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It is important to correctly connect splices to the direct burial cable so no moisture can reach the electrical cords.  Moisture can cause corrosion and difficult repairs. The techniques for connecting landscape lighting fixtures to the direct burial cable include wire nuts filled with sealant, pierce-point or push-on connectors, pierce-point connector held within a grease sealed casing, wire nuts with electrical tape, and direct burial connections (DBr). The method that will give you the highest quality connection is the direct burial connection.

low voltage direct bury connectorsDirect Burial Connection: These include tightly connected bare wires that are tightly sealed, preventing any moisture from reaching them. There are four common DBr connectors that are all approved for underground use. These connectors include ace connectors, wire nuts placed in grease tubes, Buchanan crimps put into grease tubes, and quick connect DBrs like products from Blazing Connectors (LV9000 and LV9500) that locks bare wires together and encapsulates them in grease.

wire nuts waterproof grease

Wire Nut Connection: Wire nuts filled with sealant will provide a strong moisture seal. However, there is a high risk of wires coming loose. If you use this method, be sure to use electrical tape to keep the wires from being bumped and coming loose. A proper DBr splice with stain relief is preferred.

Pierce-point or push-on connection: These connections use spikes, blades, or pins to pierce the insulating sheath of the direct burial cable and contact the copper connector. They are quick, very easy to use, and also allow for quick adjustment if you want to move your fixtures. The down side to these connectors is that moisture can leak into the connection and cause failure. There is also little metal to metal contact. If you wish to remove these connectors later, the pierced holes will still remain in the cable sheath, causing corrosion.  This is the worst splice to use.

Pierce-point connectors held within grease sealed casings:  This method is better than the plain pierce-point.  They are the same except they have sealant to help keep moisture out. The one problem with these connections is that the pierce points don't always puncture the middle of the copper strands, which can cause connection failure.

Regular wire nuts and electrical tape connection:  These are a fast and cheap method to use, but they are not as safe as the other methods. Plus, they do not protect against moisture. Do not use this type of splice.

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