Thanks for the information on cost of the crimp tool - I read complaints
but I didn't think it was THAT expensive.
In addition to cold creep in the wiring FAQ (which was substantially
fixed with new alloy wire and CO/ALR devices) another major problem is
aluminum oxide which forms rapidly on clean aluminum and is an insulator.
The Consumer Product Safety Council had extensive research done on
aluminum connections. The professional engineer involved in the research
wrote a paper based on the research - at
The paper gives a wide range of fixes from the crimp tool you talk about
to wire nuts and others. There is a detailed procedure for using
wirenuts which includes applying antioxide paste and then abrading the
surface to remove oxides. The author does not think wirenuts are an
improvement without the procedure. There is, as far as I know, only one
wirenut UL listed for aluminum wire (from Ideal) - the author
specifically does not like it.
Do garden variety crimps, like panduit, work reliably on #14 and lagrer
Yes. But as was mentioned before, they will not work with garden variety
crimp tools. This doesn't mean to have to spend a fortune - just get one
that's more than two flat or almost-flat jaws that do nothing but flatten
the sleeve. They need to have a groove into which the sleeve fits snugly -
that keeps the crimp from moving sideways. Some tools have several grooves
to fit different size crimps. Fancier tools use different dies that you
install based on the work you're doing. This is probably overkill for
household work because you're likely to be working with at least two wire
sizes - 12 and 14, so you'll want to be able to switch quickly.
On the opposite jaw, there'll be a tooth which creates a deep dimple in the
metal sleeve. The sleeves have a split on one side - a seam, actually. The
whole system works best when the dimple is made at a point that's 180
degrees opposite that seam. This is one reason why the translucent
connectors are better - it's easier to see the seam, so you can work more
If you stay tuned, I'll post some pictures over the weekend, showing the
tool, and properly made connections.
Because a properly made crimp connection made with the proper tool is
far superior to a wire nut . For a long time many electricians have
used a Buchannon crimper when good connections are needed. In fact, in
some localities, such as in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to this day, a crimp
made with with a Buchannon crimper is THE ONLY acceptable connection
allowed for connecting the equipment ground wires in residences in
order to past an electrical inspection in that city.
This_IS_ the tool that most electricians in this country (USA) use to
make crimp connections on 12 and 14 gauge wires:
The first time that I bought one it was $28 (US).
I'm paranoid enough that whenever I use the crimp tool to put on quick
connects, spades, rings, whatever, I will crimp then solder it. The
insulation is partly damaged but at least I know the connection is good and
won't pull out.
You have the wrong tool. If crimps are done right, it's extremely difficult
to pull them apart. The force you'd need would be far beyond anything the
wires would normally experience inside a junction box. And besides, whether
you're wiring a home or a trailer hitch, you're supposed to route and
support wires in such a way that they will never be subject to the kind of
forces that would cause the crimps to fail.
When you are soldering a barell connector you only crimp it enough to
hold the wires together unttil the solder sets. That way the solder
has room to wick into the barrel. Be sure you have a big enough iron,
think mass. If the iron is too small it cools down and has to slowly
heat up the joint. That is what burns the insulation. The old time
sparkies used an iron with a tip the size of your thumb and a lot of
copper in it.
I think there are two types of crimps being discussed here. This type...
has no place for solder, nor does it need it if properly installed.
I got my crimp connectors from Home Depot and they mate with a almost
clear to white cap that can only be used once. The crimp tool they sell
has a red handle and can crimp three types of crimps. Many here might
disagree with me but I use plyers to twist the wire a few turns, then
cut it off snug and then place the copper crimp ring over the wires and
crimp it. Then I place the cap on and I wouldn't worry about the
Make sure the connectors are rated for whatever type of wire you
joining/splicing. The proper crimping tool has the appearance of a large
bolt cutter or rebar cutter
A cheap source is www.princessauto.com
What's wrong with wirenuts? They are about the easiest things to use
of anything. I would NOT use crimp conns. on household wiring. They
are made for automotive and other low voltage use, and in all honesty,
they are crappy for that use. When I wire something in my car, I use
small wirenuts. They are easier to install, cheaper, and less prone
to corrosion. I like to fill the open ends of wirenuts used on a car
with clear silicone to keep water out. I really do not understand why
you want to use cromps on home wiring, and additionally, I doubt they
are legal according to the code. Use what the code says. If you use
crimps and have a fire, your insurance might be rejected fro having
non-standard non-approved wiring.
I suggest you forget this whole idea and just continue to use
Corrosion: If you've seen corroded crimp connectors, you never found the
good ones. It's nearly impossible to find them in retail stores.
Code: Don't spout theories without checking them first. They're actually
legal in quite a few municipalities.
I do love their crimp tools -- besides being the best electrical
crimpers I've ever used, they do a great job of securing end caps on
bicycle gear and brake housing -- since they crimp from four sides at
once, they leave the housing round.
firstname.lastname@example.org is Joshua Putnam
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