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Wire Connectors

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by JimLewis, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,840

    Which wire connectors do you all prefer to use?

    We've been using these for years. I like them because they making wiring up valve manifolds go really fast. No wire stripping. Just cut the wire, throw them in, and press the button. Nice, easy, quick.

    The thing I don't like about them is if you don't get them quite tight enough, you end up getting called back because the connection has failed and the valve isn't working. It's simple to fix. But I hate callbacks. Still, if you press them in tight enough when you first install them, they seem to work very well for a long time.


  2. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    I've used many different types of wire connectors as a mechanic.

    I've used those ones you have pictured there. They work ok but one issue is that they don't seal out moisture very well. Corrosion happens more quickly with them. I suppose it may not be much of an issue if they're buried. In the winter time, a truck can come back in a matter of weeks driving through all the corrosive salt, and the wires will be completely corroded and falling apart.

    My preferred method is to use a butt connector with a crimp at each end, and the best ones have a quarter inch of heat-shrinkable tubing at each end. They seal very well from moisture and the elements and prolong corrosion and broken wires very well.
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,840

    Yah. See around every contractor buries the valves underground in a valve box. And we don't get snow around here, or have any reason to salt.
  4. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Ah ok, they're contained in something and not buired in bare dirt. Then I wouldn't worry. A guy could use a wire nut and probably be fine...

    You don't get snow? In Oregon? I'd think you'd get plenty. Ah what do I know...
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,840

    Yah, most companies around here use wire nuts. But they are much more time consuming. You have to strip each wire first, then wind the wires together. It makes doing a whole manifold take 3x as long.

    As for snow, no we don't get plenty of it. We usually don't see any snow in this part of Oregon. What we do get plenty of is rain and Californians. And I am sick of both! :laugh:
  6. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,415

  7. We use kings as well. I buy good strippers and replace as soon as they start getting dull or I lose them.
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,685

    Best wire nut I ever saw looked like an ordinary black plastic wire nut, but underneath the plastic was a two-piece brass assembly of a sleeve and a set screw. Insert wires, tighten the set screw, then thread on the plastic cover. I forget who made them. Couldn't have been cheap.
  9. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,097

    on a somewhat related topic has anyone ever had mice eat the insulation off the wires inside the box? this spring i went to turn on a system we put in last winter that had never run. the clock read err and i was like wtf this is brand new. so i went out side and looked in the valve box and the 13/18 wire feeding all the zones of the 100 head system were nothing but bare copper and i found the remains of a mouse nest. trying to splice on to 2" of wire really sucked.
  10. Yeah we get mice damage on wires and rats and squirrels.

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