How to Crimp Wires Together - Step By Step Process
Wire crimping is one of those skills that every DIY enthusiast should have; you don’t need to be fully installing electrics into your home to benefit from these skills. The idea of crimping is that you are deforming one or both pieces of wire so that they can fit together. But if you are unsure of how to crimp wires together, here is a detailed guide to help you along the way.
Step One: Wire Stripping
Before you do anything, make sure there is no electricity running to the wire; make sure everything is turned off so that you are safe to work. The first stage in crimping wires together is stripping the wire. If you have wire crimpers, you may also have this tool. They resemble scissors and have notches in the blades for various sizes of wires. Simply place the wire in hole that matches the size, squeeze the handle and gently tug, this exposes the wire that you are going crimp. Make sure you don’t try and force wire into a hole that is too small, it’ll result in you damaging the wire.
Step Two: Type of Wire
Once you have stripped off the outer casing of the wire, the inner metal will be exposed. Now you can see what type of wire you are working with. It will either be one of two types, a solid core, or it will be stranded. Stranded wire is much more flexible than solid core and you may even find that once you remove the outer core that there are strands individually insulted within the wire itself, though this is uncommon. If you are left with a solid core wire, then you will be looking to solider it rather than crimp.
Step Three: Preparing the Wire
Once you have stripped the wire, you are left with the stranded inner core. if you want to crimp to an electrical connector, a ratchet connector will work best as it will ensure that your crimp is brought together in the correct manner. Select the size of the connector that you want to crimp to and see if it is insulated. If it isn’t before you push the wire into the crimp, make sure you have threaded a piece of sleeving through and onto the wire. If you don’t have any insulted sleeving, you can also use insulted heat wrap. Make sure the length is double that of the crimp and expect it to shrink by about 3 times the size prior to heating.
If you are connecting wire to wire, then you will need a parallel connector. These are similar to electrical connectors, but they allow you to put wire into the other end. You don’t need to insulate if you are connecting wire to wire, as the parallel connector is already insulated. Before you push the wire into the connector, pick up some plyers and gently twist the ends of the wire to make sure that it is neat and tidy.
Step Four: Crimping
You’ll now have your wire with an insulted neck or within the parallel connector. Pick up the wire crimping tool and pop it in the insulation hole and slowly close your hands together to the crimp. If you are using a ratchet handled crimp, it will automatically release once the crimp is finished. Take your wire out and make sure that it seems tight with little to no movement. If it doesn’t feel that way, simply pop it back in and go again. And there you are, you have successfully crimped wire together!
Hints and Tips
Before you start working on your project, get some practice runs behind you. This could save you from any easy to fix errors when you actually start crimping wire together. Have the right tools for the job, this can save you from trying to use pliers to crimp wire together. The reason pliers aren’t used is because they don’t fully compact the wire and the connector. This lack of compaction results in an air space and within air spaces you get build-up moisture which can result in corrosion, so having the right tools for the job will make sure that your project will last.