splice underground romex

I sent the wife on a snipe hunt yesterday. She came home with the wrong thing.
I need to splice underground romex 12-3 with ground. Four wires. I remember
a kit that had four brass tubes with set screws in a insulating holder with a large gel filled heat shrink tube.
I couldn't find one in McMaster either, maybe I don't know the name. She's off to the cites again today. Anybody know what to get to splice underground romex? If you can get it at a big box store, I'll phone her. She needs the exact name to tell mostly clueless help at these stores. Otherwise, I'll order Monday. (I needed this yesterday already)
Karl
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Karl Townsend wrote:

They make twist on, gel filled wire nuts for that kind of repair. I recently had to use some for a well pump when someone drove a shovel through the wire. I also used some self sealing rubber tape, and brought the wires into the bottom of the tape, so water couldn't get in.
--
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They're absolutely, positively a total scam, if the soil under which they're buried is the least bit moist.
I've had to replace six "hot spot" shorts in buried lines because our (no longer employed) electrician recommended those direct-burial wire nuts.
They last about two years in actual service, then start to steam the soil... at least, the leaks are easy to spot... just look for steam rising out of the ground.
(the replacement splices are fully-flooded tube splices with silicone sealant end caps and silicone grease filing. So far, none have failed in over five years.)
LLoyd
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"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote in

They shouldn't be direct burried. Hence Bruce's suggestion for a handhole. If the spot isn't naturally low and prone to flooding the splice should be dry and fairly reliable under a handhole cover at grade.
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"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" wrote:

ground gets saturated, but the water doesn't get sucked up inside the solid cover.
Some of mine are ten years old, and still no problems. It's all in doing it the right way. Even good materials can be screwed up by an idiot. I've done some armored 10 KV industrial wiring that I wouldn't splice in a humid room, let alone underground. It was in the power supply of a commercial UHF TV transmitter.
--
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On Sun, 17 May 2009 20:06:00 -0500, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh"

When they say "Direct Burial" they lie. They will fail if totally buried and I don't care what they promise.
Put the "waterprrof" wirenuts in a handhole, or in a splice box that you know will get wet from the pagoda light on top of the box. Make sure the pointy end is up and the big end the wirtes go into is down, like a diving bell, so if it does flood the inside of the wirenuts stay dry. And they will live for many years.
If you have some handy, put a gravel bed under the handhole so you know it has good drainage.
--<< Bruce >>--
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????????? Is this it? 4 wire setscrew plastic sleeve, big ugly chunk of shrink tube.
http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/3MElectrical/Home/ProductsServices/Products/SolutionsCatalog/?PC_7_RJH9U5230GE3E02LECIE20OUP7_nid=CL37FL236Pbe497Q9CJ8SQgl
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http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/3MElectrical/Home/ProductsServices/Products/SolutionsCatalog/?PC_7_RJH9U5230GE3E02LECIE20OUP7_nid=CL37FL236Pbe497Q9CJ8SQgl
Product description---
The Splice Kit UF consists of a connector-insulation assembly and a heat shrink tube. The connector assembly contains four cylindrical set screw connectors separated by a piece of vinyl insulation. The heat shrink tube is a heavy-wall, adhesive-lined tube. Underground Feeder (UF)-B cables are flat, and typically have three solid conductors without ground or two solid conductors with a ground. They range in size from 8 AWG to 14 AWG. The most common UF cable size is 10-14 AWG. The 3M Splice Kit UF is offered in two versions: UF1 Standard Kit includes a 1.8" length terminal connector and an 8" length of heavy-wall, adhesive-lined heat shrink tube. UF2 Stretcher Kit has an 11.7 inch terminal connector and a 20 inch length of heavy-wall, adhesive-lined heat shrink tube. The Standard Kit is used in most of the applications. The Stretcher Kit is used in situations where a 7-10 inch section of the cable has been damaged or destroyed. It eliminates two connectors and a short piece of cable during repair.
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That's it. Now I just need to find a vendor that ships. I wish it had been Mcmaster, they get it here pronto.
Thanks
Karl
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On Sun, 17 May 2009 10:13:04 -0500, "Karl Townsend"

