It goes without saying that working with electricity is dangerous. Shocks, burns and even the worst-imaginable outcomes unfortunately do happen, which is why electrical innovators have always been hard at work behind the scenes to enable individuals, professionals and businesses of every kind to do basic electrical wiring work in the most efficient, reliable and above all safe ways possible.
One of the most common simple wiring tasks is the act of ‘splicing’ – otherwise known as connecting two or more electricity-conducting wires together without having to rewire an entire circuit or even do any soldering requiring special tools and training. That’s why every savvy operation will always have a handful of butt splice connectors in the toolbox.
Splicing wires may sound simple, but it’s surprisingly easy to fail to make a reliable connection – potentially rendering the entire electrical system not only subject to failure, burnup and downtime, but also the risk of shocks or fire. It is for that reason that splice connectors exist – to create a sound mechanical and electrical joint that won’t easily be pulled apart or leak voltage.
In their simplest form, butt or splice connectors come in several different crimp styles with a range of features, making them suitable for the specific application at hand. For example:
* A simple, non-insulated butt connector connects two similar wires together
* Step down splice connectors connect a high gauge wire with a low gauge wire
* Butt splice connectors can even connect two wires with another single wire
* Economical vinyl-insulated splices
* Nylon-insulated splices for higher temperature applications
* Epoxy-lined heat-shrink connectors for an environmentally-sealed connection.
Apart from solving the problem of a quick, easy and inexpensive way to connect wires together, the list of benefits for butt splice connectors is impressive. They create durable connections that protect against impacts, movement and wear and tear, the range of insulated options keeps out moisture and other contaminants, and the strength and reliability of the bond means it is a viable but also safe alternative to the much more time-consuming and difficult task of soldering.
As for choosing the right connector for your particular application, there are a few basic factors to consider:
The material: Splice conductors are made of various conducting materials, from cheap tin-plated copper for miscellaneous use to more expensive nickel-plated steel, which will work reliably in high temperature settings.
The insulation: While you can get a connector without an insulating jacket, entry-level nylon-insulated splices will guard against humidity while the stronger nylon options are better for more extreme settings.
The barrel: The important consideration here is the seam, with butted connectors created in the simplest way that exposes the risk of opening up the seam when crimping. Brazed-seam connectors are stronger and more reliable.
The features: You’ll need to shop for splices designed extremely high temperatures (500 degrees C), while connectors are also available that combine heat-shrink with a low-melt solder to guarantee resistance to any and all contaminants.
As for the actual process of crimping the splice connectors, it almost couldn’t be easier:
- Choose your connector based on the task and wire gauge, and ensure you also have crimping pliers featuring a wire stripper.
- Strip the wire by using the wire stripper, and insert the exposed end into the butt connector all the way up to the remaining insulation to prevent a short.
- Position the connector into the relevant compression slot of the pliers, and crush the end of the connector. Repeat the process for the other wire(s) and then test the strength of the connection before proceeding.
Are you ready to grab the butt splice connectors you need for your specific operations? If you’re not sure what you need, always check in with industry experts to guide the most appropriate and cost-effective choice.