In case you got tired of waiting, Wago’s 221-series lever nut wiring connectors are now available. They’ve been available in limited numbers for a few months, but by now they’ve become a lot easier to find.
I posted about these new Wago 221 wiring connectors back in 2014, after reviewing their 222 series of wiring connectors. The 222 connectors are still being sold.
The current rating on these is 20A.
Wago 222 connectors are larger, they have smaller levers that some consider harder to open but also harder to accidentally open, a wider wire gauge range, and they are a hair less expensive.
The 221 connectors are smaller, and they have a transparent section.
I was fine with my 222 connectors, especially since 221 connectors have been somewhat hard to find, but new mounting plates for the 221 connectors just came out and look to be easier to use than those for the 222 series. Instead of having to load fasteners from the side, blocking middle sections in and hampering changes, you should be able to load 221 connectors from the front. This is of course of no consequence for anyone who just wants to mount the connectors loose in enclosure or junction box.
They’re available on Amazon, but if you plan on ordering a large quantity, check out Newark Element 14 or Future Electronics. I’ve ordered most of my Wago connectors through Amazon vendors in the past.
Thank you for the update, Stuart. I love these things.
Do they have any way of locking the lever so they can’t accidentally open? Most of the cat5 keystone jacks in my house have a little plastic piece that can be inserted to prevent accidental opening.
In any event, I think I’ll add some to my wishlist for low-voltage projects…
Not that I know of, sorry. These are designed to be used in places where terminal blocks or wire nuts would be used.
The 222 model are actually pretty hard to open by themselves-the levers are pretty stiff. You can try to wrap a plastic wire tie around the levers once your done for extra safety (or wrap or two of electrical tape if aesthetics are not an issue).
I don’t have experience with the 221 model yet.
I see that Wago sells a variety of “operating” tools – some that look like small screwdrivers or bent pry pars – others multi-tipped tools looking to be made from nylon composite.
Are the levers that hard to open that you need a proprietary tool?
Those are for their DIN rail mounted terminal blocks, specifically the angled front ones. Great tools just for a very specialized use.
As Peter said, those tools are for the DIN-mounted terminal blocks. You *should* be able to use small slotted screwdrivers to operate the mechanisms on Wago’s terminal blocks, when manual spring operation is needed. But I guess maybe the angle on these tools provide an ergonomics or access benefit?
Anyways, both the 221 and 222 series connectors are hand-operatable.
Thanks guys – I’m not likely to try any of this out – but it seemed curious that they had what looked like so many specialized tools.
We use them with angle front blocks like the ones here https://octopart.com/281-631-wago-7830739
We also use them when space is an issue.
In general any small cabinet tip flat blade will work however there are some subtle differences, mainly that the angle tends to be flatter making them stay in the terminal block better rather than getting pushed out by the spring. Wago tend to work better with 1/8″ or 3mm tools where Phoenix contact have slightly larger opening in which 3.5mm work better. they both make smaller and larger blocks that need 3/32 or 3mm and 5/32 or 4mm tools.
I have found that most of the European screwdriver manufacturers are good and that there are only a few US manufacturers that work well Xcelite in particular (they have more accurate sizes than most). When you consider that almost all modular terminal blocks (and other DIN rail mounted components) are made to DIN, IEC, EU and or other European standards it makes sense that they are designed around metric based screwdriver standards, so US made screwdrivers made to US standards tend to be a poorer fit. Especially on some of the screw terminal blocks as her is no US equivalent to 3.5mm and very few people in the US have a 5/32 (equivalent to 4mm)
As a side note there is apparently a tool (Wago 210-101) for opening the 222 series lever nuts but I suspect that it is not worth getting or using unless you are in a large volume production environment. I may have to ask our Wago rep next time I see him about it.
Stuart, would you be interested in sharing what the heck you are making with stuff like this? It’s easy to relate to your carpentry / woodworking tool posts, but things like this leave me wondering what you’re up to.
I’ll try to share my next project!
These can be used in home wiring applications, or anywhere you need semi-permanent connections.
I mainly use them for DC projects.
I have used these to setup temporary test setups for electrical equipment for both ac and dc circuits. Its quicker and cleaner than using wire nuts, and safer in my opinion, if you have a mix of wire types (stranded vs solid) or a mix of wire gauges (low voltage applications only).
You can use them to splice telephone wire, speaker wire, etc.
They are also great for those instances where the wires are a little short in the junction box and not easy to twist wires together properly with standard nut.
That’s mostly how I use them too.
There’s no easier way, that I’ve found, to connect together things like a 16 gauge power wire to a 16 gauge motor wire, to 20 gauge hookup wire, and a 22 gauge sensor lead.
I like the look of these, I tend to avoid electrical projects in general but they seem to sneak up on me anyway. I’m curious, is there a minimum gauge they can securely hold? I’m thinking they might be better than just wire nuts for florescant ballasts that tend to take a bit of a beating.
