Quick Tip from Adam Savage: Using Solder Seal Wire Connectors
In this quick tip video, Adam demos the use of a product that I’d never even heard of: Solder Seal Wire Connectors. These connectors allow you to make waterproof wire joins without having to twist and solder wires. You simply slot the wires into the clear plastic connector tube and hit it with a heat gun. The tube has solder inside for the electrical connection and it clamps and shrink-seals the wires at the same time.
Adam also extols the virtues of numbered wire marking tape. These are little labels, numbered 0-9, that you can use to mark and ID corresponding connections.
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Waterproof solder sleeves have been a thing for many years. I worked at Texas Instruments for almost 20 years, until 1996 and was using them for wiring harnesses at times.
These sleeves consist of a clear heatshrink tubing with two small solder rings on the middle, complete with resin flux, and rings of some material akin to hot glue in each end.
Put wires in both ends and hit with a heatgun and voila.
When I hired an excavator to dig a trench from my house to my shop in a secondary building out back I knew it was inevitable that the sprinkler irrigation pipes would be broken and I would need to repair them. Didn’t occur to me that the sprinkler control wire had also been run through the ground in that area. I forget how many wires. 13? Fairly narrow trench. Would have been a massive pain to splice the repair in by any other method. These waterproof solder splice connectors made it EASY. Wet wipes to clean the soil off the wire, 120v heat gun, and quality wire stripper were all I needed. Sprinklers work great and I have no concern about water infiltration with the fantastic heat shrink seal with heat-sensitive adhesive in the type I used. I can’t speak to how strong a mechanical connection it makes so a proper lineman’s splice is more appropriate in some situations, but I use this stuff for nearly every application.