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Old 07-02-2016, 11:19   #16
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Re: Terminating Tip for Corroded Wire

You do what you gotta do, and ripping out the old wire is not always worth the time, money or effort. In a perfect world with unlimited time, of course it is.

When re-terminating old wire, scraping/sanding it clean is critical, but I sometimes use a small amount of flux after scraping if I'm not completely happy with the results. BUT you must remove all traces of flux afterwards (wet&dry paper towel if you bought water soluble flux, or any solvent otherwise). Otherwise you will have galvanic action between the wire and the connector when power is on, eventually causing the termination to fail again - and that's bad.

While running down the coast of Mexico to Costa Rica, I was forced to change out the bow lights fixtures on a friends boat due to salt water intrusion. No flux available to clean the wires for soldering, so grabbed a lemon and plunged the wire ends and the soldering iron tip in it for a few minutes - voila! They've continued working for years. Perfect? At the time it was.
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Old 07-02-2016, 11:20   #17
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Re: Terminating Tip for Corroded Wire

I've had really good luck dipping the end of blackened cables and wires into Sno-Bol toilet bowl cleaner, which you can buy just about anywhere. Active ingredient HCl.


I had tried Ospho ( which we can buy by the gallon here) first, and it didn't do diddly. Maybe I didn't leave it in long enough? Anyhow, I needed a good connection on a battery cable, so I cut a piece of copper tubing to use as a crimp and put the blackened end of the cable in the Sno-Bol.


There are 3 photos at the very end of this post:
2 Gringos in the Caribbean: Underwhelming Post


Just skip down thru all the tropical bs photos until you see the one of the vise and hacksaw cutting the copper tubing.
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Old 07-02-2016, 11:26   #18
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Re: Terminating Tip for Corroded Wire

The OP wasn't "hack advice". Sometimes you have to do what you have to do, and that was a reasonable technique to use for a temporary / emergency repair.

I've had to fix corroded wiring, where the strands are black no matter how far you strip the insulation back. Yes, they should have used different wire, and if I had the time, materials, and opportunity I would have replaced the entire wire run. But I didn't, so I used sandpaper to expose the clean copper and I crimped a new connector (or an extension wire with a fresh connector). If I had phosphoric acid I might have used that. I will do whatever it takes to get home.
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Old 07-02-2016, 11:30   #19
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Re: Terminating Tip for Corroded Wire

We can always invent excuses for doing hack work (oh, I'll replace it later).
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Old 07-02-2016, 11:38   #20
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Re: Terminating Tip for Corroded Wire

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
The OP wasn't "hack advice". Sometimes you have to do what you have to do, and that was a reasonable technique to use for a temporary / emergency repair.

I've had to fix corroded wiring, where the strands are black no matter how far you strip the insulation back. Yes, they should have used different wire, and if I had the time, materials, and opportunity I would have replaced the entire wire run. But I didn't, so I used sandpaper to expose the clean copper and I crimped a new connector (or an extension wire with a fresh connector). If I had phosphoric acid I might have used that. I will do whatever it takes to get home.
Some folks have never been more than an hour or two from West Marine or their local repair shop apparently.

Cheers/ Len
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Old 07-02-2016, 11:40   #21
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Re: Terminating Tip for Corroded Wire

A few thoughts. No disrespect to get-her-home expedience intended.

  • I have done corrosion testing of both THHN and marine wire (long-term salt spray). Honestly, there is little difference in life span. However, non-tinned wire will get black way up under the insulation, whereas tinned wire is much easier to repair. Mostly the choice depends on whether the area can be damp. Even if the panel end is dry, will the other end always be dry?
  • How do you keep the acid cleaner from wicking up under the insulation, where it cannot be rinsed away? I think I would stick to fanning out the strands and using fine emery or Scotch Brite.
  • I doubt there is any conductivity preference for solder or crimp; neither is good with dirty wire.
  • What are the amps? So long as it is <7 amps or so, you are probably fine.
  • Checking resistance with a meter (no load) is nearly a waste of time. If even one micron of contact is made it will look good. A much better test is voltage under load. Is it within 1V of the other end? Does the connection feel at all warm after a few minutes? These are your indicators that there is resistance in the connection. Thermal scanning is common in industry for searching out high resistance connections. An IR thermometer works if you can get close.
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Old 07-02-2016, 11:44   #22
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Re: Terminating Tip for Corroded Wire

