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Old 09-04-2016, 08:50 AM   #81
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Please do not confuse the idea that tinning a wire increases conductivity,it is actually the reverse.Solder consists usually of tin,and lead,both having a higher resistance than copper.The purpose of tinning a wire is that both elements have a higher resistance to oxidation than copper(copper turns darks when oxidized).Over the long term,the benefits of tinning far outweigh a slight increase in resistance as compared to the increase of copper resistance over a period of time due to oxidation.
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:00 AM   #82
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It is always an excellent idea to check your electrical connections on a regular basis.A common problem I have seen is people believe that tighter is better,but understanding that torqueing(spellcheck?)is the proper way.Copper is a soft metal,and overtightening can actually crush the wire,and create more problems than it solves.A little industry trick when working with stranded cable is to tighten the initial connection,then give a slight counterclockwise twist to the cable.You will be amazed to find that the connection you just thought was tightened ,has now been loosened enough to get another quarter turn.
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:08 AM   #83
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Seriously - if you haven't done that in the last year, do it today. Report back the amount of tightening the screws allowed to convince others to do the same 10 minute fix.

Good point. These screws do need to be checked periodically. This discussion was also on the MTOA list serve about a month or so ago. I was reporting a 30 degree above ambient temperature rise at my hull inlet (the slip we were in only had a 30 amp outlet) . When I tightened the screws I got 0 turns on the green grounding conductor. I turned the hot conductor screw about 1/4 turn but the grounded (neutral) conductor took 1.25 turns. That lowered the delta by 5 degrees. I then replaced the hull inlet entirely with a new Marinco inlet and that lowered the delta by 11 degrees. Later in the summer I replaced the inlet with a smart plug and the delta was only 3.5 degrees above ambient. All temperature tests were taken after the inlet was loaded to 26-28 amp for 30 minutes. One of my inlets was replaced 5 years ago and the other is original =8 years. I'm not sure which inlet was replaced 5 years ago, so this inlet was either 5 or 8 years in full time use.
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:12 AM   #84
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Also,the two main reasons why electrical connections will loosen is vibration,and different expansion rates of dissimilar metals.Stranded wire is much more resistant than solid wire to the effects of vibration(why abyc doesn't recommend solid on boats).To help mitigate the different expansion issues,that is the purpose of the compounds previousely discussed on this post.Also,that is why abyc recommends using crimp on connections,as the tools are designed to not overtorque the strands.
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:20 AM   #85
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Nice post tadhana,good info
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:21 AM   #86
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Funny how ABYC says screw connections of wires are OK but only if they have a plate in them...yet so many manfacturer's of marine equipment don't provide those terminations.

Which manufacturers are you thinking of here that do not provide these terminatons.
The last two items were my battery charger and a fuse holder for my inverter.


More and more of the pieces of bigger equipment may be conforming...but the little add on stuff that you buy in marine stores like my fuse holder seem to be guilty.


They make nice connections for the fuse, then the wire connections seem to be an afterthought.
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:33 AM   #87
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The backplate actually has grooves cut into them,sort of like a lockwasher,to help mitigate loosening from vibration.
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:37 AM   #88
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The last two items were my battery charger and a fuse holder for my inverter.


More and more of the pieces of bigger equipment may be conforming...but the little add on stuff that you buy in marine stores like my fuse holder seem to be guilty.


The make nice connections for the fuse, then the wire connections seem to be an afterthought.
thank you for your reply. What brand of charger is it? I have seen an automobile/RV inverter charger where the bolts bear directly on the wires, but i don't think i have seen a marine one like that.

Also what type of fuse holder are you using? I'm only familiar with the little inline holders that you crimp into the conductor, or the big fuse holders designed for bolted connections.
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:36 AM   #89
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Wes k,recognized by whom?Please elaborate.While I totally agree with your other points to the original poster,I don't quite understand your insistence on this point.I have been a member here for ten years,obviousely much more of a lurker than a poster,by design.I joined this forum to learn from people that have much more experience in the marine field in certain aspects than I do.I only contribute when I feel I have something to give back to this wonderfull site that has taught me so much.Not quite sure what your direct experience in the electrical field is/was,but I just retired after 45 years in the industry,have a masters license in two states,and spent 15 years in the commercial marine industry.So I felt that maybe I am slightly qualified to help out this poster,are you?I would never try to correct a professional in his direct industry such as trying to tell psneeld how to tow a boat,or dhays in the optical field.If you have something that you can professionally bring to the table in this subject,than please do so,but you just seem to be trying to argue a point you have no expertise in.
Electronic technician was my career.