     McMaster p/n 7924K11
A good hardware store will have similar kits for splicing submersible well pump leads, but they aren't as sturdy as the 3m kits.
The sealant in the heat shrink seems similar to flexible hot melt adhesive. In a pinch I've injected a dollop of hot melt into heavy heat shrink over butt splices. There are several splices I made like this in the lift pump cistern in our septic system that have survived several years now.
--
Ned Simmons

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Thanks, Ned. We spent a long time thumbing through and couldn't find it. McMaster is my fav. vendor for this sort of item. I'll order it tommorrow afternoon, it will be here Tuesday morning.
Karl
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That sounds like the kits we used to fix the "steamers", except ours had a grease capsule that had to be injected into the tube after the mechanical splice was made.
LLoyd
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Karl Townsend wrote:

Send her to a real electrical supply house. Graybar or such-like, they'll have it and know what she wants.
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On Sun, 17 May 2009 08:13:20 -0500, "Karl Townsend"

Ideal makes them. 46-400 The kit in the picture shows an extra-long one to bridge the gap where you don't have slack.
I've seen them at Home Despot before, YMMV as they like to change vendors every few years and they're doing it again...
http://www.idealindustries.com/products/wire_management/heat_shrink/thermo-shrink_splices.jsp
And the heat shrink overwrap tube isn't gel lined, it has hot-melt glue coating the inside to make the seal - that trick is older than the direct bury splice kits. And it works well if you clean the cable sheath well before application.
Wouldn't use one myself, though - if I was rolling up on the problem, the first choice solution would be the silicone filled direct bury wire nuts and a 9" round underground HDPE handhole with a safety locking screw on the lid to keep the kiddies out - the exact same thing that the Power Utility uses on their underground splices, except marked generic "ELECTRIC"with a standard hex-bolt instead of "EDISON" with the Penta-head lockbolt.
Both the waterproof direct-bury wirenuts and the handholes are available at the Despot too - marked ELECTRIC but not locking. Or they can order them.
http://www.idealindustries.com/products/wire_termination/twist-on/twister_db_plus.jsp
And if it's near a busy road or on a farm where tractors roam (not just riding mowers), I go get the polymer concrete version with the polymer concrete or steel traffic rated lid.
WARNING: DO NOT USE the handholes from the Sprinkler aisle marked "Irrigation Control Valve" - some dummy will try to tap in, and that ain't 24V Class III Current Limited wiring down there...
Eventually you are going to have to find the splice again because it will be a problem. The handhole will be a lot easier to find than digging around going "I know it's around here somewhere..." and breaking the wire in another spot 5 feet away.
(If nothing else, plant a post or make some sort of a marker over/ next to the splice. You will need it later.)
When you give up finding the breaks, and trench and put in PVC conduit for the run, you can save that Handhole for the tee splice where the circuit for the garage branches off from the circuit to the front gates.
Lawnmowers and errant trailers being backed up by novices go right over handholes, but they break Bell Boxes where they stick up above ground.
Oh, and if you might want an intercom or CCTV camera at the gate, drop a second conduit in the nice open trench. The pipe now is a lot cheaper than doing it again later.
--<< Bruce >>--
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http://www.idealindustries.com/products/wire_termination/twist-on/twister_db_plus.jsp
Your advice is sound. I wish I had followed it 25 years ago when building the first time. I replaced the well underground and the barn underground last year. Now this one. This time, I'll just do a half ass and replace the whole run when time permits. And, I do conduit this time around.
Karl
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On Sun, 17 May 2009 08:13:20 -0500, Karl Townsend wrote:

See <http://www.electric-supplier.com/prod/etcon/sk830_w206152.php and <http://www.engproducts.com/OurProducts/products.asp ? CatID=3&SecID=7&SubSecID1&ProdID5> where it looks like "UF Cable Splice Kit" or "UF Direct Burial Splice Kit" would be ok search terms to find kits like the Epco UFC2B or Etcon SK830 These don't include a separate gel package; the heat shrink tube apparently has a layer of adhesive on the inside, since the directions say adhesive should be visible at each end of the tubing, if properly installed.
--
jiw

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