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Old 11-03-2013, 06:59   #1
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8 gauge disconnects

I am installing a new refrigeration system in the galley and based on the length of the wiring run the specs call for 8 gauge wire. My problem is the compressor uses 1/4" AWG disconnect fittings and they don't seem to be available for wire larger than 10 gauge.
Does anyone have suggestions as to how I can attach the 8 gauge wire to the male disconnect stud?
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:25   #2
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Re: 8 gauge disconnects

Two options. First, can you change the fittings on the compressor? If so, switch to something that is compatible with the 8 gauge.

If that isn't possible and the connector you need just isn't available I would clip a few strands of copper out of the wire to make it fit the largest connector you have.

The voltage drop is due to the gauge and length so a very short section of smaller wire at the end to fit the connector won't add any significant voltage drop to the system.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:33   #3
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Re: 8 gauge disconnects

You could also use a terminal strip between the 8AWG and the disconnect fittings. Larger ring terminals are available for smaller gauge wire.
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Old 11-03-2013, 13:29   #4
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Re: 8 gauge disconnects

Thanks for the replies. That was pretty much what I suspected, but it's nice to get confirmation.
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Old 11-03-2013, 13:32   #5
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Re: 8 gauge disconnects

What's a '1/2" AWG stud' ????

Do you have a pic?

If it's really a 1/4" stud, you can easily get ring terminals with 1/4" holes for AWG8 wire.

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Old 11-03-2013, 14:18   #6
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Re: 8 gauge disconnects

This is what I'm looking for. To fit 8 gauge wire. The male portion it fits to is 1/4" wide.
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Old 11-03-2013, 14:38   #7
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Re: 8 gauge disconnects

Clipping strands of wire to get it to fit is never a good option. Use a terminal strip to connect the #8 wire then run a short run of #10 with the push on. This will also give you a good place to use for trouble shooting if need be. You will be glad later you did it right!
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Old 11-03-2013, 15:02   #8
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Re: 8 gauge disconnects

In the electrical parlance that's a "flag" terminal. I checked a bunch of my catalogs, largest I can find is 10AWG. You could possible get the uninsulated 10AWG version and open the crimp barrel a little bit to accept the 8, but that would be a little hokey.
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Old 11-03-2013, 15:10   #9
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Re: 8 gauge disconnects

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailvayu View Post
Clipping strands of wire to get it to fit is never a good option. Use a terminal strip to connect the #8 wire then run a short run of #10 with the push on. This will also give you a good place to use for trouble shooting if need be. You will be glad later you did it right!
It's not the best option, but under the proper circumstances it's not too bad. As long as the reduced-diameter wire and the connector are adequate for the current being carried, it should be OK. Presumably the heavy wire is being used because of the connection length, so (as skipmac says) the voltage drop in the extremely short thin section is inconsequential.

I'm not a huge fan of those friction-fit disconnects though. They do get loose if you cycle them too many times. I can't say that I've seen one fail when it was snugly fitted, but they just don't fill me with confidence.
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Old 11-03-2013, 15:28   #10
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Re: 8 gauge disconnects

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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
In the electrical parlance that's a "flag" terminal. .
I thought they were called "spade" terminals but then I'm from down south and we talk funny down here.
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Old 11-03-2013, 15:33   #11
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Re: 8 gauge disconnects

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I thought they were called "spade" terminals but then I'm from down south and we talk funny down here.
Whata ya'll talkin bout?
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Old 11-03-2013, 15:45   #12
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Re: 8 gauge disconnects

Often times we need to use a large gauge conductor to meet the voltage drop requirements and then marry it to the pig tail or connection on the equipment. Just as you stated. I have never seen spade or quick disconnect terminations for greater than AWG 10. Tellie in #3 provided the most professional and workmanlike response. Note that AWG 8 ring terminals may or may not fit in a standard 30A terminal strip. You will either have to use a 50A terminal strip or snip some of the material off of the ring terminal.
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Old 11-03-2013, 15:54   #13
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Re: 8 gauge disconnects

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I thought they were called "spade" terminals but then I'm from down south and we talk funny down here.
That's how I always thought of them, but my catalogs list "spade" terminals as the ones with a slot down the middle for a screw. That's the page I went to to look for an 8AWG version. Which lead to flags (some of them are just listed as "1/4" quick disconnect", depends on which catalog I choose)

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Old 11-03-2013, 16:26   #14
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Re: 8 gauge disconnects

OK. That's easy.

1. Cut off the ends, both male and female;

2. Crimp & adhesive heat shrink new #10 hole ring terminals onto the wires from the compressor, using the proper size connector and a good crimper;

3. Crimp and adhesive heat shrink new #10 hole AWG8 ring terminals onto the power wires; and

4. Connect all four wires to a small 4-terminal block, keeping the polarity correct.

Spade terminals -- or whatever they call them in the South -- are not great on a boat. Avoid them whenever you can, especially for critical circuits like refrigeration. You don't need a quick disconnect to the compressor anyway, because it's only VERY seldom you want to break that connection. Example: my Adler-Barber with a Danfoss compressor is more than 24 years old and still chugging away :-)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sluce View Post
This is what I'm looking for. To fit 8 gauge wire. The male portion it fits to is 1/4" wide.
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:57   #15
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Re: 8 gauge disconnects

Thanks for all the advice. Let me clear up a few points.
- The compressor is a Danfoss BD35f, all the connections to it are through these disconnect fittings. I would prefer a terminal strip, but that's not what I got. The Danfoss is a popular compressor so I guess the terminals are working.
- I am calling them disconnect fittings because that is what West Marine calls them and that's how Ancor labels them. It may not be the correct term, but it is an accepted one.
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