Welding Wire vs Marine Wire

Question:

Jeff, I have been watching lots of your YouTube vids. I notice you mention many times about not using welding cables for battery main cables. Everything I have learned is that they flow more power and less resistance. Can you plz explain that? I don’t see how that is a problem if the cables are made properly with soldered and heat shrinked ends. Is it due to the many tiny strands instead of the fewer larger strands. To me that sounds backwards. I’m not electrically trained as well as you are so it’s just a question I have been trying to rationalize it in my head.  - Donald

Answer:

Hi Donald, some points on welding wire for boats:

- Welding cable jacket insulation will actually melt off if in contact with gasoline or diesel fuel. I have seen countless welding wires insulations crack and peel like an orange, exposing the bare wires beneath

- Welding wire is too stiff and not flexible enough to be subject to vibration

- Welding wire is untinned and will easily corrode, therefore you’ll experience voltage drop

- All welding wire is black and cannot be purchased in red or yellow. Color codes are useful, I have heard and seen countless accidents happen where all black wire was swapped when doing work.

Think about this, when you install a wire in a boat, you install that wire for 40 – 50 years of use. Do you think a welder buys a welding cable and expects 40-50 years of use for his welding cables?

My opinion is get the good stuff and do it once.   - Jeff

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