Author Topic: soldering 120V stranded wire  (Read 13650 times)

Offline bansil

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soldering 120V stranded wire
« on: October 04, 2012, 04:34:55 PM »
I'm fixing to start wiring up my ole skoolie.
Since I'm using stranded 12gage wire,I was going to solder on rings to the ground wires to make it easier and more secure to attach them to the boxes.
I was also going to solder connections instead of wire nuts and use heat shrink and tape.

A buddy said you can't do that because the "heat" from the 120V (15amps or so) would melt it....I said wtf? If it can get hot enuf to melt solder...then it would melt the insulation first and start afire.
Another electrision guy said "neversolder 120 wire" even after I said it's stranded not solid..
What do you all think?
Doug
Mnt City TN
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Offline Len Silva

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Re: soldering 120V stranded wire
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2012, 04:44:19 PM »
He's right but for the wrong reasons.  You do not want to solder the wire because it defeats the purpose of using stranded wire in the first place.  The solder will wick up into the wire, effectively making it solid and more subject to damage than using solid wire in the first place.

The connection would not be expected to heat up enough to melt the solder unless there was something else wrong, a loose connection or a defective device.

My advice is to just use Type NM (Romex).  Work fine, last long time.  If you are determined to use stranded wire then a good quality crimped connection is what you need.  There is a lot of information in the archives about that.  Do not skimp on the quality of the connector or tool.

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Online luvrbus

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Re: soldering 120V stranded wire
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2012, 05:04:30 PM »
You can stop the stranded wire from wicking with jewelers paste or use the solder slugs I do it all the time

good luck
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Offline bevans6

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Re: soldering 120V stranded wire
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2012, 06:10:51 PM »
Crimped connectors are designed to be used without solder.  If you want to take a well engineered solution and make it far less reliable, then go ahead and solder it.  So I was told by an AMP engineer many years ago, and I've seen nothing to change that since.

Brian
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Online luvrbus

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Re: soldering 120V stranded wire
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2012, 06:24:04 PM »
Why not get the best of both worlds then use crimp on solder heat shrink terminals,it is a personal preference on how you do it both will work do it your way just do it right.You never saw a crimp on terminal that was soldered also Brian ?

good luck
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Offline bansil

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Re: soldering 120V stranded wire
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2012, 08:35:00 AM »
Thank you,the advice will be taken and used ;)
Doug
Mnt City TN
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Offline gus

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Re: soldering 120V stranded wire
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2012, 02:17:12 PM »
Soldering electrical wires is a waste of time except for electronics. Soldering just makes the wire brittle so it breaks from vibration, almost as bad as using solid wire.

Almost every problem I've had with bus wiring has been corroded wires where they are soldered into connectors, especially at the terminal boards.

Cutting off the old corroded wire and using new crimp connectors has always solved the problem.
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Offline eddieboy

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Re: soldering 120V stranded wire
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2012, 04:09:34 PM »
Wires should have a good mechanical connection first. That can be a crimp connector or twisted wires.  You solder wires to keep out the corrosion.  I work on alarm systems for a living and you can get a lot of resistance on the best connections if they are not soldered.  Resistance is what make circuits stop working or work intermittent. If you solder correctly, it won't wick up into the wire very far.  Always heat the wire and feed the solder into it.  Don't heat the solder and try to pour it into the wire. That corrosions comes from hot and cold and dampness.  Bus is a perfect breeding ground(no pun) for corrosion. That solder will also help keep the strands from straying. Ed
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Online luvrbus

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Re: soldering 120V stranded wire
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2012, 04:28:59 PM »
Well said eddieboy that is way the marine world uses tinn wire and when they use crimp terminals like some builders are doing now it will be copper tinn not the zink coated junk you buy at AutoZone
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Offline HB of CJ

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Never Sodder Stranged/er Stranded Copper Wire?
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2012, 06:40:20 PM »
Instead properly crimp and shrink wrap.  No matter what kind of sodder you use, eventually it will corrode and cause problems.  Also properly done crimped connections with the heat shrink wrap stuff will give better continunity.  Get a crimp tool.

Doesn't matter if it is low voltage DC or high voltage AC.  Others will disagree.  HB of CJ (old coot)  (now busless) (VIN 37317) (1974 Crown Supercoach 10-wheeler) Peanuts with 110/220 AC solid copper wire in an R???....dunno fur sures.  Vibration?

Offline gus

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Re: soldering 120V stranded wire
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2012, 10:16:43 PM »
I'm pretty sure GM didn't use much junk in their old bus wiring. Actually, they used a lot of expensive aircraft connectors.

There is just no way to prevent corrosion when using solder and flux on a couple of dissimilar metals.
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Offline sledhead

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Re: soldering 120V stranded wire
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2012, 05:52:06 AM »
Same but different. I used solder on all trailer(tag work trailer) wiring in the past but found in a very short time it would go green,fail.After one winter. lots,lots,lots of salt on our roads in Canada.I   started to just twist together and heat shrink (2 x ) and now no green for years same roads,salt,salt,salt.In the bus I used crimp fittings       dave   
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Online luvrbus

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Re: soldering 120V stranded wire
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2012, 07:21:12 AM »
Good grief if you use acid it will corrode same will happen to copper rain gutters or copper pipe Gus GM buses never have wiring problems with aluminum to copper I do believe those are dissimilar metals the last time I looked lol   
« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 07:40:20 AM by luvrbus »
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Offline TomC

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Re: soldering 120V stranded wire
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2012, 09:09:37 AM »
I used stranded pulled inside light weight plastic water tight conduit.  At plugs, or switches used high quality double walled crimp fittings.  Haven't had any problems since 1995.  At the breaker box, just tighten down and stranded works fine. 

On any type of wiring, you should go into the conduit box and tighten the fittings on the breakers once a year.  I burned out one of my breakers because of looseness and heat buildup.  On my breaker cabinet, I also installed a small computer fan to pull in the cooler air to keep things cool on hot days when the A/C is running and lots of amps are flowing.  Keeps the heat down nicely. Good Luck, TomC
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Offline mellis

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Re: soldering 120V stranded wire
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2012, 06:52:31 PM »
I have done it both way and have found that it does make the wire brittle and break easier. What I have also done for 20 years or so and it works great is to use good crimp connectors and crimper. But before I put the wire in the connector I coat it with a product like Lawson's tru copper. It is a type of anti-siez with copper, they make it to put on batter post to keep it from getting ate up from the acid. I have put it on the lugs on my starters, on my welding cables or any other hi amp application. I usually put it on any connection on boats or on the outside of vehicles. I have even put it on my breakers on my house pannel box. I think CRC and Locktight make a simiular product. It has always worked well for me hope it helps.