Jump to content

Waterproof Wire Connections


coyote

Recommended Posts

I just picked up 2 Solar Panels to add to my system but the MC4 connectors have been cut off. I was wondering the best way to connect the wires together to run from the panel to the combiner box. I've never been great at soldering. I've seen the waterproof wire connectors that have silicone in them such as these: http://www.amazon.com/King-Safety-62225-Waterproof-Connectors/dp/B000BW0YG2 . Has anyone used these for on the roof connections or is there a better way?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When we had to make waterproof connections at work on our instrumentation cables, we would wrap the connections with self fusing tape (essentially RTV that comes in a roll, that fuses with itself when stretched tight. It didn't matter what type of connector was used for the wires. It worked well in water and jet fuel.

 

Don

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would buy the proper connectors. You can get them at Amazon pretty reasonably. They do need to be soldered but it will help you considerably when you need to trouble shoot the system. http://www.amazon.com/Pairs-Female-Solar-Panel-Connectors/dp/B00A8TRKJW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1425010926&sr=8-1&keywords=solar+panel+connectors

 

If you have to parallel your panels you can also get these: http://www.amazon.com/RENOGY%C2%AE-Branch-Connectors-Solar-connector/dp/B00BCWRB48/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1425010926&sr=8-2&keywords=solar+panel+connectors

 

The only alternative I know of would be heat-shrink butt connectors that are just like regular butt connectors but after you crimp them you put a heat gun to them and they contract around the insulattion. But if you really want them water tight then do the tape trick Don posted about afterwards.

 

However, I really suggest you use the proper connectors.

 

WDR

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always used crimp style, heat shrink, waterproof marine splice connectors. Crimp them in place and shrink with a heat gun or flame. They are waterproof and will not corrode.

 

Similar to these:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/100-3M-Heat-Shrink-Butt-Connectors-Marine-Electrical-Wiring-Waterproof-22-10-AWG-/380793143433

 

A boat supply or repair place should be able to sell you a few if you don't need large quantities....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are all sorts of products and methods available to splice electrical conductors making them supposed waterproof, but I figure if you use heat shrink sealed over with fusible or liquid tape or silicone etc., you have doubled your chances of sealing the connection. Of course, if you choose the type of connections and splices the solar industry normally uses (so long as waterproof) that's fine, but again they are not MAGIC or an exclusive method required just because the energy source just happens to be SOLAR. NOTE there's nothing magical or mysterious about the fact the conductors are conducting current generated by SOLAR panels versus any other energy source, so use common sense and good procedures. Likewise, if the conductors are properly sized to handle the current with acceptable voltage drop there is again nothing magic or mysterious about SOLAR generated current versus other energy sources. There is an advantage, however, if all the methods and connections and splices and unions used throughout a system are industry standard it makes things easier when its time to repair, upgrade or troubleshoot.

 

John T Longggggggggggg retired Electrical Engineer so no warranty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You got some good answers above.

 

You can find heat shrink butt connectors. Home Depot and Lowes often have them. Or look on Amazon. These produce a soldered joint with just a good heat gun. They work well electrically, but they do not provide a lot of strength to the joint. If they shrink down properly you have more than you think (strength) but they are still not at the performance level of a PROPERLY crimped connector. However, they ARE probably as good as a crimp with the typical pliers.

 

I typically use a silicone filled crimp connector and put adhesive heat shrink over it. If I don't have an silicon connectors I put a good anti oxident like NOALOX on the wires and crimp them. Then seal them with adhesive heat shrink.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've lost the link to a crimp butt connecter inside heat-shrink tubing that is coated internally with wateproof glue that is heat-activated when a heat gun is used to shrink the tubing. I read about it on irv2.com, I'll try to locate it.

 

edit: I found it_ http://www.amazon.com/Ancor-Electrical-Insulated-Adhesive-Connectors/dp/B000S2040G

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have used the Ancor adhesive lined butt connectors quite a bit in marine applications. Many of them in the bilge of boats for pumps, etc. where they are submerged in salt water much of the time and have had very good results from them. Just a couple of things I have learned over the years from using them is to crimp them firmly, but make sure not to cut through the covering, and use a good quality crimp tool with the proper size crimper jaws. Also, when heating them to shrink them and heat the connector evenly around it to make sure the adhesive oozes out evenly around the wires to completely seal and waterproof it.

Good luck with the project!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I have used standard heat shrink but with hot glue run over the connection just before the tubing was slid into place. The heat gun will remelt the glue as the tubing is shrunk so it becomes a waterproof, monolithic structure when it cools. You want to move fast once you apply the glue however.

 

Did it because I couldn't find the good stuff and had to seal just behind the front grill. It did work great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On my fiver when I installed the solar I bought a pvc waterproof junction box and some seal tite conduit with waterproof connectors. Inside the junction box I used buss bars so no splices were used. The buss bars I used each had extra spots for future additions.

Because of the damaging affects of the sun on plastic I have been painting exterior plastic items with a coat of exterior house paint for several years now with good results. usually no need for neatness just keep the plastic out of the sun but of course you can select your color of choice :rolleyes: before you start.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

RV Cable Grip

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

Dish For My RV.

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...