Corrosion Implosion

The salty air is so tough on metals. Check out this connector:

The screw was pretty much impossible to remove, so I had to cut the wire. You can see the bits of wire on the left side. The wire slides in, then the screw was meant to hold them together. Not a stainless steel screw, that’s for sure. And with a non-insulated crimp. Not marine grade.

This wire ran to the forward port bilge pump. The problem is that once the wire gets some corrosion at a connector like this, it slowly works it’s way back down the wire.

Amazingly, there are several other connectors, which are corroded, but are for less-critical circuits. The new LED port light shared this type of connector, so it probably was a failure just waiting to happen.

This draws around 13A, and my calculator shows that this apparent 16ga wire at around 20 feet results in a 17% drop, leaving only 9.9V to run the pump. Even with 12ga, that drops to 7%, which is not acceptable for “critical” circuits like a bilge pump. This needs 8ga to get below the 3%.

I’m ordering some busbars and terminal blocks to clean up this compartment, hopefully getting this corrosion under control before more stuff stops working.


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