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Old 25-01-2015, 14:01   #61
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Re: Batt To Inverter Cable Length Question

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
............. if an extra $50 will ensure that it simply CAN'T happen. I like eliminating failure modes. I sleep better. You pays your money, and takes your choices.
Of course. Your boat is worth several thousand dollars. It's probably the second most expensive thing you own after your home. It may be the most expensive thing you own. Why on earth would you cheap out using inferior materials to save $20-$30?

Welding cable is designed for the needs of welders. Boat cable is designed for the needs of boats. These are different needs. If welding cable was as good for boat wiring as boat cable, they wouldn't bother making the two different products.
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Old 25-01-2015, 14:11   #62
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Re: Batt To Inverter Cable Length Question

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Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
I haven't searched the world for cable rated to this standard but the standard itself doesn't require tin plating.
Correct!

Even CFR 46.183.340 for US commercial ships and inspected passenger vessels does not require tin plated wire. Code section below.

eCFR €” Code of Federal Regulations

Cable must be UL listed as boat cable though. This is for commercial and inspected passenger vessels. I suspect that recreational vessels don't even need that. Needless to say Yanmars wiring harness for example is just plain copper stranded wire.

Oh here's the UL listing description for boat cable. Tinned wire is not required.
http://ulstandardsinfonet.ul.com/sco...p?fn=1426.html

Comparing the boat cable ul listing with the UL and ASTM listing for welding cable, shows that they are for all intents identical in scope. That as they have the same temperature and insulation rating and general construction. My guess is welding cable probably exceeds the requirements of "boat cable". Tinned wire has become the rule, but it's oddly not required by UL, or CFR 46, which references ABYC.
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Old 25-01-2015, 14:32   #63
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Re: Batt To Inverter Cable Length Question

The major application difference here between boat wire and welding wire is the insulation - where welding mostly uses rubber and boat PVC. This insulation is also the major difference in the flexibility, although the thinner strands help too.

Rubber insulation should not be used in engine rooms or bilges, and I would not recommend the OP use it there. However, he stated he is moving the inverter to a saloon cabinet, so there is no problem with the insulation type.

Welding cable also comes tinned, if you feel it necessary. Again, the US is the only place where people hyperventilate about that point.

The primary need of both welders and boats is to efficiently and safely move current. These needs aren't different. If the insulation rating is appropriate for the application, there is no real difference between the wire types.

Talking about crimps, sealing, lugs, etc is beside the point - these need to be properly done regardless of the wire type.

But the main choice for the OP may just come down to what he can reasonably get. It is easy to live in mid-Atlantic USA and talk about what a poor economy $50 is there. But I bet you haven't lived outside of the land of everything - like the OP does - and done the same math.

Welding cable is universally found world-wide in even the smallest places. I have found spools of it for sale in grass hut tiendas on small islands (literally grass huts). "Boat" cable is often not available at any price or reasonable timeframe.

A perspective answer is often better than a pedantic one. The internet is full of pedantic, but less of perspective.

For some here, the OP will never be able to use his boat in his home waters because he will never be able to afford to "do it properly".

Having said all of this, if the OP comes back and tells us both types are available where he lives, and the cost difference is nominal, then I will encourage him to get the boat cable.

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Old 25-01-2015, 14:37   #64
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Re: Batt To Inverter Cable Length Question

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
Comparing the boat cable ul listing with the UL and ASTM listing for welding cable, shows that they are for all intents identical in scope. That as they have the same temperature and insulation rating and general construction. My guess is welding cable probably exceeds the requirements of "boat cable". Tinned wire has become the rule, but it's oddly not required by UL, or CFR 46, which references ABYC.
The only thing I would add to this is that welding cable is often slightly dimensionally different than boat cable. One needs to consider the conductor dimensions and not the overall dimensions in choosing for an application. The other is that welding cable insulation may not be suitable where oil is present (engine room and bilge).

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Old 25-01-2015, 14:50   #65
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Re: Batt To Inverter Cable Length Question

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........ But does ABYC mandate tinned wire? Last I knew they did not..............
OK and your point is............... ?
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Old 25-01-2015, 14:56   #66
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Re: Batt To Inverter Cable Length Question

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
The only thing I would add to this is that welding cable is often slightly dimensionally different than boat cable. One needs to consider the conductor dimensions and not the overall dimensions in choosing for an application. The other is that welding cable insulation may not be suitable where oil is present (engine room and bilge).

Mark

Most of the welding cable I found, listed a polyethylene or other plastic jacket. All listed as standard wiring gauge.

But then, my welding experience was only with wire welders and yes I suck at welding.
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Old 25-01-2015, 14:58   #67
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Re: Batt To Inverter Cable Length Question

A couple of comments: as a chemist (also) I understand that tinned wire should corrode much slower than bare copper. I am not sure exactly how wire is tinned but I suspect that it's actually tin bonded to the outside of the copper and tin is electrochemically more inert than copper. So it should be more resistant to corrosion. Also, my boat has a variety of different wires, including "expensive" wiring by the manufacturer. The copper wires are universally in worse shape than the tinned marine wire, including my Yanmar harness.

I'm in the process of doing some fairly serious rewiring and am curious about ExMaggieDrum's comments about measuring and ordering cables. I'm not 100% sure that I can get really good crimps whereas I'm kind of hoping that Genuinedealz can get excellent crimps and shrink tubing in their shop. I can probably live with 1-5 inches of excess length but obviously, 1 inch too short could be a killer. I'm planning to run small wires where I want the cables to go, measure them and order to that length. (Measure several times!!) Anyone with experience and/or suggestions about ordering custom made cables in 4/0 to 6 AWG diameters?

