Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maine Coast
Thanked 294 Times in 227 Posts
Rep Power: 17
I am in TOTAL agreement that a GOOD QUALITY wire can be heat shrink wrapped and the wire will be fine in 20+ years! We do NOT differ on this point!
The corosion problem you found on your boat may be long term capilltary action. It could be the wire insulation is okay , but the micro spacing between the wire strands has allowed the enviorement to move into the cable, then inch it's way through the length of the cable.
During this recent wiring project I removed a total of five runs of wire from the same exact DRY conduit that was NO WHERE near the bilge. Three of these runs were original, factory installed, duplex 14ga un-tinned wire that were 29 years old. Two of them were cheap DIY installed stuff, one was brown lamp cord and one looked like speaker wire with a transparent vinyl type insulation/jacket. They were somewhere between 10-15 years old and not the 29 year age of the original factory wiring. The reason for this project was a WIRING FAILURE in the DIY installed stuff..
It's very important to note that ALL five of these wires were in the exact same dry conduit and all used the same type of open, non-heat shrink, crimp connectors.
The three 29 year old factory wire runs had black oxidation that clearly traveled or "wicked" about 4" in from the ends. This is to be expected with open style crimps on bare copper so no surprise there at all. The other two wires, that had significantly LESS time on the boat, in the order of 10+ less years of service, were oxidized the entire length 15+/- feet and not just 4" in from the ends!
These wires were the "lamp cord" and the "speaker wire" grade wires. Remember, same terminations, same locations just different quality wires and wire insulation. It does not get any clearer than that to show that the jacket of the wire allowed oxidation through the insulation! It did NOT wick the entire 15 feet or the other three older wires, with the SAME crimps, would have looked worse being 10+ years older and they did not. The copper inside the better quality factory wiring was perfect after you stripped back about 4" of insulation.
If oxygen could permeate miles upon miles of radiant tube, for in-floor heating, causing millions of dollars in system failures, class action law suits and and major monetary damage it can permeate the insulation of cheap wire..
[Also, the PS issue should be addressed to PS.]
-Maine Sail / CS-36T
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 06-01-2008 at 09:53 PM.