I'm wiring a valve actuator to a connector for quick-disconnect purposes. The actuator has five wires so I thought of getting a connector that says 4p+PE, however I was told that 5p was needed.

I'm confused because I thought the 5th pin on the 4p+PE connector (the PE, I'm guessing) is where I can wire in the ground wire from the actuator. Could someone clarify this for me?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ PE = protective earth. Is it yellow and green? \$\endgroup\$
    – winny
    Jun 14, 2022 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ The wires on the actuator is Rd Bk Bl Yw Wt. Im not really confused about the actual actuator since I have the spec sheet \$\endgroup\$
    – Chris
    Jun 14, 2022 at 16:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Which country are you located in and/or the parts intended for? \$\endgroup\$
    – winny
    Jun 14, 2022 at 16:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is one of the wires a protective earth? \$\endgroup\$
    – user253751
    Jun 14, 2022 at 16:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am in Canada. And I dont think any of the wires is protective earth. Here is the wiring diagram: m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81rkv7YiJRL._AC_SL1500_.jpg \$\endgroup\$
    – Chris
    Jun 14, 2022 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


Like @winny said, PE stands for Protective Earth, the ground path for fault currents. Since it is specifically for safety, I don't recommend wiring a power or signal ground to it; get a connector with the correct number of power/signal contacts and connect the PE contact in accordance with the actuator's spec sheet or leave it floating if the spec sheet doesn't say anything about it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So to clarify, equipment ground is separate to PE? \$\endgroup\$
    – Chris
    Jun 14, 2022 at 17:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ It depends on what they mean by "ground". There's signal ground, power ground, chassis ground, etc. Some or all of them may be connected together. Chassis ground could be considered PE or not; only the datasheet will tell you for sure. \$\endgroup\$
    – vir
    Jun 14, 2022 at 19:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess I was under the impression that all ground can be connected together, as they are all ground anyway. Thank you! \$\endgroup\$
    – Chris
    Jun 14, 2022 at 19:35

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