Whether you’re wiring up a sound system in your backyard or working on an industrial project, you’ll probably come across wire caps sooner or later. These small pieces of plastic may not look like much, but they can make your life a lot easier if you know how they work. Read on to learn what wire caps are and how to use them.
What Is a Wire Cap?
Wire caps look just like they sound—they’re a plastic (or silicone) cap with an open end you can insert wires into. Depending on the design, the cap can either be a hard or soft material, but the interior is generally consistent. Most wire caps use aluminum or copper inside to act as a conductive material that ensures contact between the wires.
How Do They Work?
Twist-on wire connectors are very simple. All you need to do is strip the insulation off the end of the wires (you don’t need to remove more than half an inch) and insert the wires into the cap. Then, you just twist the cap clockwise. You’ll notice the wires get drawn into the cap and twisted together, thanks to the cap’s unique design.
Twist-On vs. Crimp Connectors
In addition to twist-on caps, there are also crimp connectors. Crimp wire caps require a crimping tool to finish the job, whereas twist connectors don’t need any accessories. Once you put the stripped wires into the cap, collapse it with a crimping tool to permanently join your wires.
Whether you’re working with twist-on or crimp connectors, it’s essential that you understand a few safety considerations. While the caps themselves don’t present much danger, you should always be careful when working with exposed wire.
Now that you know what wire caps are and how to use them, pick up a few before your next project and you’ll never have to worry about loose connections again.