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Old 08-01-2021, 10:59   #1
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How can I waterproof a wire bundle passing through the deck?

I'm familiar with cable glands/clams for sealing a single wire or antenna cable, but what about a bundle?

My fancy dual SIM cell booster (Cradlepoint, if you're interested) has 4 small coax cables along with the power wires, passing through a 3/4 inch hole in the coaming.

The latest rains here in the PNW revealed that my pathetic attempt at sealing it didn't work.

Before I start buying and trying parts and solutions, any advice?
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:25   #2
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Re: How can I waterproof a wire bundle passing through the deck?

Put the wires in conduit and seal around the conduit. I have gone through the cabin roof with pvc and sealed around the pvc with epoxy.
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:30   #3
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Re: How can I waterproof a wire bundle passing through the deck?

Have you considered multi-pin waterproof connectors?

http://vetco.net/search/results?q=waterproof+connector

Alternately, since the water is likely wicking down the multiple cables, you could put a wrap of "coax wrap" or (non-reinforced) butyl rubber around each cable and then put them together as a bundle. Then as ttex suggests, pass the bundle through a sealed pvc conduit pushing the rubber seal into outer facing opening of the conduit then covering with silicon tape.
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Old 08-01-2021, 12:06   #4
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Re: How can I waterproof a wire bundle passing through the deck?

depending where it's coming out and how, you may be able to add 180 degree conduit exit.
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Old 08-01-2021, 14:27   #5
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How can I waterproof a wire bundle passing through the deck?

I have successfully used Scanstrut seals/glands for multiple cables. Very good build quality, easy to install and absolutely water tight.

https://www.scanstrut.com/marine/pow...ble-seal/multi

Edit: the single seals also all come with multiple inserts for different cable diameters. One of the inserts does not have a hole so you can drill your own. It is possible to route multiple cables through those as well.

https://www.scanstrut.com/marine/pow...-seal/vertical
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Old 09-01-2021, 00:22   #6
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Re: How can I waterproof a wire bundle passing through the deck?

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Originally Posted by George_SD View Post
depending where it's coming out and how, you may be able to add 180 degree conduit exit.


Gooseneck is the way to go.
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Old 09-01-2021, 09:12   #7
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Re: How can I waterproof a wire bundle passing through the deck?

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Gooseneck is the way to go.
Yes, a gooseneck is the way to go
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Old 09-01-2021, 09:23   #8
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Re: How can I waterproof a wire bundle passing through the deck?

A gooseneck will work if there’s room and if it works esthetically in that location, but ive routed several wires through a deck gland and before tightening it down on the rubber, squirted a small amount of silicone around and between the wires to fill in the voids caused by the unevenness of not using a single, round wire. When you tighten down the cap it will squeeze out excess silicone but will make a tight seal around the wires. If you later take it apart for some reason you’ll have to scrape off and reapply the silicone.
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Old 09-01-2021, 09:27   #9
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Re: How can I waterproof a wire bundle passing through the deck?

I too like the goose neck solution but I have also sometimes in addition coated each individual wire with neutral silicone and then after bundling them together siliconed the whole bundle into the passage. Has never leaked.

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Old 09-01-2021, 09:49   #10
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Re: How can I waterproof a wire bundle passing through the deck?

Everyone probably knows this, but just be careful if you're potting with RTV make sure you get one that doesn't contain acetic acid.

Like most of life's lessons I learned the hard way
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Old 09-01-2021, 09:55   #11
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Re: How can I waterproof a wire bundle passing through the deck?

Thanks for all your ideas so far.

Love Butyl, the swiss army knife of sealants, and wrapping individual wires then compressing the bundle seems like a good idea.

I looked at the Scanstrut pass through and it wasn't clear that it could waterproof a bundle unless the wires were individually passed through, am I correct about that?

The 180 degree solution triggered the idea for me to use a small clamshell vent. I would need one a little bigger than this one and the edge is pretty close to the top, but I might be able to make it work.

And whatever I do it occurs to me to be sure to create a downward loop so the water drips down rather than wicking inside.

Still problem solving, but getting closer!
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Old 09-01-2021, 09:57   #12
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Re: How can I waterproof a wire bundle passing through the deck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flightlead404 View Post
Everyone probably knows this, but just be careful if you're potting with RTV make sure you get one that doesn't contain acetic acid.



Like most of life's lessons I learned the hard way


I didn’t know that so I guess I was just lucky in the past. Is the acetic acid listed on the label or how do you differentiate it from the non acidic silicone?
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Old 09-01-2021, 10:10   #13
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Re: How can I waterproof a wire bundle passing through the deck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsailjt View Post
I didn’t know that so I guess I was just lucky in the past. Is the acetic acid listed on the label or how do you differentiate it from the non acidic silicone?
Acidic silicone smells like vinegar.The other does not.
I've not heard of another way, but label may say.
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Old 09-01-2021, 10:41   #14
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Re: How can I waterproof a wire bundle passing through the deck?

+ 1 for gooseneck and never worry about water intrusion at wire/cable entrance again.
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Old 09-01-2021, 11:20   #15
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Re: How can I waterproof a wire bundle passing through the deck?

I'm happy with the BlueSea CableClam line; I have 9 cables coming out of my mast; using three large CableClam and two small metal fittings (which *only* work for round small cables). One CableClam is drilled for the large radar cable; the other two have three cables each and none have never leaked a drop. The other advantage is that all the connections remain inside the boat. Highly recommended

I also have a separate set of CableClam parts for use to cover the holes when the mast is down.
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