low voltage electrical splice?

I have low voltage lighting in my yard. There was a break in a long run of wiring. I stripped the ends, spliced together (twisted), covered with vinyl electric tape and everything seemed to be working. Then the wire burned through at the splice. The ends seemed to be corroded through . . . covered with green corrosion. This has happened twice at the same spot. Any suggestions as to why this is happening and what to do about it?
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I have low voltage landscape lights in my yard. There was a break in a long run. I spliced it together and covered it with vinyl electrical tape. A few days later, it looked like it had coroded or burned through at the splice. The wire fused ends were covered with green corrosion. This has happened twice at the same spot. Any suggestions as to why this is happening and what to do about it?
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Gypsy Moth wrote:

All moist soil is going to be conductive, yours may be more so than is typical. Heavy fertilizer application?
Also, under the assumption that you have a step down isolating transformer that provides the low voltage I'd check to make sure that one side of your low voltage lighting circuit is grounded. It is undesirable and unsafe if the secondary winding is floating w/r to ground.
Vinyl tape is inadequate for buried applications. There are crimp connectors available that are made for wet, or buried applications. They're gel filled and will usually resist the intrusion of water.
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The idea of covering a join with vinyl electricacl tape and burying it in soil seems bizarre/absurd! Surely not so? If a splce, to be buried, is attempted at all, soldered wires and gel filled heat shrink tubing over each wire and then additional double layers over the entire splice could be attempted and might last a while?
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terry wrote: ...

The made-for-purpose underground filled wire nuts do just fine--I've a several-year (at least four, possibly as much as 5 or maybe even 6??? --daxx I can't recall much any more :) ) repair of the 240V feed to the well pump.
I've come across repairs Dad (or maybe even Grandpa) made that have to be a minimum of 30 or so that were still fine w/ nothing but twisted connections covered w/ friction tape and then vinyl tape.
So, a good job w/ a _quality_ tape will last quite some time. The key is enough layers done tightly enough and cleanly enough.
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dpb wrote:

I don't disbelieve that, but why did they use friction tape UNDER vinyl tape? The original purpose of friction tape was to protect the old stretchable rubber tape used on such splices from abrasion. Hence its name.

Jeff
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

...
You'd have had to ask Dad why--at least partly "because Grandpa did it that way" undoubtedly would have been a factor no doubt.... :)
My best guess would be it was one of two reasons (altho this is purely conjecture based on what I know of how Dad tended to think and work)...
First guess would be the idea would be the friction tape would still serve the purpose of making sure the wire didn't cut the tape...
Second would be these were in a time when I suspect the vinyl tape was still a new idea so it wasn't yet a comfortable thought to give it up entirely.
In fact, a couple of these were bound to have been the original when the lines were first laid which would go back to the early 50s -- I uncovered them when repairing a water line leak in the same trench, not because the wiring had a problem.
We got REC power in '48 and then is when the original wiring to the outbuildings other than a single lighting circuit to the barn from before when were still on the Delco system. It didn't have enough capacity for more than the house(s) and the lights in the barn.
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The best thing to use is a gel filled underground wire nut, such as "king one step" or Ideal "underground wire nut"
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RBM wrote:

Yep, and then tape it thoroughly as an outer moisture barrier -- it's obviously in a damp location from the corrosion products in so short a time, even w/ the aid of the voltage.
Of course, you may have developing pinholes in the insulation leading to new failures, too. If it fails yet again after the above repair, replacing a section or the whole run may in the cards soon.
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Gypsy Moth wrote:

It's probably getting damp, corroding, and then the tape burns through because of the high resistance.
I would resplice it but this time use heat shrink, solder the wires together, put a thin coat of silicone grease over that, then slide a LONG piece of heat shrink over the splice and shrink it down.
If that doesn't work you'll have to replace the wire with one that can be run continuously.
good luck
nate
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Gypsy Moth wrote:

Solder. Cheap, lasts forever.
You'll need to strip back to find nice clean copper. Twist together tightly & solder away.
You can even get out of acquiring any soldering equipment -- just stop by Radio Shack (maybe elsewhere, but not positive) to buy strip solder. It's a package of little strips of solder, each the size of a match, and you wrap your connection with a few of these and apply heat.
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Robert Barr wrote:

Hmmm, How about using a wire nut and fill the nut with Si sealant, then wrap it tight with tape.
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