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Thinking of taking control of your home security system but worried about the wiring? Don't be! Understanding how to make good wiring connections can help dispel some of the mystery and anxiety surrounding your electronic security system. Here, we'll discuss how to properly use B Connectors.

Here at Alarm Grid, we've helped countless DIYers with all sorts of security system projects. From resolving an annoying issue that their previous security installation company failed to take care of to our co-founder, Sterling literally walking a blind customer through a system activation. Once you decide to take your security system into your own hands, you are officially one of our beloved DIYers. In our videos, when we say, "Hey DIYers..." we're talking to you!

There are many benefits to installing and maintaining your own security system. The benefit most folks immediately think of is the money savings. Many customers come to us because their current security company insists on sending out a technician for an expensive service call, even for minor issues.

But the benefit that I think is most important is familiarity. When you wire, program, and service your own system, you become intimately familiar with it. And when you know your system inside and out, you're more comfortable using it, and are more likely to do so. The best security system in the world is useless if you never arm it.

What I want to discuss today is the use of B Connectors when making wiring connections. B Connectors, beanies, or dolphin connectors make splicing two wires together easy. Dolphin® is a particular brand of B Connector, but its use has become so common that the brand name is now synonymous with all such connectors, like Kleenex® is for facial tissues, or Band-Aid® is for adhesive bandage strips.

These connectors are suitable for use with low-voltage systems because we use smaller wire than high-voltage applications. If you try to put larger gauge wire, or more than a couple of smaller gauge wires together in a beanie, it's probably not going to make a satisfactory and long-lasting connection. But normally, for our purposes in the security industry, beanies work just fine.

There are two (2) variations in B Connectors. They come in a dry format, or with sealant inside the connector. Traditionally, dry is meant for indoor applications, where wet is for outdoor wire. However, the connectors with sealant can be used indoors, and the sealant helps to maintain conductivity between the two wire ends, whether indoors or out. When purchasing these connectors, the dry variety is usually white, while the version with sealant is blue.

When it comes to using a B Connector, the process is simple:

  1. Strip about 1/4" (6.4mm) of the wire coating from each of the two (2) wire ends you want to connect with each other. Twist the stripped ends together.
  2. Insert both stripped ends into the wider opening of the B Connector.
  3. Using an appropriate tool such as strippers, pliers or a crimping tool, compress the B Connector around the two (2) wires. It is recommended that you crimp the entire area where the wires are seated. You may have to clamp down multiple times. These connectors are tough, you will need to squeeze HARD to collapse the center area of the connector and make a satisfactory connection.
  4. Verify that you crimped the wire properly by gently tugging on each of your two (2) wires, making sure they don't come loose. If you have a multimeter or a tone and probe set, you can also verify continuity on the wire you just spliced.

Inside the beanie, there are metal pieces that will pierce the outer coating of the wire when you compress the connector. This helps to ensure a good and lasting connection. B Connectors are superior to wire nuts in security system applications because they have a smaller form factor and do a better job of connecting and insulating the connection. They also provide for a neater appearance. This is important because we're often working in tight spaces.

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