HomeRoast Digest


Topic: OT : waterproof outdoor electric connection (24 msgs / 530 lines)
1) From: Brian Kamnetz
OT OT OT
This is way off topic, but I don't know who else to ask, and there is
so much knowledge on this list I thought I would try here.
A while back I bought motion-detector spotlights for the outside
corners of my house, to replace the ones that were there. I didn't
climb up on the ladder first, bought the replacements first, thought
it would be an easy job to hook the new ones up to the old boxes.
Well, there weren't old boxes; the old spots were hung from the eaves
with drywall screws, with the wires connected with wire nuts.
So I put in a new one on the first corner that way, and have been
scratching my head since. The spotlight is hung under the roof
overhang, so it is protected from above, but I'm wondering about
storms when the rain comes sideways. Currently the wire nut is under
the spot, but it isn't very tight to the eave, which is ventilated
plastic material, not all that stout.
Here is my question: is there a way other than electric tape to
"waterproof" the wire-nut connection? Maybe silicon gel, etc? I know
the "right way" to go about this is to put in a box, but that is more
than I can do personally, and if possible I'd just as soon not hire it
done.
Any info is appreciated.
Thanks,
Brian
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

2) From: jeff michel
Hey Brian,
You could do both!
I like heat shrink tubing over a crimp splice better but you might  
want a heat gun to get it to shrink correctly.
Jeff
On Jan 31, 2009, at 1:11 PM, Brian Kamnetz wrote:
<Snip>
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

3) From: Barry Luterman
I'm no expert but it never stopped me before. I would try shrink wrap rubber
insulation. You can get it at Radio Shack. Slip it over the wire nut and
then hold a lit match to it. It shrinks to form a tight insulation around
the wire nut.
On Sat, Jan 31, 2009 at 11:11 AM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
<Snip>
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

4) From: Jim Couch
Maybe go so far as to run a heat gun on the wires where they are twisted
together to make sure that they are dry and then coat them liberally in
temperature resistant silicone sealer, should do the job.
Jim
On Sat, Jan 31, 2009 at 3:11 PM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
"This is worse than a divorce... I've lost half of my net worth and I still
have my wife.."
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

5) From: Bob Hazen
Brian,
I'm not an electrician (an electrical engineer yes, but there's a major 
difference!)
I think it would be folly for anyone to suggest how you might "waterproof" 
the connection short of installing a junction box.  There's a reason for the 
NEC and you should probably have it done right.
How old is your house?  Is it old enough that the wiring is knob and tube? 
Or did a previous owner install the lights improperly?  This might merit 
further investigation beyond just "waterproofing."
Bob

6) From: Thomas Dove
any elect code needs a box when you make a conection inside or out, for abo=
ut 10 bucs you can get a box and do it rigt. Ask the guys done at ACE how t=
o do it. not a big deal.> From: peatmonster> To: homeroast=
s.sweetmariascoffee.com> Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2009 13:50:46 -0800> Subject: Re=
: [Homeroast] OT : waterproof outdoor electric connection> > Brian,> > I'm =
not an electrician (an electrical engineer yes, but there's a major > diffe=
rence!)> > I think it would be folly for anyone to suggest how you might "w=
aterproof" > the connection short of installing a junction box. There's a r=
eason for the > NEC and you should probably have it done right.> > How old =
is your house? Is it old enough that the wiring is knob and tube? > Or did =
a previous owner install the lights improperly? This might merit > further =
investigation beyond just "waterproofing."> > Bob> > ----- Original Message=
 ----- > From: "Brian Kamnetz" > To: > Sent: Saturday, January 31, 2009 1:11 PM> Subject: [=
Homeroast] OT : waterproof outdoor electric connection> > > > OT OT OT> >> =
<Snip>
so much knowledge on this list I thought I would try here.> >> > A while ba=
ck I bought motion-detector spotlights for the outside> > corners of my hou=
se, to replace the ones that were there. I didn't> > climb up on the ladder=
 first, bought the replacements first, thought> > it would be an easy job t=
o hook the new ones up to the old boxes.> > Well, there weren't old boxes; =
the old spots were hung from the eaves> > with drywall screws, with the wir=
es connected with wire nuts.> >> > So I put in a new one on the first corne=
r that way, and have been> > scratching my head since. The spotlight is hun=
g under the roof> > overhang, so it is protected from above, but I'm wonder=
ing about> > storms when the rain comes sideways. Currently the wire nut is=
 under> > the spot, but it isn't very tight to the eave, which is ventilate=
d> > plastic material, not all that stout.> >> > Here is my question: is th=
ere a way other than electric tape to> > "waterproof" the wire-nut connecti=
on? Maybe silicon gel, etc? I know> > the "right way" to go about this is t=
o put in a box, but that is more> > than I can do personally, and if possib=
le I'd just as soon not hire it> > done.> >> > Any info is appreciated.> >>=
 > Thanks,> >> > Brian> >> =
<Snip>
/lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.com> =
<Snip>
coffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820 > >=> Homeroast mailing list> Homeroast=
offee.com>http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetm=ariascoffee.com> Homeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.=sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820
Windows Live™: E-mail. Chat. Share. Get more ways to connect. =http://windowslive.com/howitworks?ocid=TXT_TAGLM_WL_t2_allup_howitworks_0=12009
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee=.com
Homeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee=.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820

