What Is A Pigtail Connector? Things You Should Know

Pigtail Connector

Pigtail connectors are small cables with a connection on one end and a segment of wires on the other. What is a pigtail connector?

Pigtail connectors are insulation displacement connectors that are filled with di-electric grease to prevent moisture from getting inside the connector.

They come in both male and female variations. A pigtail connector might be exactly what you need if you need to connect two devices but don’t have the right connector!

This article provides a complete introduction to pigtail connectors. Read on if you’re interested!

How Does A Pigtail Work?

Pigtailing is frequently used in conjunction with other electrical repairs and replacements, not as a stand-alone project. When making pigtail connections, make sure you are aware of the project’s overall requirements.

A pigtail wire is a small length of wire that is joined to the circuit wires at one end by a wire connector (wire nut) and at the other end by a screw terminal on an electrical device. The most typical use is when grounding a switch or receptacle, where green grounding pigtails are used to connect the metal box and the device to the circuit grounding wires.

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Sizes, Colors, And Genders Of Pigtail Connectors

Pigtail connectors are available in a range of shapes, hues, and genders. The port that the connector is intended to fit into will determine its size. 2.54mm, 3.5mm, and 4mm are typical sizes. The pigtail connector’s color can be used to distinguish between various connection types, though it is typically selected for aesthetic reasons. For instance, you could connect devices using blue pigtail connectors for video and red ones for audio. There are male and female pigtail connectors available, and depending on the gender of the connector, a specific device can be plugged into it.

Pigtail Connector

Most Frequently Used Pigtail Connector

The 2.54mm pitch connector is the most typical pigtail connector. This type of connector is frequently used in electronics projects because it is compatible with a wide range of gadgets and parts. The 2.54mm connector, one of the most widely used connectors today, is available in both male and female versions.

How To Choose The Right Pigtail Connector?

You should think about the pigtail connector’s size, color, and gender when selecting one. A connector’s compatibility with the components and devices you’re trying to connect must also be verified. When all of these things have been taken into account, you can pick the ideal pigtail connector for your requirements!

How To Fix Pigtail Connectors?

Determine the issue before attempting to fix pigtail connectors. You can select the best solution once the issue has been identified. You could try tightening the connector, for instance, if it is loose. If the connector is broken, it might be necessary to fix it or replace it. Reattaching the connector will allow you to use it normally once you’ve fixed the issue.

How To Remove Pigtail Connectors?

Pigtail connectors must be removed by first unplugging the wires that are connected to them. You can unscrew or unclip the connector from its position after the wires have been severed. Once the connector has been taken off, you can either throw it away or store it for later use.

Extension: How to Make Pigtail Electrical Wire Connections?

1. Make Sure Power Is Shut Off

Always make sure that the circuit power is off before connecting a pigtail, as with any electrical repair installation. Before continuing, use a circuit tester to make sure the power is off. Before touching any wires, you can quickly check for power using a non-contact circuit tester.

2. Make The Pigtail Wire

Cut a scrap piece of wire 6 to 8 inches long with the same wire gauge and color as the circuit wires using wire cutters. Utilizing a wire stripper, remove the insulation from the wire’s ends, about 3/4 inch at a time. A strip gauge may be embossed on the side of some devices, such as switches and outlet receptacles, to indicate precisely how much insulation to remove from the wires.

3. Connect The Pigtail To The Device

Using needle-nose pliers, wrap the exposed wire at the end of the pigtail clockwise around the device’s screw terminal. To hold the wire loop in place, tighten the screw terminal. With no exposed copper wire, the wire loop should fit snugly around the screw shaft.

WARNING

Given that push-in wire connections on receptacles and switches are frequently less secure than screw terminal connections, it is best to avoid using this feature. Due to this, professionals hardly ever use push-in connections.

4. Connect The Pigtail To The Circuit Wire

Use a wire nut or another recognized wire connector to join the bare end of the pigtail at the other end of the circuit wires. Make sure that there are no exposed bare copper wires. To make sure that the wires are in place, tug on them.

If you want to connect a green grounding pigtail to a metal electrical box, insert the green grounding screw from the pigtail into the opening for threaded screws on the back of the electrical box. The other grounding wires are connected to the free end of the grounding pigtail using a wire connector.

When using metal boxes, there may be two grounding pigtails: one connected to the metal box and one connected to the device. The free ends of both pigtails are connected to the circuit grounding wires using a wire connector.

With plastic electrical boxes, there will only be one grounding pigtail connecting the device to the circuit grounding wires.

5. Complete The Work

After finishing all wire connections, mount the cover plate, secure the device to the electrical box, and tuck the wires back into the electrical box. Power the device up and check how it functions.

FAQs

Which Type Of Wire Should Be Used For The Pigtail?

The wire you choose for your pigtail connector will depend on the connection you’re attempting to make. For instance, you’ll need an audio cable if you want to link two audio devices. A video cable must be used to connect a video device to a TV. Selecting the right wire for your pigtail connector depends on the type of connection you need to make.

Is Pigtail Wiring Safe?

When done properly, pigtail wiring is safe. However, it is always advisable to consult an expert if you are unsure about any aspect of your project. Pigtail connectors with the wrong wiring can be extremely dangerous. Aluminum wiring is the most secure pigtail wiring, but it needs to be installed correctly to prevent any harm.

Can You Pigtail Wires In A Breaker Box?

A breaker panel permits wire pigtailing. A circuit panel with lots of cables, wire nuts, clips, and pigtails can still function as a safe and legal breaker box even though it may occasionally appear to be a little disorganized.

How To Wire A Pigtail Outlet?

To wire a pigtail outlet, you will need to connect the ground, hot, and neutral wires using 6-inch-long “pigtails” and wire connectors. the green screw on the outlet, first connecting the ground wire to it. In order to connect the hot wires to the brass screw on the outlet, you must first twist them together. The neutral wires should then be twisted together and fastened to the outlet using the silver screw. You can replace the outlet cover and screw it into position after all the wires are firmly connected.

The Bottom Line

Your cables can be kept neat and organized using the pigtail connector. This is a necessity if you have a lot of cords. It is easy to use and only needs a few seconds to connect to any cable. It also comes in a variety of colors so you can match it to your device or decor. Anyone looking for a quick and easy way to organize their cords has a great choice in pigtail connectors.

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