There are many different types of connectors that we run into out in the field. They are a common source of bad splice, leading to problems closing the garage door. I find most of them to be extremely annoying, and they don’t save any time.
Here is some brief information about the most common types.
Make sure that you are using an appropriate size for the wire you are working with. They need to be screwed on CLOCKWISE or they won’t lock down on the wire and may fall off. I like to twist the wires together before I even put the wire nut on so that the connection will remain even if the nut falls off somehow. The best one to use is the common Ideal 72B.
In Line Connectors
In line “butt” connectors are very useful in situations where there is barely enough wire sticking out of the wall to work with. As long as you have enough wire to strip a new end on it, you can use one of these to splice a longer wire on. This comes up most frequently when you take off the wall control and find the previous installer cut the wire too short. Be sure to crush them down really well – if you don’t they can fall off. If you are buying these, make sure you get crimp down connectors, some of them look the same but require a heat gun to finish the connection.
Any connector that requires you to push the wire into it can be a problem with thin copper wires – they lack rigidity and tend to bend instead of sliding into the connector. When this happens it may seem like you have a connection, and it may work for a while. But any movement could be enough for the wire to pop out, resulting in a door that won’t close. Sometimes the wire still looks like it is in the connector – very sneaky!
Some push connectors also require you to crush a little button to secure the wire. It is best to use pliers or vice grips, no matter how strong your thumbs are. If the button doesn’t snap down all the way, the wire could come loose. This is the type of connector that comes with replacement safety sensors for LiftMaster and Chamberlain openers – I usually just throw them away.
I personally prefer to use a Twist and Tape connection instead of wire connectors. I have been to countless service calls where a loose wire nut or push connector was the root cause of the problem. They also tend to be bulkier than a taped connection, which means it is easy to accidentally snag one of them with a broom or anything that is being stored in the corners of the garage.