SPLICING WIRES CONTINUES TO IMPROVE AND GET EASIER
Whether you tinker with boats, cars, trucks, or ATVs, chances are you've done some type of electrical wiring. Maybe you've tackled a car audio project or two.
One recent and clever creation in the electrical world is the solder seal butt connector. Or self-soldering connector. These connectors eliminate the need for a crimping tool and a soldering iron. For that reason they really have simplified the task of attaching wires together.
WHAT ARE SOLDER SEAL CONNECTORS?
- Solder seal, or solder-less connectors are typically a transparent heat shrink tube with a small ring of “low” temperature solder (with flux) inside.There's also a layer of heat-activated adhesive inside the tube. You will need a good heat gun but those are relatively inexpensive. This one from Wagner is highly rated and this one from Genesis is also excellent and inexpensive.
- These connectors come in a variety of sizes, or gauges, which is indicated by color-coding. Yellow is for AWG 12-10, blue is for AWG 16-14, and red is for AWG 22-18. The larger the diameter of the wire/connector the lower the number.
- Solder-seal connectors are not as popular as the "crimp and heat" style of wire splices, but they are rapidly catching on. Even with pros.
- Self-soldering connectors provide superior electrical current flow and tensile strength. They won't break or crack under even the most extreme weather conditions.
- Solder seal connectors when used properly keep wires safe from moisture and corrosion.
HOW TO SPLICE WITH THEM
1. Strip both ends of the wires you want to connect
2. Add a properly sized connector down one side (much like you would add some heat-shrink tubing)
3. Twist the exposed wires together.
4. Slide the connector so that the ring of solder is in place around the bare wires.
5. Heat it up with a heat gun (preferred) or lighter and watch the tubing shrink and the solder flow into the connection. Make note that the tubing will begin to shrink first, and after a little time the the solder will soften and begin to flow around the wires.
6. Don’t move the connection until the solder has cooled.
GOOD TOOLS MAKE YOUR JOB EASIER
2 tools are needed to expertly splice wires with solder seal connectors. You'll need a good wire stripping tool, and a reliable heat gun for melting the solder and shrinking the tubing.
Wire Strippers get electrical and other wire-based work done faster, easier, and with less hand fatigue. One great choice is these vice-grip wire strippers.
The Vise-Grip wiring strippers have comfortable, textured-grip handles, and special features such as AWG selection dials, spring-assisted jaw openings, built-in crimpers, quick-release locks, and dual-metal construction.
As far as a heat gun, you'll want a versatile one that can be used for a lot more things than just your wire splices. This 1800W Heat Gun has 2 airflow speeds, and 6 temperature dial ranges, allowing it to fulfill all various requirements.
It comes with 7 multi-purpose attachments which makes it great for heat shrinking as well as vinyl wrapping, crafts, cell phone repair, paint stripping, rusted bolt removal, thawing frozen pipes.