tl;dr - I'm trying to find out the name for the metal connectors in the first picture...

I've been trying to troubleshoot a faulty Hive (UK) heating controller and got to the point where I've opened up the box connected to my combi boiler to see if there were any obvious problems inside.

It looks like there's some broken electrical connectors on the back plate of the unit (or maybe my I've done myself a mischief and broken them while tinkering) - but in any case some of the connectors appear to have one of the "fork" pins missing, for example the connecter numbers #3 in the image below:

Can anyone help with the name of these type of connectors? I've tried various combinations of "fork", "pin", etc, and found similar-ish connectors but nothing I could use to search for replacements for the broken ones in my Hive unit.

Connectors on Hive backplate

enter image description here

For reference, the connectors make contact with pins in the main part of the Hive unit when it's mounted onto the backplate...

Connectors on main Hive unit

enter image description here

  • Hopefully a UK-based person can chime in, because from my US-based perspective those are not a standard electrical part, which means you're getting to replace the entire control if Hive won't sell you a part.
    – KMJ
    Mar 1 at 17:45
  • @kmj - thanks. It’s entirely possible it’s proprietary and doesn’t have an off-the-shelf sku - Hive is a subsidiary of the national British Gas energy company so it’s not impossible they’ve designed it purely for their system. (I’m hoping that’s not the case, but it’s a possibility)
    – mclayton
    Mar 1 at 17:47
  • Hard to tell if those terminal pins are solid or "pogo pins" but it may be enough to crimp something conductive to what's left of the fork terminal to ensure contact. No idea what kind of current or voltage those terminals expect. I have also noted in the past that not all of these terminals connect up to something in all heating systems. Perhaps you could swap an unused one if available
    – Yorik
    Mar 1 at 19:49

2 Answers 2


I would suggest contacting Hive/BG to ask them about replacement parts.

This is obviously some sort of quick connect system I'd agree that they've probably developed it and that it's probably proprietary.

They'll have a name for it, but you probably won't be able to find parts at your local supply place.

If this is a mfgr only item, possibly only available through authorized resellers who only sell to commercial installers, you might be able to find a used or second hand one somewhere and cannibalize the connector from it. If you go this route, obviously, you'll want to grab them all so you've got spares for the future. Heck, you might be able to make some money by doing so! (All applicable cautions about selling things you're not authorized to sell, YMMV, etc. apply.)

  • I imaigine they’ll tell me I shouldn’t be trying to service it myself - they don’t sell the unit as a retail product but as a packaged “we’ll come and fit it” service, so my guess is they’ll tell me they only distribute spare parts to certified suppliers and that I’ll have to buy another unit if it’s out of warranty :-(. I’ll try calling them tomorrow though on the off-chance…
    – mclayton
    Mar 1 at 19:05
  • 1
    Entirely possible, @mclayton. If that's the case, it's likely that'll be your only option. Bear in mind that if you do manage to DIY a fix, something goes wrong, and a fire investigator pins it on this, then you'll be liable for it. (At least in the US you would, but we're id10ts who really like to sue each other...)
    – FreeMan
    Mar 1 at 19:08
  • 1
    Or maybe I’ll look for a broken “for spares & repairs” listing on eBay that I can cannibalise :-)…
    – mclayton
    Mar 1 at 19:09
  • That's what I would do.
    – KMJ
    Mar 1 at 19:26

So I've found the entire backplate is a relatively common unit in the UK (not an industry "Standard" specifically, but it's used frequently by a number of manufacturers), and search terms like "universal timer backplate" and "boiler programmer backplate" found a small number on eBay for a reasonable price.

I'd hoped it would be available to buy new given it's used by a number of different manufacturers, but I wasn't able to find one, so second-hand it is...

However, I did manage to do a partial in-place repair - the Hive unit only uses 4 of the 6 connectors, and the metal pins can be removed if you take the screw out completely. The pin has tiny barbs that holds it in place, but if you pull firmly on the the tab where the screw sits you can remove the entire connector and replace it in a different slot:

enter image description here

I'm still one pin short, but when my order gets delivered I'll be able to Frankenstein a working one out of the parts :-).

Here's the current state for reference:

enter image description here

I noticed I've not seated the wire on connecter #3 properly - it should go between the pin and a small plate, but it's sitting on top of both. I'll fix that when the spare parts arrive :-)

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