 conductors into the same barrel end, and sealing the unused end. This method allows both conductors to be tied together, preventing flexure on the smaller wire.
*In American Wire Gage every 6 gauge decrease gives a doubling of the wire diameter, and every 3 gauge decrease doubles the wire cross sectional area.
#6 = 0.1620" diameter, 24,358 CM2 area
#12 = 0.0808" diameter, 5,833 CM2 area
CM2 = Circular Mills
Pictured is a Blue #14-16 to Red #18-20 Step-Down Butt Splice