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Old 06-02-2022, 11:33   #1
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Sealant for wires through coach roof

Redoing some of the wiring for my solar panels and have a question about sealing the hole where they pass through the roof of the Pilot House. I’ve enlarged the existing hole and Apoxsee did to thoroughly seal the core. I am planning on running two pairs of 12 gauge sheathed wires through a half inch hole and wondering what the best sealant would be. The hole is underneath one of the panels so pretty well protected from the sun and direct exposure.

I was thinking of using Life Caulk but I saw on the box’s label that it says not for use with plastic. Is this legit/appropriate for use with the PVC(?) sheathing of my wires?
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Old 06-02-2022, 11:43   #2
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Re: Sealant for wires through coach roof

There is no sealant that will, by itself, reliably and permanently seal wires going through a hole in the deck, though there are some that will usually work OK for a while.


Use a deck gland, use a waterproof connector, or make the deck penetration in a protected area.
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Old 06-02-2022, 13:03   #3
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Re: Sealant for wires through coach roof

One problem is the 1/2" hole. You might be able to find a gland to fit, but let's make a try from readily available materials. Got a wine bottle cork? Especially a cheap plastic one? Whittle it down to fit the hole with just enough space to get the wires through. Then use the sealant of your choice, or silicone glue, to seal it all up. It won't last forever, unless you use 3M 5200, in which case you'll have to drill it out ten years from now when you change everything around.

Th point here is that you've used thin layers of glue, not tried to build a plug out of glue. Lots of sealants work well in thin layers.
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Old 06-02-2022, 13:11   #4
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Re: Sealant for wires through coach roof

“It won't last forever, unless you use 3M 5200, in which case you'll have to drill it out ten years from now when you change everything around.”

You don’t have to drill, use a product called Debond or Antibond to dissolve the 5200 or any other sealant. You just have to wait for 15 min. If not succesfull reapply and wait another 15min.
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Old 06-02-2022, 13:21   #5
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Re: Sealant for wires through coach roof

Wow. That's neat. Did you notice this in the Debond ad?

"Special Shipping Information:This product may not be available for 1 or 2 day shipping due to federal regulations that require it to ship via ground ship methods only."

Apparently it debonds airplanes , too. Must be really nasty stuff.
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Old 06-02-2022, 17:01   #6
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Re: Sealant for wires through coach roof

Not a fan of 5200 -great adhesive but not needed to seal in this application,-also horrible to remove in future.

I have had great success with cable glands for single cables, for multiple cables, I use clam shells with butyl tape. Great seal, removable if you ever need to add or change a cable. I use it on my (non-enclosed) fly bridge & cabin top solar panel cables-dry as a bone.
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Old 06-02-2022, 17:57   #7
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Re: Sealant for wires through coach roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisatlantic View Post
Redoing some of the wiring for my solar panels and have a question about sealing the hole where they pass through the roof of the Pilot House. I’ve enlarged the existing hole and Apoxsee did to thoroughly seal the core. I am planning on running two pairs of 12 gauge sheathed wires through a half inch hole and wondering what the best sealant would be. The hole is underneath one of the panels so pretty well protected from the sun and direct exposure.

I was thinking of using Life Caulk but I saw on the box’s label that it says not for use with plastic. Is this legit/appropriate for use with the PVC(?) sheathing of my wires?
Hi, I did mine, also located under the panel, using a Simpson msr construction adhesive completely bedding the cable in it and then used a stainless clamshell fitting over the top also completely bedded in the stuff. Cleaned up and with the panel over the top no hint of a problem for going on 8 years.
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Old 07-02-2022, 13:03   #8
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Re: Sealant for wires through coach roof

I have a deck stepped mast. The internal mast wiring pierces the cabin (roof) inside the mast.

The problem with this original setup is that rain water runs through the cabin roof (wooden cored) then through the wooden compression post possibly rotting them both.

It also dumps water into my bilge and I am seeking to secure the mythological dry boat, to reduce mildew/mold growth when the boat is closed up.

I plan to use a "clam" for the wiring passage through the cabin roof. I will also attempt to install some sort of "rain cap" (rubber / vinyl ) over the wires and the clam to further seal it.

The clams come in varying sizes. You can also get them with a chrome vs. white top.

https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Sea-Syst...s%2C156&sr=8-7

cheers
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Old 07-02-2022, 13:12   #9
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Re: Sealant for wires through coach roof

You should use a gland nut, or a bulkhead connector, or an inverted J pipe for a through deck electrical run. Just running wires through a hole and caulking it won't last long and cannot be removed if you need to. it is poor design.


https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Glands-...s%2C125&sr=8-7


https://www.amazon.com/SZJELEN-2Pin-...ps%2C86&sr=8-5
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Old 07-02-2022, 13:32   #10
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Re: Sealant for wires through coach roof

Agree with zstine. You’re asking for trouble in how you’ve laid it out. Figure out a clam shell approach and/or a piece of j conduit to better seal that hole.
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Old 07-02-2022, 14:35   #11
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Re: Sealant for wires through coach roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by sinnerman;3570081
[URL
https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Sea-Systems-CableClam-1-40/dp/B000MMH1B2/ref=sr_1_7?crid=1NQVUZXTR57CV&keywords=marine+deck +clamp&qid=1644267071&sprefix=marine+deck+clam%2Ca ps%2C156&sr=8-7[/URL]

cheers

This. I have several, including spares to cap the open ends when the mast is down. They let you run the cable through and have the connectors, if any, on the inside where they stay dry. The large ones can handle several cables (I have 3 in each of two, an a large radar cable in another by itself). Not a drop gets in, and easily opened/removed if need be.
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Old 08-02-2022, 05:30   #12
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Re: Sealant for wires through coach roof

Thanks for the help guys. I like the idea of the clam. Will order a few. But probably not going to use it on this go around as I am in the Bahamas and this is a project in process.
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Old 08-02-2022, 09:56   #13
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Re: Sealant for wires through coach roof

You can buy fittings designed to pass wires through a solid surface. The fittings seal out any water and also protect the wires. West Marine will have them.
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