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Old 11-01-2016, 13:50   #16
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Re: Hidden Problems in Battery Circuits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wgoodbye View Post
The cable shown doesn't appear to be tinned boat cable. That's probably why the corrosion advanced so quickly with a small hole in the insulation.

Correct, it's original.
Cal2-29, 1974, old school materials.


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Old 11-01-2016, 13:56   #17
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Re: Hidden Problems in Battery Circuits.

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Originally Posted by basssears View Post
Forgive my ignorance, I know to use marine grade wire but what do you look for visually to confirm it is tinned wire?



-- Bass

Possibly the manufacturing numbers may reveal the composition.
Realistically, most won't inspect for composition of cables as you would have to unseal the crimped ends to do that.
This cable "revealed" itself as I was looking for excessive resistance in the B1 start circuit.


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Old 11-01-2016, 14:01   #18
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Re: Hidden Problems in Battery Circuits.

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Originally Posted by Paul Annapolis View Post
Dear "U" I just don't find this reply to be helpful on any level. Perhaps you'd be a bit clearer, unless U were just kiddin', right?
Paul, you took this out of context. See #2, which I bumped to get views. Any battery connection cables will exhibit the same issues regardless of the storage source. Teddy also answered for me, thanks Teddy.
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Old 11-01-2016, 14:02   #19
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Re: Hidden Problems in Battery Circuits.

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Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
When you cut a piece of tinned or non-tinned wire it will look copper color at the end. When you take off insulation to make a crimp connection tinned wire will be silvery and shiny. The tin looks like polished silver when it is new.

The OP of this thread is 100% correct as to the importance of routinely checking for problems with connections, insulation, etc. Unfortunately heat shrink can sometimes cover up corrosion issues underneath, and sometimes, just plain poor crimps. I have had cables pull out of crimps when the heat shrink was removed. That is scary. (Not ones I have done - so far). At least, make it a habit to wiggle each termination to see if it is tight and the crimp seems good.

Thanks for the confirmation, these crimps were exactly that, held on by the " rigging tape"😳 seal.
They don't inspect regularly, and cost is an issue unless it's a problem that prevents use, or reliability.



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Old 11-01-2016, 14:08   #20
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Re: Hidden Problems in Battery Circuits.

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Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
Hey Boatyarddog,



Another lesson learned from your good heads-up post is to always use the correct cabling; in this case ultra fine strand tinned marine cable- especially for battery connections.



The cheap stuff from the auto parts stores will not do for long term use as your findings demonstrate...



It looks like you are in for some rewiring. In case you didn't already know, a reasonably priced source [at least in the US] I use and is often cited on this forum is Marine Wiring, Boat Cable and Electrical Genuinedealz.com.



Best wishes with your project, and thanks for reminding us all of the importance of remaining vigilant.



Cheers!



Bill

Thanks Bill, this boat was essentially wired with, automotive wire, fuses, fuse holders, all cheaper stuff.
I'm kind of surprised, but I see it alot.


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Old 11-01-2016, 14:24   #21
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Hidden Problems in Battery Circuits.

Here is another example.
This one the Negative cable leading to the engine.

Only 6 ft. Long, causing so much resistance, it would cause the starter to click, no start.
The corrosion is so bad here, but the insulation was barely swelling up.
Voltage drop test located it promptly.
And of course, buried and difficult to access.
As well, the only starter cable negative.
Crimp was tight but improper, weather seal was cracked on crimped end.
It's a tight stranded marine wire, not tinned, old school stuff again.
Click image for larger version

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Old 11-01-2016, 14:44   #22
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Re: Hidden Problems in Battery Circuits.

I have seen many cables like the photos while working in the trade. It can happen in the middle of a cable as well, even marine grade tinned wire if the insulation is broken, over time. Many call it the "green death" as the corrosion often shows as a greenish powderish mess. And, corrosion can travel several inches up a cable inside the insulation. I always strip the insulation back until I can see clean copper wire and then make a crimp. In a few rare cases where the black was not too bad and the cable could not be replaced at the moment, I had to shine up the exterior copper and then put a new crimp there.
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Old 11-01-2016, 16:50   #23
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Re: Hidden Problems in Battery Circuits.

Thanks it was much more helpful than the snide response I got first. From what I understand, this is most likely to happen with flooded batteries, due to venting and spillage when re-watering. I've been operating and maintaining boats and dealing with batteries for over 40 years and so when I saw the OP's photos, I wondered how it could have gotten so severe. Not using tinned wiring on a boat is a bad idea- and as I've learned so many times, a boat that is not used much will have more problems than a boat that is regularly used and observed. I still would hazard a guess "regardless of what the rude commenter who first replied) that these kinds of problems are much more likely with flooded batteries than with no maintenance or other types of batteries. Thanks.
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Old 11-01-2016, 17:03   #24
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Re: Hidden Problems in Battery Circuits.

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Originally Posted by Paul Annapolis View Post
...................I still would hazard a guess "regardless of what the rude commenter who first replied) that these kinds of problems are much more likely with flooded batteries than with no maintenance or other types of batteries. Thanks.