Dielectric grease is "recognized" by Marinco, one of the largest manufacturers of shore power equipment.
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:44 AM   #90
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WesK I do not understand how the copper paste will increase the chance of arcing. Please explain.
Unlike with battery terminals, you will be plugging and unplugging the shore power plug. As you do this, you will pull the paste out of the socket and spread it on the insulating surface between the pins. You now have a conductive material spread over the insulating surface and an increase chance of arcing.

This may or may not happen but choose a product that's not the most appropriate for the task?

You can use enough dielectric grease to seal the connection and any excess posed no risk of problems. Not so with a conductive substance.

Copper paste would be fine for permanent connections such as battery cables and electrical connections to panels and switches on the boat.

Each product has its best use. Use each where appropriate.
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:49 AM   #91
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The euro wiring is frequently tinned , looks like they just dip the end of the wire 1/4 inch into a pot of melted solder.

This solidifys the end weather its tinned or just bare copper., making it crush resistant under a screw.
The installations for the standard Marinco 30 amp inlet warn specifically NOT to solder the wires before inserting them into the inlet. The connections are designed for stranded, not solid or soldered wire. There's a clamp that tightens on the conductors when you tighten the screw.

My original inlet wires were soldered. Apparently, not everyone got the memo.
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:53 AM   #92
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Funny how ABYC says screw connections of wires are OK but only if they have a plate in them...yet so many manfacturer's of marine equipment don't provide those terminations.
That's where you use ring terminals.
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Old 09-04-2016, 11:13 AM   #93
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Electronic technician was my career.


Dielectric grease is "recognized" by Marinco, one of the largest manufacturers of shore power equipment.
two completely different industries.
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Old 09-04-2016, 11:35 AM   #94
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Thanks for the suggestion to check and tighten the screw connections. That is something that I have not thought of. Also interesting to check the temperature of the connection. It makes so much sense but I would never have thought of it.
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Old 09-04-2016, 12:08 PM   #95
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All electrical connections should be checked for tightness. I find outlets with loose wires, I know they were tight when I connected those wires. Wires compress under the screw, I suppose over time, higher amp loads expand the metals, then when the loads go away, the copper shrinks a little. It slowly works to make things get looser over time. This was why aluminum wires caused fires, since aluminum expansion rate was much greater than copper, the connections would loosen up, then aluminum also develops an oxide layer that does not conduct, that greatly increases the resistance, therefore heat.

When I upgraded to 200 amp service at the house, I used a goodly amount of that aluminum anti oxide grease on the aluminum main feeder wires.
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Old 09-04-2016, 01:11 PM   #96
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That's where you use ring terminals.
If you could...cause then I would have as a former marine electronic certified tech myself.
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:34 AM   #97
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If there is a proper terminal end the addition of a star washer under the screw head is a simple bit of insurance.

As the terminal warms it changes shape which over time loosens the contact.

The star washer keeps the contact better .

A great addition to the boat when terminal boards are being cleaned.
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:55 AM   #98
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Psneeld,be careful removing the screws on the terminal boards you mentioned.Most have a tapered screw to prevent them from being completely removed or vibrate free.You can tell as when you loosen the screws,the pressure will increase,and then you must forcibly continue to turn counterclockwise.While they can be removed,you will compromise the manufacturers failsafe specs.Those backplates were specifically designed to capture stranded wire.If you feel that the connection is not always up to your standards(I agree),then this has become my solution.They are abyc approved,as long as they are captive.
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Old 09-05-2016, 09:07 AM   #99
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I have no idea what you guys are talking about. No one mentioned terminal boards....these are external wire connections or the simple ends to a fuse block.

There are wire connections on devices with little holes exactly big enough to slip the properly sizes wire into. 90 degrees to that is a screw, with no terminal plate and are straight threaded and can be backed all the way out. These are not what ABYC wants but do come on approved, marine grade components.

A good example of something similar is a European terminal block.
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Old 09-05-2016, 09:11 AM   #100
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ah,I thought you were referring to these type,my apologizies.


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