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Old 05-13-2019, 11:45 PM   #1
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Wire size confusion

So I picked up a big hank of nice wire at the scrap yard. Welding cable type stuff. I thought it said 2/0 but after getting it home I see that it says #2 AWG. But I looked up the diameters of cable and 2 ga claims to be .257Ē and this is bigger than that, but I canít tell if itís .364Ē like 00 is. So, what the heck?
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:15 AM   #2
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Is it tined, what’s he temp rating? There is more to wiring than just size.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:23 AM   #3
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Not not tinned. I’ll post pic of the specs it has on it.
It’s rated 105įC. It also has a section size of 35mm2 so that does appears to be closer to 2ga than 2/0.
Oh well, still good stuff and totally worth 20$.
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:43 PM   #4
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Welding cable has no place in a marine application for the following reasons:
1. The ultra fine stranding in the cable has a propensity for wicking moisture. Once this starts, the strands corrode and fail.
2. The insulation is not oil resistant as is required for boat cable.
3. The AWG sizing is SAE AWG, not Boat Cable AWG; therefore there is, on average, about 12% less copper present in the SAE cable.
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:51 PM   #5
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Welding cable has no place in a marine application for the following reasons:
1. The ultra fine stranding in the cable has a propensity for wicking moisture. Once this starts, the strands corrode and fail.
2. The insulation is not oil resistant as is required for boat cable.
3. The AWG sizing is SAE AWG, not Boat Cable AWG; therefore there is, on average, about 12% less copper present in the SAE cable.
Agree -
While welding cable "appears" to be "good" stuff it is not recommended for marine applications - very fine strands and not tinned
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:18 PM   #6
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Wow okay that’s interesting. So what qualifies cable for marine use and where do we get it? Does west marine have 2/0 cable? I suppose they do.
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:20 PM   #7
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Wire size confusion

I agree with what others have said. Itís costs more, to be sure, but good quality marine wire/cable pays for itself in the long run. Also, see CMSís website where he goes over many dos and doníts of marine wiring and crimping.

Some really good stuff on his site:

https://marinehowto.com

Edit: also, check out Nigel Calderís book on marine electrical stuff.

Jim
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:32 PM   #8
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While I agree for what have been mentioned I need to temper a bit... Cable is one thing, but where it is used in the boat, for what usage and the quality of the crimp AND protection around the crimp make a great difference.
I am in fresh water and will not have any issue using non marine cable for something like my thruster or my windlass where the cable run is not subject to oil mist if the cable is well crimped and protected.
Like many things it is more about how you use it than what you use...

I am in the process to replace a lot of cables, because they were badly crimped, badly protected and not used in the right place.

Of course the best of the best is always to use best quality materials, that is a certain.

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Old 05-15-2019, 06:40 PM   #9
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Wow okay thatís interesting. So what qualifies cable for marine use and where do we get it? Does west marine have 2/0 cable? I suppose they do.
Worth looking up ABYC E-11 that covers AC & DC Electrical reqm'ts including wire / insulation types etc.
Also as JDC recommended CM's Marine How To articles are very informative
Here's one on battery cables which I'm guessing should be applicable if you are considering welding cable. Also don't assume solder connections are "better" - CM has articles on terminations that debunks that myth as well
https://marinehowto.com/making-your-own-battery-cables/
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:43 PM   #10
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I buy a lot of wire and cable from bestboatwire.com. No affiliation just happy customer. Much cheaper than WMP.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:37 PM   #11
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I buy a lot of wire and cable from bestboatwire.com. No affiliation just happy customer. Much cheaper than WMP.
And you can find some good deals sometimes on amazon for ancor wires, but need to check as prices are changing almost everyday.

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Old 05-15-2019, 08:18 PM   #12
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I buy a lot of wire and cable from bestboatwire.com. No affiliation just happy customer. Much cheaper than WMP.

Everybody is less expensive than WM. Their wholesale division discounts are not as good as other distributors.

Here in the Northwest, we have Fisheries Supply. They are both retail and wholesale and discounts are based on volume and type of account.

Free shipping on orders over $100 depending on the type of account.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:25 PM   #13
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There are other marine cable and wire manufacturers less expensive than Ancor.

Alamo and Cobra come to mind .

Freshwater or salt, tinned marine cable should be used.

Labor, even if it's you own time, costs more than materials.

It's a boat, use the correct cable.

Who wants to redo a wiring job because water penetrated the insulation or wicked.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:11 AM   #14
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Wire is cheaper almost anywhere other than WM, but..... If you are making up battery cables, you can walk into most WM stores, buy the wire, terminal ends and shrink wrap and make up the cable with their crimper right there. Very few of us have our own cable crispers.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:59 AM   #15
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Funny though how many marine manufacturers don't use tinned wire in their products or even marinize the complete unit.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:04 AM   #16
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Greetings,
Mr. ps. "...don't use tinned wire..." Might it be that there is NO regulation requiring the use of tinned wire on board a vessel? Not a bad idea to use tinned wire but NOT a legal requirement.
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:12 AM   #17
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According to the WM website. Every WM store in my vicinity has 2-0 in stock. I couldn't say the same for your location. It is worth a look.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:03 PM   #18
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Funny though how many marine manufacturers don't use tinned wire in their products or even marinize the complete unit.
Thanks for posting that.

I have looked at a lot of OEM battery plant installations on various brands and never seen a OEM tinned wire.

Yet if you do it somehow itís unsafe....
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:48 PM   #19
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Thanks for posting that.

I have looked at a lot of OEM battery plant installations on various brands and never seen a OEM tinned wire.

Yet if you do it somehow itís unsafe....
Using untinned wire or cable is not unsafe. It reduce possibility of wire corrosion.

Every time I take old wire and cable out of boats, I strip insulation off and examine the wire and often the untinned wire strands are black from water intrusion. And the black extend into the crimped terminal which is not good.

OEM is not a guarantee of proper installation practices. Many boat manufacturers utilize improper materials and equipment to reduce manufacturing cost.
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:02 PM   #20
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Wow okay thatís interesting. So what qualifies cable for marine use and where do we get it? Does west marine have 2/0 cable? I suppose they do.

I have purchased custom made-to-order battery cables from these guys. The prices have been good and the service excellent.


https://www.genuinedealz.com/
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