Silicon in Wire Nuts

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by seaneys, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. seaneys

    seaneys New Member

    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Chicago Suburbs
    Does anyone squirt silicon in wire nuts in damp locations (basements, etc)? I've heard of it, but have never actually done it. Is it worth it for a location that is never intended to get wet?

    Thanks,
    Steve
  2. snafflekid

    snafflekid Electrical Engineer

    Messages:
    45
    Wait, do you mean silicone caulk? I don't know of a specific rule against it, but I would say it is a very bad idea. Wire nuts are flame retardant (don't think silicone is) and you are going to have a hard time actually making a watertight seal. "Damp" is not the same thing as "exposed to wetness" in which case you need to use moistureproof boxes.
  3. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

  4. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    2,532
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Silicon can not be used on conductors period!!!!
  5. HandyAndy

    HandyAndy General Contractor, Farmer

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Haxtun, CO
  6. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

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    Location:
    New Hampshire
    SILICON is a nonmetallic element that is used in manufacturing electrical components. It is also a common element is compounds such as glasss and sand.

    SILICONE is a class of organic compounds that include the element SILICON.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    wire nuts

    Usually those blue connectors are labled for low voltage only.
  8. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    2,532
    Location:
    North Carolina
    110.11 Deteriorating Agents.
    Unless identified for use in the operating environment, no conductors or equipment shall be located in damp or wet locations; where exposed to gases, fumes, vapors, liquids, or other agents that have a deteriorating effect on the conductors or equipment; or where exposed to excessive temperatures.

    FPN No. 1: See 300.6 for protection against corrosion.

    FPN No. 2: Some cleaning and lubricating compounds can cause severe deterioration of many plastic materials used for insulating and structural applications in equipment.

    Some of the off the shelf silicon agents will damage the insulation of some types of conductors.

    If silicon is going to be used on electrical conductors or equipment it needs to be listed and labeled for the prupose.
  9. HandyAndy

    HandyAndy General Contractor, Farmer

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Haxtun, CO
    Thank you for the information and I apologize for my misspelling of Silicone
  10. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I wasn't criticizing the spelling.

    Lot's of people confuse silicon and silicone.

    It's like concrete and cement. Many people look at concrete and call it cement.

    Cement + aggregate + water --> concrete.

    Silicon + various other elements --> Silicones
  11. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,532
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Look at my posts

    I left the E off on purpose
  12. snafflekid

    snafflekid Electrical Engineer

    Messages:
    45
    Okay, I bet you are referring to silicone grease. This stuff is okay to use and is often found in automobile wire harness connectors, where moisture is a problem. I was thinking bathtub caulk heheh
  13. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    We used Silicone in manufacturing back in the 70's to keep CRT monitors in the computer industry from arcing from the high voltage section to the outside case. It was GE's RTV stuff. However that said I wouldn't add any thing to a wire nut, it either should be in a dry enough location not to need anything else or it should have the proper weather proof enclosure to protect the connection.

    Rancher
  14. seaneys

    seaneys New Member

    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Chicago Suburbs
    Thanks a lot for the clarification. I thought something seemed 'strange' when I noticed this in more than one trusted reference. I held off since it seemed overkill. Our basement is humid, but not THAT humid that I would call it damp.

    Steve
  15. Livin4Real

    Livin4Real New Member

    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    May have been mentioned but if your worried about it you can use dielectric grease on the nuts (wire of course, not your own, unless your into that :p )
    Also referred to as marine grease (what they use on lights on boat trailers, etc.) And if your basement is that damp you should have a dehumidifier.
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