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HomeTips & GuidesHow to Assemble Pigtail Wires

How to Assemble Pigtail Wires

How to Assemble Pigtail Wires? Here’s all you need to know about pigtail wires. Find out how pigtails work and the different sizes and colors available. This guide will also teach you how to pigtail wires. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the details. 

What is a Pigtail Wire

An auto pigtail is a short cable featuring a connector on one end and pieces of wire on the other side. You only need to plug the connector into your device and link the wires to a secondary component when using it. 

If you’re a DIY projects enthusiast, you have probably encountered pigtails, which are common in such undertakings. Notable, they come in different colors and sizes. However, according to the US National Electrical Code (NEC), a pigtail wire length requirement is six inches. 

Also, you must be careful when choosing them as they come in male and female connectors. 

How a Pigtail Works?

Splice electrical wiring using wire connectors.

Splice electrical wiring using wire connectors.

A pigtail is an electrical joinery component primarily useful in linking up one part of the circuit to the other. It has a range of applications, making it one of the most significant electrical parts. For instance, you can use it to ground an electrical appliance like a switch

It is also handy for modifying your wiring. For instance, you must use one switch to control multiple lighting fixtures. Pigtail wiring will be handy when making such a setup. 

What Are The Sizes, Colors, And Genders of a Pigtail Connector?

Pigtails Wiring. 

Pigtails Wiring. 

You will find multicolored pigtail wires of different genders. In addition, you must be careful when selecting the right pigtail size. The most common sizes are 4 millimeters, 3.5 millimeters, and 2.54 millimeters. 

Of the three, the connector you will find in most electrical applications is 2.54 millimeters. To some degree, the colors don’t matter, especially in your simple DIY projects. 

However, when dealing with multiple wires, you can use numerous colors to create unique identifying codes. It will help you navigate your wiring with ease as you can outright tell where each wire connects. 

Finally, you must select the right pigtail wire connector gender. They are available in male and female forms, and getting the gender right is key as it determines where you can plug. 

How to Make Pigtail Electrical Wire Connections?

A pigtail wiring setup. 

A pigtail wiring setup. 

Here’s a step-by-step illustration of creating simple pigtail electrical wire connections. 

Assemble the Tools and Materials 

An electric tester. 

An electric tester. 

You will need several tools, including:

  • A screwdriver
  • A wire cutter
  • A circuit tester
  • A wire stripper
  • A pair of pliers. 

It would be best to choose needle-nose pliers, as they are the most adapted for this work. In addition, you will require wire connectors and pieces of wire. 

Shut the Power

Disconnecting a car battery. 

Disconnecting a car battery. 

Before proceeding with the pigtail installation, you should shut down the power supply. For instance, if you’re installing a pigtail wire for a light switch in your vehicle, disconnect the negative battery terminal. 

But for a house electrical installation, turn off the power from the main switch. The rule of thumb is ascertaining if the power is off with a contactless circuit tester. 

Mold a Pigtail Wire

Pigtail cables. 

Pigtail cables. 

Cut a six-inch wire from one of the long wire pieces. Remember to use a wire with a gauge matching the circuit you want to modify. Also, it would be best if you matched the colors for uniformity. 

Next, remove a few inches of the wire cover from both ends of the wire to prepare it for connection. Check the inscriptions on the appliance you’re connecting. Most appliances, such as switches, have specifications on how much you need to strip the wire. 

Make the Pigtail Connection

Connect one of the striped ends of your wire to the pigtail’s screw terminal. In this step, you will need a pair of pliers to loop the wire around. Next, insert the screw and tighten it for a firm grip on the wire beneath. 

Ensure that all the striped copper wire is concealed inside the terminal for a clean job. 

Now, connect the other end of the pigtail to the circuit wire. A nut will be handy for this, although you can use other appropriate connectors. Note that the number of grounding pigtails you use depends on the switch cover type. 

For instance, if it is all plastic, you will require a single grounding pigtail. But for a metallic one, you need two. 

Complete the Setup

Once you have connected all the wires appropriately, tuck them inside and reconnect the switch cover. Tighten the screws and reconnect the power back for testing. 

Wrap Up

Pigtailing wires is a breeze when equipped with the insights we have provided above. The most important aspect is to ensure you use the right pigtail size. Also, we insist you confirm the gender of the pigtails you want to use for compatibility. 

Hi I am Christa, sales manager of Cloom.

I have extensive expertise and experience in wiring harnesses and I believe I can help you.

And we have a very professional technical team who can clearly understand the customer’s needs and give professional suggestions and solutions after receiving the drawings.

If you also have wiring harness needs, please send me the drawing so that we can give you our quote and start our business.

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