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Using Spade Terminals Safely by William

spade_801 There are a few different ways to create a break in a wire to make easy access to things. Spade terminals are one of them, and there is also a barrel style, which are a bit stronger. I did not have any of the barrel ones, but here is a the “safe” way to install spade terminals into a connection as a line break, instead of a terminal lead. I do this on the terminals also, but mostly cause it looks professional, and keeps accidents from happening. These are just crimp on style connectors. I cut the length of shrink tubing and fit over the end. I leave a hair over the end of the terminal, sometimes it shrinks in towards the wire, and you are trying to cover any exposed metal areas. You can always trim later if it does not line up with the end, but I generally leave it unless it effects the ability for me to plug it in. Using a heat gun, or a sufficient heat source you shrink the tubing onto the wire creating this ‘sealed’ end. Less chance of corrosion on the terminal as well. If you have never worked with shrink tubing before, you should practice shrinking a few pieces on wires and such. If you are using a heat gun, it is very easy, if you are using a lighter or a torch, do not put the flame on the tubing. The tubing will deform and not shrink properly. You want to hold the flame away and turn the part over the heat from the flame. If you are using a torch like I did, it functions like a heat gun, but there is a huge flame. I just turn on the torch and rotate the part in the heat of the torch. Also, be sure to be careful of your hands around a flame, and the fact the wire could catch on fire if you are working with older wire. Some older wire’s coatings will ignite under flame.


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