small wire Q

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike M, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,941

    As systems are engineered to support smaller wire (24v & LED's), is it okay to use solid wire at some point?

    (e.g., as in irrigation wire for 24v controllers.)

    It's my understanding that the stranded became standard for LV applications because it is easier to manage and lay flat in a trench. But with smaller wire, this becomes less an issue.

    I also noticed the invisible fence pro's use solid wire, which is much more durable than the small stranded wire which comes with the consumer kits.

    I think the solid wire would be more durable, and connections more reliable, with less worry of cut strands (especially with smaller wire).
     
  2. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    I've installed wireless dog fence, irrigation, low and high voltage cable in the ground. stranded is always easier to deal with, but as long as it is rated for the task, ( if you can discipher the writing on the insulation ) wire is wire.
     
  3. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    Using solid wire is a real PITA. If it was worth using then people would be using it. There is a reason everyone sticks with stranded and its becuase for what we do it is just better.

    Mike you always got the questions!! I love it!! I will dig up my technical specs on the differences between stranded and solid. Just need to find them.
     
  4. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,941

    Joey, I know that the stranded is better, but I'm assuming "better" up to a certain point. Smaller stranded wire is not as great when stripping.

    Mainly, my question is in regards to finer sizes. I'm curious, if from an efficiency point of view (value engineering, etc.) if an equal amp-load rated solid wire (vs. stranded) would be cheaper, more durable, or both.

    I just happen to notice that the "memory" in the wire laying in the trench is really not a big issue when the gauge is finer. Maybe this is why the irrigation installs based on 24v use the solid wire. Same with the antennae on the pro-version dog fences.
     
  5. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    I am going to pull up some info today for you..........
     
  6. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,941

  7. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    So I looked through my info and then I conferred with Vince w/ Paige and he and i both have agreed that the only differences in Solid and Stranded are the flexability and ease of use. Technical wise the wires are the same. So have it Mr. Murphy!!
     
  8. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,830

    I was taught that electricity travels around the wire, thus stranded cable was more efficient by having more individual wire for the elec to travel around. Guess I was dooped by this myth.
     
  9. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,941

    One thing for certain is the improved time and convenience of attaching wires to the terminals in the trans. Splices should be faster and with less problems of cut strands. I wonder if the solid wire (rated for outdoor burial) is cheaper?

    It would be a little bit of a pain in single wire to lay two separate wires in the trench, but for chaining, just loop the circuit and keep one wire uncut until the last splice.

    Don't mind me, just thinking out loud. I waste so much time with stranded wires at the terminals.
     
  10. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    The time saved at the terminal block and splices is a void point becuase you will spend that time trying to keep your stranded wire flat in your trenches when you go to bury it. The only time we use solid core is when we go inside with a wire or if I am retrofitting existing lamp posts to low voltage.

    My advice is use the proper sized strippers and practice. If you strip the wire cleanly and twist the strands it shouldnt take you long at all. This is basic technique 101 here.
     

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