Winch wire connections on deck.

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by Easy Rider, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. Easy Rider
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    Easy Rider Senior Member

    Just bought a new anchor capstan and I need to deal with the electrical stud connections. I have rubber boots to go over the otherwise exposed stud/connectors. Would the stuff auto mechanics use on car batteries (is it vaseline?) be good to apply and applied liberally inside/under the rubber boots?

    I first thought of sealing the connection in w 5200 or similar as a permanent installation.
     

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  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    It doesn't look like a proper setup. Are you sure it is not missing a cover? The wires will be dangling in the area where lines and chains may be running. I think that at least you should add a hard plastic cover. Depending on the diameter, a standard plumbing PVC cap may work.
     
  3. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Use epoxy lined heat shrink (3M Heat Shrink Tubing EPS-300) tubing and install "thru bulkhead" strain relief connectors where the wires go through the deck, to make a watertight seal. Available in metal and plastic.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Barry
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    Barry Senior Member

    See if you can purchase a tube of Dow Corning Compound 4
    This is a clear high dielectric grease that stays flexible and does not set up.
    Dielectric constant refers to the insulative resistance of a material.
    D4 is one of the best though I suspect that similar products can be purchased from
    automotive stores as well. It also will inhibit corrosion.
    Alternatively, on occasion we have used a product that was called something like
    Electricians Tape in a Can. This was a small 4 oz can with a small brush that you painted the black goop on and it set up like flexible electricians tape. The problem with this is that it is much more difficult to remove if you want to break the connection at a future date
     
  5. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    Rubber boots over the terminals and the liberal use of vaseline offer sufficient protection. Liquid neoprene is a good alternative, but - like Barry said - is more difficult to remove.
    A cover only makes sense if it is flexible (silicone) and attached with a hose clamp so no water can get in and a drain hole can let the condensation escape.
     
  6. Barry
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    Barry Senior Member

    D4 Dow Corning is a silicon grease while Vaseline is a petroleum grease

    Reprinted from another site

    "My first experience with silicone grease was in the 1960's as a lubricant in record turntables. It was also commonly used as a lubricant and protectant on turret-type television tuners, where channel coil packs or "strips" were mounted in a rotary turret. Rotating the turret moved different channel strips over stationary contacts to select each channel, and the clear silicon grease lubed the contacts and kept air off the plated surfaces. Later, RCA, Motorola, and Magnavox, facing field failures from bad electrical contact connections, recommended pure silicon grease as a contact protectant for modules in modular TV sets. The grease was used to prevent loss of connection between circuit modules, pins, and sockets. Hundreds of thousands of TV sets with hundreds of connections in each one were living with silicone grease on modules with signal and high voltages, and using silicone grease for lubrication on frequently-switched gold or silver plated contacts, while a few people seemed to have problems right off the bat with much lower voltage systems. Silicone grease was also used in high voltage CRT anode connectors to prevent or reduce corona.

    My second experience was in the CATV industry. As a systems engineer, I was drawn into radiation and ingress problems with CATV/MATV systems. The problems centered around dry connections that corroded, and around aluminum trunk cable shield connections protected by Noalox, a grease people often call "conductive". All of these problems were eliminated by "non-conductive" grease. The initial grease and sealer I brought into the systems was a white Teflon-silicone grease from a company in Elyria, Ohio. While that grease solved problems, it was expensive to apply to tens of thousands of fittings. It also was unsightly, service personal would leave white fingerprints everywhere. After consulting with several grease manufacturers, I switched to a GE 100% pure silicone dielectric grease in connections. We used that grease without incident for many years, completely flooding F connectors that were directly exposed to snow or rain.

    I continue to use silicone dielectric grease today. I use it as a lubricant on coaxial connector O-rings and threads. I use it to lube stainless bolts and nuts, to prevent galling. I use it for plug-in connections, in particular in my automotive hobby. I also use silicone dielectric grease for battery terminal connection preservation, coating it directly on the battery post. I use it in liberal amounts on ground connections, to inhibit corrosion on stainless-to-zinc (galvanized), lead-to-lead, stainless-to-copper, and stainless-to-aluminum electrical connections.

