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Old 17-03-2020, 09:07   #1
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Connecting new to old wiring, best practice.

HI All,
I am in the early process of building a new electrical panel. I do not plan on rewiring the entire boat, at least not at this time. I was thinking of running the new wiring from the new panel back to the engine compartment and there connecting to the existing wiring. My question is what is the best practice for connecting into the existing wiring system? I was thinking of 2 possible methods ;1, connecting new wiring to individual buss bar connectors with ring connectors, or, 2, simply connecting new wiring to older wiring with butt connectors. Or is there some method I am missing?


Thanks in advance for any advice.
JC
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Old 17-03-2020, 09:23   #2
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Re: Connecting new to old wiring, best practice.

I would put in terminal strips. The existing wiring would terminate on one side, and the new wire on the other. This would be more secure, self-organizing, and easier to test than just a mess of butt connectors. As usual - use crimp-on ring terminals on all wires if using conventional terminal strips; for the white enclosed Euro style strips you can get crimp-on thingies that are better than just the bare wire.

I would put the terminal strips somewhere behind the new panel. The engine compartment is a bit harsh for connections, and harder to access and work in.
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Old 17-03-2020, 09:26   #3
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Re: Connecting new to old wiring, best practice.

In a dry space, I don't see a huge difference between the methods you describe. If in a damp space then heat shrink butt connectors are the right choice.

Pick the one that best suits your esthetic sense, and future plans for expansion, and changes.

Technically, you are suggesting using a terminal strip, not a buss bar, and if you go that route, be sure to get a proper cover for the terminal strip so they can't accidentally be shorted by something falling against it.
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Old 17-03-2020, 11:13   #4
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Re: Connecting new to old wiring, best practice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jooa View Post
HI All,
I am in the early process of building a new electrical panel. I do not plan on rewiring the entire boat, at least not at this time. I was thinking of running the new wiring from the new panel back to the engine compartment and there connecting to the existing wiring. My question is what is the best practice for connecting into the existing wiring system? I was thinking of 2 possible methods ;1, connecting new wiring to individual buss bar connectors with ring connectors, or, 2, simply connecting new wiring to older wiring with butt connectors. Or is there some method I am missing?


Thanks in advance for any advice.
JC
Use a DIN rail junction box for control wires

They are compact and enable the smallest connection box, footprint

Ask any electrical shop

You need to know number of wires and wire diameter

Use ferrules on wire ends

Buy some wire labels so that you can label the new wire splice
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Old 18-03-2020, 04:15   #5
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Re: Connecting new to old wiring, best practice.

Terminal strips + WAGO 221/222
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Old 18-03-2020, 09:08   #6
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Re: Connecting new to old wiring, best practice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by billknny View Post
In a dry space, I don't see a huge difference between the methods you describe. If in a damp space then heat shrink butt connectors are the right choice.

Pick the one that best suits your esthetic sense, and future plans for expansion, and changes.

Technically, you are suggesting using a terminal strip, not a buss bar, and if you go that route, be sure to get a proper cover for the terminal strip so they can't accidentally be shorted by something falling against it.
This , for the least money and hassle , a good heat shrink butt connector on clean wire and a good crimper will do the Job just fine
I have done this to my 1977 boat cut back all the old wire until it was good then rejoined , no issues after 3 years , make sure it is not under any tension
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Old 18-03-2020, 09:11   #7
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Re: Connecting new to old wiring, best practice.

What ever method you choose, use a professional ratchet type crimper with the correct crimp jaws for the connectors you are using.
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Old 18-03-2020, 09:31   #8
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Re: Connecting new to old wiring, best practice.

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What ever method you choose, use a professional ratchet type crimper with the correct crimp jaws for the connectors you are using.
definitely worth the price in increased reliability.

also you can use crimp on fork connectors with the ends bent up. the idea like ring connectors is a loose screw will still capture the wire. The disadvantage of ring connectors is you have to completely remove the screw to install.
I do use ring connectors on my boat, just wanted to mention the alternative.
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Old 18-03-2020, 09:33   #9
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Re: Connecting new to old wiring, best practice.

I have found all of your comments very informative. Thank you.
I will be rewiring my 1980 Tartan this spring. I'm going to replace all of the wiring.
Are there any suggestions/ comments/ issues encountered by others?
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Old 18-03-2020, 10:55   #10
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Re: Connecting new to old wiring, best practice.

