In this video I’m going to show 3 ways to splice wires together discussing pros and
cons to help you choose which method works best for you:
Being Able to splice wires properly can go a long way, whether you need to WIRE IN a
new device or some rodents took over your car and built a nest under the hood (which
never ends well), Or your head light connector was loose and melted and now needs replacing.
Maybe some wires corroded away due to element exposure, or simply broke over time - you
can save a lot of money by fixing them yourself! Because all a repair shop would do is reconnect
the broken wires- and then charge you $100/ hr for however much time they spent on it.
So whenever you need to splice some wires together, the first thing you WANT TO do is:
turn off the key and disconnect the negative side of the battery, to prevent any damage
to your electrical system. Expose both ends of the broken wire by removing
the tip of the insulation And if you don’t have a fancy wire stripping
tool like this, YOU CAN USE: a razor blade or scissors, just Try not to cut off any strands
along with insulation, because it can increase resistance and lead to overheating of the
repaired area and further damage to the electrical system. That’s why I personally prefer using
manual wire stripping tool, where you pick the wire size (which prevents you from damaging
the strands) and manually cut the tip off. They are usually under $10 and work great.
And the FIRST SPLICING METHOD I want to show is probably the most common among do-it-yourselfers
because it is quick and easy - Crimping butt connectors.
Butt connectors usually come in a kit with other types of connectors
like spades, bullets (for easy connect/disconnect applications),
rings and forks to serve various purposes in home and on your car
They are color coded for different wire sizes and
The two most common styles of butt connectors are: – vinyl insulated and – heat shrink butt
connectors First option provides a secure connection
but is not waterproof – which is fine under the dash
but if you need to splice a wire exposed to weather conditions you want to use a heat
shrink connector instead. And in order to use this kit properly you
would need a crimping tool. Crimping tools come in 2 styles: SIMPLE…
forged plier style - and more complex - ratcheting style.
Plier style is cheaper, but crimping force depends solely on your grip which leaves room
for error, causing OVER-CRIMPING OR UNDER-CRIMPING Where as ratcheting style is more expensive
– but you can adjust crimping force and it will be the same every time – no matter
how hard you squeeze it. Just to give you an idea a quality plier style
crimper made by Thomas and betts is priced at around $40, while a RATCHETING style crimper
made by the same brand is priced at over $200 OBVIOUSLY THERE ARE CHEAPER VERSIONS AVAILABLE
IN BOTH STYLES, ALL THE WAY DOWN TO A MULTIPURPOSE TOOL (serving as a wire stripper and terminal
crimper at the same time) BUT CONVENIENCE OF USE AND CRIMPING QUALTIY DROP ALONG WITH
THE PRICE Crimping tools usually have different size
openings, colored to match connector sizes and marked whether they are for insulated
or non-insulated connectors
Now back to splicing: Since butt connectors have a separator in
the middle you want to take off no more than a ¼ inch of insulation, otherwise you will
leave some exposed wire out. ONCE you strip both ends of the wire
1. Pick appropriate size connector; Common Mistakes people make:
- they pick a CONNECTOR TOO SMALL FOR THE WIRE AND THEN JUST FORCE IT ON
(leaving some wire STRANDS out of the connector) - OR they pick a connector TOO LARGE for the
wire, which leaves room for gaps, creating a poor connection and an unreliable crimp
(because the wire can just fall out - over time)
Once you found the right size connector – place it inside a CRIMPING TOOL
Point the SEAM in the connector toward the valley of the crimping tool, OR if there’s
no seam point the SEPARATOR TOWARD THE VALLEY. Then slide your exposed wire into the connector
and crimp it. What you want to see is:
- no large voids inside the crimp - trapezoidal shape of the connector (not
overly deformed) - all strands are intact
Then tug TO check the crimp is secure, and repeat the process for the other side
I personally prefer to wrap the repaired area in electrical tape AFTERWARDS
to add another layer of protection. If you need to use heat shrink butt connectors
make sure to use a crimping tool designed for INSULATED connectors and terminals. Otherwise
the insulating tube can get punctured and when you HEAT IT UP to shrink it – the puncture
will split open. So in Conclusion! Crimping is easy and Fast,
some argue it has superior mechanical characteristics to other methods (if done right), involves
fewer harmful or dangerous processes, and works well in limited spaces.
BUT – to make this a quality repair you want to use quality tools AND CONNECTORS,
which can be expensive. Vinyl insulated butt connectors are not water proof
Therefore repairs are prone to corrosion. And now let’s move on to the next method!
