The common types of wire splices are the Western Union splice, tap splice, staggered splice, fixture splice and rat-tail joint splice. Splices are used to connect two wires for the purpose of carrying either electrical current or a network signal. The splice must be strong in order to work effectively, regardless of whether a solder has been applied.
The Western Union splice works best to connect small, solid conductors. The Western Union splice is created by removing 5 inches of the insulation from the ends of the two wires. The two exposed wires are put together to make an "X." The technician then wraps each piece around the other five or six times, cuts off the excess wires and wraps tape around the new connection.
A tap splice is used to connect the conductor to a running wire. This is done by stripping off 1-½ inches from the running wire. The connecting wire is wrapped six times around the running wire and sealed using tape.
Fixture splices are used to connect wires of different sizes. Five inches of the insulation is removed from the ends of both wires. A firm twist of the ends creates a tight joint. The joint is soldered together and covered with tape.
A rat-tail joint, on the other hand, is commonly used to connect wires in a conduit or junction box. Five inches is also stripped off the ends of the wires, and the exposed wires are crossed together and twisted to form one section.