7) From: Brian Kamnetz
Bob,
The house is 3 years old. Apparently here in SC that is an acceptable
way of installing these lights, at least by builders. From what I
understand, if I were to hire it done now after the fact, a junction
box would be required.
Brian
On Sat, Jan 31, 2009 at 4:50 PM, Bob Hazen  wrote:
<Snip>
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

8) From: Bob Hazen
That's interesting, Brian.  As I mentioned, I'm not an electrician....  If 
the installation is per local code, though, is there any reason to improve 
on it?  It will be interesting to hear what others may have to say.
Bob

9) From: Joseph Robertson
Brian,
Not to far off topic considering most of us roast coffee with
electricity. Now that I mentioned coffee lets get onto your OT wiring
project.
I am a general contractor who has done a lot of wiring on my own
properties both residential and commercial. I'm having some fun with 3
phase currently. That all said there are a number of ways to "jury"
rig your project. After reading both Barry's and Bob's comments which
are at both ends of the spectrum I will come somewhere in the middle.
As Bob points out we really don't have enough information here.
How old is the wiring. Is the house grounded? Does this fixture have a
good ground back to the panel?
If I lived in or owned this house I would do or fix this right and
proper as Brits say. Learn how to do it yourself as I have done or
find someone you know who knows how to do it right. I have seen
electrical fires. I have been in houses and watched them start, "Blind
luck"it was.  If it can short out it will. It is not worth your life
or your family's life.
As I said I am a licensed and Bonded general contractor. Not an
electrical contractor. In this state I live in, if you own the house
or building you can do your own wiring. It took me a few years to
learn what I know and I still consult the licensed guys when I need
to.
Sorry about the long diatribe on this. Bottom line make sure you do a
clean and code job. Don't take any chances with electricity.
<Snip>
like to meet you and others on this list someday I wish you the best.
Cheers,
Joe
On Sat, Jan 31, 2009 at 1:11 PM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

10) From: Brian Kamnetz
Dennis and Barry,
Some shrink material sounds like an effective way to deal with this. I
never would have thought of that.
I roast with a heat gun, Master Appliance 751b, so I can generate
temps of about 1000 degrees. I suppose for shrinking things I should
run it at the coolest setting. Actually I still have a little
Milwaukee heat gun, probably a better choice for shrinking, and a
better choice for wielding at the top of an extension ladder.
Brian
On Sat, Jan 31, 2009 at 4:29 PM, Barry Luterman  wrote:
<Snip>
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

11) From: Brian Kamnetz
Joe,
They cut the ground wire, just have two wires going to the spotlight.
My neighbor, a young guy just out of college, does general
construction work and he says that is the way it is generally done on
new construction here in Columbia SC. I was a little disappointed, to
say the least.
Brian
On Sat, Jan 31, 2009 at 5:13 PM, Joseph Robertson  wrote:
<Snip>
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

12) From: Joseph Robertson
Brian,
It sounds like your house is new enough to have a proper ground. Not
having any idea what your local codes say I would be sure that no
wires are exposed to the out side in any way. Most states require some
form of conduit usually metal on the inside if exposed  and gray or
special plastic on the outside of structures when exposure is
necessary.
Joe
On Sat, Jan 31, 2009 at 1:59 PM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

13) From: Joseph Robertson
Brian,
Typically, this is the reason for metal boxes. The house ground goes
to the box which the fixture is mounted to. Especially important where
moisture can be a factor. Do consult someone locally. You can call the
local electrical inspectors usually with out giving your name and ask
if this was done right and explain that you want to have it done right
but first you need to know what right is for your state.
I have done this before.
Joe
On Sat, Jan 31, 2009 at 2:18 PM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

