For this review Steve Hewish gets his hands on a selection of solutions from IDEAL Industries EMEA.
In-Sure Push-In Wire Connectors
These connectors are an easy product to use, making maintenance-free connections a breeze. They have an ergonomic design which makes your connections look neat and tidy, so if your client is watching over your shoulder – which is not uncommon – it gives a slightly more professional look.
They come in various sizes, designed for different numbers of cores, and are colour-coded for ease of selection. Once cables have been pushed into these connectors, they feel very secure and are easily inspected, due to the clear casing. The only thing I would have found slightly more useful is if the installer case was stocked with 100 of each connector.
In-Sure Lever Wire Connectors
Another product I was given to test is a re-usable version of the Ideal push-in connectors with a lever, thus meaning each termination can be released and re-terminated. These connectors still have the clear casing to show that the cable is pushed in far enough and won’t come loose. The levers can be a little bit fiddly to begin with, which I guess is a result of maintaining the ergonomics of the connector, so they may take some getting used to, but once you do get used to them, they will help you make faster, more consistent connections.
SpliceLine In-Line Wire Connectors
These connectors are an innovative change to using an insulated through crimp and they save so much time – it’s just a case of stripping the cable and pushing in and, with no crimp tool required, productivity is increased. Another plus point for me is they’re rated at 32A so that they can be used to extend cables for lots of different purposes, including extending ring circuits. This means that when you’re on jobs like a consumer unit re-location you can save plenty of time by not having to tighten terminal blocks.
Ideal enclosures are a great accompaniment to the push-in and lever connectors as they have a multitude of uses. I have used these mostly for downlight joints, or as a replacement for conventional joint boxes, and they’re very easy to use with the snap lid cover. The bright colour also makes them easily visible.
Wire Armour Premium Vinyl Tape
This tape is a pleasant change to the widely stocked cheaper alternative which has the age-old issue of splitting in cold weather, so you’re forever trying to keep it warm in your pocket or in the van on top of the heater. The Ideal tape has been designed to remain malleable and not split even in the coldest of temperatures. I’ve tried this tape out at freezing temperatures (the lowest was -1degC) and I found that it coped well with every situation I needed it to.
Download the Ideal Wire Connectors catalogue here.