hardware store bonding bar

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by geste, May 11, 2011.

  1. geste
    Joined: May 2011
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    geste Junior Member

    Y'all,

    First post. And not building a boat but working on a 1975-vintage fixer. I couldn't find the "fixer/electrical" forum. :)

    I have put about 30 separate projects in my notebook including replacing *all* AC wiring and about half of the DC wiring.

    I would like to improve on some of the existing bonding and went looking for a nice copper *something* to tie in through-hulls and a zillion other things.

    I was at a local hardware store and it hit me: Why not take that 40-dollar, 10-foot-long, 1-inch-diameter, schedule-K copper water pipe, then mash it flat between some 2by4s, heat it up and fill the gaps/end with solder, then tap it as needed along its length to tie bonding connections in.

    I ask because my last boat had a "factory" bonding strap that seemed pretty wimpy and I wonder if this would be an improvement (without breaking the bank).

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Unless you need lightning protection a copper wire will work fine.
     
  3. geste
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    geste Junior Member

    Bonding bar

    I had in mind a *little* overkill. My last boat had a length of that perforated copper pipe-hanging strap and it just sort of slid around the bilges. So I was thinking of something maybe a bit more rigid, a strap/bar that I could maybe even secure to some non-conductive standoffs -- elevate it in what little bilge there is in the new boat -- and be able to see connections plainly.

    So it sounds like not necessary, but no reason it wouldn't work...?

    Jim
     
  4. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Welcome, geste.
     
  5. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    You can buy copper strap for less than the cost of pipe. It is commonly used for grounding.
     
  6. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Being braided, the strap is less prone to fracture/failure.
     
  7. geste
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    geste Junior Member

    Braided strap

    hoytedow,

    Now braided vs. solid I can identify with. Got a pointer for some braided strap?

    Some of the appeal of using some squashed pipe is to have less surface area to oxidize (over a bunch of naked copper strands), but I have to admit that the general idea of more flexible stranded/braided is compelling.

    I have more noob questions in the queue. :)

    Jim
     
  8. geste
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    geste Junior Member

    Thanks

    Oh, and thanks!

    Jim
     
  9. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Spray or brush liquid rubber on the strap and only expose that part where connections are made and coat those too.
     

  10. Mark Cat
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Mark Cat Senior Member

    Gonzo once again has very helpful hints, and not sure how many noticed, focused in on the key area, Lightning protection.

    If you go through a complete design, Lightning protection to grounding to Communications to bonding to corrosion to safety to shore power, and then look at the underlying driver for below the water line conduction, and then iterate the design tradeoffs a view times.

    You will fine that the requirement for lighting protection is the driver, or should I say instigator, for a whole chain of design events which then dictate the approach to grounding, bonding and all the other stuff I listed above.

    ABYC should be referenced for the details concerning the interrelation of all of the above.

    Mark
     
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