Tips and Tricks: Working with Wires
Working with wires may seem easy on the outside, but in fact it is an art that is not everyone’s play. Durable as well as safe connections can only be established if you know your way around wires. On the flip side a novice may falter seriously and jeopardise the safety of everyone involved. Naked wires not only cause damage to the electrical system but the short circuit can also lead to a fire! So now that we know the importance of clean and durable wire connections, let us get deeper into the art of accurate wire stripping.
Wire stripping tool
It is a simple tool which looks like a complicated pair of scissors. There are different notches of variable size in the stripper tool which helps in stripping wires of different kinds.
Purchasing a stripper
Remember to invest in a good quality stripper as poor quality will wear down soon. While making a purchase make sure that you buy a stripper that is capable of stripping 22AWG & smaller. If you can invest in a stripper that also strips 30 AWG, it would be better.
Stripping a wire
To strip a wire, gently press the handles of the stripper on the wire wherein the wire is placed in the desired notch. It is very important to select the correct notch depending on size of the wire. If you put the wire in a larger notch, it won’t get stripped. On the other hand, if it is large then the wire will get damaged. So you will end up digging inside the wire. So check for a notch that is slightly tighter on the surface of the wire you are intending to cut.
Identifying poorly stripped wires
It is pretty simple to identify poorly cut wires. Look for marks on the wire. If the marks cut into the wire more than ¼ of its width, the wire is not properly cut. Such a wire may break in future causing electrical problems.
Tips and Tricks for soldering wires together
Soldering process helps in connecting two properly stripped wires. Although the thought of soldering two wires may seem a very easy process but most of the people do not do it properly. It is extremely important that if two wires need to be soldered, the connection has to be established properly. This is all the more important in cases where the wire will undergo through a rough handling.
Take two wires and strip them properly. Remember to check whether they are properly stripped. If not then repeat the process and strip again after cutting the damaged piece of the wire. After stripping them, remember to insert the heat shrink tubing on the surface of the wire. Now that you have cleanly stripped wires, twist there ends so that individual wires are intertwined with each other.
Now after having cleanly stripped wires, twist there ends so that individual wires are intertwined with each other. Place one wire over the other and then repeat the process of twisting so that the wires are properly intertwined together. Check for any loose ends and then prepare the soldering iron. Now, clean the tip of the solder by first heating it and apply some solder on top of it. This cleans any previously clogged solder on the tip of the solder. This is an important step without which you would not be able to use the solder properly.
The wires are already intertwined now. So place the soldering iron below the connection to heat up the wires. Remember not to start soldering yet! Wait till the wires are heated properly.
Once the wires are heated, start applying solder on the wires from the top. Because the wires are properly heated, the solder will melt beautifully and it would be applied evenly over the exposed wire. After you are done with soldering, your wires are now connected together. The solder should have flowed properly into the wires establishing a durable connection. Allow the joint to cool off before you begin with next step. After the joint has cooled, gently slide the heat shrink tubing over the joint so that the joint is properly covered. Heat up the tubing with the iron part of the heating element and not the tip of the soldering iron. If you use the tip, it may damage the surface of the tubing.
Keep heating the tubing from all sides until it hugs the joint beautifully and you can no longer slide it. The tubing will shrink and bind tightly with the wire.
You are done!
A durable soldering process ensures longer life of the connection and prevents any hazards that may occur due to electrical short circuits. Remember to follow all the tips and tricks properly.