solid vs stranded wire for 12 volt

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solid vs stranded wire for 12 volt

Postby rlphoto » Mon Jul 11, 2005 1:54 pm

I am getting ready to run some wire thru the walls and ceiling of my camper for 12 volt lights and acessorys and was going to use 14 gauge solid house wire that already comes in the spiral metal conduit for safety.

I am used to seeing stranded wire in automotive uses, and was wondering if there was any disadvantage to using solid wire.


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Postby SteveH » Mon Jul 11, 2005 2:22 pm

Randy,

You said already your self, "14 gauge solid house wire". The reason automotive wire is stranded is because it has to be able to bend and not break, like what happens everytime your car hits a bump in the road.

Solid wire will fatigue in short order and break in a car or trailer. For that reason, I would not use it in a teardrop or any other vehicle.
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Postby rlphoto » Mon Jul 11, 2005 2:26 pm

SteveH wrote:Randy,

You said already your self, "14 gauge solid house wire". The reason automotive wire is stranded is because it has to be able to bend and not break, like what happens everytime your car hits a bump in the road.

Solid wire will fatigue in short order and break in a car or trailer. For that reason, I would not use it in a teardrop or any other vehicle.


This is pretty much what I was thinking, but since this is my first camper build I an still in the learning stages.

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Postby mexican tear » Mon Jul 11, 2005 4:06 pm

Stranded only, Solid will crack and break.
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Postby GeorgeTelford » Mon Jul 11, 2005 4:22 pm

Either will do if its not going to be flexed, but having said that I would use stranded anyway :thinking:
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Postby asianflava » Mon Jul 11, 2005 4:57 pm

Stranded, solid wire is fine for a house because a house isn't subjected to vibration and movement. Well, unless you live near Dean. :lol:
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Postby GeorgeTelford » Mon Jul 11, 2005 5:18 pm

Asian

Movement is the key, you can vibrate solid all day long no probs, unless it is flexing it wont break, solid is used in big machines that vibrating 24/7 all year, spoke to several electricians on this.

Stranded is still first choice unless you are getting the solid for free.
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Postby Guest » Mon Jul 11, 2005 5:37 pm

asianflava wrote:Stranded, solid wire is fine for a house because a house isn't subjected to vibration and movement. Well, unless you live near Dean. :lol:


Funny you bring that up...
SBC is coming, or at least supposed to be coming sometime tomorrow between 8:00AM and 8:00PM (Wish I could schedule my appointments like that) to replace an underground phone cable...
This morning, I had no phones whatsoever... residential and business lines.... No fax, no computer line either.
This happened about a year ago and the service guy swithched the lines around and found some circuits that were still working, but told me that it was just a quick fix and would be back later in the week to replace the undergound cable... I never saw him again.
I have no idea why the phone lines are working right now...
I'll tell yaa... It's been really hot and muggy today... That's "earthquake weather"... :frightened:
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Postby Arne » Mon Jul 11, 2005 5:39 pm

I ran #10 house wire under my tear, exposed, held on with clips/screws. The wire in quite stiff, the clips or a frame member are every 10 inches.... I'm not concerened..... if inside a wall,surrounded with insulation, I see no problem..

And all above are right on, it's the flexing that will kill it....
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Postby Steve Frederick » Mon Jul 11, 2005 8:36 pm

Stranded! It's a bit smaller in size, for running down tubing and such. If you intend to use any crimp type connectors, they hold great to stranded, not very well to solid. Splices done in hidden places should, IMHO, be soldered. Stranded is best for this too!. :thumbsup:
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Straned Wire and DC connectors

Postby Dee Bee » Mon Jul 11, 2005 8:38 pm

I read that stranded is prefered because of the ability of the wire to flex and not break. Also the stranded wire tends to make more durable DC crimp connections. I think the most secure DC connection is strand wire, crimp and also solder.

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Postby bdosborn » Mon Jul 11, 2005 10:48 pm

Stranded is so much easier to work with than solid. Easier to pull and terminate. And you don't have to worry about the wire breaking at the termination like you do with solid.
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Postby asianflava » Tue Jul 12, 2005 12:03 am

I went to buy some wire for the AC side but the Depot was closed. I ended up just going to Wally World and buying an extension cord. I'll just cut it up and use that for the wiring.
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Postby toypusher » Tue Jul 12, 2005 5:47 am

asianflava wrote:I went to buy some wire for the AC side but the Depot was closed. I ended up just going to Wally World and buying an extension cord. I'll just cut it up and use that for the wiring.


Make sure that you use only 12guage for outlets!!! All regular house wiring to outlets is 12guage!

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Postby Cutterpup » Tue Jul 12, 2005 7:50 am

I know that we builders think that bigger is better, i.e. 1/2" is better than 1/4" for the sides. , but since it hard to argue with over-kill I looked up just what size wire can handle what size load in amps.

For 110-120 volts AC


10 AWG 30 Amps
12 AWG 20 Amps
14 AWG 15 Amps
16 AWG 10 Amps
18 AWG 5 Amps

I know that most people on this board will just ignore this but, when you try to squeeze larger wires into a terminal box or attach to a outlet. You might be breaking the wires which will give you more problems latter on such as circuits that don't work or even a fire. In my house the lights and most of the oulets are 14 gauge wire except in the kitchen, and the pool circuits which are 12 gauge.


So even if its free using very large wires bigger will cause problems. Use 12 gauge for an A/C or heater larger than 1800 watts. Voltage drop in a 12 to 15 foot trail is minor.

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