Yearly electrical debate thread

Anything electric, AC or DC

Postby tinksdad » Sat Nov 15, 2008 9:40 pm

Larwyn wrote: I've found that silence really is golden..... :lol: :lol:


I heartily agree!!! Better to remain silent and be thought the fool, than to speak and remove all doubt!!

Especially on a subject I know enough about to get myself in trouble, let alone give advice.
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Postby Larwyn » Sat Nov 15, 2008 9:53 pm

tinksdad wrote:
Larwyn wrote: I've found that silence really is golden..... :lol: :lol:


I heartily agree!!! Better to remain silent and be thought the fool, than to speak and remove all doubt!!

Especially on a subject I know enough about to get myself in trouble, let alone give advice.


Well, it is a subject that I know quite a bit about, but I have tired of having to prove it every time I make a statement, so I now try to just let others talk it out and keep my input to myself. :)
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Postby tinksdad » Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:00 pm

I'm chastised. PM sent.
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Postby Larwyn » Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:11 pm

tinksdad wrote:I'm chastised. PM sent.


Not necessary, everything is fine. I was in no way offended by your post.
:thumbsup: :beer:
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Re: Yearly electrical debate thread

Postby starleen2 » Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:09 pm

Miriam C. wrote:BTW---anyone ever see a screw back out due to vibration.[/b] 8) :R


Has anyone had a solid wire break on them due to excessive vibrations? If a wire is securely mounted then it is less likely to break. And if your tear is experiencing such vibrations - enough to shake a wire to the breaking point - then I would be worried about the joints being vibrated apart - Really - I do know that that solid wiring can be vibrated to the breaking point, however, working with electrical motors to Run air pumps and paddlewheels - Both create excessive vibration - I have never seen it break a wire. So now the throw down and in keeping with the rules: just how much vibration does it take to break 14 gauge solid copper wire and is it reasonable that a tear would experience such vibration? :roll:
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Postby satch » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:00 am

I've never seen a solid wire break do to vibration. The key is to have tight connections. If it comes loose,than can start to arc, causing more heat, and then can cause more problems. I've seen this on alum wire in some homes I've worked on, the entire back of the outlet melted away.This can happen with stranded wire also.
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Postby wlooper89 » Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:05 am

With the usual disclaimer I am not an electrical expert and this is my opinion. Stranded wire is great for flexibility and resistance to vibration. But I want to solder the connections with resin core solder. In the case of some smaller connections, a D/C toggle switch for example, the wire can sometimes be soldered directly to the device.

For larger wires I use connectors that can be soldered. Ring connectors can be crimped and soldered to the wire and then attached with a screw and lock washer to the device. The Anderson company makes good connectors for connecting wires to other wires. They can be soldered, or crimped then soldered, and the connectors can be plugged together or unplugged easily. My photo album has some pics that includes these connectors.

Sometimes a plug or receptacle device has holes into which the wire is inserted and a screw to secure it. In this case I apply solder to the stranded wire to hold the strands together and protect from corrosion of the copper strands.

These are not things a residential electrician would do. It takes too much time. But for us this is a hobby and time is not the most important factor. I like knowing a connection is unlikely to shake loose, corrode or be pulled apart over time. :thumbsup:

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Postby glider » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:02 am

I agree with Bill. I always seek advice from a friend who is a very experianced wireman on the size of wire to use. I always use multi strand copper and "tin" the ends for protection. :thumbsup:
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Wire size for DC circuits - handy chart

Postby ZendoDeb » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:49 am

West Marine - forgive me, I'm a sailor - has a nifty reference graph for both 10% and 3% voltage drop. (Here's the 3% chart)

Image

The entire discussion of sizing wire runs by amp-load can be found here

AC circuits have less to worry about, since voltage drop is less at higher voltages.

For future reference, if WM changes their site again... search the WM advisor section under electrical
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Postby Miriam C. » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:24 am

:thumbsup: :applause: Thank you Deb. That is a great site and chart. :thumbsup:
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Solid core versus stranded wire

Postby ZendoDeb » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:28 am

The American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) is pretty clear on the issue of solid wire. It breaks when subjected to vibration. And it isn't the amount of vibration, it is the issue of long-term vibration.

Boats are subject to a lot more vibration and extreme movement than travel trailers. But travel trailers and RVs are subject to more vibration than your average house.

Practical Sailor summarized some of the main points in this article. (It is a PDF. You have been warned.)

The conductors used in marine applications
must be made of stranded copper wire. The black,
white and green ground conductor in each cable or
cord must each be of the stranded wire variety.
Household conductors, on the other hand, have a
single, solid core wire. The number of strands
required in each conductor in marine applications
is directly related to the conductor’s diameter
and the degree to which the wire will be subjected
to flexing through movement or vibration.
The conductor’s proper size and diameter is also
determined by the demand or amount of current
the conductor must carry.


I know a lot of folks like conduit, me included, but you have to be sure that you don't trap water. Conduit isn't recommended for use on boats.
Good household wiring often travels through
the house in metallic tubing called conduit. The
conduit supports and protects the wires within
the walls and ceiling of your home. But on your
boat, conductors are supported throughout their
length by a self-draining loom or are secured
every eighteen inches by straps or clamps.


It has been my experience, that you always want to provide a route for water to drain away. You probably can't keep all the leaks out... give any water a path that does the least harm.
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Postby Woody » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:31 pm

I was goimg to stay out of this, but has it occured to anyone that the amount of cumilative total vibration damage that one would have to aqquire to cause breakage in solid wire. Unless a trailer is built rather badly, I can not see this as a real issue worth bringing up again. The real issue is the novice or inexperienced people wiring it from the beginning. I really doubt that solid wire verses stranded wire breakage this should be a major design factor in a small trailers like these other than a consideration. The proper gauge for amp load would be more of a worthy debate. I bet more overloaded extension cords ends have burned up from this amp load issue than any wiring vibration issue when you really think about it. Afterall it is not the space shuttle we are building.
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Postby Arne » Sun Nov 16, 2008 2:03 pm

Question:

Sometimes when I strip a piece of stranded the wire, the strands have 'junk' on them. I guess it is part of the production process, or maybe inflow from the outside insulation.

In any event, it makes soldering difficult. I always wire nut the connection so am not too concerned, but would like to solder clean wire.

If this sounds familiar to any of you, what do you do to get rid of the crap on the strands?

If I run into it again, I may use a brass brush (like used on a propane cooker rack) to see if I can clean them up with that by brushing them.
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Postby glider » Sun Nov 16, 2008 2:11 pm

Hi Arne, I have come across the same thing but only rarely. I did as you sugest and gave the strands a little tickle with a brass brush. No problem after that.

regards, Mark. :thumbsup:
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Postby Arne » Sun Nov 16, 2008 2:28 pm

Mark, right, not very often, but I have a 100' roll of this stranded #12 I use for heavy stuff.... I'll give the brass brush a try next time... and thank you for the reply.
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