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Old 04-06-2008, 22:37   #31
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Originally Posted by Steve Rust View Post
...The jacket is actually Teflon FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene) not PVC as I misstated earlier. ....... I am sure it's overkill but it is free so I use it.
Sounds like the perfect wire at a perfect price to me
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:35   #32
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I have done a lot of wiring over the years with the majority of it being commercial. Just like everything else in life wiring needs regular checks and service. Tinned or not the real key is the insulation over the length of the conductor. When I was installing epuipment in high exposure areas (poultry processing plants) I ALWAYS used THHN type wire. This wire is avalible at most electrical supplies. It has a PVC main insulator with a clear nylon outer cover. Unless you are adding a porch light to a submarine this should afford long term use in the main runs of your boat. The key is regular inspections. If you find the outer cover cut or rubbed through the wire should be replaced AND the source of the chaffing eliminated. When it comes to connections...the best crimp connection cannot beat a good solder connection. Learning to solder takes time and you also have to take care with the hot tool. Cover the connection with heat shrink tubing. Other points: Number/Label wires on BOTH ends and several places down the length of the run (learned that one the hard way), If always always always add 6-12 inches on each end of a wire run just in case you have to make a repair to the connection or end up replacing the supplied device and the connections are in a different spot.

Take it for what its worth but thats the way I do it.
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Old 05-06-2008, 04:02   #33
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Boat Wire & Cable is neither Building Wire, nor Plenum-Rated wire.

The basic standard used to evaluate "Electrical Cables for Boats" is UL 1426; which tests for about a dozen physical properties.
See the table of contents for UL 1426, which lists the Physical Properties (11-23) tested:
Table of Contents for UL 1426


Quote:
Originally Posted by michael.barber View Post
I have done a lot of wiring over the years with the majority of it being commercial. Just like everything else in life wiring needs regular checks and service. Tinned or not the real key is the insulation over the length of the conductor. When I was installing epuipment in high exposure areas (poultry processing plants) I ALWAYS used THHN type wire. This wire is avalible at most electrical supplies. It has a PVC main insulator with a clear nylon outer cover. Unless you are adding a porch light to a submarine this should afford long term use in the main runs of your boat...
THHN — Indicates a single conductor having flame-retardant and heat-resistant thermoset thermoplastic insulation (usually PVC), with a jacket of extruded nylon or equivalent material.
The wire is rated 90̊C dry only, and is not recommended for use aboard boats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rust View Post
Much of the wire we use is rated to be used in a plenum air space in commercial buildings and is considered the top of the line in fire and heat resistant wire. The jacket is actually Teflon FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene) not PVC as I misstated earlier. PVC is used in the non-plenum wire that we use in conduit or non plenum ceilings. It is my understanding that PVC cannot meet plenum standards. What is the jacket on marine wire? ...
Plenum wire & cable is coated with a flame-retardant material, usually PTFE Non-Stick Resin (or PVC), so that in the event of a fire, it will not emit toxic fumes and smoke as it burns.
The basic requirements used to investigate products in this category are contained in UL Subject 2257, "Outline of Investigation for Identification Tests for Jacket and Insulation Materials Used in Plenum Cables."

UL 1426 is a performance (as opposed to "prescriptive') standard, so allows any material that meets the minimum performance requirements.

Ancor uses a proprietary vinyl insulation, Cobra & Pacer use a flame retardant polyvinyl chloride insulation in their boat cables.
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:53   #34
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I really do love the expertise here. If the inevitable contradictory responses don't answer your question they usually flesh out all the options.

If I were building a boat I would definitely do my research. I would probably follow the boating standards but as an aviation professional I would also look at doing MIL-Spec to aviation standards (note they apply to seaplanes as well ;-)

However so far I have been limited to adding a circuit or two and repairing a circuit or two.