14) From: Mike Chester
They make shallow boxes that can be surface mounted and still fit under the 
fixture.  I would recommend installing them as step one.  To answer your 
specific question, they make a product called liquid electrical tape which 
would seal the connections, but it is not needed if you install the fixtures 
properly.  It is not required, but I like to use silicone around the base of 
the light fixture to seal it to the siding.  The downside of this is that if 
water still somehow gets in, the seal will keep it in.  Hope that his helps.
Mike Chester

15) From: Mike Chester
It is never legal.  Many builders get away with this type of thing because 
they know how to slip it by the inspector or they pay him off.  I had a 
friend who worked for a major nationwide builder (You would recognize the 
name, but I can't afford a libel suit) and his sole job was delivering 
bribes to local officials.  I took a builder's licensing class a few years 
ago and there was a woman who worked for a smaller builder, who was building 
in the same sub as this big guy.  She complained that her company had to 
follow the rules, but the big guy got away with a lot of "small" violations. 
Money talks.
Mike Chester

16) From: Brian Kamnetz
The Liquid Electrical Tape sounds like great stuff, Mike. I found a
forum where some boat guys were discussing ithttp://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum6/HTML/000887.htmland it seems like it should do the job.
Brian
On Sat, Jan 31, 2009 at 5:42 PM, Mike Chester  wrote:
<Snip>
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

17) From: Joseph Robertson
As you point out Mike legal is relative. Relative to who is looking
or, aaahhh looking the other way? What is important is safe and that
is what the NEC if I quoted it right was written for. To save lives
and prevent law suits. At least I would like to think this is so. Of
course politics plays a big role here in the writing of this National
Electric Code.
Aside from all this boring detail it sounds like your getting the
information you need Brian.
Thanks to all you guys that chimed in for him.
Cheers,
Joe
On Sat, Jan 31, 2009 at 2:49 PM, Mike Chester  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

18) From: Joseph Robertson
I used it once. Very cool stuff.
Joe
On Sat, Jan 31, 2009 at 3:14 PM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

19) From: Ira
At 02:13 PM 1/31/2009, you wrote:
<Snip>
The problem with heat shrink is it won't seal the wire end.  Go to a 
wholesale electrical supply, one that supplies contractors and ask 
what the have in the way of waterproof wire nuts. 3M makes them for 
underground wires and if you're not going to put up a box, that 
probably about as good as you're going to get. If you use Silicon, 
make sure to smell it first and don't use it if it smells like 
ammonia or vinegar I forget which, probably vinegar though.
Ira
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

20) From: Allon Stern
On Feb 1, 2009, at 3:47 AM, Ira  wrote:
<Snip>
You may be confused about the smell, or about it's being bad. RTV  
silicone smells like acetic acid (vinegar) as it cures -- this is  
completely normal. RTV is a good sealing agent, but I wouldn't rely on  
it for this application. I'd get an outdoor rated junction box.
-
allon
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

21) From: Joseph Robertson
Ira,
Thanks for the wire nut suggestion for Brian. I have used them and
seen them used but totally forgot about them.
I still hold a commercial license so I hesitate to give advice in a
field I don't hold a license for.
Daaa, I guess it's too late for that thought...
Most of all I always stress safety. In this wonderful life we have
with wonderful coffee there are situations that one often gets only
one chance to get it right.
Working with electricity is one of those situations.
Cheers,
JoeR
On Sun, Feb 1, 2009 at 12:47 AM, Ira  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

22) From: Ira
At 06:36 AM 2/1/2009, you wrote:
<Snip>
They make RTV that doesn't smell like acetic acid, the stuff that 
does will corrode the copper wire and lead to failure.  Ask me how I know!
Ira
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

23) From: dennis true
LOL now there is a story in there I'm dying to hear....
and a lesson learned I'll bet
Dennis
On Feb 1, 2009, at 2:37 PM, Ira wrote:
<Snip>
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

24) From: Ira
At 11:41 AM 2/1/2009, you wrote:
<Snip>
In 1975 or so I ran production at a small computer terminal 
manufacturer and when we went to pot something and asked what to use 
we were told specifically not to use the smelly stuff or our products 
would coming back for warranty repair after a few months. The problem 
is the acid doesn't dissipate on the enclosed side, it just corrodes 
whatever is there.  The truth is I can't remember if we discovered 
that the hard way of if we asked before it became a problem.
Ira
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20


HomeRoast Digest