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Cables & Wiring FAQs

Q How do I fit copper tube terminals to larger cable?

You will need to use a heavier duty crimping tool such as this one (120mm² max. cable).

Q What do the colours on the cables insulation mean?

Colours are used to help identify cable only and have no impact on its performance. Most applications will use red for positive and black for negative however it can be made any colour you wish.  

Q What does mm2 mean?
A This is the total cross sectional area of the copper conductor. You will sometimes see cable described as 1mm or 2mm cable without the ² sign but it is important to note that this does not mean the diameter of the cable. This can often lead to confusion so just remember that the main specification for a cable will be its conductor's cross-sectional area and cable will never be referred to by its diameter alone.
Q How can I find out what size cable I have?

Your cable may have markings which will indicate the size of cable you have either in mm2 or AWG. 

Q How do I connect two different sized cables together (e.g. small cable to much larger cable)?

Connecting two dissimilar sized cables can be tricky as most connectors are designed to connect similar sized cable. One area where this problem is often encountered is in the above example of extending the cables on a compressor fridge where the flying leads from the fridge are usually quite small gauge but you need to connect to larger gauge cable to prevent voltage drop. The best option here is to terminate the cable ends with suitable ring terminals (normally insulated terminals for cable up to 6mm² and copper tube terminals for larger cable) and then use a terminal block or a power post. Either of these will provide a professional, secure connection.

Another option if you are connecting two dissimilar cables together that are 6mm² or smaller is to use a splice connector. The cable ends can be terminated with suitable 6.3mm wide female blade terminals and then joined to the splice connector.


Disclaimer - The information contained in these articles is provided in good faith and we do our best to ensure that it is accurate and up to date, however, we cannot be held responsible for any damage or loss arising from the use or mis-use of this information or from any errors or omissions. The installer is ultimately responsible for the safety of the system so if you are in any doubt, please consult a qualified electrician.

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