So far I go to the chandlery and say - Give me 10 feet of red, 10 brown and 10 black. Oh and a bag of those blue ring terminals. I have no idea what I am buying.
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:50   #35
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[quote=GordMay;169067]Boat Wire & Cable is neither Building Wire, nor Plenum-Rated wire.

The basic standard used to evaluate "Electrical Cables for Boats" is UL 1426; which tests for about a dozen physical properties.
See the table of contents for UL 1426, which lists the Physical Properties (11-23) tested:
Table of Contents for UL 1426




THHN Indicates a single conductor having flame-retardant and heat-resistant thermoset thermoplastic insulation (usually PVC), with a jacket of extruded nylon or equivalent material.
The wire is rated 90̊C dry only, and is not recommended for use aboard boats.


Thanks for keeping everyone straight. You are correct and Underwriters Lab approval is a must. I must admit that thats the first link I've seen to a online quick reference. I would also like to add to the UL note that you really need to watch anything that you purchase (especially abroad) for UL or CE markings to ensure that the device is safe.
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:05   #36
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You can use THWN for wet locations. I tried to find the correct wire that was stranded 90 degree centigrade rated and suitable for wet locations but wasn't able to find it. Next time I'm at the wholesale house I'll ask about it and see if there is such a product and what the designation is.
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:19   #37
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Why are we seeking to find a Building Wire to suit a marine application, when there is a Marine Wire specification, and ready availability of products from several manufacturers?
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Old 05-06-2008, 20:26   #38
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I think that the reason we are looking at "building wire" is the same reason that we substitute generic for name brands in medicine. IF all the specifications are equal or better in the generic and the cost is lower why would anyone pay a higher price just for a brand name.

Marine Grade™ Boat Cable vs. SAE Wire

"Can I use 'regular wire' for my boat?". The answer to this common question is a qualified "yes", if the wire is SAE (Society of Automotive Engineering) J378, J1127 or J1128. These wires are designed for "surface vehicles", not for the special requirements of the marine industry, but meet the minimum standards for boats in limited circumstances, even if tinned copper, they should not be run in bilge spaces or other areas subject to moisture from spray or dripping. They should not be run in engines spaces, unless marked "oil resistant". They should not be used in applications where subjected to vibration or frequent flexing and must never be used for 110 volt applications. For safety, use only wire which is marked with size and type.

Most importantly, SAE wire is up to 12% smaller than AWG Boat Cable which means that, in many applications, larger gauge wire must be used to stay within the voltage drop limits recommended by experts (see Tables C & D, below). The wire charts found in "Chapman's Piloting" and other publications are all for "AWG" wire like ANCOR, not "SAE" type wire. Using the wrong type of wire can cost you more in the long run. Insist on Marine Grade™ Boat Cable by ANCOR. It is UL approved for the corrosive marine environment and charter boat service. Marine Grade™ Boat Cable is specially designed to exceed all test standards for cold bend, moisture and oil resistance, heat shock and flammability to ensure the safest, easiest to install, longest lasting and ultimately the least expensive electrical system you can buy. Only ANCOR offers a complete line of Marine Grade™ Boat Cable for every need.

As you can see even ANCOR acnowledges that the correct types of non-marine grade wire may be used but you have to do a little research.
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Old 05-06-2008, 20:56   #39
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Think of copper wire as INSURANCE against the seals leaking. If someone wasn't willing to spend the money on tinned wire, I'd bet they also weren't very experienced with seals, or willing to spend the money on good (copper sleeved) adhesive lined shrink fit nylon terminals, either. Or the good crimper.

While materials aren't cheap, most folks who work at a deliberate speed with a concern for the overall quality of the job, will not skimp on the materials. No tinned wire? Someone skimped and the only question is what else they skimped on.

Maybe your wire has perfect insulation over plain copper. But, all 'copper' is not the same. Some of it is purer than other, and I'd suspect the folks who tin it also are more careful about what they are tinning. And then there's the insulation. One chafe, one pinprick, one "caught against the whatsis but I got it free" and that perfectly sealed wire now has a pinhole--which breathes every time the temperature changes, and sucks in moisture.

