cheap, tough, waterproof wire2wire connections

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cheap, tough, waterproof wire2wire connections

Postby Bob Hammond » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:41 am

Hello, while I'm thinking about a wiring scheme, I thought I might drop a line about making permanent waterproof connections that are mechanically tough. Instead of using expensive waterproof wirenuts or cheaper crimp connectors that may be unreliable, I usually solder my connections. I slip on a piece of somewhat oversized shrinkwrap, solder the wires, and then fill the shrinkwrap with hotmelt glue. The hotmelt fills and shrinks the wrap, and also waterproofs and mechanically strengthens the connection. This is the poor man's marine-grade shrinkwrap.
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Re: cheap, tough, waterproof wire2wire connections

Postby Alan_H » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:12 am

Great tip! :thumbsup:

Thanks Bob!
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Re: cheap, tough, waterproof wire2wire connections

Postby Bob Hammond » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:17 am

I suppose that soldering may not be necessary. Just twisting the wires together tightly and then the shrinkwrap-hotmelt treatment would probably work well.
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Re: cheap, tough, waterproof wire2wire connections

Postby bonnie » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:15 am

Bob,
Would that also work for the wiring end to a 12 volt plug? I am meaning the little tangs off the actual plug where you are supposed to wrap the wires. My apologies, but thingie is my favorite term to describe a part I'm not sure of the "correct" name. ;)
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Re: cheap, tough, waterproof wire2wire connections

Postby Dale M. » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:19 am

Main problem with crimp connectors, is in a lot of cases people do not use proper crimp tools... I highly recommencement ratchet type crimpers with changeable dies for different connector/terminal types... Yes you can ever get good connection with the hated "butt connector"....

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Second item is use dielectric grease on end of wire before inserting it into connector, this keeps moisture and oxygen out of crimp and prevents corrosion... Even works with "screw" type connections...

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IF you are using the type of crimper below, less then $10 at autoparts or home depot, take them to nearest bridge ( with deep water below) and throw them off....

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IF using indenter style crimper, the indent (pointy part) always goes on back side of terminal NEVER on split side...

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As a point of appearance, I like uninsulated terminals and simple heat shrink to "seal" them with heat gun (not matches and not torch as seem on tv) and there is no need to fill them with hot melt glue or solder them....

Worked in telecommunications for 38 years and above procedures is all that is needed, have removes old systems that have been service for ever and connections were in perfect shape with only a little discoloration (not corrosion) patina on exterior due to age...

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Re: cheap, tough, waterproof wire2wire connections

Postby Bob Hammond » Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:14 pm

Dale, I can't argue with your experience. i did have access to a ratcheting crimper when i was a working man, and they are very good. But now I don't, and I think most people can't or won't spend the money for a specialty tool such as the ratcheting crimper. I agree that most wiring 'tools' aren't much use. For home use, I favor the Klein or Channelock tools.

i've used the grease for headlights and such, but never thought about using it for connectors - i'll give it a try.

But i do like the additional strength that the hotmelt in shrinkwrap gives, and it's possible to get a reasonably neat appearance with a little practice. Give it try sometime.

Bonnie, it's primarily a mechanical bond, and will rely on forming around the nooks and crannies of a connector. if i wanted to 'pot' a connector, i would probably use an epoxy.
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Re: cheap, tough, waterproof wire2wire connections

Postby Dale M. » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:27 am

IF you can afford a ratcheting crimper, there is better tool than the stamped steel ones... I do have one of these and use it when i'm to lazy to change die out in ratchet crimpers..

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Note slots and indented for both small and large terminals... But a decent pair of these will cost almost as much as decent low end ratcheting crimp tool....

Other advantage of ratcheting crimper is it will not release the ratcheting mechanism until "proper" pressure is applied to terminal so it insure there is pretty close to a "gas tight" crimp...

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Re: cheap, tough, waterproof wire2wire connections

Postby bnsfham » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:50 am

Ratcheting crumpets are certainly nice, but can be expensive. Nothing ever beats a good solder job. Instead of oozing some hot glue into the heat shrink, 3M (maybe others) makes adhesive lined thin and thick-walled shrink tube that melts when you heat it to shrink.


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Re: cheap, tough, waterproof wire2wire connections

Postby Bob Hammond » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:36 am

Check the price of the shrinkwrap with adhesive (often called marine grade) against regular shrinkwrap. And sometimes, the adhesive shrinkwrap can be harder to find.
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Re: cheap, tough, waterproof wire2wire connections

Postby Dale M. » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:40 am

bnsfham wrote:Ratcheting crumpets are certainly nice, but can be expensive. Nothing ever beats a good solder job. Instead of oozing some hot glue into the heat shrink, 3M (maybe others) makes adhesive lined thin and thick-walled shrink tube that melts when you heat it to shrink.


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Actually solder is great for electronics circuit board and water piping ....... In today's world almost nobody solderers wire terminal on end of wires.... Even in airplane wiring almost everything is just crimped today.... And how many connectors do you trash as what cost with poor tools, good ratchet crimpers though costing you more, will actually save you money and time as you are not wasting nearly as much "product" (terminals and glue and solder and shrink tube and frustration)...

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Re: cheap, tough, waterproof wire2wire connections

Postby Dale M. » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:58 am

Bob Hammond wrote:Check the price of the shrinkwrap with adhesive (often called marine grade) against regular shrinkwrap. And sometimes, the adhesive shrinkwrap can be harder to find.


Buy at electrical supply warehouses, not at Home Depot or Lowes.... You will have access to better quality materials.. And auto parts electrical stuff is mostly crap...

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Re: cheap, tough, waterproof wire2wire connections

Postby Esteban » Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:20 am

Del City's clear heat shrink tube is a polyolefin tubing that is flexible and flame retardant. While the clear heat shrink appears to be initially cloudy, it turns crystal clear when heat is applied, allowing for easy viewing and inspection of the connected area. Clear shrink tubing has a thick wall with an internal modified polyimide adhesive layer that melts and flows when heated, encapsulating and sealing the components contained within the shrink tube for additional protection. Our clear shrink tubing has a 3:1 shrink ratio, meaning that when fully recovered with a heat tool, it will shrink to one third of its original diameter. It is available in 4-foot sticks in eight sizes ranging from 1/8” inner diameter to 1-1/2” inner diameter.

https://www.delcity.net/store/Clear-Heat-Shrink-Tubing/p_326
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Re: cheap, tough, waterproof wire2wire connections

Postby Bob Hammond » Fri Sep 23, 2016 4:22 pm

Esteban, - thanks, looks like good material at a good price.
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