Choosing the right type of electrical connector for your application can be baffling. A simple way to weed through all the choices is to decide what considerations are involved after a wire has been connected. If your electrical connections will be exposed to vibration, movement or will be located underground, then your best choice is a snap fit electrical connector. There are two basic types: blade and screw. Both are well suited to extreme conditions where a normal splice or blade terminal may corrode or separate.
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Things you need
- Electrical pliers
- Snap fit connectors
- Electrical tape
Pull the two ends of your wire so that they meet and overlap each other.
Cut the wires with the cutting edge of your electrical pliers so that each wire overlaps the other by 1 inch only.
Go to step 5 if you are using a blade connector to splice outdoor landscaping wire. For interior wire, strip 1/4 inch of insulation off the end of each wire.
Slide the brass tube insert that came with your snap fit connector over the end of each wire. Push the end of the wire into the opening of one half of the plastic snap fit connector. A screw-type snap fit connector has four parts: a male and female plastic snap case (that fit together to connect the wires) and two brass inserts (that screw into the wire holes of the male or female parts). Slide the insert down into the snap fit connector in the same hole as you pushed the wire. It will enter the snap fit connector and stop as it hits the threads moulded inside. Use your thumb and forefinger to screw the insert clockwise until it locks into the hole. The pressure from the insert will hold the wire in the connector. Do this with the other wire. Then snap the two pieces of the connector together.
Pry the top half of your blade-type snap fit connector off. You will see two channels with a brass blade sticking up through the case into each channel. Press one wire into each channel so the blade pierces the insulation. You do not strip the insulation from the outdoor landscaping wire when you connect them in this manner. Snap the top back into place, and you are done.
Tips and warnings
- Wrap the connection in electrical tape to be absolutely certain that it will not pull apart. Start wrapping at 1 inch away from the connector, overlapping each path by 1/4 inch over the connector, and continuing to 1 inch over the other wire.
- When using electrical connectors, always make sure that the wires being connected are not receiving any power. Turn off the power (the circuit breaker) to the line you are working on to avoid the risk of shock or fire.
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