What are Push-In Wire Connectors?
Meet the Connector: Push-in Wire Connectors
Push-in wire connectors are insulated wire connectors that are used in electrical systems, including commercial and residential lighting, digital signage, and other building electrical systems. They are used in place of traditional twist-on connectors or wire nuts. This connector type is easy to use, enables fast connections, and often features color-coding for easy identification.
These simple connectors are designed for ease of use. Most push-in wire connectors require no special tooling; installers simply insert wire conductor ends into ports or slots in the connector terminal. Push-in wire connectors are typically self-latching; an internal spring clamp secures the stripped wire, although some versions secure with an external latching mechanism, such as a lever or clamp. They are available with one or more ports; only one conductor should be used per port. To disconnect, simply twist and pull the wire. These connectors may be reused with solid (not stranded) wire of the same size or smaller.
Push-in wire connectors are a variation of earlier mechanical connectors that work with bare wires, such as terminal blocks, screw-in connectors, and wire-splice connectors. Innovations today center on color coding and materials; for example, color coding or transparent polycarbonate material that enables installers to visually confirm proper connections. New compact form factors help streamline installations.
- Specifications Push-in wire connectors meet a range of specifications depending on the manufacturer but are typically UL listed and meet CE electrical code. RoHS, ANSI, DIN, and EN specifications may also apply.
- Coding Color coding helps installers identify the correct cables for retrofit, repair, and installation.
- Cable Considerations Push-in wire connectors are available in a variety of sizes and opening diameters to accommodate a range of cable and wire gauges. They typically include from one to eight ports. Some versions are designed for stranded wire and others for solid wire.
- Current Rating Maximum current allowed depends on individual products but range from 24 A. Voltages range from 450 V to 1000 V.
- Safety Some versions feature a voltage-testing port or slot in which a multimeter probe can be inserted.
- MaterialsThese connectors are available in opaque as well as transparent plastic or polycarbonate materials.
- RuggedizationThis type of connector is available in commercial versions (often available at hardware stores) as well as more durable, professional-quality versions by trusted connector suppliers. The difference in quality between those two categories is significant, and the latter is used in situations where repair, reuse, upgrades, and long-term use is important.
- Handling Advantages
- Push-in wire connectors are designed to provide fast and easy connections with low insertion force. They are used by consumers for DIY home repairs as well as by professional electricians and tradespeople.
Markets, Sectors, and Applications
Home and building wiring, lighting installations, digital signage, distribution boxes, and junction boxes
Push-in wire connectors are available from many manufacturers, including HARTING, Molex, Phoenix Contact, TE Connectivity, WAGO, HellermannTyton, and 3M.
- Terminal blocks
- Twist-on or screw-in wire connectors
- Wire nuts or lever nuts
Like this article? Check out our other Meet the Connector, circular connectors, and Market Update articles, our Medical Market Page, and our 2022 and 2021 Article Archives.
Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletters, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and check out our eBook archives for more applicable, expert-informed connectivity content.
- Connectors & Cybersecurity: Interconnect Solutions Help Protect Digital Assets - March 21, 2023
- Building Better Interconnects for Space-Grade Applications - March 14, 2023
- What are USCAR-Approved Interconnects? - March 7, 2023