I try to avoid any spliced wiring or intermediate connecting blocks. Too many chances for moisture intrusion and corrosion. Connecting blocks in the engine space are subject to big temperature swings and vibration - the screws can loosen.

For a 27 foot boat I would completely replace the wiring. The wiring runs are not all that long and good marine grade wire on 100 foot or larger rolls are available for reasonable costs from sources other than the high priced marine stores.
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Old 18-03-2020, 12:10   #11
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Re: Connecting new to old wiring, best practice.

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Originally Posted by Captain Anthony View Post
I have found all of your comments very informative. Thank you.
I will be rewiring my 1980 Tartan this spring. I'm going to replace all of the wiring.
Are there any suggestions/ comments/ issues encountered by others?
First you must start with a wiring diagram

Itís not possible to only use continuous wires , you will use junction boxís

The second drawing is the location of these junction boxís

Add additional wires in your wire runs for future equipment . Blank cables

I believe the website Blueseas has some kinda online computer software for creating a wiring diagram

All professionals use DIN rail components ... google it

High quality wire is expensive and difficult for DIY to purchase

Multi conductor cable is expensive but saves much time and produces a better product


Be careful with AC wiring
Follow the rules
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Old 18-03-2020, 13:35   #12
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Re: Connecting new to old wiring, best practice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slug View Post

Itís not possible to only use continuous wires , you will use junction boxís

Add additional wires in your wire runs for future equipment . Blank cables

I believe the website Blueseas has some kinda online computer software for creating a wiring diagram

High quality wire is expensive and difficult for DIY to purchase

Be careful with AC wiring
Follow the rules
It is very possible to use continuous wiring. I have rewired my 44 footer with continuous wiring. The only junction boxes in my boat are at the mast base and where I join several solar panels together above the bimini.

Adding additional wires for future use that may never be used is a waste of money.

High quality wire is more expensive than low quality wire. Having to replace wire earlier than expected because of un-tinned conductors or poor quality insulation is far more expensive. Use marine rated wire. It is available in 100 and 500 foot rolls for much less cost than going to Worst Marine and buying their rolls or by the foot.

The most expensive part of a re-wiring project is hired labor. As a DIY you are saving a LOT of money. Don't scrimp on materials.
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Old 18-03-2020, 13:56   #13
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Re: Connecting new to old wiring, best practice.

Use nolox or Penatrox or culaid sold at Home Depot comes in a tube squeeze a little into the connector especially heat shrink ring terminal works on any termination eliminates the water wicking effect that stranded wire has a tendency to do, makes a mess of course but certainly makes the bilge pump connections or lazarett wiring connections much better In my opinion that is the extra step
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Old 18-03-2020, 14:07   #14
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Re: Connecting new to old wiring, best practice.

If it's a panel with not too many wires, I'd consider using plug and socket connectors to connect it to the original wiring in place of terminal strips. If there's no need to ever disconnect the wires then just butt join them. Do make sure to run all your new wring in split loom conduit or spiral wrap though. It looks much neater and helps protect the wires from snagging or otherwise getting damaged
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Old 18-03-2020, 15:01   #15
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Re: Connecting new to old wiring, best practice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jooa View Post
...I was thinking of 2 possible methods ;1, connecting new wiring to individual buss bar connectors with ring connectors, or, 2, simply connecting new wiring to older wiring with butt connectors. Or is there some method I am missing?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
JC
Bus bar/terminal strips w/ ring connectors is the way to go. Butt joints only if they are to be permanent - use heat shrink with glue.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Anthony View Post
I have found all of your comments very informative. Thank you.
I will be rewiring my 1980 Tartan this spring. I'm going to replace all of the wiring.
Are there any suggestions/ comments/ issues encountered by others?
I rewired my entire boat. Easy but tedious job. Requires a lot of research.

Get the proper tools (crimper and stripper) and they will pay for themselves. Good connectors, heat shrink with glue, and tinned wired.

Excellent crimper: Pros kit - https://www.globalindustrial.ca/p/to...CABEgIv8vD_BwE


After shopping around my choice was Greg's Marine Wire, very good service, very good products at reasonable prices: https://gregsmarinewiresupply.com/

(I am not related to any of these sites, just a satisfied customer)
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