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HomeTips & GuidesWiring Terminals: How to Choose the Best Wiring Terminal Block

Wiring Terminals: How to Choose the Best Wiring Terminal Block

Wiring terminals play a crucial role in electrical connections. Also, you’ll encounter numerous types of automotive wire terminals and connectors. Each kind is suited to a particular role. 

Therefore, you should identify the various automotive connector terminals if you’re a DIY guy looking to fix your car’s electricals. Today’s guide helps in that quest, so join us to deeply explore automotive connectors and terminals. 

What are Terminal Block Connectors?

In electrical work, connectors facilitate a neat link-up of one wire to another. Therefore, terminal block connectors refer to a component on a wire end that aids its connection to another circuit. 

You’ll find different forms of block connectors in the market. But the main characteristic you’ll find is that they’re all single-pole. 

  • Often, you’ll find them in circuits that need a semipermanent linkage. It is important as they ease inspections and wire repair. 
  • Secondly, they feature a plastic outer layer, ensuring the joints’ insulation. 

Types of Terminal Blocks

Wiring electric connector terminal.

Wiring electric connector terminal.

We have four major types: 

Screw Terminals 

An electrician fixes a wire in the connection block with a screwdriver.

An electrician fixes a wire in the connection block with a screwdriver.

These allow you to use a screw to hold the wire whose end you’re terminating. Although they are still valuable for auto wiring, their primary application is domestic wiring. 

The primary upside of these terminals is they don’t require a solder to hold the wire in place. Nonetheless, beware of the dangers of applying excess pressure on the screws, as this may damage the terminal. 

Barrier Terminals

Similar to the screw above terminals in that both types apply screws for holding the wire in place. However, for barrier terminals, you have multiple termination sections. Hence, the name ‘barrier terminals’ comes from the numerous barriers separating the individual terminals. 

Also, some barrier terminals feature covers that are imperative in shielding the connections from short circuits. Hence, this explains the popularity of these terminals in high-voltage circuits as they have a secure connection. 

Push-fit Terminals

Push Fit Connector Terminals. 

Push Fit Connector Terminals. 

They are the ideal terminals if you want to create a connection without having screws to reinforce it. It is because of their flagship feature- a lever with a spring that ensures the wire can enter easily but can’t come out. 

Also, these terminals create a perfect joint without the risk of overtightening, as you’d expect with screws. However, refrain from using them if you want a temporary joint. 

It is because, while it’s seamless for the wire to clip in, coming out results in the destruction of the terminal. 

Pluggable Terminal

Plugged Connector Terminal. 

Plugged Connector Terminal. 

Are you wary of using the push-fit terminals because of the abovementioned downside? The pluggable types are a better alternative because: 

  • Like the push-fit terminals, these also allow you to connect the wire without the need for a screw reinforcement. 
  • But, unlike push-fit terminals, they are easy to unplug, making them ideal for temporary connections. 
  • Moreover, they make the removal of cable for your routine inspections or servicing easy. 

What is the Ideal Terminal Block for You?

Circuit Current Requirements

An EV.

An EV.

It would be best to consider how much Amperage passes through a terminal, as too much current is hazardous. It will overheat the block and, therefore, damage the joint. 

The rule of thumb is that your terminal block must withstand at least 50% more current than its carrying capacity. For instance, say you expect a current of 4 amps. The terminal block should have a rating of 5 amps and above. 

Circuit Voltage Requirements

100V. 

100V. 

Please don’t ignore the voltage requirement, as it’s as essential as the current capacity discussed above. Here’s what happens when you pass a higher current than the necessary capacity:

  • First, you’ll induce current leaks. Such an outcome is dangerous for the circuit and can lead to short circuits. 
  • Also, it will destroy the terminal block. However, you don’t have to pay too much attention to the voltage ratings, especially if your circuit carries below 100V. 

Type of Wire

Again, the wire type is a critical determinant of the terminal block you’ll apply. Here are the aspects you must consider:

  • The size of the cable and its compatibility with the block. 
  • Whether the cable is single-core or multicore. 
  • For the latter, the screw/ barrier terminal is the ideal option. But for single-core, we advise using the push-fit terminal or the pluggable one if it’s a temporary connection. 

Environment of Use

Open Electric car bonnet. 

Open Electric car bonnet. 

You should always apply a terminal block suited to the application area. For instance, some do best in high-voltage environments, and some cannot withstand.

Also, especially for automotive terminals and connectors, you must ensure the terminals can withstand high heat. 

Finally, especially for auto wire terminals, ensure they form a tight fit joint to withstand mechanical vibrations. 

Wrap-Up

You can’t go wrong with cable terminal connectors if you always consider the above factors. Also, we advise you always to consult your mechanic if you’re unsure of the appropriate terminal block.

If you decide to buy and install one all by yourself, take time to understand the downsides and upsides of each.

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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