Gary Fisher of Lougar Electrical tries out the Plug-in T-Connector from Quickwire.
We’re very fortunate in the electrical industry that a number of the companies whose products we use on a daily basis are regularly striving to bring new ways of saving on time and hassle to the market.
One example is the recently released pluggable T-Connector from Quickwire – a system that is designed to make life that bit easier when connecting light fittings together. Put simply, it’s a very handy plug and play connection kit.
The initial T-Connector socket is capable of taking a maximum of 2 x 1.0-2.5mm twin & earth solid core conductor cables (loop in loop out scenario), which when stripped back, just push into the connector socket, with the T-Connector plug taking a flexible cord.
When stripping, there’s the option to obtain Quickwire’s own automatic stripping tool which makes the process of stripping of the T&E and flex’s that much easier.
There’s no need for any adjustment – you simply place the cable where you want to strip and away you go – no effort involved and you just need to get the correct length sorted before guiding them into the connector unit.
I would, however, suggest a little bit of practice time beforehand so that you can get the hang of using them correctly.
Correctly positioned cores
So, for the T-Connector socket it’s recommended that you go with 20-22mm of the outer sheath stripped, and 15-17mm of the inner insulation stripped. You then align and push into the connector until it can go no further and, to confirm you’ve carried out the process correctly, there’s a window that allows you to see whether the cores are correctly positioned.
To hold the cable in place you simply snap the shutters together – Bob’s your uncle!
Trust me, if you can get this process right there will be no need to identify the cpc with sleeving. If, for any reason, you’ve made a mistake then the process of disconnection is just as easy.
Using the Quickwire removal tool (free with each order), or if you don’t have one to hand (I didn’t) a screwdriver, you place it under the side arms and with your thumbs push the shuttle out to release the cable. Again, I found this process a touch awkward at first, but soon got the hang of it after a few tries.
When it comes to the T-Connector plug the process is very similar – it’s recommended for 27mm of the outer sheath to be stripped and 9mm of the inner insulation, before you push in and close the unit together. This will also push the cable into the cord grip, holding it tight.
The whole design of this connection unit is rated at 16A and offers a simple way of carrying out any future replacement or testing of the circuit. One of the beauties of this system is that the connector will fit through a 30mm diameter hole, which is a far cry from the days when we used the small circular junction boxes and then found that they wouldn’t fit through the light holes – a very harsh lesson learnt.
There’s no need for a screwdriver, as its strip and push, and there are no live accessible parts, making the system basically maintenance-free. The T-Connector plug and socket set that was sent to me by Quickwire was already flexed, plus it also had the ferruled trailing flex end ready for termination into the light position. You can obtain these in a variety of styles (with or without the flex) according to what best suits your application.
Again, this mode will save even more time (though may cost a little bit more) and serves to make the whole process easier and quicker. It also makes life less daunting for the lucky individual who has been tasked with undertaking all the terminations.
There’s nothing worse than knowing you’ve got a lot of downlights to connect and only a limited time to carry this out. For this review I had two different projects to utilise the products on, with ten downlights in total to connect, and I found that I was able to save time, hassle and money throughout.
Although I was a bit clumsy with everything initially, all it took was a quick demonstration to understand how the cables went together, and I was off and away from that point onwards.
Get through terminations quickly
The product is particularly beneficial where you have repetition works on bigger sites. I can envisage scenarios where maybe on individual who knows how to use the system properly and gains a knack of using the tool, knowing their cutting lengths etc. can go through a lot of terminations in a very quick time.
If you’re carrying out a lot of downlight replacement and maintenance work, I’d highly recommend that you take a look at this handy new product. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
Watch a product demonstration video by clicking here