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How To Crimp A Wire Onto An Electrical Terminal

by Wade Black

Bad electric wires have to be replaced to avoid shorting out an electric motor and causing extensive damage. If the wires are connected to the motor using terminal connectors, you'll also have to install new terminals on the end of the new wires so you can connect them to the motor you are working on. The wires are typically crimped into the connectors so they don't become loose and disconnect from the terminal. You can secure the wire to the connector with a wire crimping tool. Here is how you should connect the wire to the terminal using a wire crimping tool.

You Will Need:

  • Wire Crimping Tool
  • Wire Strip Tool

Stripping the Wire

The first thing you need to do is cut the insulation off of the tip of the wire. You should avoid using a utility or pocket knife to make sure you don't cut any of the strands in the wire while you are taking off the insulation – breaking the strands will harm the conductivity of the wire. Instead, you should obtain a wire strip tool to strip the wire you are connecting to a terminal.

Wire strippers typically allow you to cut a number of different wire gauges using the one tool. Each gauge will have its own slot in the stripping tool. Place the wire end into the slots until you find the one that surrounds the wire without leaving space or cutting into it when you gently squeeze the handle of the stripping tool. Once you find the right slot, squeeze the handle hard to cut the insulation off of the wire end.

Connecting Wire to Terminal

Place the wire end into the two wings at the bottom of the terminal. The top wing is used to connect the bare wires to the terminal, and the bottom wing is used the hold the end of the wire that still has insulation covering it. The wings are the part of the terminal that you will bend over the wire with your crimping tool to secure the wire to the terminal.

You must make sure the bare wire does not extend into and past the lower wing. The movement of the wire will cause the metal strands to break over time from repeated bending and the wire will disconnect from the terminal.

The bare wire must also not extend into the part of the terminal that will connect to the other terminal on the motor. If you need to, cut the bare wire down so it fits perfectly into the top wing on the terminal (the stripping tool will have slot on the side to cut the wire).

The crimping tool will have two slots. One is for the smaller top wing that holds the bare wire and one is for the larger bottom wing that secures the insulated portion of the wire. Place the proper slot over the wing and press down hard. This will bend the metal on the wings so they clasp over the wire and squeeze it onto the terminal. You are now ready to connect the terminal ends to restore the flow of electricity to the piece of equipment.

If you need help, contact a local electrician, like Narducci Electric, for help.