Connecting wires together for safe, reliable and effective electrical systems requires a little more than just twisting those frayed ends together – but, mercilessly, not a lot more effort than that. For speed and ease rolled up together with safety, cost-effectiveness and connection strength, though, you’ll have to select the right helpful devices that can all be snapped up with little more than pocket change.
Cut corners with those electrical connections, and your business and application will pay for it in the form of increased risk of overheating, arcing, faults and short circuits – not to mention profit-slashing downtime and, in the worst cases, catastrophic failures that could spell a fatal end to your operations. That’s why we’ve put together this quick industry introduction for businesses and operations new to the latest and greatest technologies and devices on the market today. All of them are designed to be flame retardant, to create strong, safe and reliable bonds with fast and simple use, and to ensure for a minimal cost your connections as precisely the way you need them to be.
So which wire connectors do your operations require? In all likelihood, it will be one of the following five:
1. Twist-on connectors
A super-simple, hand-installed wire connector that is a lot faster and easier than a solder, but a lot stronger and more reliable than just twisting those ends together by hand. They’re not just recommended for when a connection needs to be made in a jiffy, but – unlike soldering – when the connection may need to be removed.
However, twist-on connectors are not recommended for particularly thick and stiff wire gauges – but for switches, lights, controls, signage and most common electrical circuits, it’s fast, easy, secure and easily removable and reusable.
2. Crimp-on connectors
Unlike the twist-on connector, this wire connector type will require a crimping tool – but it’s a robust, steel or copper connection alternative that is more permanent for an extremely secure connection. The trade-off is that crimp-on connectors are not intended to be removed, nor re-used.
3. Waterproof connectors
If moisture or the need for greater durability is an issue, or the connection is going to sit underground and be subject to corrosion or debris risk, your application will require a waterproof connector. Normally, the moisture and debris-resistant feature is 100% silicone, but apart from that they are not significantly more difficult to install.
4. Push-in connectors
You may associate combining electrical wires with the act of twisting, but the push-in connector changed that. It’s an ingenious and nonetheless still-simple solution that is perfect for an application in which ‘pushing in’ and ‘pulling out’ the connection is something that will be done regularly.
5. Splice connectors
The pièce de résistance of the world of quick, strong and easy wire connectors, though, is the modern splice connector. The ingenuity is on the inside of this incredibly affordable connector, as inserting the wires with their plastic insulating jackets intact will result in the connector simply snapping together and using the sharp metal insert to cut the wire insulation and perform the crimp – all in a single action. There are versions for all sorts of different operating conditions (including high debris, high or low temperatures or moisture), versions with insulating covers on the connector itself, and most feature inspection windows to ensure a proper and secure connection is made every time.
So what sort of wire connector does your particular operation or application require? It all depends on the signal type, the voltage, the operating conditions, the required level of reliability, durability or permanence, and the budget. To ensure you make the best choice for your business’ efficiency, always seek the guidance of an experienced industry specialist.