How to Attach 10 AWG Stranded Wire to Screw Terminals

Written by jonra springs
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How to Attach 10 AWG Stranded Wire to Screw Terminals
Some receptacles are made to accommodate 10 AWG stranded wires. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Stranded wire connection is a challenge for screw terminals with large wire diameters, such as 10 AWG. Any strands that are not securely contained under the terminal could contact other metals and create a short. There are three recommendations for securing multiple wire strands under screw terminals safely and efficiently. The strands can be twisted together, placed under terminal clamp plates or attached to spade terminal connectors for securing under screw terminals.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Slotted screwdriver
  • Spade terminal connector
  • Connector crimp tool, or pliers

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    Strand Consolidation

  1. 1

    Pinch the bare wire strand of the 10-gauge wire between your thumb and forefinger. Grab the insulated wire section just below the strands in your other hand and twist the strands together until they are collected into one wire braid.

  2. 2

    Wrap the wire braid around the screw terminal in the clockwise direction.

  3. 3

    Slowly tighten the screw terminal. Push any strands that protrude from under the screw head back under with a slotted screwdriver. Tighten the screw terminal securely with all strands contained under the screw head.

    Back Wiring

  1. 1

    Loosen the screw terminal equipped for back wiring enough to raise the connector clamp plate to create room for a 10 AWG wire. Many screw terminals have a plate under the screw head that is something of a squared washer and acts like a clamp for stranded wires placed underneath it.

  2. 2

    Push the strands under the connector clamp plate. Make certain all the wire strands are under the plate.

  3. 3

    Tighten the screw terminal slowly and see that the strands remain under the clamp plate until firmly secured.

    Spade Terminal Connection

  1. 1

    Push the strands of a stripped 10-gauge wire into the crimp sleeves of a spade terminal.

  2. 2

    Crimp the spade terminal around the wire strands with a crimping tool or pliers. Crimp all the wire strands firmly into the sleeve for a secure connection.

  3. 3

    Slip the forked spade terminal connector under the terminal screw head. Tighten the screw terminal firmly over the connector.

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