What is a butt splice connector? Why do you need them?

What is a butt splice connector?

Often referred to as barrel splice in the electrical industry, a butt splice connector is nothing but a form of “crimp” connector used to connect two wires securely to each other and/or to a wire terminal besides terminating them safely as well. Such a task is a fundamental one for the security and reliability of the entire electrical construction. 

One of the best ways to connect two opposing ends of wires into a strong, durable one is with butt connectors. Given its simple design, simple purpose, and easy to use, such a tool creates a reliable compression-type electrical connection, provided you use high-quality wire crimping tools.

The configuration of the device makes it possible to connect multi-conductor cables, both stranded and solid ones, such as standard class B single strand wires or fine-strained multi-wire cables. The overall purpose is to connect two separate wires end to end to sustain the electrical current that passes through them, giving a rigid connection that lasts longer than any other means of splicing.

Splice Connectors make for quick connections (or splices) with two or more pieces of wire. These splices are usually crimped or soldered so that the power from the source cable conducts to the next at a high conductivity rate and pull-out resistance performance level. A butt splice connector is nothing but a cylindrical crimp connector with one crimp on each end.

Terminalmart is a host to a variety of splice connectors. They can help you repair damaged wiring, increase the overall length of wire, securely terminate wires, and split one wire into multiple ones.

Types of butt splice connectors

As humorous as the name might be, butt splice connectors are a must-have in DIY electrical and professional electrical kits that come in insulated and non-insulated terminal options.

As the name suggests, insulated terminals are the most recommended connectors to go with because:

  1. They provide safety
  2. They can handle voltages up to 600 V and are guided by the UL/CUL standard.
  3. They are mainly designed for copper cables, can withstand higher voltages, and are tin-plated for corrosion resistance.

The choice of butt splice to go with depends on the wire's size, type of wire stranding (single or multi), the wire's material, and installation factors.

There are broadly three types of butt splice connectors:

  1. Heat-shrink (insulated, usually waterproof) connectors

This type of connector is majorly used for outdoor multi-wiring, automotive, and industrial applications. There's an adhesive lining in the inside of these connectors that helps seal the splice neatly when using heat to shrink the insulation.

  1. Vinyl (insulated) connectors

With a vinyl insulated sheath, such connectors are commonly used for small wire connections with wire sizes ranging between #10 to #22 AWG and are thus the most economical for small cable operations. Due to the insulation and vinyl sheath, there’s no need for taping.

  1. Nylon (insulated) connectors

Nylon butt connectors are a more rugged option over vinyl as the material offers a better solvent and temperature resistance. Nylon splices provide a much stronger connection and have either straight or flared end openings making them responsible for stronger connection strength.

When selecting the type of butt splice, check for the epoxy lining as well. The interior of the connector needs to have a lining of melt-able glue. The glue is responsible for expanding on heating and apt for an environmentally secure connection where environmental conditions might degrade. 

To properly activate the epoxy, heat the ends of the butt splice with a proper tool after crimping. Heat shrink butt splices are generally epoxy lined. Vinyl, nylon, or non-insulated splices are alternatives to heat-shrink connectors as they suit best for situations where the environment is not a vital concern.

Use The Correct Size & Color Connector

With multi-colored and material-types connectors widely circulating in the electrical market, be sure to choose the right one.

A color code is assigned to connectors to indicate a range of wire gauges that ought to be used with each type.

  1. Red (for 18-22 gauge wire)
  2. Blue (for 14-16 gauge wire), and
  3. Yellow (for 10-12 gauge wire)

How to use a butt splice connector?

  1. Ensure that no electricity is running through the wires. 
  1. Then split the wire that needs to be spliced using the butt connector. Place the wire appropriately in the proper diameter of the crimping pliers leaving about 3/8th inch of wire exposed beyond the slot. Then pull off the insulation by squeezing the handles.

Tip: If there are multiple small wires in the insulation you just removed, twist them together.

  1. Twist the stranded wire and insert it into one of the ends of the butt connector. You can find yourself the right connector here. The insulated part of the wire needs to extend into the butt connector.
  1. Place the butt connector into the compression slot marked with the gauge of the butt connector to be crimped. Ensure that the crimping jaws are over the stripped portion of the wire. Squeeze the handles tightly with enough force to crush the end of the butt splice.
  1. Repeat with the second wire at the other end of the butt connector and test the connection by pulling both the cables. If loose, then repeat the above steps.

Voila! You have made two wires into one successfully!

Useful tips before connecting wires

  1. Before buying the required butt connector, ensure the size of the cables.
  2. If used for your automobile, ensure that the type is environment resistant.
  3. Check for any electricity presence before beginning (to shut it down before starting the process).
  4. Lastly, consult a specialist if things don’t work out properly.

Now you have done enough homework about using a butt splice connector. Head over here for some quality and reliable splice connectors for your electrical kit.

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