    I have never found a problem with silicone dielectric compound increasing resistance or increasing wear. We use it in new equipment production to lubricate and preserve contact plating in very low current meter switches. It has never caused shorts across insulation, I use it on spark plug HV boots on race engines and in high voltage connectors.



    Silicone vs. Petroleum Grease

    Petroleum grease (Vaseline) was recommended (and was apparently used) on low power antenna installations years ago. While people report using it without problems, I'll never use it in my installations. The primary shortfall of Vaseline is the very low melting point. Most brands or types liquefy at around 100 degrees F, just above human body temperature. While this may be a medical benefit when coating human skin, it is a serious problem with connector applications, unless we do not care about grease running where we do not want or we do not care about drying over time.

    The second petroleum jelly issue is Vaseline's release of flammable vapor, even at low temperatures. A cotton ball soaked in Vaseline will burn a very long time, and actually makes a good fire starter. Since connectors are often near insulation or other things that can act like wicks, petroleum jelly is not the best thing. This is especially true when the grease migrates in warm temperatures"".



    The dielectric constant for D4 is around 3 while the Dielectric constant for Vaseline is about 2. The higher the number the better the resistance to passing electrical current from say a positive post to a negative post

    There was a reference somewhere in my reading that said that Vaseline melts or gets runny at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Your winch motor terminals can easily reach this temperature due to the motor heating up if it is operated for an extended period of time or at high loads. They could hit this temperature on a hot day.

    After the connection is made up, I would fill the rubber boot with the D4 and you should be good to do. I have a similar winch on a prawn puller, recreational, and have never had a connection issue or corrosion issue. The winch will repeatedly pull 400 plus feet of line on multiple pulls and the motor can get quite hot. While the weight of the traps are not heavy the diameter of the pot pulley increases the load on the winch
     
  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

  8. Easy Rider
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    Easy Rider Senior Member

    VERY informative responses ..

    Here is a picture of the unit it is replacing. It did have a cap and the wires came up through the bottom of the cap in a rubber grommet. Didn't seal completely but it was at the bottom of the cap. So it had gravity in it's favor.

    I'm good to go w the information here but I should e-mail the winch guys and ask them about the exposed connection. They did supply the rubber boots but they won't keep water out .. especially condensation. I thought of using Sika-Flex between the boot and the end of the motor but that probably wouldn't last.

    As to the thru-deck it is through the winch deck flange on both the new and the old. under the motor where it attaches to the gear (planetary). Will need to use sealer to protect the exposed wood in the hole .. SikaFlex?
    The wires go from the hole to the outboard end of the motor and I don't think I've ever even come close to kicking them on the old unit.

    Re the assembly of the studs and eye connectors should I start gooping up the threads on the studs and all the rest thoroughly before filling the boot and positioning same or is gooping after wire assembly just as good?
     

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  9. Barry
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    Barry Senior Member

    I would just make up the joint and put the D4 or alternate silicone based high dielectric constant grease on it. D4 is clear and actually looks like the silicone that you use around bathtubs but does not set.
    Forgot to mention one point.
    There are two nuts on each stud. If you put the wire terminal on the stud and use only one wrench to tighten the nut, sometimes the stud can turn and break/bend the solder joint just inside the brush housing. So you should really put a wrench under the wire terminal to stabilize the stud and tighten the outer nut. I have seen many people ruin winches when they are removing the wire terminal and using only one wrench, the nut is tight and the stud just breaks at the joint. ER, you have been around a long time and probably know this anyway
     

  10. Easy Rider
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: NW Washington State USA

    Easy Rider Senior Member

    Thanks again Barry.

    I did figure out the double nut scenario. If not you could'a saved me a trip to Canada ... but it's quite close.
    I also needed this info for my cars .. will apply the new knowledge.
     
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