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Old 25-01-2015, 15:04   #68
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Re: Batt To Inverter Cable Length Question

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Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post

But does ABYC mandate tinned wire? Last I knew they did not.
I believe they do in the bilge. IE bonding system.


the biggest problem with welding cable is the insolation. it can't handle oil / diesel. I have replaced main battery cables on a boat. unfused section between battery and switch. that were completely bare copper for 2'. insolation melted off. pos and neg side by side 1/4'' apart. because they were below a leaky fuel line.

he is supper lucky they did not touch.

also welding cable is a "temporary" cable. it's basically an extension cord for the welder. it is never attached or mounted. and can be checked over every use. you can't do that if it's running through a boat.

do you run orange ac extension cables through you house walls or boat? (well some do...) or course not. it is considered a temporary cable and are not allowed there either.
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Old 25-01-2015, 15:11   #69
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Re: Batt To Inverter Cable Length Question

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
Correct!

Even CFR 46.183.340 for US commercial ships and inspected passenger vessels does not require tin plated wire. Code section below.

eCFR — Code of Federal Regulations

Cable must be UL listed as boat cable though. This is for commercial and inspected passenger vessels. I suspect that recreational vessels don't even need that. Needless to say Yanmars wiring harness for example is just plain copper stranded wire.

Oh here's the UL listing description for boat cable. Tinned wire is not required.
Scope for UL 1426

Comparing the boat cable ul listing with the UL and ASTM listing for welding cable, shows that they are for all intents identical in scope. That as they have the same temperature and insulation rating and general construction. My guess is welding cable probably exceeds the requirements of "boat cable". Tinned wire has become the rule, but it's oddly not required by UL, or CFR 46, which references ABYC.
Maybe it is because more boat owners a chumps than welders?
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Old 25-01-2015, 15:19   #70
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Re: Batt To Inverter Cable Length Question

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
OK and your point is............... ?
I was asking a question in an effort to learn something. I got my answer I think. Neither CFR nor U/L require tin plating on boat wire. The ABYC standards are a bit opaque to me. They are often called out by insurance companies and surveyors as a requirement but then the average Joe can't go read them. I think that's wrong.

The fact that we can't find un-tinned boat rated wire may be due to the pervasive belief that tin plating preserves the wire. It does not. Some people think tin plating will prevent corrosion and therefore the crimp isn't that important. (I think someone basically said that in a previous post.) The crimp must be made properly (i.e. gas tight) and sealed as Bill explained above. Almost no DIY boater has the right tool to crimp a lug on AWG 2/0 cable. But many try to use the silly alligator looking thingy by beating it with a hammer.

I don't think any boat fires have ever been attributed to un-tinned wire. Many have been caused by poor crimps, loose hardware and using too small wire for the application. These are way more important than whether the wire has tin on it. If I have to make a point that would be it.
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Old 25-01-2015, 15:23   #71
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Re: Batt To Inverter Cable Length Question

Here is a link to ABYC E-01 bonding as adopted by CFR 46.28.345

https://law.resource.org/pub/us/cfr/....E-01.1973.pdf

Per E-1.4.7 Bonding can be with bare tinned copper, or insulated copper wire.


Thing is the welding cable has pretty much the same specifications as un tinned marine cable. If that's all that's available, it will function identical to marine cable. Myself, being an engineer and a bit versed in standards and materials would have no qualms with using welding cable for inverter / battery leads.
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Old 25-01-2015, 15:23   #72
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Re: Batt To Inverter Cable Length Question

also I have seen tinned marine cable (I think anchor, maybe something else) with proper crimps and adhesive heat shrink totally corroded and needing replacement. though the boat was under water for 24-48 hours... but even the proper stuff didn't hold up.
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Old 25-01-2015, 15:28   #73
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Re: Batt To Inverter Cable Length Question

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
...... It is easy to live in mid-Atlantic USA and talk about what a poor economy $50 is there. But I bet you haven't lived outside of the land of everything - like the OP does - and done the same math.......
Mark
You assume too much. Let's see...

I'm a retired Foreign Service Officer, having lived and worked in LDCs for most of my career. Have traveled all over the world, extensively. Have sailed in many far-flung places -- Indonesia, SE Asia, Tanzania, Greece, Turkey, the Adriatic, Gibraltar, the Canaries, and more than 40 years sailing the Eastern Caribbean islands -- most all of them -- down to Grenada.

That's just a small portion of my time outside the "land of everything".

I stand by what I've said. Don't cheap out. Find a way to get the "right stuff". There is ALWAYS a way to do it, whether it's a boat part or a prescription or a bottle of booze in a country where alcohol is strictly prohibited.

Maybe best not to make assumptions like that one so easily :-)

Bill
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Old 25-01-2015, 15:52   #74
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Re: Batt To Inverter Cable Length Question

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Originally Posted by Bill_E View Post
. I can probably live with 1-5 inches of excess length but obviously, 1 inch too short could be a killer. I'm planning to run small wires where I want the cables to go, measure them and order to that length. (Measure several times!!) Anyone with experience and/or suggestions about ordering custom made cables in 4/0 to 6 AWG diameters?

Bill
I'm thinking that I'll run some tubing, like the 1/2" or 5/8" clear plastic stuff, where I want to run the cables, and use that to measure. I need to replace all four of our fresh water vent tubes, anyhow ( they're grungy and we no longer accept grungy) and I think if I use the new hose or tubing to measure the run, it should be pretty close as long as it's about the same dia. as the cable.

and this boat does have orange extension cord running all through it for the ac. I'm fixing stuff as I go, but man, there's a lot of it.
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Old 25-01-2015, 16:59   #75
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Re: Batt To Inverter Cable Length Question

found pic of welding cable with diesel leak. he had pos and neg side by side, both bare. black stuff is tape owner put on after he noticed. and before we replaced it all with marine wire.
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