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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! I'm new to the business and want to do things the best way. What's the best tool to use to splice 12-2 into 10-2 to create a hub? A soldering gun, torch, or soldering pot? Also, what is the best way to seal the connection? I've been told to use wire nuts with silicone seal, or grease caps, or heat shrink filled with dielectric grease. Any suggestions?
 

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I am sorry for my previous post as I was out of line with it. I haven't much experience myself in landscape lighting. I spliced many a high voltage wire & was not thinking "wire nuts". We heat shrinked them & I actually had many underwater splices--- so that would be a sure way to go. The landscape lighting that I worked on were wire nutted with the silicone. Best of Luck to you in your new Business
 

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Where's my coffee?
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Wow Raf... so much wrong here. My professional advice: to Home Depot and 1) buy a gardening book, 2) sit in the parking lot under a shade tree, and 3) wait for a job that you should be doing.

Not to ***** or anything but most of us spend many thousands of dollars and take many years to learn our trade(s). Please bear in mind that the problems will get tougher (than your first year, no-first month level electrical skill-set question).

You will not have a good time and may hurt yourself.
Please hire an electrician.



Dave
 

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Is this not the outdoor lighting forum? I'm new, but I think the last three posts were really out of line. We aren't talking line voltage here, guys. Splicing 8-2, 10-2, 12-2, and even 14-2 wire together at a hub connection is pretty common in a low voltage landscape lighting system in order to achieve an even voltage delivery to the fixtures.

Braphael: I have used large common wire nuts with silicon, King safety nuts with silicon paste inside, copper crimps and silicon potting compound for many years with good success. The key is to make sure you have a good tight mechanical connection before you put the nut on. Look at it this way, the wire nut is not to connect the wire but to protect the wire connection. Then make sure the water proofing compound (whatever you end up using) completely covers the exposed wire as you screw on the wire nut.

I have installed low voltage landscape lighting systems for 15 years like this and if you use the non-hardening compounds like silicon, the connections will stay clean and dry for many years. I have pulled old connections apart after they have been in the ground for 10 years or more and the copper is still shiny.

I have not seen a system of soldering that works as well in all the different places and situations where wire connections need to be completed, so I abandoned soldering splices years ago. There maybe something new out there, but I’m not familiar with it.

Stay completely away from the quick connectors or anything that uses spikes to penetrate the insulation. I don’t care who makes them. Unless that spike has silicon or something like it all around it, the connection will eventually leak moisture and the moisture will eventually find its way into the fixtures and sockets.

Hope this helps.
Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Bill!
As you can see, it wasn't worth making any comments. Very tempting, since I am an electrical engineer with 25+ years designing power control circuitry, but still not worth it. I have been tossing around the idea of picking up a solder pot to make connections at hubs, since my soldering gun seems to have a hard time with large numbers of wires. Have you ever tried one?
 

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No, I've never tried one. I'd like to watch an experienced guy use one so I could learn from him. I'm not sure anyone in this area even use solder at all. I've repaired and updated low Voltage lighting systems here for 15 or 16 years and I've never seen a single soldered splice.

I'm sure with practice you can get good and fast at almost any process. Once I figured out how to make good solid wire connections quickly and in many different situations, like sitting in a tree, I abandoned the soldering idea.

If you do get a pot, let me know how it works out. I'd love to hear about your experience.

Bill
 

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So...let me get this right since we have some experts on outdoor lighting on line. Are you saying all outdoor landscape lighting is low voltage? That's something I didn't know.
 

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Wow some of you guys really got nothing better to do that tell someone that they cant do a job because they ain't trained and spent thousands on learning.:eek: Some of the best people i have seen build and work on stuff have never had training in their life. Everything i lernt about my trade i taught my self. You have either got the common sense to be good at something or your ain't. I know people who have spent 3 years in plumbing school and then 4 years ontop of that as an apprentice and they still ain't got a clue what they are meant to be doing. Some people make me laugh. Dam keyboard commandos. :censored:

But to the original post. I see no problem with solder splice connections. In the Low voltage AV and Car audio world good connections are always soldered. It's the best way to make a connection. Even Nasa recommends Solder splices. They even have a diagram showing the best type of splice for certain cables.

http://workmanship.nasa.gov/lib/insp/2 books/links/sections/407 Splices.html

Hope it works out for ya :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm interested in using the solder pot for the connections at the hubs. I think it will be a stronger connection both electrically and mechanically. I agree that up in a tree is not the place for this. I do carry a handheld butane torch to make connections where possible. Does anyone have any experience with using a solder pot?
 

