split bolt connectors

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  #1  
Old 09-05-06, 08:26 AM
jn
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split bolt connectors

What is the proper way to insulate split bolt connectors.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-05-06, 09:06 AM
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A couple of layers of good quality electrical tape should do the trick. I'm not sure what else you could even use for insulating them, you can't get shrink tube over a split bolt (unless it's a tiny bolt, but then why not use a wire nut?).
 
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Old 09-05-06, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by arniebuteft
A couple of layers of good quality electrical tape should do the trick. I'm not sure what else you could even use for insulating them, you can't get shrink tube over a split bolt (unless it's a tiny bolt, but then why not use a wire nut?).
arniebuteft, please do not give unsafe advice in the forum.

First, most split bolts are only rated for two wires. Check the instruction sheet. Most of the time the wires contact the wires directly. Some use a divider plate between the wires. Follow the mfg instructions. Never put copper and aluminum in a way that they touch eachother in the split bolt. Special ones are made for this with divider plates.

After you have tightened the bolt, wrap the entire thing with rubber tape. Then wrapp the rubber tape with quality electrical tape. I have seen many times and once just last week where this was not done, and the wire shorted to the metal that the split bolt was leaning against.

Some people, including myself, like to make a wrap with regular electrical tape, glue side out, first. Then use the rubber, then regular ... This makes it easier to take the tape off later if needed.
 
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Old 09-05-06, 09:24 AM
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I would add that in the past after the rubber tape and electrical tape I've put a couple of layers of liquid insulation that you brush on to help seal the final wrap of electrical tape.
 
  #5  
Old 09-05-06, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jwhite
arniebuteft, please do not give unsafe advice in the forum.
I could have been more clear in my response, I assumed the poster was wanting to know the 'general' answer of how to insulate the connection, not specific details and methods (one would usually check the instructions that came with it for the details).

I know this is an advice forum, but anyone asking how to properly insulate a split-bolt connection probably shouldn't be using one.
 
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Old 09-05-06, 10:45 AM
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You may want to use a Polaris type pre-insulated connector. Just strip the conductor to the correct length and insert into the Polaris. Tighten to the proper torque, install the caps and you are done.

http://www.nsipolaris.com/pdf/polaris.pdf
 
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Old 09-05-06, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by arniebuteft
I could have been more clear in my response, I assumed the poster was wanting to know the 'general' answer of how to insulate the connection, not specific details and methods (one would usually check the instructions that came with it for the details).
Have you been to the supply house lately..

If you don't ask for the instructions they will just throw a part on the counter and take your money..
 
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Old 09-05-06, 12:16 PM
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The reason I asked in the first place was not because I don't know how to read instructions supplied on new parts. (As if they come with any half the time!)
I was checking connections at my fathers house when I noticed that the metal of a split-bolt connection was exposed. It looks like it was rubbed through or deteriorated over time. It just looks like they taped it (like arniebuteft originally posted).
I didn't want to simply tape it up again and have this happen again later.(It looks -and is- very dangerous.)
jwhite: In one step you said to cover it in a rubber tape. I have some non-sticky self-vulcanizing aircraft style tape. It stretches and sticks to itself forming a water-tight bond. Would this be good to use? Or would I be better off with a sticky backed rubber based electrical tape? Just looking for your advice - you seem very knowledgable.
Thanks for the helpful posts!
 
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Old 09-05-06, 12:25 PM
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The non-sticky tape is what you want for the first layer. If it is made of rubber.

Aircraft grade is the best.

Edit: You do not need to remove any of the old tape. Just add the extra needed layers.
 
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Old 09-05-06, 01:53 PM
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I used to work with an old timer that insisted in using cambric the overwrap with electrical tape. What a pain.

One thing I want to add. Any tape that is used needs to be electrically rated. Personally I use 3M 130c for the rubber and 3M 33+ for the overwrap.

BTW. of the hundreds of split bolts I have purchased, I don't believe ANY of them came with instructions. Most of the time they are simply in a bulk bin and I grab what I want.
 
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Old 09-05-06, 05:23 PM
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"I was checking connections at my fathers house when I noticed that the metal of a split-bolt connection was exposed."


This is how I had a deep hole burned into the palm of my hand years ago.
Being very safe I tried to fold old bug splices into a panel. I was using one hand at a time. Keeping them open and not grabbing anything. The splices were a 100a feeder.
Well, there was a small spot exposed, or near exposed, that hit the panel edge. It burned/arc'd for about 1 second, which seemed like a minute, right under my palm before I could pull away.
I was out of work for three weeks and my whole hand was 3rd degree burned. Between the fingers was the most fun.

If given the choice, USE NSI/POLARIS INSULATED CONNECTORS.

I have seen way too many poor bug coverings over the years.
 
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Old 09-05-06, 07:50 PM
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OUCH!!!!!

Hopefully you have healed well.
 
  #13  
Old 09-06-06, 06:03 AM
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jwhite gave good advice. A couple of wraps of electrical tape won't get the job done.
I use rubber tape as he suggested and also use good quality electrical tape in multible layers. Anyone doing electrical work should use good quality electrical tape. Just because it has a UL label doesn't mean that it will stay in place for the long haul.
When taping split bolts you should wrap the tape in a "spiral pattern being sure to get multible layers on the sides and ends of the bolt. You can't get too many layers. Remember, this is a permenant connection. I takes most of a roll (IMO) to get enough tape on a #4/0 split bolt. I saw a carpet mill almost burn to the ground because of a split bolt without enough tape.
Another electrician had it about 1/4" thick on the sides and only 1 layer thick on the end. Guess where it decided to rub on the box? He also didn't replace the box cover when he was "finished". Thank goodness there was a (working) fire extinguisher nearby.
 
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