Rapid connectors are a great piece of equipment that should be a part of any electrical contractor’s toolbox. They can easily connect or disconnect cables with an impact, greatly increasing the safety and efficiency of your business. However, rapid connectors aren’t as common as they used to be, and they are not as simple to install as they once were. Not only do you need to understand the basic uses of rapid connectors, but you also need to be able to properly install them in order to increase productivity and minimize the chances of damage.
There are many types of rapid connectors available, and knowing what each one does is important. Understanding how to use each type is the first step in understanding how to properly install them.
Most electrical contractors can remember the first time they installed a rapid connector. If you are like most, it was probably in a home construction project where you needed to split one cable into two.
The electrician uses a spark plug to melt away the outer insulation of the cable, exposing the inner components inside. From there, the technician slides the plug and connects the cables with a quick heat-soak, or heat-soak-spit. Often, a couple of rounds of quick connection will be necessary before the connector is done.
Those types of connectors are made from PVC (Phosphate V) that melts on contact with electricity. They can be constructed of plastic, aluminum, or stainless steel. The only thing about the product that may pose a threat to the electrical current is when it comes into contact with the heating element. The metal components allow for a smooth and quick connection.
The PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) Rapid Connector is very similar to the PVC (Phosphate V) connector, except that it doesn’t require the heat soak-spit process. The electrical current is passed through the heating element, which heats the metal connections, melting the PVC.
The two types of connectors come in various temperatures. They can range from cold to hot to extreme cold. Each connector has different ratings that indicate the electrical current it can handle.
A PVC connector can handle up to 150 amps per pair. In order to properly use this type of connector, there are recommended wiring harnesses and safety cables, which should always be connected together with the appropriate connectors.
In order to decrease the risk of injury to people around the electrical work being done, the newer versions of the PVC connector are now flame-retardant. They are also heat-resistant and will withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
The metal connectors are typically made from high-carbon steel that is coated with an anti-corrosive mineral. The coating prevents rust and corrosion and protects the metal connection. Some even have a coat of anti-corrosive paint to reduce the possibility of damage.
The PVC connectors are perfect for older buildings and may be less expensive than the PVC connectors. These are often better when it comes to protecting electrical wires and connectors because they are made of mild steel and have the metal coatings already applied.
If you’re an electrical contractor or a homeowner who needs to connect cables, then you know what you need to keep an eye out for when using any rapid connector. Your safety should be your first priority, so make sure that you understand the proper use of the connector.