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Old 01-21-2020, 07:41 AM   #1
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Battery Cable Butt Connectors

I am planning another electrical system upgrade, including moving the battery switches out of the engine room and up to the living space for better access (safer too). I have seven or eight wires to move about two or three feet up to the new location, however, some of these wires and 0/2 gauge and are already kinda long and secured into some tight places. It would be a TON cheaper and a TON easier to use butt connectors to tack a few more feet onto the end to get the to reach their final destination. Assuming I make properly crimped connections, is there any significant line loss that would have me reconsider?
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:14 AM   #2
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While I'm not a fan of doing that, I suppose if they make the connectors, it might be ok. IMO, if the cables periodically carry near their load limits, I would be more hesitant to do it.

Have you considered measuring all the cables and the new required lengths to see if you could switch cables around and only have to replace a few of them?

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Old 01-21-2020, 08:54 AM   #3
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I am sort of with Ted on this one. Even perfect butt connectors have some voltage drop at the high currents that starter cables carry. And they never stay perfect. Also I guess they are no worse than the ring connectors at the battery switch, although one more connector is one more potential failure point.

But I do recognize the safety advantages of moving the switches out of the engine room. Also I recognize the cost and work involved with going with new, longer cable.

I guess all in all I am ok with it. What does ABYC say? Probably continuous wiring is preferable but no outright prohibition.

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Old 01-21-2020, 09:02 AM   #4
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My concern would be how close to "minimum" sized are the wire runs to begin with.

If wayyy oversized like so many here recommend for every wiring job, might not be an issue at all.

I have had a splice in my windlass run for years with no significant heat or voltage drop issues.....probably because the run is oversized a bit.
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:13 AM   #5
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Heat issues are also duty cycle dependent. If those cables only ever see close to max load for a few seconds of engine cranking, you won't have heat problems. Sustained heavy load is a different story, however. Voltage drop is a concern in either case.
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:51 AM   #6
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Personally, that project would be so far down The List it would never make it to the top.
If it did, I'd replace some of the existing switches with remote controlled solenoids like those marketed by Blue Seas for this very purpose. That way no need to do anything with the cables, not to mention the time and hassle involved.
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:01 AM   #7
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Instead of a butt connector use a bus bar. Psneeld is correct, make sure the guage is adequate for the extra feet.
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:31 AM   #8
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I agree with caltexflanc.

A solenoid with switch is the best way to do your project. No increase in cable length.
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:32 AM   #9
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Welding cable would be a lot cheaper
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:36 AM   #10
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Rather curious how batteries are safer in a living space? Especially when cables would exist in both.
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Old 01-21-2020, 11:27 AM   #11
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Iíd use this with ring terminals to join the wires.
https://www.bluesea.com/products/cat...tors/PowerPost
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Old 01-21-2020, 11:27 AM   #12
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Greetings,
Mr. dd. I think Mr. TB is thinking of relocating the switches NOT the batteries, hence the need to lengthen the cables.
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Old 01-21-2020, 11:29 AM   #13
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Welding cable is cheaper but will not resist corrosion like tinned.
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Old 01-21-2020, 11:43 AM   #14
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I just threw out some welding wire that was in my boat and replaced it with proper marine grade cable. I was redoing my battery cables and by taking the longer cables and using them in place of some of the shorter cables, I only needed 2 new cables. I also donít care for the butt connector but would use a power post in its place.
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Old 01-21-2020, 11:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
Personally, that project would be so far down The List it would never make it to the top.
If it did, I'd replace some of the existing switches with remote controlled solenoids like those marketed by Blue Seas for this very purpose. That way no need to do anything with the cables, not to mention the time and hassle involved.
This would be my first choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
Instead of a butt connector use a bus bar. Psneeld is correct, make sure the guage is adequate for the extra feet.
If that's not feasible, PSN and TR have the right idea....buss bar, not butt splice.
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Old 01-21-2020, 11:54 AM   #16
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What is the benefit of the power post? It has two crimps same as the butt splice, plus it has a threaded post. Seems like more connections to worry about than the simple butt splice.

And to the safety question above: Moving the switches outside of the engine room makes it easier to shut off the power in case of a fire.

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Old 01-21-2020, 11:56 AM   #17
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Battery Cable Butt Connectors

Quote:
Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,
Mr. dd. I think Mr. TB is thinking of relocating the switches NOT the batteries, hence the need to lengthen the cables.


Ah, yes. Missed that one.

Ok, I was in an engine space one time, where the starter motor stuck On. Glad I was close to the batt switch. Of course, the counter argument on batt switch location can be made as well.
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diver dave View Post
Ah, yes. Missed that one.

Ok, I was in an engine space one time, where the starter motor stuck On. Glad I was close to the batt switch. Of course, the counter argument on batt switch location can be made as well.

It looks like the Blue Sea remote switch can be controlled manually at the switch as well.
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:44 PM   #19
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solenoids sound good too...


however I would butt splice in most cases if just lengthening the cable.


power post if it was convenient for something else or other reason.
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Old 01-21-2020, 01:16 PM   #20
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Although pulling new cables would be the best solution, I certainly understand the hassle that can entail.


I also agree that a butt connection is preferable to a bus bar or post for the reasons DaveM raised.


And it looks like heavy duty but crimp connectors are available is big wire sizes.


https://crimpsupply.com/connectors/2...terminals.html


Just be sure to use a proper crimper with dies for each gauge. Not one of the hammer crimpers, or pliers, or a vise. And get the best shrink tubing you can find.
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