How to Splice Wrapped Wire Pigtails Without Solder

How to Splice Wrapped Wire Pigtails Without Solder


Splicing electrical wires is a common task for many DIYers and electricians. Pigtails are short lengths of wire that are spliced onto a longer wire to extend the circuit. Wrapped wire pigtails have the wire ends twisted together to form the splice. Soldering is usually used to strengthen the connection, but it is possible to splice wrapped pigtails without solder or special tools. This guide will walk through the steps for properly joining wrapped wire pigtails without solder.

Reasons for Splicing Without Solder

There are a few scenarios where you may need to splice pigtails without solder:

Safety Precautions

Follow these safety measures when splicing wires without solder:

Materials Needed

Gather these supplies before splicing pigtails without solder:

Wire nuts are plastic twist-on connectors while crimp connectors use metal teeth that clamp down when compressed with pliers. Either type works for no-solder pigtail splices.

Step-by-Step Process

Follow these steps for properly splicing wires without solder:

1. Cut Power

The first step is to shut off power to the circuit at the breaker box. Verify power is off by using a non-contact voltage tester. With power off, it is safe to work on splicing the wires.

2. Strip Wires

Use wire strippers to remove 3/4 in of insulation from each wire end that will be spliced. Take care not to nick the copper conductor. Nicked or shredded wire ends will compromise the connection.

3. Clean Wires

Use fine grit sandpaper to buff the exposed copper conductor of each wire. This cleans any oxidation and creates a shiny surface for better electrical contact between wires.

4. Twist Wires Together

Hold the wires to be joined together between your thumb and forefinger. Use pliers to twist each wire clockwise so they wrap tightly together like the strands of a rope.

5. Apply Connector

With the wires still twisted together, slide a wire nut or crimp connector over the wires and secure following the product instructions. This encases the bare wires and protects the splice.

6. Tape It Up

As a final step, wrap 2-3 layers of electrical tape around the connector and exposed wires. This seals out moisture and prevents wires from unraveling.

7. Restore Power

With the splice complete, turn the power back on at the breaker box. Give it a pull test to ensure the connection is mechanically solid before returning power.

Tips for Reliable No-Solder Pigtail Splices

Here are some useful tips for getting the best results when splicing pigtails without solder:


Joining wrapped wire pigtails without solder is simple with some basic tools and the proper technique. Key steps include cutting power, cleaning wires, tightly twisting, installing mechanical connectors, and taping. Following the procedures outlined here will result in secure, lasting electrical splices without needing solder. Be sure to exercise caution and follow electrical safety principles when working on any wiring project.