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Old 23-08-2018, 11:33   #1
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Multi conductor wire for re-wiring job?

I plan to re-place all the separate and loose wires from my pedestal pod and engine instruments, to the electrical panel in my saloon. It is a distance of approximately 17 feet and there are 30 wires, all 12 volt.
Is there any reason why I canít use a single multi core cable with 30 conductor wires? This will be a lot cheaper than buying separate wires, and easier to install? My present wires vary between 16 and 14 AWG. Which thickness will be best? 16 AWG is half the price of 14 AWG.
Thanks in advance. JR.
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Old 23-08-2018, 11:49   #2
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Re: Multi conductor wire for re-wiring job?

You'll need to go with the 14 gauge. You can upsize wires. Do not downsize.
I also doubt the bundle will be as flexible, do you have any tight corners to make?
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Old 23-08-2018, 12:21   #3
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Re: Multi conductor wire for re-wiring job?

Assuming you mean 12 volts to power devices
why not run 1 set of lower gauge wires between the panel and pedestal to a local fuse panel at the pedestal
then distribute from there?
Only one long run then a bunch of shorter ones
to each device or even a switched sub panel?
Cheers
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Old 23-08-2018, 14:22   #4
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Re: Multi conductor wire for re-wiring job?

Good points Pete. That's why I've just received a 12" sample, and it's flexible enough to go where I want. Using this cable I will be able to actually route the wire down through the inside of the pedestal - much neater.
Neil, I can do a common ground, but I still need a wire to the individual devices.
JR
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Old 23-08-2018, 15:28   #5
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Re: Multi conductor wire for re-wiring job?

Can can you replace 14AWG wire with 16AWG?

The answer is: It Depends. it is not a question anyone can possibly answer in any reasonable fashion with the information you have given us.

Assuming the original wires were installed with some idea as to why various sizes were used, you should be careful about changing them just because it is "convenient".

For EACH circuit in which you are planning to downsize the wire you need to address a couple of questions:

First question: How much current does the wire routinely carry, and for how far, and what voltage drop is to tolerated?

Second question: What is the over current protection for these various circuits? How does that compare to the ampacity of the wires used?

If you do not know, or can not find, the answer to those questions, you should keep the wire sizes the same.

And do not forget that the common ground you suggest will be carrying the amperage of ALL the circuits in your bundle. That might well need bigger wire.

Finally, the current rating for wires in a 30 wire bundle will be significantly downgraded compared to individual wires because they can not disipate heat nearly as easily.

This might seem like a simple, easy project, but there are a lot of important details to consider.
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Old 23-08-2018, 15:36   #6
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Re: Multi conductor wire for re-wiring job?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billknny View Post
Can can you replace 14AWG wire with 16AWG?

The answer is: It Depends. it is not a question anyone can possibly answer in any reasonable fashion with the information you have given us.

Assuming the original wires were installed with some idea as to why various sizes were used, you should be careful about changing them just because it is "convenient".

For EACH circuit in which you are planning to downsize the wire you need to address a couple of questions:

First question: How much current does the wire routinely carry, and for how far, and what voltage drop is to tolerated?

Second question: What is the over current protection for these various circuits? How does that compare to the ampacity of the wires used?

If you do not know, or can not find, the answer to those questions, you should keep the wire sizes the same.

And do not forget that the common ground you suggest will be carrying the amperage of ALL the circuits in your bundle. That might well need bigger wire.

Finally, the current rating for wires in a 30 wire bundle will be significantly downgraded compared to individual wires because they can not disipate heat nearly as easily.

This might seem like a simple, easy project, but there are a lot of important details to consider.
JR, this is the correct answer to your question. An excellent response from billknny, he has addressed all the salient points.
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Old 23-08-2018, 16:09   #7
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Re: Multi conductor wire for re-wiring job?

JR
What i meant was to run both
a positive and negative cable, sized and fused appropriately,
to either a set of terminal strips ,switched
sub panel or a fuse block with a built in
negative buss bar.
You only need one circuit to the remote panel
and then branch circuits to the devices.
Of course everything has to be fused
and total draw with everything on calculated.
Cheers
Neil
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Old 23-08-2018, 16:55   #8
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Re: Multi conductor wire for re-wiring job?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
Good points Pete. That's why I've just received a 12" sample, and it's flexible enough to go where I want. Using this cable I will be able to actually route the wire down through the inside of the pedestal - much neater.
Neil, I can do a common ground, but I still need a wire to the individual devices.
JR
I'm finding it hard to imagine a 30x awg14 cable being manageable!! What is its diameter?

Jim
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Old 23-08-2018, 17:08   #9
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Re: Multi conductor wire for re-wiring job?

Iím trying to imagine how or why you need 30 different, separate circuits to the Nav pod? I canít imagine that.

There were 14 CBís on my original DC panel, I added 11 more on two other panels.
That means my entire boat is run off of 25 DC circuits, and they are all home runs, no sneaks.
Your Nav pod requires 30?
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Old 23-08-2018, 17:26   #10
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Re: Multi conductor wire for re-wiring job?

It's probably only 15 pairs as you could measure 12v on all 30 wires Maybe a common ground would help.
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Old 23-08-2018, 17:36   #11
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Re: Multi conductor wire for re-wiring job?

Even 15 circuits is nuts, something else is going on. NMEA cables, something
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Old 23-08-2018, 17:43   #12
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Re: Multi conductor wire for re-wiring job?

14ga NEMA wires? Maybe it needs a NEMA bus.
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Old 23-08-2018, 18:22   #13
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Re: Multi conductor wire for re-wiring job?

I just canít come up with a logical reason for 15 pairs of wires going to a Nav panel, even unused, dead wires 15 pairs is too many to make sense.
I wonder if he knows where each of the 15 pairs go?
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Old 23-08-2018, 18:33   #14
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Re: Multi conductor wire for re-wiring job?

I have worked with a lot of 25 pair wire in the telecom world but most of that is 24 gauge. 14awg wires with 15+ pairs is going to be pretty big and as others have noted, Why do you need that many?
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Old 24-08-2018, 01:14   #15
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Re: Multi conductor wire for re-wiring job?

Thanks for everyoneís replies.
Itís all part of a major project to remodel the complete nav area. Iíve already removed the teak chart table, which I have for sale. I also want to move the breaker panel to a more convenient place and tidy up the wiring. You can see why from the picture.
I must confess the 30 wire number is an estimate and I havenít yet worked out which of the pod instruments can be connected to a common ground, to reduce the numbers. There are also engine gages, mounted on the pedestal.
The diameter of the 37 conductor, 16 AWG cable I received as a sample is 1Ē inch and itís quite flexible. It will easily bend round a 4Ē inch radius. I suspect I will finish up with less wires than 30, and 14 AWG.
I understand Billknnyís points and if I manage a common ground for some I will use a separate thicker wire.
I was also a bit concerned about heat dissipation and Iíll look at the amperage of the more continuous drain, like the nav lights which are 14 AWG.
I guess I really wanted to hear from anyone who has used this stuff, because it will be very much cheaper and easier to route a single cable, then to install individual wires, then tape them into a loom.
Hereís a link to the supplier. https://www.wireandcableyourway.com/14-AWG-SOOW/
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