Whether you’re installing new solar panels or making adjustments to existing solar panels, you’ll need to use the right connectors. Solar connectors are designed specifically for use with solar panels. You can use them to wire solar panels together in either a series or parallel configuration. But if you need to disconnect one or more solar connectors, you’ll need to use an extraction tool.
What Is an Extraction Tool?
An extraction tool is a handheld tool that’s used to disconnect solar connectors. You can’t just pull solar connectors to disconnect them. Rather, most solar connectors — including MC4 connectors — require the use of a special tool known as an extraction tool.
With an extraction tool, you can safely disconnect solar connectors without damaging them or the wires on which they are crimped. Extraction tools are used to disconnect or “extract” solar connectors.
Push-Fit Solar Connectors
Most solar connectors feature a push-fit design. They come in male-female pairs. You can connect them by pushing the male solar connectors into the female solar connectors.
The push-fit design makes solar connectors easy to install. You can install them by pushing the male solar connects into their female counterparts. Once installed, they will offer a secure connection. The solar connectors won’t disconnect or otherwise separate on their own. Even if you pull them, in fact, the male and female solar connectors will remain connected.
How Extraction Tools Work
Extraction tools work by disengaging the contact retention assembly in solar connectors. The contact retention assembly, of course, is designed to hold the male and female solar connectors together. You should hear a clicking sound after pushing a male solar connector into a female solar connector. This clicking sound indicates the contact retention assembly was engaged. To disengage the contact retention assembly, though, you’ll need to use an extraction tool.
Extraction tools leverage a spring-loaded action to safely disconnect solar connectors. You don’t have to worry about damaging the crimp terminal. As long as you choose the right type of extraction tool, you can use it to safely disconnect solar connectors.
When choosing an extraction tool, check to see what type of pins it supports. Solar connectors are available in different pin sizes. You’ll need to choose an extraction tool that supports the size of your solar connectors’ pins.
Solar connectors are reusable; you just need to use an extraction tool. It’s a manually operated, spring-loaded tool that’s used to disconnect solar connectors.