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Originally Posted by deblen View Post
Some folks have never been more than an hour or two from West Marine or their local repair shop apparently...
And some folks wouldn't know what to do with spares even if they knew enough to have them aboard.
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Old 07-02-2016, 11:50   #23
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Re: Terminating Tip for Corroded Wire

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How does on "ohm" a wire?
You sit on the floor with your legs crossed in a yoga position while holding the wire in both hands, and say "ommmmmmmmm". And don't forget to try and look like you are meditating...
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:01   #24
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Re: Terminating Tip for Corroded Wire

Wiring is not a place for hacks. I have done a great deal of shoreside wiring but when it came to my boat I hired a top notch marine electrician at a cost of $10,000 to rewire the whole boat. I don't need hack work when the crap hits the fan at sea!
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:03   #25
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Re: Terminating Tip for Corroded Wire

I will often use my Milwaukee battery powered rotary tool and a Dremel #530 Stainless Wire Wheel.



These wires, from a factory engine wiring harness, had been fairly oxidized. Cleaning them with the Dremel #530 wheel made them clean enough for re-termination and creates a good, clean, copper to copper connection.

The #530 SS wheel is stiff enough to get into the inner stranding, not just the outer strands. Occasionally you'll need to manually open or fan the strands out but it takes just a few seconds per wire, that's it. Be sure to get all copper stranding as clean as possible or, as is always the best option, just replace the wires.

Once clean I use adhesive lined heat shrink crimp ring terminals. This keeps moisture out and creates a sealed connection.

In a perfect world every one of these wire would be replaced with new but not all owners can afford that, and sometimes, it just does not make economical sense.. Cleaning and re-terminating can be a reasonable alternative. I am not a fan of using acid but do use a product called DeoxIT...


These wires were all cleaned with the Dremel #530
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:04   #26
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Re: Terminating Tip for Corroded Wire

You won't find this product at West Marine, but baking soda dissolved in water does wonders to corroded wire ends. Many times the corrosion is only at the end of the wire [near the exposed part], and dipping it in baking soda/water solution will work quite well. Or you could strip the wire back to sound wire and re-terminate or add a length of wire with a crimp connector or solder connection.
But be sure to do a proper repair at some point...
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:13   #27
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Re: Terminating Tip for Corroded Wire

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Originally Posted by lesterbutch View Post
Wiring is not a place for hacks. I have done a great deal of shoreside wiring but when it came to my boat I hired a top notch marine electrician at a cost of $10,000 to rewire the whole boat. I don't need hack work when the crap hits the fan at sea!
My friend, if you believe that there is always a positive correlation between the amount of money you give a "marine professional" and quality of work produced, I have some dreadful news for you...:]
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:14   #28
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Re: Terminating Tip for Corroded Wire

if the repaired wire is going to carry high amps, suggest replace sooner that later
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Old 07-02-2016, 14:12   #29
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Re: Terminating Tip for Corroded Wire

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Originally Posted by HappyMdRSailor View Post
Wottie

Thanks for sharing! Don't you think that the water rinse stopped the acid reaction? Or a 2nd option procedure= neutralizing soak?

I mean, I'd still replace it, but your schedule seems excessively urgent???

Tellie... NUTZ !
Frankly, I didn't think of a neutralising soak - great idea in hindsight although I suspect I would not of found anything suitable at the worksite .

Finding the 5 gallon drum phosphoric acid was as lucky as I was going to get.

And yes, schedule was urgent, out of hours callout, weekend, remote worksite, limited replacement parts, customer's contractual requirement to be serviceable by following morning (big $$ at stake) were just the start…..
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Old 07-02-2016, 14:14   #30
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Re: Terminating Tip for Corroded Wire

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Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
Ospho use to be available. Basically phosphoric acid used to harden rusted metals to stop the rusting and harden the existing rusted areas so they can be painted. Almost impossible to find nowadays. Great stuff.
Really, what part of the world is that?
I wonder why.
In Oz, we still get in spades drums.
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