Need help with wiring.. am I missing something?

Discussion in 'Reef Lighting' started by Aqualung, May 4, 2010.

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  1. Aqualung

    Aqualung Stylophora

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    Yep its a double ended. it takes 400W and 250W. The 250W is too short to fit. So it must be adjusted for 400W. So I need to know how to adjust the base for a 250W... ARRGGGGHH
     
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  3. Aqualung

    Aqualung Stylophora

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  4. ReefSparky

    ReefSparky Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Glad you got it all sorted out, Aqualung. :)
     
  5. ComputerJohn

    ComputerJohn Panda Puffer

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    Please don't use butt connector on a ballast! One, if you don't crimp it correctly you'll get arcing. Second again if not crimped correctly and it comes out, you'll get a NASTY bite!

    If you MUST use a butt connector, use a marine grade connector with the heat shrink tubing already on it. Once crimped give the wire a light pull to test for any play & use a match or lighter to shrink the tubing. The reason for marine grade is that it is made of 100% copper & it's also zinc coated for protection from salt. The cheapo run of the mill connectors use cheap metal, that will not last.

    I solder ALL my connections & then use heat shrink tubing. One it's a much better connection. Butt connectors tend to heat up, due to restriction.
     

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  6. horkn

    horkn Giant Squid

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    Soldering it would be the best choice, but a properly installed butt connector will work fine.

    Wire nuts work well also, but it's hard to get those to look nice when it's done.
     
  7. ReefSparky

    ReefSparky Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually guys, soldering is not best. Soldering is not approved in today's NEC unless it's listed specifically for the purpose. Soldering is used for the most part in electronics where current flow is in fractions of amperes. Outside of this use, any joint to be soldered must be mechanically tight without any means of support before soldering. This means that solder is generally used to add conductivity and mechanical rigidity to an already secure splice. Additionally, solder is softer than copper, and if used within a wirenut (which is against code; as it's not a listed/approved wiring method) has the tendency to deform and can potentially diminish the integrity of the splice over time. This would be made worse in high heat applications such as the one we're discussing.

    Generally, the NEC allows any wiring method that's approved and or listed. Wire nuts are fine, but are used in junction boxes to be safe. IMO, Butt splices are the ideal solution for this application because of the high strength, low resistance, low profile properies of the finished joint. FWIW, and also IMO, avoiding a practice for fear of the consequences if done incorrectly, is not a sufficient reason to not employ a method. Lastly, butt splices don't heat up due to restriction. The crimping tool does not apply enough force to deform the copper of the conductors. Combined with the "extra" conductor applied by the presence of the butt splice, if anything, it would lower the resistance of the splice.

    If Aqualung wishes to use junction boxes that are approved for wet locations, and use wirenuts rated/listed for the same, then wirenuts are fine. Wirenuts are used with the understanding that the wires to be joined are securely held in place by clamps or connectors (such as those used in a junction box.) Without a junction box, a big ball of taped up wirenuts would look cheesy, not to mention could be a firehazard.

    I don't want to sound argumentative, but I do this for a living and I'm quite familiar with The Code. Bad information seems to travel twice around the globe before good information has its boot straps tied. (I stole that expression.) :)
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
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  9. ComputerJohn

    ComputerJohn Panda Puffer

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    I have to disagree with you on this one. In all connections onto the PC board are soldered including from the ballast onto the cord and of coarse the power cord into the ballast (including PC type plugs). Also cords in general are soldered as well & then plastic is injected into the mold to create the molded ends.

    If we were discussing home & commercial wiring specs then yes you are correct. Even when connecting high draw, larger gauge wiring and or 220V & higher you must use connectors that have a clamp style connector. Yes, I know you can't solder a wire end (known as tinning) & then using a wire nut, though a lot of mfg still do.

    Oh and for the record I splice solder my connections which provide a much better strength & very little restriction. Learned that from hanging out on the weekends when I was a kid when my mother worked at Lockheed Martin. ;)

    Example of my work replacing a cord in a ballast.

     

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  10. Aqualung

    Aqualung Stylophora

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    Welp I have already butt connected it. The ballast will be placed away from the tank. There is no heat coming from the connection and i did tug on them.. they are secure and wrapped in electrical tape. I may have found a plug and play adapter so this looks like a temp fix
     
  11. jonjonwells

    jonjonwells Great Blue Whale

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    Good looking work CJ.

    That is a very good example of ANSI standards for splices used in all avionics and broadcast. Super strong just as good as original wiring.
     
  12. ComputerJohn

    ComputerJohn Panda Puffer

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    There you go.. ;D Glad to hear it's working..