Connecting Terminals To Your Wire

By: Dusty Arlia
Published on November 30, 2011
Last Updated on Monday, July 06, 2015 at 3:01 PM
Total Updates: 6

When terminating cables, there are plenty of adapters you can connect when the cables happen to be data cables. This article focuses on strictly on power cables. There are mainly two kinds of terminals. One for size 10 gauge wire and smaller. The other for cables larger than 10 gauge.

For cables smaller than 10 gauge wire, they will use a terminal with a terminal screw and a contact plate. These terminals are hard to use on stranded wire and still be able to make a good connection.

To install this terminal wrap the wire about 3/4 of the way around the screw in a clockwise direction. Tighten the screw so that it is snug and then proceed to give it another half turn. The insulation should end no more than 1/4 inch from the screw at the most. Leave just enough bare wire to go around the screw. Form this loop with a pair of long-nose pliers, slip it around the screw, close it with the pliers so that the loop is entirely under the screw, and then tighten the screw.

Do not connect two wires under a single wraparound terminal screw.

For wires that are larger than 10 gauge, they are inserted into a metal terminal that has a shape of a capital letter "U" with a flat top that has a screw to tighten it down.