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Cast-NOOX wire-tin coating what do you think?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Lite4, May 12, 2007.

  1. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,186

    Any body out there use this wire. I could only see using this wire if your connections were lousy and you did not seal them well to keep moisture out. I can't imagine the conductivity is any better than raw copper. I just can't see justifying the higher cost. any thoughts?
  2. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    This has been gone over many times. My thoughts are simply this: more money, more resistance. Why? Unless you can't make a good connection and you have to solder it, why would you use marine grade wire?
  3. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,186

    Sorry I missed the earlier forums. Kinda what I was thinkin, Thanks Paul.
  4. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    "and you have to solder it"?????

    Whats wrong with soldering paul ? We have used both copper and the cast wire. The cast wire is nice and very flexible and easy to work with. Strips easy and solders great. It does have a bit more resistance tho like paul stated. With all that said it does cost about 30-40% more than UL listed copper wire of the same gauge.

    The copper wire solders well too if you flux well and get your solder pot nice and hot. There is NOTHING wrong with soldering and it does not mean you cant make a good connection. You can join copper and tin coated wire with zero probs and we have done so several times. We do use other methods in areas we cant get our solder kit in easy. We have zero splice failures in our short term as lighting installers and we dont expect any.

    Dont get me wrong there is other ways to make a good connection. But there is no disadvantage to soldering besides it takes about an extra 10 seconds per splice.

    Paul if you see a draw back to making a connection that I have hung 100 pounds from without failure I would love to hear it. I may be overlooking something and im always looking to learn more. This is just my opinion and my methods.
  5. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,066

    The only difference between coated and un-coated is the tinning. The tin coated wire should solder easier too. We have tested both types with our Evening Star lighting system, and prefer the standard copper wire.
  6. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    Billy, there is nothing wrong with soldering if you like that method. I find it too expensive and time consuming. I have gone to using the copper Buchanan crimps and sealing them with DBRs. This is by far the best connection that can be made. It take seconds and it's very cost effective. I still use the resin packs on some connections but the Buchanan has taken over 90% of my connections.
  7. Landscape Illuminating

    Landscape Illuminating LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 84


    What are these (DBRs) you are using on your crimps? I've been using the silicone and caps myself and I'm just wondering if you're using a better way.

  8. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    I'll have to get the part # at the office. It's a plastic tube filled with grease and it has a strain relief cap. Just make the Buchanan connection, shove it into the tube and close the cap.
  9. steveparrott

    steveparrott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,276

    Ok guys we've been through this before but I can't be silent on some of these points.

    1. Billy, I don't know where you get a 40% - 50% difference in cost between tin-coated and all-copper! Checking one of CAST's distribitor's catalogs, I see a 5% difference for 12/2 and a 9% difference for 10/2. That's an additional cost per 500' roll of about $7 and $22 respectively.

    2. Regardless of your splicing method, you will get wicking under the insulation resulting in considerable oxidation for several feet into the wire run from both ends. This wicking has long been recognized in marine wiring thus tin-coated (marine-grade) wire was developed to protect the conductivity and integrity of the wire as wicking proceeds.

    3. Copper wire that oxidizes from wicking loses conductivity (resitance and voltage drop increases). Tin, on the other hand, maintains good conductivity as it oxidizes.

    4. Copper wire that has undergone significant oxidation cannot be cleaned and re-spliced and will not accept solder. Oxidized tin-coated wire, on the other hand can be dipped in flux and used again for splices.

    5. Copper wire eventually oxidizes to the center of each strand until all strands are blackened to the core and are extremely brittle. Tin is sacrificial to the copper; tin will completely oxidize before the copper core begins to oxidize - sustaining the flexibility and conductivity of the wire.

    6. Tin-coated wire is specified in various UL listings where wire is exposed to heat and humidity, such as in boat wiring, household appliances, pumps, and so on. I wouldn't be surprised if UL eventually cited landscape lighting as another application for tin-coated wire.

    7. Why not tell homeowners that you (unlike many of your competitors) only use marine-grade wiring because you want to ensure the lifetime integrity of their system? Don't you think they'd be willing to pay a few extra dollars for that assurance?
  10. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    Steve, all due respect and I have nothing against CAST, you don't have to worry about wicking if you have a waterproof connection which you should have to begin with. Your whole post is based on the copper wire having a wicking problem. To say that you will have wicking regardless of the connection is not true. It is not hard to seal a connection that is waterproof. The only time that tin coated wire would be better than regular copper is if there is exposed wire. As long as the connections are made properly and there is no exposed wire, copper out performs tin coated wire at a lower cost. Now, if you can show me evidence that copper wire will wick no matter what, I would like to see it and I would have to consider the use of tin coated wire. I have been an electrician for many years and can go back to every underground project that I have ever done and I would be willing to bet that I would not find wicking in any of it.

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