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Old 26-01-2013, 19:33   #1
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Windlass Switch Repair / Lube

I was told in advance on my newly purchased boat that the windlass wasn't working. It turned out the foot switch was the problem. I cleaned the heavily oxidized copper contacts back to shiny and it works fine.

I'm thinking I should apply some sort of conductive grease to the switch. I was looking at some Permatex Copper Anti-Seize Lubricant that might keep it working longer.

Any ideas on what I might use?

Thanks,

44Q

(this is a high amp switch, not one to a relay)
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Old 27-01-2013, 05:40   #2
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Re: Windlass switch repair/lube

you are better off with a proper solenoid, theres a good one for a jeep on ebay at c $60. you will never have carbonising again. you will still need a switch tho which can be nice and small or evn RC
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Old 27-01-2013, 06:15   #3
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Re: Windlass switch repair/lube

I recently started using Corrosion X for all sorts of electrical and rigging things. Its way thicker than wd40 or blaster, so it tends to stick around quite a while. and it seems to be made for electric related issues. I now have a couple cans and use it everywhere.
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Old 27-01-2013, 07:21   #4
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Re: Windlass switch repair/lube

I also have found corrosion X to work.
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Old 27-01-2013, 08:47   #5
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Re: Windlass switch repair/lube

I'm thinking I should apply some sort of conductive grease to the switch. I was looking at some Permatex Copper Anti-Seize Lubricant that might keep it working longer.

Therein lies the problem... you don't want "conductive" grease... I know it seems counter intuitive, but grease and lubrication in electrical components is meant to be an insulator... Your contacts will still "contact" but be insulated from the air and moisture... You want to keep these things away from the "reaction caused by the contact"

Any old grease will do in a pinch... Especially one that does not dry out... They do sell special "contact grease" like this:

Amazon.com: Fulton Electrical Contact Grease: Sports & Outdoors
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Old 27-01-2013, 21:28   #6
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Re: Windlass switch repair/lube

Thanks for the corrosionX advice - looks like good stuff. And the "counter intuitive" thing too, dielectric grease makes more sense to me now.

44Q
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Old 28-01-2013, 05:37   #7
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Re: Windlass switch repair/lube

My pleasure my friend.... Sucks how how brains think sometimes huh????
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Old 28-01-2013, 21:46   #8
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Re: Windlass switch repair/lube

Silicone grease (in the tiny gray tubs sold by HD) works well for this.

For general contact cleaning, you can buy contact cleaner at HD or at Radio Shack. Originally sold as "tuner cleaner" for the old TV channel changers. It fixes electrical contact pretty decently. We cleaned up a balky head pump this weekend. Also works for radio knobs, and car window switches, among other things. I think I've used it 2 or 3 times as often on other boats, as ours. Almost always fixes the problem. Then at THIN coat of silicone grease to protect.
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