Nuh-uh, thank you. I'll use chewing gum foils and paper clips if that's all I've got and I need to get home with it. But tinned wire? That's the only kind I want to install on a boat. Re-running and replacing bad wire costs WAY too much.
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:05   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael.barber View Post
I think that the reason we are looking at "building wire" is the same reason that we substitute generic for name brands in medicine. IF all the specifications are equal or better in the generic and the cost is lower why would anyone pay a higher price just for a brand name...
... As you can see even ANCOR acknowledges that the correct types of non-marine grade wire may be used but you have to do a little research.
I have not seen convincing evidence that any building wire meets all of the standards set for marine wire.
I have yet to hear from anyone who even knows what the various standards (specifications) are, and what they mean.

Boat Cable (UL 1426) (and Low-Voltage Primary/Battery Wire/Cable to SAE J1128, SAE J1127, & SAE J378) are tested for:
* 11 Physical Properties of Insulation and Jacket
* 12 Conductor Corrosion
* 13 Heat-Shock Test
* 14 Flexibility Test
* 15 Deformation Test
* 16 Cold-Bend Test
* 17 Vertical Flame Test (Insulated Conductors)
* 18 Cable Flame Test (Completed Cable)
* 19 VW-1 Flame Test
* 20 Relative Permittivity Test
* 21 Dielectric Voltage-Withstand Test and Alternatives
* 22 Insulation Resistance Test at 60.0̊F (15.6̊C)

* 23 Insulation Resistance Test at Elevated Temperature

I don’t have access to the minimum specified values for each property, and may not be qualified to evaluate* the performance of a proposed equal, even if I did have them*.
I doubt that many other users (even professionals), would have this information & knowledge.

* My 40 years of varied experience in the building construction industry (master electrician, contractor, estimator, designer, project coordinator, manufacturer’s technical rep, engineering coordinator* & inspector ...) has provided the foundation for my professional development as a (former) marine electrician/boatwright. Nonetheless, the specifics of marine theory & practice can be very different from building practice, in many specific details.

* FWIW:
One of my more challenging duties is reviewing “Requests for Equals”
We typically specify technical performance standards, and a Manufacturer’s product # - “or approved equal”.
Other manufacturers submit their products, for review & approval, as an “equal”.

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Old 06-06-2008, 13:53   #41
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AFAIK "Building wire" in the US at least is always solid wire, not stranded. So unless there's a place for solid wire on boats...or a requirement for stranded wire in buildings...

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Old 06-06-2008, 14:34   #42
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AFAIK "Building wire" in the US at least is always solid wire, not stranded...
Wrong.

"Building Wire" can be either solid or stranded in #14, 12, & 10 AWG sizes, and is always stranded in larger sizes.

A typical Electrical Division 16 specification (for conductors):

Wire shall be copper, THHN/THWN [insert] insulation, #12 size [insert] minimum.
Szes 8 AWG and larger shall be stranded.
Wires No. [14] 12 and #10 AWG may be stranded if terminated in devices which do not use screw type terminal connections and are UL listed for termination with stranded conductors (lug, pressure plate connectors, etc.).
Wires No. 12 and #10 AWG shall be solid if terminated in devices which use screw type terminal connections or which are not UL listed for termination with stranded conductors.
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Old 06-06-2008, 15:14   #43
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Good point, Gord. I'm thinking of "homes" as opposed to commercial installation. Don't ever recall seeing stranded in Romex or BX cables, just in the big boxes used commercially.
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Old 06-06-2008, 15:41   #44
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Wow this one sure was a hornets nest.

I know that in the trades that I have never seen stranded wire in romex but it is quite common to use stranded wire when putting wire in conduit.
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Old 06-06-2008, 18:41   #45
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Wow this one sure was a hornets nest.
I told ya didn't I Charlie?
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