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post #1 of 6 Old 07-02-2013 Thread Starter
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Multiple items on a circuit?

Got an extra slot in my panel and want to add a couple 12v outlets to charge phone, laptop, etc. How do you wire 2 or more things on a circuit? Just use a terminal block? Is it possible to wire from one outlet to the next? They've got spade connectors on the back.

Also, is there a right way or wrong way to do the spade connectors? Do they need to be heat shrinked or anything?

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post #2 of 6 Old 07-02-2013
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Re: Multiple items on a circuit?

Spade connectors are no longer 'recommended.

Someone needs to tell device manufacturers that because they continue to sell them, a decade later .

To attach multiple items (as long as ALL of them 'on' draws less than the breakers rating) to a breaker one first cuts off the spade connector and puts a ring type connector on, then you screw them all onto the breakers hot side. If there are too many then you use a terminal block.

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post #3 of 6 Old 07-02-2013
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Re: Multiple items on a circuit?

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Originally Posted by utchuckd View Post
Got an extra slot in my panel and want to add a couple 12v outlets to charge phone, laptop, etc. How do you wire 2 or more things on a circuit? Just use a terminal block? Is it possible to wire from one outlet to the next? They've got spade connectors on the back.

Also, is there a right way or wrong way to do the spade connectors? Do they need to be heat shrinked or anything?
#1 There is NOTHING right about spade connectors on DC panels to begin with. Sadly we are seemingly stuck with them and numerous arguments by those of us in the industry, to ban them for use on "critical" circuits, have been ignored..

You could not pay me to install a DC panel that used spade/friction fit connectors. I have in fact declined to install them when owner supplied and sent them back for a "quality" panel.. I personally find them to be an unsafe installation practice for anything that is a "critical circuit".

Heck we can't even get "reputable" companies like Blue Sea Systems to stop shipping products with friction fits so we certainly can't expect second, third or fourth tier companies to do any better.

If you want to wire the speaker outputs of a stereo with them, or a cabin light, that is one thing but for most other circuits they tend to cause nothing but issues. They are also usually a ONE TIME connection. Pull them back apart and they rarely if ever meet the min required pull out numbers.

They are my #1 trouble spot connection on a boat other than 3M Scotch Locks & badly done DIY soldering..

#2 For the 12V outlets you can simply parallel wire them at the source or install a bus bar close by. Of course the 12V outlet will usually have one ring terminal and one friction fit which makes parallel wiring with the friction fit dubious at best... I will often drill a hole in the friction fit male ear and use a bolted on ring terminal... Arghhh........

Don't feel bad many current boat builders still ship boats that have DC panels fully wired with friction fit terminals. I spent two days five weeks ago chasing down multiple non-operational circuits on a 2008 six-figure power boat.... Every single issue was a friction fit connector. All this to save a penny...... These penny savings eventually costs the owner tens of thousands of pennies, but I digress....

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 07-02-2013 at 09:53 AM.
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Re: Multiple items on a circuit?

Oh dear, I'm afraid I wasn't quite clear and may have to buy Maine a beer to get his BP down a little. The spade connectors are on the back of the outlets, not the panel. Although to be honest, I haven't opened up the panel yet so not sure what I'll find there. Thanks for the responses tho.

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Re: Multiple items on a circuit?

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Originally Posted by utchuckd View Post
Oh dear, I'm afraid I wasn't quite clear and may have to buy Maine a beer to get his BP down a little. The spade connectors are on the back of the outlets, not the panel. Although to be honest, I haven't opened up the panel yet so not sure what I'll find there. Thanks for the responses tho.
It is frustrating that they ship that way. Your best bet is a terminal strip close by the outlets then run a + & - wire to each outlet from the bus bar..

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Re: Multiple items on a circuit?

A quick update, pulled the panel this weekend and yep, all spade friction connections on back. Guess I get to do a new panel if I really want to but it's not on the top of the list while everything's working.

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