WIRENUTS – Why So Many, What They’re For

Ever wondered why are there so many colors, types and sizes of wirenuts out there? Well today we’re going to break into it.

Wire nuts are what we electricians use out in the field to connect one conductor to another. The problems we often run into are that sometimes we need to connect multiple conductors together, or that we need to connect LARGE conductors together. In these situations you will need to have some options of sizes to use. Another reason for the diverse selection of wirenuts out there is the environmental factors they may be used in. Some wirenuts need to handle oxidation better than others as they’re joining copper and aluminum conductors together. Others may need to repel/resist moisture as they’re being buried directly in soil, and others still may need to resist extreme heat. So let’s dive into all of the different types out there currently.


1) SMALL GRAYS – (3) #22AWG – (2) #16AWG low voltage, cat 5, security, doorbell/chime applications

2) SMALL BLUES – (3) #20AWG – (3) #16AWG low voltage, cat 5, security, doorbell/chime applications

3) ORANGES – (1) #18AWG – (2) #14AWG fixture wires, small residential conductors, speaker wires

4) YELLOWS – (2) #18AWG – (3) #12AWG tight fit residential applications, multi-gang switch boxes, pancakes

5) WHITES – (2) #20AWG – (3) #10AWG most residential applications (widest range of applications)

6) REDS – (2) #18AWG – (4) #12AWG most used residential wirenut because of number of conductors in one wirenut

7) BIG BLUES – (3) #12AWG – [(1) #6AWG + (2) #8AWG] used for multiple #12s in large quantity terminations such as multi-gang switches, also used in a lot of commercial applications to make joints on #6 and #8 AWG conductors


8) CRIMP SLEEVES – varying sizes made For insulated crimped terminations, often come in fixtures from manufacturer or automotive applications. – intended for permanent termination

9) GREENIES – (2) #14AWG – (4) #12AWG “ground wirenuts” – Listed for use with equipment grounding conductors

10) PURPLES – coalr wirenuts Listed for use with copper and aluminum terminations

11) BLACKS – high temp wirenuts Listed for use at 302 degrees fehrenheit environments

12) LIGHT BLUES – moisture-resistant wirenuts Listed for direct burial in earth

13) DUAL-RATED – multiple colors depending on mixed sizes Brings two different size ranges together in one wirenut

There are, of course many different brands that will slightly differ in sizes, but for the most part they’re all similar to the ideal options shown in this video. As with everything in the electrical trade, we are supposed to install materials that are listed for appropriate use. Make sure you’re using the correct wirenuts for the application that you have in front of you.

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