When it comes to connecting electrical wires, it can get confusing. Crimp butt connectors, crimp wire terminals, and wire crimp connectors can all be confusing terms that don't mean anything to most people. However, crimping wires is one of the easiest ways to secure or connect two wires together. Electrical tape and wire nuts can corroded and come loose in time. So why risk it? All you need is to know how to use your crimping tool.
Things You'll Need
- Steel Wool
- Wire strippers/crimpers
- Crimp connectors
Determine what gauge wire you are crimping. Wire thickness varies from 10 gauge all the way up to 22 gauge. The lower the number the thicker the wire. The thicker the wire the more power it can conduct without over loading. Each wire should have the gauge labeled on it in small writing. Most residential wiring is 12 or 14 gauge. This does not include networking cable know as cat5e cable, cat 5 cable, cat6 cable, cat6, cat5e, cat5, or cat 5.
Strip the insulation from the end of the wires. Place the wire in the according gauge slot on the end of you wire strippers. Apply pressure then slide the end of the wire insulation off. If the wire is in the wrong size slot you could cut strands of the wire. Every strand of wire is important. If stands are cut this can cause dangerous hot spots on your wires.
Clean your wires if they are old and tarnished. Grime on the wires can reduce conductivity. Using a piece of steel wool, scrub the end of the wire until it shines. The copper finish should be clean and free of tarnish.
Crimp the wires into the crimp connector. Slide each wire in the end of the barrel as far as it will go. It should stop half way into the connector. Most crimp tools/wire strippers will have to crimping notches for different sizes. Normally one notch will be for 16-10 gauge and the other for 22-18 gauge. While holding the wire firmly into the connector, squeeze tightly down on your crimpers to form a secure crimp. Both ends of the wire should be secure. If any of the wires are loose, cut ends and start all over.
Tips & Warnings
- Always turn the power off before working with electrical or cable wires.
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