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Old 02-01-2014, 18:30   #1
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Re-Wiring During Refit

Part of our refit is to install all new wiring. Originally wiring was single conductor single insulated 14 gauge wire with a rainbow of colors. All is now removed except for where we will use the old wire as a "fish string" for the new.

Our plan is to use 16 gauge wire for the majority of DC wiring and all of it red/yellow for positive and black for negative. AC will be very basic 30 amp shore power to two outlets which are wired black for hot, white for neutral and green for ground (basically an extension core hard wired into boat). My question is should we use single conductor, single insulated wire like the original or would it be preferred to use two and three conductor double insulated wire?
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Old 02-01-2014, 19:23   #2
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Re: Re-Wiring During Refit

The wire should be sized to the load. There are lots of charts, apps, and web sites about that subject. 16 ga seems light to me for a lot of applications.

Your comment on 12v color codes is wrong. Yellow and black are ground.
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Old 02-01-2014, 19:24   #3
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Re: Re-Wiring During Refit

You should get a book on 12v systems and start reading.
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Old 02-01-2014, 19:29   #4
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Re: Re-Wiring During Refit

Bad plan.

The ABYC standard for DC wiring is:
Red for general positive, but you can use other colors from table E-11 table 15 for special use wires (starter, bilge blower, nav lights, ect...)
Yellow or black for ground. But yellow is prefered to distinguish from AC grounds.

Please don't use yellow for positives, if a marine electrician looks at it and gets shocked...


16 gague is the minimum acceptable on yachts, with larger being better generally. Personally I would go with a distributed system, and ABYC compliance, but even if you choose not to, please don't switch wire colors.
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Old 02-01-2014, 19:34   #5
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Re: Re-Wiring During Refit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noreastern View Post
Part of our refit is to install all new wiring. Originally wiring was single conductor single insulated 14 gauge wire with a rainbow of colors. All is now removed except for where we will use the old wire as a "fish string" for the new.

Our plan is to use 16 gauge wire for the majority of DC wiring and all of it red/yellow for positive and black for negative. AC will be very basic 30 amp shore power to two outlets which are wired black for hot, white for neutral and green for ground (basically an extension core hard wired into boat). My question is should we use single conductor, single insulated wire like the original or would it be preferred to use two and three conductor double insulated wire?
For DC, use multi-stranded wire, preferably tinned. Size the wire to the load as others previously posted. Many people consider 14AWG to be the minimum but you can go smaller for very small loads. Red is the usual colour for +ve and black for -ve - at least in this part of the world!

Use the country of registration AC standards as a guide for the AC wiring.
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Old 02-01-2014, 20:10   #6
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Re: Re-Wiring During Refit

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
For DC, use multi-stranded wire, preferably tinned. Size the wire to the load as others previously posted. Many people consider 14AWG to be the minimum but you can go smaller for very small loads. Red is the usual colour for +ve and black for -ve - at least in this part of the world!

Use the country of registration AC standards as a guide for the AC wiring.
No don't use domestic standards for anything other then color code , either use specific AC boat standards , either ABYC or EU ISO standards, or outside those and you'll have to understand it all from first principles.

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Old 02-01-2014, 20:15   #7
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Re: Re-Wiring During Refit

No single conductor wire on the boat. It should all be marine grade multi-strand tinned wire. That includes the AC wiring.
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Old 02-01-2014, 20:22   #8
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Re: Re-Wiring During Refit

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No single conductor wire on the boat. It should all be marine grade multi-strand tinned wire. That includes the AC wiring.
There really no such thing as " Marine grade wire " ,

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Old 02-01-2014, 21:42   #9
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Re: Re-Wiring During Refit

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There really no such thing as " Marine grade wire " ,
Funny, google doesn't understand that. Below is just one example.
Quote:
ANCOR Marine Grade™ wire is manufactured from tinned copper stranding for maximum protection against corrosion and electrolysis. Ultra flexible (Type 3) stranding resists fatigue due to vibration and flexing.
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Old 02-01-2014, 21:47   #10
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Re: Re-Wiring During Refit

I would use the 16 gauge wire for only the smallest loads like LED lights and such. Even a relatively small electric bilge or water pump could draw 5-10 amps, VHF radio 3-4 amps, etc. Unless the run is very short from the battery to the load you could see a voltage drop of 5-10% which is way too much and could be bad for some things like the motors in bilge pumps.

