Bad Connections: Too Many Ring Terminals

How are elementary school jokes related to marine electrical? Let's find out!

Q: "How many feet are in a yard?"

A: "It depends on how many people are standing in it."

Or, in this case, "how many connectors can I put on a battery stud?" Your answer to this second question should not be "as many as will fit."

Look at this picture. There are 12 ring terminals on this battery negative stud and 9 terminals on the battery positive stud. This is beyond too many. That wing nut on the battery negative is only on by about one half turn, MAX. In fact, when our technician disconnected it, he was unable to get that wing nut back on! ABYC is clear about the number of ring terminals allowed per stud/screw. That number is 4. Why? This is to reduce the chance of the fastener becoming loose from stress or vibration. For good electrical conductivity, connections must be tight. Loose connections can quickly become a problem. Furthermore, wing nuts should NOT be used for electrical connections.