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Old 10-28-2015, 09:35 PM   #1
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Unused wire - what to do?

Aboard Seaweed I ran a USB cable from a pilothouse antenna to my dinette. Ditto another to my forward cabin.

Second, some idiot (previous owner) ran an AC wire up to the pilothouse.
Third, my old knot meter wire is still in place though unused

These wires and cable exist and serve no purpose at present. The second listed, would be a great feeder if I wanted another wire up there for some additional goodness-knows-what item. Would you remove them? All are labeled.
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:55 PM   #2
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Can you see the start and end of the wires and there is nothing in between?
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Old 10-28-2015, 10:09 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Ms. J. Two schools of thought. One: Leave the wiring there for future considerations and Two: Rip those redundant suckers out IF they are easy to get to and re-running wires in the same locations will be easy in the future.
I'm in the "Rip 'em out" school. This approach has come back to bite me in the past on occasion but if one ever has to trace wiring, the fewer wires the better.
Regarding the AC wire. What do you think THAT was for? Will you be installing an electrical exercise machine in the PH where you might have need of an extra 110V feed?
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Old 10-28-2015, 10:44 PM   #4
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None of the wire runs are "easy" and that blue wire to the overhead? I have no idea what on earth it was for. I used all marine wire aboard Seaweed (even the AC side has Pacor)

On ours (the 40'er) we left it always and there was a M-e-s-s to contend with for the new owner no doubt about that. Removing the wire is relatively easy.

My sense of order says "get rid of it yesterday" however that blue wire would be a bear to re-run. Now that I'm thinking about it though, I could tug it through and bring a small line up so I'd have my run if I ever wanted another wire up top...

Still thinking. The USBs were those "better" ones because of the length.

Good news on the engine front today. I'll post to my thread in a couple (have it find it first!)
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Old 10-28-2015, 10:57 PM   #5
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On my refit project unused wires (I call them orphan wires) are removed. If the wire travels through a chase or pipe, I will pull a piece of line through as I pull the wire out. So if I need to use the passage in the future, I have a wire pull in place. Tie the line off at both ends.

Ted
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Old 10-28-2015, 10:58 PM   #6
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Greetings,
Ms. J. If the infamous blue wire would be "a bear to run", find both ends and label them redundant and leave it in place. You can always use the wire itself to pull a new one in if necessary.
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:13 AM   #7
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Old 10-29-2015, 06:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janice142 View Post
None of the wire runs are "easy" and that blue wire to the overhead? I have no idea what on earth it was for. I used all marine wire aboard Seaweed (even the AC side has Pacor)

On ours (the 40'er) we left it always and there was a M-e-s-s to contend with for the new owner no doubt about that. Removing the wire is relatively easy.

My sense of order says "get rid of it yesterday" however that blue wire would be a bear to re-run. Now that I'm thinking about it though, I could tug it through and bring a small line up so I'd have my run if I ever wanted another wire up top...

Still thinking. The USBs were those "better" ones because of the length.

Good news on the engine front today. I'll post to my thread in a couple (have it find it first!)
Blue wire is often a lighting circuit....especially into the overhead.

On my boat almost all wiring is buried so if it needs fixing, replacing, whatever....it is nearly impossible to even pull new using old. So my complete boat rewire is mostly a surface run though spaces, using cabinets and lockets where dead space is unusable.

Unless the wire is in good shape and heavy enough gauge to handle the average load, I would be tempted to remove and just insert a pull line when pulling out the last of the unused wires.
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:23 AM   #9
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Leave them all, just mark and tape ends.
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:32 AM   #10
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I gave up trying to clean up the previous owners mess and simply ripped everything out and started again.
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:32 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
On my refit project unused wires (I call them orphan wires) are removed. If the wire travels through a chase or pipe, I will pull a piece of line through as I pull the wire out. So if I need to use the passage in the future, I have a wire pull in place. Tie the line off at both ends.

Ted
This is what I do also.
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Old 10-29-2015, 09:27 AM   #12
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there must be little to do on your boat if you are worried about old wires. They don't hurt anything so leave them in place.
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Old 10-29-2015, 09:32 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
On my refit project unused wires (I call them orphan wires) are removed. If the wire travels through a chase or pipe, I will pull a piece of line through as I pull the wire out. So if I need to use the passage in the future, I have a wire pull in place. Tie the line off at both ends.

Ted
Triple Ditto

I'll add that I would use TWO pull lines. It increases the odds that at least one will come through on a future wire pull.
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Old 10-29-2015, 09:40 AM   #14
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What OC Diver said.
It's always nice if your pulling wires to connect to a string and pull the wire. That way you have a string in place to pull another wire if needed. Just use nylon string so it doesn't decay.
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Old 10-29-2015, 10:15 AM   #15
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Filled the box that came with my new magnum inverter with unused and spliced wires from my engine room. Many items (pumps, lights etc) had been moved several times over 30 years, with additional wires spiced to accommodate the the new location. Several dead (unused cables) added to the mess. Replaced all spliced lines and used direct routes. Ended up with lots and lots of extra wires and cables and no spliced wires or cables.

Comic relief: The wire for my fresh water pump went from mid- engine room to the forward starboard bulkhead, splice to aft starboard bulkhead, spliced to aft port bulkhead. Total close to 30 feet. All replaced with a six foot run from the bus bars mid-engine room.
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Old 10-29-2015, 10:56 AM   #16
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I like clean wiring and pull old wires out when ever possible, but if you DO leave them make sure you label them so you can remember that it's a dead wire and can be used for a cable pull if needed.
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:03 PM   #17
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I'd verify it's dead, clearly label both ends, and (if your wire routing to the FB is anything like mine) be very glad I have a fish in place for the next improvement project.
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:38 PM   #18
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Get ride of the old stuff. For tight raceways like from the lower to upper helm, pull a 1/8" nylon cord for future use. There might be one already there. Odds are that stuff you leave in place will be the wrong gauge when you need it.
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:51 PM   #19
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My PO was one of those from the "leave it in" school. A few were marked but most are not. I have removed a LOT of unused wires, fuses, relays, etc. I can understand leaving a wire here or there for future use or to maybe help pull some wires later, but at some point it becomes a mess or even worse, possible paths for a short circuit.

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Old 11-04-2015, 02:16 AM   #20
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Thanks... I will take your advice and the next time I open the overhead (removing a 2" wide trim piece) I'll get the end of the blue and attach the chase line for the pull from below. If it comes through great -- if not, don't need it.

I know when we sold our 40'er the new owner must have cursed the wire runs we had everywhere. I don't think any were ever removed. Picture owning a boat for nearly 50 years and all the Good Ideas that require power here, there, over there, and way back there. Whenever we wanted something new there's a pretty good chance we added another wire run.

Bay Pelican has a pretty good idea of what can happen......

Of course new owner thought it would be a good idea to air condition the boat. Okay. I get that. What I don't understand is closing off the shower vent fan so that now it vents between the bulkhead and the hull rather than outside. Should I mention here the boat is steel?!?

Anyway, thanks for your advice. I'd wondered how others handle orphan wires.
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