The Basics of Butt Connectors


When working on a vehicle or in electrical systems, butt connectors are a great way to connect and secure wire ends without having to solder. This method is much quicker, simpler and safer than traditional soldering. It also helps prevent drops in voltage due to bad connections, and it provides a mechanically sound connection that can resist corrosion and liquids/gasses. It is recommended to only purchase butt connectors that feature a core tube made of highly conductive materials such as copper and brass. This will help ensure your butt connector is able to maintain its conductivity, even under pressure.

There are many different butt splice terminals to choose from, but most are essentially the same. They all include a cylindrical, insulated shell with openings on both ends for inserting stripped wires and an internal metal sleeve that holds and splices the conductors together. They are commonly used in automotive systems, but they can be found in a variety of electrical applications as well.

Some butt splice connectors also have an epoxy liner that expands on heating to seal the connection and protect it against environmental conditions. This type is ideal for outdoor or multi-wire applications. However, not all butt splice connectors have this feature, so make sure you check before buying one to ensure it is what you need.

Most butt connectors are tin plated, which is an excellent choice for most applications. This material is affordable, highly conductive and easy to crimp. Some are nickel plated, which is a slightly better option for more corrosive environments and higher-voltage applications. Other options include butt connectors made from high-quality brass, which is more malleable than tin but just as durable.

All butt splice connectors must be properly installed to ensure a strong, secure and lasting connection. This is important because a bad crimp can cause an electrical short or poor conductivity, which could potentially lead to equipment failure and personal injury. To ensure a proper crimp, it is recommended to use a high-quality crimp tool specifically designed for the butt splice connector you are using. To get started, place the butt connector over the exposed wire ends and strip a bit of insulation off both sides. Next, insert the wires into the terminal openings and crimp them with the appropriate crimping tool.

To install the butt splice connector, make sure that electricity is completely shut off at its source before starting. Then, make sure the stripped wire ends fit snugly inside each end of the connector and that the metal sleeve covers them entirely. Lastly, if you bought butt connectors with heat shrink insulation, carefully wrap the heat shrink over the splice and the wire ends for a secure and environmentally sealed connection.

It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for color coding on butt splice connectors. This can help identify what gauge of wire they are intended for. For example, red means that the splice connector accepts up to 18 AWG wires, blue indicates 16-14 AWG and yellow means it can accept 12-10 AWG. Butt Connectors