In the Shop
As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.
In The Shop: A Better Way To Splice Wires?
Jun 15, 2011
A while back I blogged about using heat-shrink butt connectors to make weatherproof, durable splices when repairing electrical wires on farm equipment. I mentioned that a customer had shared with me a new type of splice connector that looked promising. I've done some more research and will pass on what I've learned. This is not an advertisement or recommendation---just one shop rat sharing a new gadget with another shop rat.
Posi-Lock connectors are interesting. They are three-piece splices--two threaded sleeves that screw into a midsection with a metal insert that's tapered on both ends. The user slides the threaded sleeves onto the ends of each wire to be spliced before stripping 1/4-inch of insulation from the end of each wire. When the sleeves are screwed into the center housing, the bared ends of the wires are forced over the conical metal insert, creating a tight electrical connection extremely resistant to mechanical separation. No need to use special crimping pliers; no problems with a weak or "missed" crimp allowing the connection to pull apart. Plus--because the connection is made by the threaded sleeves, it can be easily disconnected and re-assembled multiple times.
The standard Posi-Lock connector is semi-weatherproof. Their Posi-Seal connectors come with rubber gaskets that make the splice weatherproof. Posi-Tite connectors are WATERproof, and designed for immersion.
Price-wise: a plain ol' crimp-on butt connector from the local auto parts store sells for around 50 cents a piece. New style crimp-on butt connectors with heat shrink insulation--the ones I mentioned in the earlier blog--cost around 75 cents to $1.00 each. The basic Posi-Lock connector, if bought in volume, retails for 77 cents; the Posi-Seal connector goes for $1.75 a piece, and the Posi-Tite connector sells for $2.33 per unit. Contact them at www.posi-lock.com
Again--I'm not advocating one way or the other. All I ask is that you use SOME form of splice connector when you have to join two wires on a piece of farm equipment. I'm on a campaign to bring an end to "twist and tape" electrical splices on farm equipment.
What you do in your house when you're fixing lamps and light fixtures is your own business that I really don't want to know about...