Advice on splicing low voltage (12V) landscape wiring

Reply

  #1  
Old 11-04-13, 09:31 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 95
Advice on splicing low voltage (12V) landscape wiring

I bought a nice DIY LED landscape lighting kit. Unfortunately, the wire connectors provided don't work with the provided 18/2 wiring! The wire is too narrow and the metal tabs don't pierce the cable effectively.

What's the most effective, CHEAPEST and reccommended way of making this connection while burying the wires? I have 7 lights and don't want to spend any more than ~$20 fixing this issue. I'm already at my wits end that a company could put out an already flawed product.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 11-04-13, 10:09 AM
Justin Smith's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
Posts: 2,546
Solder and heat shrink is by far the cheapest and most reliable splicing method.
 
  #3  
Old 11-04-13, 10:27 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 95
Solder and heat shrink is by far the cheapest and most reliable splicing method.
Is this going to be waterproof and suitable for burying?
 
  #4  
Old 11-04-13, 10:31 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 95
And as a side question....how are these wire connectors a legit way of splicing cable? I understand its low voltage but the terminals are exposed and the connections are prone to coming loose. These seem like a disaster waiting to happen.

I'd rather put the extra time and money in now to avoid future problems.
 
  #5  
Old 11-04-13, 10:33 AM
Justin Smith's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
Posts: 2,546
Yes. You need to use adhesive-lined heat shrink. In a pinch you can coat the splice with liquid electric tape before shrinking the heat shrink.
 
  #6  
Old 11-04-13, 10:36 AM
Justin Smith's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
Posts: 2,546
I'm not much a fan of those cheap piercing connectors. Underground those things corrode.
 
  #7  
Old 11-05-13, 05:34 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Near Buffalo, NY
Posts: 4,239
I'm also not a fan, but I have to say the landscape lights on my deck have been working for 13 years without a single problem. The only thing I did different was to coat the piercing connectors with a bit of silicone sealant after I made the connections. The connections were made to 12 gauge wire.
 
  #8  
Old 11-05-13, 06:08 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,052
#18 is small for a 12 volt system. Lay out tour system with wires temporarily twisted together to make sure you are going to get adequate power to the last lights before making final connections and burying.

You could probably use wire nuts for your final connections and fill with silicone.
 

Last edited by Nashkat1; 11-05-13 at 08:36 AM. Reason: silicon > silicone
  #9  
Old 11-05-13, 08:41 AM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
You could probably use wire nuts for your final connections and fill with silicone.
If you'd rather use wire nuts than the crimp connectors, you can buy wire nuts that are pre-filled with silicone and listed for direct burial. I used these for the connections to some pond fixtures some years ago and everything is still working well.
 
  #10  
Old 11-05-13, 09:45 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,052
But it is only LV lighting and a bag of regular wire nuts and a tube of silicone would probably be cheaper.
 
  #11  
Old 11-05-13, 01:03 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
But it is only LV lighting...
LV or not, it's still direct burial electricity. It seems to me it needs the same kind of protection, and splicing, that any other buried connections need.

a bag of regular wire nuts and a tube of silicone would probably be cheaper.
Almost certainly. The ones I bought for the work on that pond were pretty pricey, IIRC.

That said, from what I've read, the proper sealant to use, if you're going to make your own, is RTV silicone.
 
  #12  
Old 11-05-13, 02:01 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,052
I can't imagine the cheap connectors usually provided with LV lights are even water proof so almost anything would be better. I think those cheap connectors rely on the high resistance of dirt. I'll bet drop them in salt water you'd let the smoke out.
 
  #13  
Old 11-05-13, 02:17 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
I'm not familiar with them, Ray. You may well be right. I do know that the special wire nuts filled with RTV silicone have worked well on a 120V circuit. That install hasn't even tripped its GFCI protection.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes