Weather Proof Connectors For Low Voltage Wiring

Updated on December 15, 2017
itcetera

In the beginning.

I started wiring at 16 on old cars I owned. The wiring was a mess on many of them and I had to figure out how to get them running. Doing wiring repairs I would go to the auto parts store and pick up whatever connectors were inexpensive (ie: cheep).  After some time and and trial and error,  I  learned a valuable lesson about weather proof connector quality.

Why Does Using The Right  Weather proof Connector Matter?

As I said; when I started out using crimp connectors I would use just anything that was cheep and that I had the tools for, usually pliers. I would sometimes spend days figuring out the problem and then repair the wiring with the cheep connectors and tools. A few months later especially after going through a rough Colorado winter, I found I had shorts or dead wires in the system and would have to go back over everything again to re-fix the issue. Often times, the issue was at the connector I had used for the repair. The inexpensive crimp connector would have consistently allowed moisture and dirt into the connector and the result would be corrosion and a failed connection. After having this come up several times, I got to thinking there has to be a better way. After checking around with more experienced automotive technicians, I found there was a big difference in the quality of electrical connectors for low voltage, (basically 12 or 24 volt) wiring connectors. Also there were connectors available that were water / weather proof. Of course they were there all the time I just didn’t think I needed them.

Using Good Weather Proof Connectors Makes Sense

My problem was that in using inexpensive, poorly made connectors or not using the correct connector for the job, I wasn’t thinking long term. I hadn’t given much thought to corrosion and how it would effect the wiring system over time. Usually a surprisingly short time. Also such as in the case of trailer wiring, there were areas where the wiring was exposed to dirt and water. Not good for wiring or connectors! If you ever had to fix trailer wiring in the middle of the night in a snow storm in the mountains because you had no lights, you know what I mean.
Most of the inexpensive connectors made poor connections and had very little in the way of insulation or a way to keep dirt and moisture out. After a short time water and dirt would get inside and corrosion would result, creating a dead connection or short. Even if you wrap them in electrical tape, as I often did, the tape would come apart not holding up against the weather and eventually the connection would fail. Failure to choose connectors that weren’t meant to be exposed to the elements is asking for trouble.

Solution: Choosing The Right Connector.

There are many connector types and brands to choose from. The first thing to consider is where will the connector be used? Will it be exposed to the elements, in a dirty or greasy environment, How about heat? Some of the connectors pictured in the first two illustrations would be fine in a dry environment away for contaminants, but to have a quality long lasting weather, grease, dirt proof connection, I would recommend using something like the connectors in the third picture. My favorite for general use, NSPA Krimpa seal ® heat shrink waterproof, weatherproof connectors, shown below.

non waterproof scotchlok connectors
scotchlok connectors
3M nylon crimp connectors - non water proof
3M nylon crimp connectors – non water proof

These wire connectors are either crimped on the wire or the connector itself is closed on the wire (scotchlok) Great for general purpose in dry conditions where corrosion due to moisture and dirt is not a concern.


Krimpa-seal water proof connector
Krimpa-seal waterproof

NSPS Krimpa-seal Waterproof Connectors

These are very special connectors and in my view are the best for strong reliable weather proof connections. They have several great features.(see photos) They are both crimped and soldered. In other words you insert the wires, crimp them with a good crimp tool, then heat them to melt the solder and heat shrink the insulation around them. At the same time adhesive seals the ends making a strong bond that will not pull apart. This will not allow water or dirt into the connection. That results in a dependable weather proof connection that will last.

Oh yes, there is another great feature.

There is a clear window in the connector insulation. You can see that the wires are properly inserted, crimped and solder sealed. Window allows certainty wires are in the connector before you actually crimp or heat seal the connection.
A truly environmentally sealed connector.

There are of course many  connectors to choose from

There are as many connector types as there are applications. Theelectricaldepot.com stocks connectors for all your needs. In the next post we will go over some of these and their uses

 

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Top selling items you might need …

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At The Electrical Depot we proudly provide customers quality products at competitive prices.  Below are some of our top selling products that customers continuously purchase.

Connectors:

Deutsch DT connectors remain at the top of list for connectors sold on a regular basis.  Deutsch provides a variety of connector options that allow our customers to find a solution to all of their electrical connection requirements.

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 12.55.22 AM

DEUTSCH CONNECTORS are for use in electrical systems where moisture, salt spray, dirt or dust could potentially damage electrical connections or systems.

AUTOMOTIVE, MARINE,  OFF ROAD, AGRICULTURE, HEAVY EQUIPMENT, CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT, RENTAL EQUIPMENT

TheElectricalDepot.com offers custom made Deutsch assortment kits.  Simply email us at Info@TheElectricalDepot.com; and let us know what kind of connectors and quantities you would like in a kit, i.e. DT, DTM, DTP, different combinations or an assortment of terminals and removal tools.  Once your custom kit is built we will send you a final quote for approval.

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 1.01.22 AM

 

NSPA has been part of our business from day one.  We supply NSPA waterproof heat shrink connectors to customers everyday.  Manufactured and designed in the USA, these connectors stand up to the toughest conditions thrown their way.

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 1.06.06 AMFor a waterproof / weatherproof connection, just crimp the terminals and apply heat on both ends.  These connectors use a multiple wall polyolefin tubing with meltable, integral inner wall. Applicable Specifications: MIL-1-23053/, Class 1; AMS 3634; UL File E-157227

 

Tools:

After purchasing connectors, deciding on the proper crimp tool can be a difficult task.  Prices can vary, as well as the quality.  For Deutsch connectors we recommend two different options (both of which we’ve provided tutorials on how to use them, please view previous blog posts).  For a high quality crimp tool, that will likely last you a life time, Deutsch offers an HDT-4800 crimp tool.  HDT4800

  • Crimps Solid Pin & Socket Contacts
  • For use with 12 to 24 AWG
  • Contact Sizes: 12 to 20 solid pins & sockets
  • Ratchet mechanism ensures proper termination
  • Genuine Deutsch Tool

 

 

The second tool we recommend, which is very popular for jobs that require minimal daily use, or for home projects that will provide reliability at an affordable price, is the Paladin selection.  We offer two tools, depending on the gauge size you’ll be crimping.  Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 6.28.11 PMThe Paladin 1461 is an economic tool that provides precise crimping on wire gauges 20-12

 

  • Crimp D-Subminiature closed-barrel contacts
  • For use with AWG 20-12 (0.50-4.0 mm2) D-sub contacts
  • Creates 4-indentions onto contacts
  • Full-circule ratchet mechanism ensures proper termination

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 1.19.34 AMFor smaller wire gauge crimping, the Paladin 1460 is your tool.

 

  • Crimp D-Subminiature closed-barrel contacts
  • For Use With:AWG 26-20 (0.50-4.0 mm2) D-sub contacts
  • Creates 4-indentions onto contacts
  • Full-circle ratchet mechanism ensures proper termination

 

 

 

When crimping terminals, Pressmaster (KSA-0760) offers one of the best tools for sale.  This tool is ratcheted so you will never “over-crimp” your terminal.  Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 1.28.10 AM

  • Advanced design requires 25% less handle force
  • Long life span
  • Versatile and easy to customize for right hand or left hand users
  • Accepts all K-frame die sets
  • Precise eccentric adjustment
  • Full cuycle crimp mechanism to ensure consistent, reliable crimp
Technical Data
  • Length: 256 mm / 10.08″
  • Width: 22 mm / 0.87″
  • Wire Size: 0.75-6 mm2 / AWG 22 – AWG 10
  • Life span, cycles: 50,000

 

We thank you for shopping at www.TheElectricalDepot.com, if there is anything we can help you with please feel free to call or email with your questions.  We are here to help with all your technical questions regarding any products we sell on our site, you can count on quality service every time!

 

Thank you again for reading our blog!

 

~ The team at The Electrical Depot

 

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PA1461 Crimp Tool

The Greenlee PA1461 crimp tool is an economic tool that is used for crimping terminals between 20awg and 12awg.

4-Indent D-Sub Crimper.

  • Features:
  • Crimp 4 indentations onto closed-barrel d-subminiature contacts for various computer & electrical connections.
  • Applications include: printer connectors, joystick connectors, video connectors, analog/digital audio conenctors, electrical connectors and electronic connectors.
  • Full-cycle ratchet mechanism ensures proper terminations.
  • Spring Loaded
  • Auto-release when crimp cycle is complete.

Please see video demonstrations below:

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HDT-48-00 Crimp Tool

The Deutsch HDT-48-00 is a top of the line crimping tool when it comes to crimping Deutsch terminals.  This world class tool offers precision crimps each and every time.  With the ratchet style handle, this tool will never allow you to over or under crimp your connections.

This tool is offered for $257.00 on www.TheElectricalDepot.com, and can be found by clicking the link below:

DEUTSCH HDT-48-00

Watch and learn as the HDT-48-00 is put to action in our “how-to” video below.

Thanks for shopping!

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