Minimum of 24 gauge, maximum of 12.
You might want to look at some of Wago’s other products, which are specifically made for lighting applications. And Wago’s just one brand that makes connectors, there are a bunch others, such as TE.
There’s one connector that has one type of terminal for connecting to a source, and squeeze lever end for connecting a fixture too. They also have fluorescent fixture connectors.
From the catalog, 266 and 267 series connectors are for fluorescent fixtures. And on the site, Wago Lumi-Nuts look to be specifically for lighting fixtures as well.
Already the safest, most convenient connector available for compliance with the latest NEC 410.130 (G) and CEC 30-308 (4) requirements for non-residential wiring of luminaires with ballasts, this certification allows full utilization of the WAGO-exclusive daisy chain feature.
Might I suggest switching your fluorescent fixtures over to LEDs. There are so many upsides to making this switch. No more ballast to replace and of course you get the increased operating efficiency. No more humming ballast or the sometimes annoying fluorescent flicker. Also with the increased life of the LEDs over the fluorescents you will spend much less time on a ladder replacing tubes. I recently switched over six fixtures, each containing four T12/T8 fluorescent tubes in my garage. While you can get LED tubes that will work with the ballast left in place that defeats some of the efficiencies listed above. Whichever LED tubes you get it is better to remove all the ballast. On top of all this, my new LEDs are a much brighter and whiter light.
Can these be used with AC power or just DC? I get using these on a solar panel system would be nice, but what about new home installation?
Either one, connectors don’t care about current type. I personally wouldn’t use them in new home construction except where space in a box is a concern. Firstly because of the expense compared to a traditional wire nut. Second, and I know some will disagree, I don’t consider these as permanent as a well twisted connection for solid wire.
Some components have different AC and DC ratings, but Wago specifies these as having a 600V nominal voltage rating.
I can’t advise you about their suitable for new home installations, but from what I’ve read elsewhere, they should meet code requirements.
One question and a comment.
Are the five way connectors used that often? I can see use for the two and three way connectors but I suppose a serious spider type junction would use this.
I think it would be a good idea to have these colour coded, red and black obviously and then the orange for earth?
Since these are suitable for a wide range of uses, and there are large quantities of the 5-way connectors readily available, surely they must be popular with some installers or other types of users.
Other wiring connectors aren’t color coded, possibly because it could be confusing. Red and black and orange? What about white, black, and green? But the grey 222’s or clear 221’s would sell so much better. Working with one connector color is going to be far easier for most users.
I have switched from Marrettes and other wire nuts to the Wago 222 system . The 221 may well be just as good , and more compact , but I only trust them on low voltage and DC applications .
One other bonus , I have now switched to Knipex 13 82 8 Electrical Installation Pliers , and no longer need to carry LINESMAN’s plier , and they also perform 90% of the functions performed by long/needlenosed pliers . Combined with a pair of mid sized dikes , I’m good to go .
I purchased a variety of 222 connectors after your post in 2014. I had previously used similar connector made by Ideal – their InSure connectors. I occasionally use these types of connectors when installing or servicing 70V commercial sound systems. When I’m installing a system myself, or servicing one I’ve installed, the InSure connectors work fine. However, they are a push-in design with no levers, and I’ve run into installations where smaller than 18AWG wire has been used – or worse, “standard” speaker wire – and the wires just aren’t stiff enough to push in. In cases like these, these Wago connectors are a life saver.
FYI. For at least 6- maybe 8 months, I’ve had them in use. These are on my primary usage circuits —- aka, used them to make the splice in a splice box I had setup below my gen transfer switch. I imported them from overseas…
I’ve probably opened the panel cover twice and everything is nice and tight…
I use these primarily in all of my home LED lighting circuits. Question, what about splicing aluminum and copper wiring, would these meet code?
I don’t know.
Wago makes an aluminum wire contact paste, Alu-Plus (http://global.wago.com/en/services/standards-regulations/terminating-aluminum-conductors/index.jsp), but I haven’t seen information about mixing aluminum and copper wires in a splice.
What do codes say about wire nuts and mixed conductor materials?
221 no, 222 yes
Practical Tip: Connecting Aluminum and Copper Conductorshttps://www.wago.com › … › Electrical Installers
don’t know about us code above was written for german installers.
With Alum. you have to be suprper clean with stripping , I do it with a knife . If you use the paste jointing compound , you should be OK . Much safer than a wire nut where you might work harden the conductor while lwisting conductors with linesman’s pliers . Wagos are about the only thing I feel good about for jointing solid and stranded in different guages .
In real world use the levers open too easily. I used them to replace a GFCI receptacle in a crowded box and had to wrap them in electrical tape to prevent them opening. Its a waste, I don’t understand why the levers must be that easy manipulate.