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I am sorry for my previous post as I was out of line with it. I haven't much experience myself in landscape lighting. I spliced many a high voltage wire & was not thinking "wire nuts". We heat shrinked them & I actually had many underwater splices--- so that would be a sure way to go. The landscape lighting that I worked on were wire nutted with the silicone.
Best of Luck to you in your New Business
 

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Pretty short cast, let me know if you catch anything.
Apparently the point was made.

In any event...I haven't been involved in landscape lighting for 20 years. Looks like alot has changed. Also I live in an area that I always thought could use outdoor lighting in the winter but it's really useless in the summer months. When I lived in Texas 20 years ago I worked for an electrician involved with outdoor/landscape lighting. It seemed like a great business. I did decks and associated structures in the snooty side of town. I don't recall any low voltage being used at that time.

So...what aspects of this type of business would fly in Alaska?
 

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i dont know how well they would work under ground but Fastenal has a great line of connectors.

Power Phase. they have a ton of them. crimp and solder or just solder. and they are all watertight.

like i said i dont know if they will work under-ground.
 

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Apparently the point was made.

In any event...I haven't been involved in landscape lighting for 20 years. Looks like alot has changed. Also I live in an area that I always thought could use outdoor lighting in the winter but it's really useless in the summer months. When I lived in Texas 20 years ago I worked for an electrician involved with outdoor/landscape lighting. It seemed like a great business. I did decks and associated structures in the snooty side of town. I don't recall any low voltage being used at that time.

So...what aspects of this type of business would fly in Alaska?
I was smiling while I typed that. Maybe I should use some of those smiley things.

Like you said, the snooty parts of town. You would probably want to use copper fixtures with very good, watertight connections. Maybe grease the bulbs like the old electricians used to. Cast is a good line for copper but almost all the good manufacturers have a line of copper fixtures now. Stay away from the junk they sell at the big box stores.

My .02
 

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I am totally surprised at the level of advice being received here from Outdoor Lighting Pro's! You are aware that this site hosts the private forum of the AOLP? This is an organization with the sole mission of promoting and encouraging the installation of professional Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting Systems. Now where are you guys when it comes time to provide advice and tips to the non-pros out here? I would have thought that you guys would be helping out more than you are.

So how about it AOLP members? How about taking a few precious moments from your day and posting here on the open site to help these guys out?

Have a great day.
 

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AOLP to the Rescue

James,
I have been concentrating on the forum at the "other" website... Actually I just noticed this site and have only today started to catch up with the discussions.

As to this particular issue...there are many ways to make connections...I have seen everything from electrical tape to DBY-R. In the Low Voltage world we have to be concerned about the higher amperage that 12v systems generate, so the quality of the connection and the materials used must be of the highest standards. The "pin" connectors that are supplied with many fixtures, in my opinion, should be discarded. They cause the jacket of the wire to be punctured and this is an excellent way to develop corrosion. Silicone, and Lithium, are the two most often used wire nut "fillers". Silicone being the least conductive of the two, but provides an excellent moister barrier. Lithium is a better electrical conductor and also a superior moister barrier. As to soldering, in my experience you will want to use Tin coated wire for the best results. Tin Coated wire is more $$$, and also more resistive but makes for the best soldered connections. Always seal your soldered connections with shrink tubes.

Only use connectors that are direct burial rated UL 486 D listed. One other critical aspect to selecting connectors is the wire capacity of the connector. Make sure that they are rated for the size and quantity of wire you are using. That is why they come in so many sizes. One size does not fit all.

Gerry De La Vega
Terradek Lighting Inc.
AOLP Board
CLVLT #0404
www.terradek.com
1-800-609-1130
 

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Handle It!
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This has GO TO BE one of the most ***** LADEN threads I have seen in a looooong time.

Why do we not try this:


"In consideration of the question, it may be most advisable to hire a Trained Professional. Personal injury and Death could result from improper execution of said task."

And LEAVE IT AT THAT!


Just my 2 sents!
 

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This has GO TO BE one of the most ***** LADEN threads I have seen in a looooong time.

Why do we not try this:


"In consideration of the question, it may be most advisable to hire a Trained Professional. Personal injury and Death could result from improper execution of said task."

And LEAVE IT AT THAT!


Just my 2 sents!
and what will anybody learn from that?
there is some good info here if you read between the lines.
once again, people with no clue are butting in to offer insults since they have no experience on the topic at hand.

i always tin my wires and solder with rosin core when possible.
for a hub, crimp eyes and a small machine bolt and nut if solder is not an option. waterproofing is still in the R&D dept.
 
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