Can I use C-taps for irreversible splicing of GEC?

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I just installed my own solar system here. I used grey Compression Connector C-Taps to connect my two circuits on the roof to the GEC running to the main service panel. The inspector said that the c-taps I used were probably not meant for that purpose. Unfortunately, it was a long run from the array to the sub panel where I landed, and I ended up using 2 wire pulls and again spliced even this GEC.. What can I do?

Chad Southard

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Posted 2 years ago

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Jagged Ben, Champion

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"were probably not meant for that purpose"

Probably he is wrong, but it depends specifically on which c-taps you used. The question is whether they are listed as grounding and bonding equipment.

Since you mentioned grey, it sounds like you could be using Thomas and Betts Colored Keyed c-taps. Those are UL listed as grounding and bonding equipment, and the document is KDER.E3060. http://database.ul.com/cgi-bin/XYV/te...

If you are using something else, try going to ul.com, click on Certifications, and search the database by the manufacturer name and the UL Category Code KDER (which is for grounding), and see if you can find the catalog number.

Chad Southard

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Jagged Ben-

thanks so much for your info. This is great. I am indeed using Thomas and Betts color keyed c-taps. I really appreciate your help. This forum and people like you have helped me make this happen. Much obliged. I will print out the document and present it to the inspector. I think this will work

Jagged Ben, Champion

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You might also want to print a catalog description from T&B's website so you can match the T&B catalog number to the UL document.

Good luck.

Jacob Michals, Community Manager

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@Chad

Let us know how this goes with the inspector and congrats on installing the system.

Jacob Michals
Enphase Community Manager

Chad Southard

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Hi guys-

I so sent the info to the inspector, who responded that there is nothing there that lists it as an acceptable irreversible crimp. The NEC states it needs to be a listed approved pressure connector. Any thoughts on how to convince this guy?

Chad

Jagged Ben, Champion

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Okay, I looked closer at the files. For some stupid reason the grey c-tap, (cat. no. 54715), alone all by itself, is in a different UL file, KDER.E9809.

http://database.ul.com/cgi-bin/XYV/te...

It's listed as:
"Die series pressure cable and grounding connector, Cat. No. 54715." That should be pretty dang crystal clear.

Also give him the PDF product description and point out that it uses the word 'compression' three times.
http://www-public.tnb.com/fulltilt/pd...

Show him those things and, if that doesn't convince him, then nothing will.

An irreversible splice is simply one that can't be undone without cutting the conductors, so there is no question about that here.

Jason Szumlanski, Champion

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I've seen other installers use split-bolt connectors for this purpose. That clearly should not pass inspection, but it does around here. We use the C-taps you mentioned, and have no problems. Of course, you need a relatively expensive crimper to use them, probably explaining why our competitors don't use them.

Dave R, Champion

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No kidding - looking on Grainger the T&B crimpers are somewhere between $750.

Are there more affordable crimpers / crimps geared for more light duty use that are UL approved?

Jason Szumlanski, Champion

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I think mine was about $400, and it does up to 4/0 cable crimps. It is very nice, but a bit cumbersome when working on little #6 crimps. I'm not sure if there is a listed handheld crimper for this. The good thing is that my crimper has dies for just about every size wire I need to splice in my line of work.

Ted Panofsky, Champion

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I have this one: http://www.harborfreight.com/hydrauli....
Won't do 4/0, but will do from 0 to 14. $50 on sale right now.

Probably not UL approved though...

Chad Southard

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I bought this same HF crimper, but found that the dies were all off considerably. Also, the hydraulic broke after 2 crimps. Ya get some good ones, ya get some bad ones.

Chad Southard

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Update: I provided the inspector with a lot of literature, and he ultimately agreed that the c-taps were acceptable. Passed inspection today.

My research found that the NEC requires a continuous, unbroken GEC but that splices were acceptable if it was either a) an exothermic weld or b) an irreversible crimp made with a listed pressure connector approved for grounding and bonding.

Split bolts therefore do not seem to meet this specification. But C-taps, properly crimped, do.

Thanks for all the help!

Jagged Ben, Champion

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Congrats Chad. Glad to help!

Chad Southard

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Thanks Jagged Ben. Are you an installer/electrician/?

Jagged Ben, Champion

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Yup.

Chad Southard

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I'd like to add that the inspector really was pretty great about all this. He was just making sure all was done to code, as is his job. Thanks to him as well.