I was just reading this thread and thought I would chime in on some of the comments regarding wire. My company is one of the ones listed in this thread. Having been in wire manufacturing for several years there are a few misconceptions regarding wire. First, Maine
Sail is very accurate regarding his detail of why to use tinned wire and heat shrink terminals. I am new to the forum and have sidestepped some of the introductions, I apologize.
About Tinned wire. Wire manufacturers originally began putting a tin plating on copper wire for solderability purposes. Tinned wire was adopted by providers to the marine
industry for its corrosion
resistant properties. Some brands have generated the myth that tinned copper is a marine
thing, probably to justify a high product price
. It is essentially UL 1015/1230 appliance wire. UL has added a standard (1426) using the BC-5W2 statement meaning 105C dry 75C wet and it has more stringent insulation
resistance requirements. This is specifically a marine standard.
Tinned vs bare. Tinned resists corrosion
. Bare not only corrodes quickly it wicks up the conductor under the insulation
, I've seen wicking several feet under the insulation. Exposed tinned will oxidize however it wicks very slowly maybe an inch or so will need to be cut off. The real issue with corrosion that has wicked up under the insulation is the resistance the corrosion created, leading to lower voltage to the device, lower voltage will shorten the lifespan, and function of motors, not to mention generate heat on high amp loads.
Automotive wire is often not 105C, in many cases its not even printed in which case you have to assume 60C, 60C wire will, in load calculations, will result in larger AWG sizes, indermining any dollar savings.
Automotive wire is also not made to AWG (American Wire Gauge) the circular mil area of copper is less than AWG. SAE (Standard for Automotive Engineers) refers to wire sizes as not as AWG but as No. 16 or No. 10. (However most manufacturers print AWG, it's technically wrong) Marine engineers know this difference and account for it in their calculations, however most others do not, resulting in higher than calculated voltage drops.
The PVC insulation on tinned or bare, so long as its not exposed to the sun, chaffing or consistently exposed to solvents, which it is not designed for, will not rot
. It will protect the conductors for decades.
Knowing this and in consideration of the excellent comments from Maine
Sail tinned is worth the extra money
. All brands listed have to meet stringent UL in-plant inspections, and all are very good. Some are made with the marine technician in mind and the manufacturer uses more expensive and more flexible compounds to ease installation
, otherwise they are functionally the same. Thus shop the internet
, you can find tinned marine rated wire at very good prices, inexpensive heat shrink terminals will make whatever job you are doing long-lasting and professional. Good Luck!