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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #1  
Old 02-28-2009
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Dielectric grease or Heat shrink tubing

Should I use dielectric grease or heat shrink tubing on my light and stereo connections? Thank you Andy
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Old 02-28-2009
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I use both!!!
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Old 02-28-2009
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certainly shrink wrap... dielectric grease won't hurt anything either... use both.
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Old 03-01-2009
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I'll third the both.
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Old 03-01-2009
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No !

Actually dielectric grease is often & usually of a silicone base. If you slather silicone inside an expensive adhesive lined heat shrink connector you will defeat the entire purpose of the adhesive lining as it will NOT adhere to silicone or grease and will make the added expense of the adhesive connector null and void. Remember NOTHING sticks to silicone not even new silicone. Adhesive lined heat shrink will NOT adhere to silicone dielectric grease!

Dielectric compounds are a nonconducting substance or an insulator by definition. I have often seen folks put dielectric compounds in the crimped connection itself. Wrong! This will and can severely reduce the electrical quality of the crimped connection and can actually lead to resistance. Remember dielectric grease is an insulator or conductivity eliminator and NOT a conductivity enhancer..

If you want to use a dielectric grease with NON adhesive lined heat shrink that is a better match but do so ONLY after you have made the crimp. Because of dielectric greases properties you may never get the heat shrink to stay in one place and it can move and slide around on top of the dielectric grease..

If using adhesive lined heat shrink connectors do not use a dielectric grease. Using a Dielectric grease with an adhesive line heat shrink tube is totally defeating the purpose of the adhesive.

Sometimes more is not always better....
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 03-01-2009 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 03-01-2009
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Old 03-02-2009
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Basically, use dielectric grease on temporary or removable connections. Use adhesive-lined heat shrink tubing on permanent ones. Don't use both.

For example: Pre-amp RCA plug connection from your cd changer to your stereo amplifier, use dielectric grease. Crimping a ring terminal to the stereo's power line, use adhesive lined heat shrink tubing.
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Old 03-08-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Adhesive lined heat shrink will NOT adhere to silicone dielectric grease! ... I have often seen folks put dielectric compounds in the crimped connection itself. Wrong! This will and can severely reduce the electrical quality of the crimped connection and can actually lead to resistance.
Hmm ... let's discuss this a bit more. I am still trying to get my head wrapped around the conflicting strong opinions on this issue, after years of dealing with my boats' wires.

1. I agree that the grease can defeat the adhesive during shrinkwrapping, if the operator is not careful doing the procedure. But consider this: If the operator carefully puts a bit of grease only on the bare metal wires inside the crimp, then that portion of the adhesive-lined shrinkwrap away from the grease around the wire leading up to the crimp will stick fine to the wire, sealing out moisture from wicking up at that end. The adhesive might also stick over the crimp itself, but if some grease contaminates the surface of the crimp, then the grease could (in theory) do the job of keeping moisture out, while the grease around the wire ends inside the crimp protects those wire ends in a way the adhesive cannot, especially for terminals crimped on the end of a wire, as in at the ignition panel. If the joint is a crimp between two wires, and the operator keeps the grease off the wires leading up to the bare ends, then the adhesive will stick to the wires at both ends, keeping moisture out of the joint, but if any moisture does get in, then the grease is there as a second line of defence.

2. On another forum here, I asked about the best way to use dielectric grease. The reply I get to this question, consistently, is that a solid metal-metal connection (as in crimping or a tight bolt/thread fit) excludes the grease so that the grease does not increase resistance in the joint significantly.
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Old 03-08-2009
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Well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by floatsome View Post
Hmm ... let's discuss this a bit more. I am still trying to get my head wrapped around the conflicting strong opinions on this issue, after years of dealing with my boats' wires.
What are the opinions you disagree with?

Quote:
Originally Posted by floatsome View Post
1. I agree that the grease can defeat the adhesive during shrinkwrapping, if the operator is not careful doing the procedure.
Careful or not with the proper crimp tool and a quality adhesive lined heat shrink connector there is no need for it..

Quote:
Originally Posted by floatsome View Post
But consider this: If the operator carefully puts a bit of grease only on the bare metal wires inside the crimp,
No, no, no!! Yes, I have strong opinions on this because a dielectric grease should never be put in between the wire and the terminal as it is intended to BLOCK conductivity NOT enhance it!!! Why not just strip the wire then wrap it with electrical tape then make the crimp over the tape??

A good many people, including folks on this forum, incorrectly use dielectric grease but it still does not make it correct usage..

Quote:
Originally Posted by floatsome View Post
then that portion of the adhesive-lined shrinkwrap away from the grease around the wire leading up to the crimp will stick fine to the wire, sealing out moisture from wicking up at that end. The adhesive might also stick over the crimp itself, but if some grease contaminates the surface of the crimp, then the grease could (in theory) do the job of keeping moisture out, while the grease around the wire ends inside the crimp protects those wire ends in a way the adhesive cannot, especially for terminals crimped on the end of a wire, as in at the ignition panel. If the joint is a crimp between two wires, and the operator keeps the grease off the wires leading up to the bare ends, then the adhesive will stick to the wires at both ends, keeping moisture out of the joint, but if any moisture does get in, then the grease is there as a second line of defence.

A proper adhesive lined heat shrink terminal covers the end of the wire! As I said use the right crimp tool and quality adhesive lined heat shrink terminals and there is no need for dielectric grease.


There is NO WAY water is wicking up through this crimped and cold formed terminal. The wire strands and the terminal have become one solid mass and like the wall of a copper pipe water is not getting through..


With a cheap crimper you may not get a true cold formed crimp. As you can see here the wire strands are still exposed and have not become one solid mass of copper.


Moisture wicking up the wire of a proper crimp stops dead at the crimp because it is truly cold formed meaning it has become one single mass of copper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by floatsome View Post
2. On another forum here, I asked about the best way to use dielectric grease. The reply I get to this question, consistently, is that a solid metal-metal connection (as in crimping or a tight bolt/thread fit) excludes the grease so that the grease does not increase resistance in the joint significantly.
This is good information. A proper crimped connection does NOT include a dielectric grease..

Please lets keep in mind that thousands of well drillers throughout this country use adhesive lined heat shrink & crimped Stakon connectors on wires submerged in artesian wells to depths of 300 feet or more with NO dielectric grease. These well pump wires stay dry while SUBMERGED with ONLY adhesive lined heat shrink...
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 03-08-2009 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 03-09-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
What are the opinions you disagree with?
I'm still forming an opinion about mixing dielectric and crimping, and getting opposite views from my betters. Your detailed reply and images are clarifying issues nicely for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by floatsome View Post
On another forum here, I asked about the best way to use dielectric grease. The reply I get to this question, consistently, is that a solid metal-metal connection (as in crimping or a tight bolt/thread fit) excludes the grease so that the grease does not increase resistance in the joint significantly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
This is good information. A proper crimped connection does NOT include a dielectric grease..
I did not word myself clearly: I am being told that if I add dielectric grease to a joint of any kind, then during crimping or bolting the grease will be pushed out of the joint and onto the surrounding surfaces, leaving so little grease behind that any resistance it creates would be negligible. I presume your argument is that when proper crimp is done that squishes the wires into a solid mass in the crimp when dielectric grease is used, then it contaminates the joint sufficiently to increase resistance in that joint? I have no opinion on this, just trying to understand the best way to use dielectric grease. Thanks for working this through in such detail.
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