Tin Coated wire

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by eskerlite, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. eskerlite

    eskerlite LawnSite Member
    Posts: 222

    Does anyone use mainly Tin coated wire?
     
  2. TheHotShotKid

    TheHotShotKid LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 169

    What is the benefit?:sleeping:
     
  3. SamIV

    SamIV LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 324

    I use the CAST tin coated wire. The benefit is if the sheath ever gets nicked or cut the wire will not corrode due to moisture. I'm sure Steve has lots of input on this issue.

    Sam IV
    Accent Outdoor Lighting
     
  4. eskerlite

    eskerlite LawnSite Member
    Posts: 222

    tin coated wire is less corrosion resistant than bare cooper when installed below ground. Above ground, tin coated wire is more corrosion resistant. Both 0f these findings assume that the wire is exposed to the elements. When splices are done correctly( e.g. no exposed wire) there is very little, if any, difference in thier corrosive attributes.
    Tin coated 12awg/2c low voltage cable has 7.7% greater resistance (ohms/1000ft.) than the same gauge bare copper wire (source: UL 1581, Table 30.10). Therefore tin coated wire experiences greater voltage drop than bare copper wire at the same distance. Tin is simply not as good an electrical conducter as copper.
    Tin coated wire is much better than bare copper wire when soldering splices.
    Tin coated wire is stiffer and consequently less flexible than bare copper.
    Tin coated wire is 5% to 10% more expensive than bare copper wire.
     
  5. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,207

    I think my problem with tin coated is the resistance. 7.7% is a lot more drop, meaning having to use heavier wire to do the same job.
     
  6. TheHotShotKid

    TheHotShotKid LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 169

    What good is it then?
     
  7. TheHotShotKid

    TheHotShotKid LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 169

    anyone ever look into gold plated wire?
     
  8. Frog Lights  LLC

    Frog Lights LLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 191

    I sold this item when I was in the electronics business. It does not cost much more than the other wire but it was a huge profit item. We sold "Monster Cable". Maybe we will look into this for lighting. I like this idea, but the factories are not set up for this. Really normal low voltage direct burial wire is all you need. I will not make any comment about tin coated wire.
     
  9. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Posts: 1,182

    You're right, I do have something to say about tin-coated wire.

    Some of what eskerlite says is not true. (Note - I've seen this exact text in a letter from a wire mfg who tries to dissuade people from tin-coated because he doesn't sell it!) I'll address his points one at a time:

    eskerlite: "tin coated wire is less corrosion resistant than bare cooper when installed below ground."

    Not true, the thinking behind this comment is that the soil chemicals induce a current between the tin and copper causing corrosion – that would only happen if the copper were exposed - as long as the coating is intact, the copper is not exposed. Hence, tin-coated is more corrosion resistant below ground.

    eskerlite: "Above ground, tin coated wire is more corrosion resistant."

    True.

    eskerlite: "Both 0f these findings assume that the wire is exposed to the elements. When splices are done correctly( e.g. no exposed wire) there is very little, if any, difference in thier corrosive attributes."

    You're neglecting to consider wicking. Water will migrate from the splice point under the insulation for quite a distance. If you pull a copper fixture wire that's been buried for some time and strip back the insulation, you'll see the copper has oxidized (turned black) for many feet away from the fixture. This oxidation significantly increases wire resistance and will continue to degrade through the years.

    eskerlite: "Tin coated 12awg/2c low voltage cable has 7.7% greater resistance (ohms/1000ft.) than the same gauge bare copper wire (source: UL 1581, Table 30.10). Therefore tin coated wire experiences greater voltage drop than bare copper wire at the same distance. Tin is simply not as good an electrical conducter as copper."

    True, it's a trade off - slightly greater resistance that stays the same over time vs. slightly lower resistance that increases over time.

    eskerlite: "Tin coated wire is much better than bare copper wire when soldering splices."

    True and important.

    eskerlite: "Tin coated wire is stiffer and consequently less flexible than bare copper."

    True (on paper) but we don't see a noticable difference in stiffness between copper and tin-coated 10/2 and 12/2.

    eskerlite: "Tin coated wire is 5% to 10% more expensive than bare copper wire."

    That's about $10 to $20 for a 500ft. spool – a fair deal for improved system integrity and a persuasive selling point!
     
  10. TheHotShotKid

    TheHotShotKid LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 169

    just like motor oil is motor oil no matter the brand and gasoline is gasoline no matter the brand. Copper stranded wire is copper stranded wire no matter the manufacturer. Jackets (thickness, pliability etc.) may vary but that's a different story. The strand count and thickness must be consistent for gauge rating. Don't believe this mumbo jumbo about "monster cable" , tin wire etc. it's just plain marketing geared at making larger profits for those that sell it. You take a product put it in a plain box. Take the same product and put it in a fancy box and you will have people that will swear that the product from the fancy box is superior and will never believe otherwise. there is a sucker born every minute. It takes one to know one (Even though I think I just insulted myself):dizzy:
     

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