Fitting twisted, stranded wires into MK logic plus double sockets

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by WannaLearnMore, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. WannaLearnMore

    WannaLearnMore New Member

    I noticed in a lot of reviews, that people were saying the terminal holes aren't that big and can be difficult fitting the twisted wires in, but my god! I didn't think it'd be THAT difficult. I want to replace a double socket and have purchased the mentioned socket as I've always found other MK products to be reliable. But does anyone have any tips on twisting the two sets of wires together so they'll fit in neatly? Each strand, on it's own is quite a thick guage so it makes it that bit harder twisting one set onto the other so that you get a thin, but reasonable length, tried using pliers, but it's hard to twist them at the right point (if that makes any sense), I thought about snapping some of the strands, but then realised (schoolboy error?), that the strands must be thick for a reason, ie. to carry large a large current, and I'm sure by cutting some strands away, the remaining strands, will surely get quite hot!. Whats best to use, long nose pliers for accuracy, but difficult, to twist the two pairs of strands tight enough to fit into terminals, or normal size pliers, that I found allow me to twist them together tighter and more narrower, but more difficult to twist neatly so that the joined strands are actually long enough to stay in the terminals lol. I'm sure someone out there must've had the same horrible time fitting these sockets!
  2. Lectrician

    Lectrician Screwfix Select

    Why are you twisting them together?

    Stranded cables should be gently twisted on their own, not in bunches.

    The terminals are designed for 3 x 4mm conductors. That is ample! Never had a problem with them :)
    FatHands likes this.
  3. Caddy

    Caddy Active Member

    I tend not to twist them, start with a nice clean stripped end leave them straight and the strands find there own way to settle together.. But never twist them both together
    FatHands likes this.
  4. seneca

    seneca Screwfix Select

    As already said DONT twist the strands or twist cables together! They take up more space when twisted.
  5. Lectrician

    Lectrician Screwfix Select

    If cores are going into a vice type terminal, don't twist anything.
    If cores are going into a screw terminal, twist the strands on individual cables gently. (IMO, and my teachings, this is best).

    NEVER twist cores of one cable with another. It was done like this in the 70's and before, but not these days.
  6. seneca

    seneca Screwfix Select

    Lec, I have found when putting a couple of old 7/029's etc. into an mcb on c/unit changes that the cables seem to settle better if the strands are left straight.
  7. Lectrician

    Lectrician Screwfix Select

    Exactly, an MCB is a vice type terminal ;-)
  8. unphased

    unphased Screwfix Select

    I think in the early days Chubby Checker had a big influence on wire terminations.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  9. diymostthings

    diymostthings Well-Known Member

    I can sympathise with this observation. I have resorted to soldering the wires together - they then hold together when pushing into the terminal holes and tightening. Especially useful with shallow back boxes and/or limited length of wire.

  10. seneca

    seneca Screwfix Select

    Soldering is not good, "cold flow" can cause the screws to become loose. This was found quite a few years ago when manufacturers used to tin the ends of mains leads on TV's etc, during my time in the trade I came across quite a few blown-up switch-mode power supplies due to loose terminals in plugs, usually the neutral!
  11. Bazza-spark

    Bazza-spark Well-Known Member

    Its actually against the Regs to solder them. Can't remember the number off the top of my head but solder shouid only be used with erminals designed for soldering.

    Kind regards

    FatHands likes this.
  12. sparkyeric

    sparkyeric New Member

    WannaLearnMore, post: 1282035

    Hi mate youve probably done the job now but as a sparky for 30 years my advice would be proper electrical crimps with tongue ends (think there called splice crimps) the blue ones will fit stranded cables makes life so much easier.
    Regards SE
  13. Lectrician

    Lectrician Screwfix Select

    The over the top recommendations in this thread are amazing...
  14. unphased

    unphased Screwfix Select

    Yes. Make sure you cut the insulation 6.5mm on each wire and sleeve the cpc exactly 6.5mm short. :D
  15. Coloumb

    Coloumb Well-Known Member

    MK are the only sockets that will take 2 x 6mm, I had to use them a while back for a 6mm radial as I couldn't get any 4mm. Wasn't easy to wire but then again wasn't that hard either. No twisting needed at all as I recall.
  16. sinewave

    sinewave Screwfix Select

    Anything up to 4mm then twist slightly on individual cables but not multiples together.

    6mm or bigger untwist after stripping and leave flat as they will loosen off over time and cause problems.

    Meter Tails especially are prone to this.
  17. spinlondon

    spinlondon Well-Known Member

    Not aware of any Regulation prohibiting the soldering of cables.

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