Deepfrz, I think by single conductor the OP is not referring to solid core wire but wire that the outer insulation only encloses one conductor (which could be multistrand or solid core but assume he refers to stranded). For certain DC applications I use wire that has two, stranded conductor, separately insulated but encased in a single outer casing. Neater and easier to run.

Regarding tinned wire, while I don't argue that it is probably better I have a 30 year old Pearson with most of the original plain copper wire and during my rewiring projects have found the majority of it to be in perfect condition. That being said I am using tinned wire for a few critical runs like the bilge pumps and main power lead to the DC panel from the battery switch.
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Old 02-01-2014, 21:49   #11
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Re: Re-Wiring During Refit

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Funny, google doesn't understand that. Below is just one example.
Calling something " marine grade " does not make it marine grade. That type of wire is readily available from industrial cable and wire companies ( and versions with better specs too )

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Old 02-01-2014, 22:28   #12
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Re: Re-Wiring During Refit

I understand that UL 1426 is the American Classification for Boat Cable. However looking it up by "Marine Grade Wire" actually makes it easier. The example I posted was just an example of the 100's (1000's?) of hits I got by searching "Marine Grade Wire". Whatever the EU classification is I don't know and really don't care. And I doubt that the OP does either.

By the way Noreastern, Blue Sea systems has wire calculator apps for IOS and Android, as well as their online calculator.
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Old 02-01-2014, 22:31   #13
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Re: Re-Wiring During Refit

We'll there is something called "Marine Grade" but it is just what ANCOR called their wire. And since the trademarked it, no one else gets to use it, but it doesn't mean anything.

The relavent specs are found in ABYC E-11.
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Old 02-01-2014, 22:33   #14
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Re: Re-Wiring During Refit

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
I understand that UL 1426 is the American Classification for Boat Cable. However looking it up by "Marine Grade Wire" actually makes it easier. The example I posted was just an example of the 100's (1000's?) of hits I got by searching "Marine Grade Wire". Whatever the EU classification is I don't know and really don't care. And I doubt that the OP does either.

By the way Noreastern, Blue Sea systems has wire calculator apps for IOS and Android, as well as their online calculator.
Maybe isn't absolutely correct terminology but you sure see a lot of chandleries selling fine stranded, tinned wire as "Marine Grade".

Maybe just call it "the kind of wire that is most flexible, corrosion resistant and therefore very suitable for marine applications."

Also a good online calculator at www.genuinedealz.com and also very good prices on "that kind of wire", crimp connectors, terminal blocks and all sorts of electrical goodies one might use on a boat.
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Old 02-01-2014, 22:36   #15
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Re: Re-Wiring During Refit

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We'll there is something called "Marine Grade" but it is just what ANCOR called their wire. And since the trademarked it, no one else gets to use it, but it doesn't mean anything.
Oh? Hmmm.

Quote:
To start with, let's define what marine grade wire means. Marine grade is not a specification or an exact measure of a certain wire type but is really
just a generalized description referring to electrical wire that would be suitable to use in wiring a boat.

Let's begin with the law of the land, the Federal Law as defined in Title 33, CFR 183 Subpart I which covers compliance for boat manufacturers and as the USCG puts it:

While we encourage recreational boat owners to use the information for their benefit, compliance with the regulations is the responsibility of the boat manufacturers.


This is an excerpt from the USCG's Boating Safety Division's Boatbuilder's Handbook and we will highlight the important concepts and discuss below after the code:
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