Humidifier installation

3 Things to Know Before Replacing Pin Connectors in a Humidifier

Pin connectors are common types of wire connections that combine a number of wire conductors together and run them each to a stiff male pin ending. These pins can be plugged into a female pin connection of a similar shape. With this type of connection, there is no need to solder many different wires onto separate connections. Instead, a pin connector achieves the same effect through a simple plugging action, similar to that of a standard plug going into an electrical socket. Since attaching these pin connectors in a humidifier is such a simple procedure, anyone can do it. But here are three things to be aware of before you begin.

1. Make Sure the Shape of Pin Connections Match

Examine the pin connector that is being replaced and note the number of pins and shape of the connector (humidifiers often use 9-pin connections but this is by no means a universal size). For example, an 8-pin connector may be square and have two rows of four pins, or it may be shaped like a trapezoid and have one row of five pins and one with only three pins. The shape is more important than the number of pins primarily because, as in the example, it is not possible to fit a square connection in a trapezoidal hole.

2. Match the Number of Pins in the Connections

Ideally the replacement connector will have both the same shape and the same number of pins. While in some instances it is possible to mate two connections with different amounts of pins, such as a 6-pin male connector into an 8-hole female or vice versa, it is not usually a good idea. First of all, the spacing between the pins must be the same, which is usually hard to achieve when mating two pin connections with differing numbers of contact points. Secondly, if there are too few pins for the female end, it is likely that there will not be enough power flowing into the connection for optimal efficiency. Conversely, if there are too many pins, the extras may poke down onto the circuit board and interfere with its processes. In general, it is much easier to ensure that a replacement pin connector matches the one that is already in the humidifier, instead of trying to make a different one fit.

3. Don’t Force the Pin Connectors

Pin connectors are made to easily snap into and out of each other. If the replacement connector does not slide easily into the female connection, don’t try to force it since it may damage the pins. Instead, check to make sure there are the same number of pins on the male side as there are holes on the female end, and that they are aligned. If everything seems to line up, try turning the connection upside down and trying again. Some pin connectors are “keyed” which means they are made specifically so that they cannot be installed upside down. If the connection looks right but will not go together, it is likely that it is a keyed connector that is accidentally upside down. Again, don’t force the connection. Doing so may bend the pins. Although pins can be bent back into position, this weakens them causing them to break off, sometimes in the female end of the connection, thus blocking it.

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