SOLDERING! – highly regarded by anyone who deals with electrical repairs: Most people
agree it is the most secure and durable way to splice two wires together!
For this method you need a soldering iron/ or soldering gun. Solder (60/40 rosin core
solder – is the best option for fixing wires (because
lead based solder has lower melting point and rosin flux
helps solder adhere to wires better) Shrink tubes and a heat gun are preferred
if you want to make a sealed (waterproof) repair, otherwise you can use some electrical
tape AS ALWAYS – links to the products you see
in this video will be in the description Now, Basic Steps:
First - remove ½” to ¾” INCH of insulation
- slide a shrink tube on one side - join the wires together;
YOU CAN DO IT A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT WAYS: 1ST OPTION - FAN OUT THE STRANDS, INTERWEAVE
AND THEN TWIST THEM TOGETHER 2ND option - CROSS THE WIRES AND TWIST THEM
AWAY FROM EACH OTHER BOTH OPTIONS WORK EQUALLY WELL,
Watch out for wire strands sticking out because they can penetrate through A HEAT SHRINK tube
Next - HEAT UP YOUR SOLDERING iron, And TIN THE TIP (BY LETTING SOLDER MELT ON IT AND
THEN WIPING IT OFF on a damp sponge.. TO LEAVE just A THIN LAYER OF SOLDER - THIS helps with
heat transfer and protects the tip from oxydation) Then - heat the wire from underneath and feed
the solder from up top until MELTing solder wicks into the joint
I personally LIKE to tap solder on the tip occasionally to help with the heating process.
Once the solder starts to melt slide it across the exposed wire until the whole area is soldered.
A common mistake I want to mention – when people get impatient waiting for solder to
melt on the wire they start melting it on the soldering iron,
because it melts much faster, letting solder drip on the wire. It’s called COLD SOLDER
– it makes a bad connection and a weak repair, because solder doesn’t wick into the joint
So Don’t do that, Also protect surfaces from solder drops, work in a well ventilated
area and stay away from flammables. When the solder cools off – place a heat
shrink tube over the repaired area and heat it up until it tightly wraps around the wire.
you can use a heat gun, or a BUTANE torch to shrink it, or even a lighter, but you’re
increasing the risk of burning through the insulation… like this!
SO IN CONCLUSION: 1. This is THE Most secure and durable way
To splice a wire BUT it requires some practice 2. It may seem expensive (if you have to buy
a soldering gun, and solder, and shrink tubes, and heat gun), but once you have the tools
- it is actually cheaper if you’re fixing a lot of wires - because all you need is more
solder (which is cheap) 3. Another downside of this method is - it
is TOXIC, as I mentioned earlier - solder fumes and lead require ventilation and thorough
handwashing Also the intense heat of the soldering iron
tip can cause burns and is enough to start a fire, and from personal experience I can
add – this method is quite cumbersome and hard to use in tight areas where space is
limited. And on this note we move on to the third and
my most favorite way to repair wires: 1. Heat shrink SELF-SOLDER CONNECTORS!
Basic process: STRIP THE INSULATION - Slide the PROPER SIZE CONNECTOR on one side
- Interweave the wires - Center the solder connector and
- Heat it up! Doesn’t get much easier THAN THAT!!!
THIS METHOD IS: Cheap!
Easy and Fast (IN One step YOUR WIRES ARE soldered, sealed and insulated)
IT CREATES A Durable and WATERPROOF connection Providing excellent conductivity qualities!
(CAN BE used in marine, automotive and aviation industries)
You could use a lighter to shrink it, but I would advise you use a heat gun
Or a butane torch! which I really like cause – it is portable, it can work as a heat
gun, PLUS IT HAS A reflector tip TO ISOLATE THE
HEAT FROM THE REST OF THE WIRES IT CAN ALSO WORK as a soldering iron, HOT
KNIFE, and as a torch (OF COURSE) But coming back to our connector: It really
gathers the best characteristics of both worlds – the only downside is if you have a 100
wires to fix, it can get somewhat pricey.
That’s it for this video – give it a thumbs up if you found it helpful,
I tried to keep it short and to the point If I missed any pros or cons – share them
in the comments below, I appreciate your feedback.
THE LINK to everything you SAW in this video WILL BE IN THE DESCRIPTION!
Thank you for watching, good luck and take care!