Paul, I didn't mean to be snide and actually bumped this topic up since it was there for days with no response. However, your point about the battery types would only be true (and it well might be) within the battery compartment. These posts themselves have pointed out that there are two ends to a wire and a long middle, all of which are subject to deterioration. Could "fumes" exacerbate an already damaged insulated wire? Sure. Not necessarily "much more likely" though.
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Old 11-01-2016, 17:13   #25
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Re: Hidden Problems in Battery Circuits.

Everything is constantly interacting with everything else in the marine environment. We can't be too careful. Perhaps we should have gold-plated wires and terminals. Maybe that's what Trump has on his yacht, but I always tell my customers that if you bring a gold brick on a boat, you can watch it rust before your eyes. I've come on to at least a few boats which had been surveyed without any regard to the ground tackle and have had to saw and cut and chisel the rusted ball of once galvanized chain out of the anchor locker.
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Old 12-01-2016, 22:35   #26
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Re: Hidden Problems in Battery Circuits.

When installing new terminals in high current circuits, I use solderable type not crimped terminals. The soldering is easily done with marine/tinned wire. Use a solder containing silver.
A crimped terminal only connects to the outer strands of the cable, whereas a soldered connection if done properly, flows solder all the way into the center of the cable. The only downside is that the solder will also flow a small distance down the wire (maybe an inch or so) so that the wire is not flexible in this area.
Been doing this for about 30 years on a couple of boats I've owned and never seen any such problem as illustrated even though the cables are quite old now. I haven't bothered with sealing the insulation where it terminates at the connector though I agree it's probably a good idea.
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Old 12-01-2016, 23:59   #27
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Re: Hidden Problems in Battery Circuits.

My background was electrical power generation and distribution and this matter of to crimp or to solder is interesting to follow.

For as long as hydraulic crimping tools have been around, the majority of large conductors have used a crimped connection when we are talking about non-aerial situations. Overhead has a mixture of clamped and crimped.
This crimping system causes cold flow of the conductors within the lug if the correct lug+conductor+dies+pressure are used --- these are all matched to ensure a sound connection.

Soldering of pre-tinned or bare copper conductors requires some experience to achieve good and lasting results without compromising the joint capacity.

Perhaps some people are not aware that there are many grades of so-called solder on the market, and they are available because it is really a matter of horses-for-courses --- the application and the materials to be joined are many and varied.

In both cases (and this means marine aggressive as well as non), the real issue once a cable has been stripped and fitted with a lug, is the need to reseal the insulation AND THE SERVING (if present), at the the point of termination. I find for small jobs (like battery cables), Self vulcanising (bonding) tape is good for the first pass half-lap over the point where metal meets insulation, and heat shrink both ahead and behind the tape.

The exception to this matter is when Aluminium (aluminum in some places!) is crimped into an alloy ferrule which may or may not be a combination of copper and alloy, that case usually applies to big overhead conductors.
Those who wish to know more about this bond between Cu and Al will find it interesting to chase "Explosion Welding" and "Friction Stir" welding or joining. A lot of warships used a steel hull with an alloy superstructure attached with a transition strip of steel and aluminium made by DuPont using the explosion weld technique. Not a good thing if an Exocet gets through the defences.

Ultimately, keeping the copper strands -- tinned or not -- away from the environment is the key and I guess that's the main aim, because properly crimped or properly soldered joints are roughly equal in large wire connections. There is an opinion around that the crimped (cold welded) joint has lower resistance and better mechanical performance than soldered varieties, but if both are properly supported and kept clean and undamaged, there's not a significant difference in fit-for-purpose.
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Old 13-01-2016, 10:29   #28
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Re: Hidden Problems in Battery Circuits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by waterman46 View Post
When installing new terminals in high current circuits, I use solderable type not crimped terminals. The soldering is easily done with marine/tinned wire. Use a solder containing silver.
A crimped terminal only connects to the outer strands of the cable, whereas a soldered connection if done properly, flows solder all the way into the center of the cable. The only downside is that the solder will also flow a small distance down the wire (maybe an inch or so) so that the wire is not flexible in this area.
Been doing this for about 30 years on a couple of boats I've owned and never seen any such problem as illustrated even though the cables are quite old now. I haven't bothered with sealing the insulation where it terminates at the connector though I agree it's probably a good idea.
Soldered terminations have been a source of controversy for many years. They are not only not recommended by most all of the usual suspects (i.e. the trade publication writer "experts") they are also specifically banned by the US ABYC, for any use. The problem is from stress and vibration cracks from the rigid, and relatively fragile, solder joint. The only way to avoid those is to secure, absolutely, the cable and the termination to the termination point so they both flex or vibrate as one. This is very hard to do with most large cables unless you are running along the surface to a termination on the same surface. Cables going to batteries and devices like alternators/starters/chargers are very hard to secure in this manner.

To each his own though. I have not met many who proselytize about soldering who change their minds about doing it. I have seen many failed solder joints when working in the trades though.
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