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Old 03-26-2020, 02:19 AM   #1
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Default Wiring Maxxair Fan

I've installed my Maxxair fan onto my 2009 E250 Econoline and wired it up to the connection that powers one of the 12V cigarette plugins. I basically just removed some insulation surrounding the wires, wrapped the copper ends, and sealed the connections with electrical tape. That seemed to work for about 5 months until the connection became loose. I tried to repeat the process, but the Maxxair fan began beeping with a green light indicating the voltage was too high or too low. Does anyone have any recommendations as to how to connect the Maxxair fan to a 12V connection that may be more long lasting than my jerry rigged approach? Should I test the cigarette plugin connection to make sure its pulling the required voltage? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:40 AM   #2
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As the connection loosened there may have been some arcing and resulting oxidation or even just oxidation because of the removed wire insulation.

An easy way to tap into a wire is to use a tap type connector. (t-tap, splice, Scotchlok, Snap lock, etc.)

They look like this:
splice terminal.jpg

If the original wire is compromised then cutting out the bad part and joining all three wires using a wire nut might be the better way to make an easy but good repair.

They look like this:
wire nut.jpg
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Old 04-02-2020, 09:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo View Post

If the original wire is compromised then cutting out the bad part and joining all three wires using a wire nut might be the better way to make an easy but good repair.

They look like this:
Attachment 8911
Wire nuts are not suitable for vehicular use, or in any environment with substantial vibration. Use a "butt splice" or "barrel" crimp connector.

https://www.google.com/search?client...r++butt+splice
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Old 04-02-2020, 10:53 PM   #4
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That sounds like good advice


wire connector.jpg


It does appear that wire nuts are permitted by RVIA and Canadian RV code requires using UL listed tape to secure the wire nut but using a crimp connector would be better.
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Old 04-03-2020, 01:17 PM   #5
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While easy to use, avoid "scotch splice" connectors at all cost except for an emergency repair. Use "butt splice" connectors as suggested for a good mechanical connection. Examine the area on the wire where the old connection was made. Look for discoloration, burned insulation, dull and hard brittle wire. You may have to cut out a section of bad wire to get back to 2 good sections of wire and then splice in a piece of wire of the same gauge. Also examine the "ground" point of your fan connection. Is that in good condition? BTW: I also solder my splices but I've been told that is too extreme. Good luck.
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Old 04-03-2020, 01:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I also solder my splices but I've been told that is too extreme.
Actually, it isn't so much that soldering is "too much". Rather, it is claimed that soldering creates stress-points at the point where the solder ends, which is subject to flex failures.

That said, I solder all my small-gauge connections. The reason is that it is easier to know by inspection that a solder joint is sound than is the case with crimp connections. I minimize stress via proper anchoring techniques.
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Old 04-03-2020, 01:49 PM   #7
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Personally, if I am going to solder anyway, I will not bother to crimp unless it is on a terminal to match a screw or pin in a connector. Just solder and shrink tubing or tape. If splicing wires you can do a straight wire wrap so smooth and inline or a twist together and solder plus shrink or tape. I have had more failures of crimp connections than solder joints, by far, as they often don't have sufficient strain relief on the ends and allow too much flexing so eventually the wires break. The ones that have the shrinkable strain relief are excellent, but expensive and very large for some areas. If you can tolerate the messiness, you can duplicate the performance with a regular connector with the larger non shrinkable strain relief. Just put a bit of silicone sealer in the strain relief.



Taped wire nuts are not all that bad even in RVs if they are done well. Our Roadtrek had them in several areas and they all were fine. Of course a good compression screw clamp would be better, but sometimes no place to mount one the you can get to.


For the OP, if you just twist the wires, especially if they are stranded, they will come loose over time. They have to have a connector of some type on them, or solder. Solid wires you might get away with it for low current stuff, residential wiring had just twisted grounds for a long time, and you still run across them in houses. No connector is just not a good idea in general.
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Old 04-03-2020, 03:12 PM   #8
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In terms of tools needed & skill level to connect three wires together, I guess we could list the options in the following order:

1. Wire nut + tape (minimal tools, probably could do it all with a small knife)
2. Scotchlok + tape? (maybe pliers)
3. Closed end butt splice (crimp tool or maybe pliers plus some way to strip wires)
4. Solder (soldering iron plus some way to strip wires & maybe heat gun or blow dryer)

In terms of overall ease, effectiveness, quality and reliability all combined, the closed end butt splice looks to be the winner.
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Old 04-03-2020, 04:25 PM   #9
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Crimp connectors are usually very good, but there is one important step I left out. ALWAYS do a pull test on the wire to test the integrity of the crimp connection.

A few years ago I purchased a "Store House" brand 520 pc. Terminal Set from Harbor Freight, item# 61982 (sku 7 92363 61982 0).

EVERY time I tried any terminals in the kit, I would pull-test it and the wire would pull out -- no matter what crimp tool I used or how hard I mashed it down. Maybe they used the wrong alloy or made some other horrific blunder in manufacturing, but the store managers would not do anything about it or refund the purchase. All those kits need to be recalled.

A safety warning label on the back includes everything but a pull test, such as -- "Always wear ANSI approved safety goggles during installation." Obviously their lawyer doesn't know how many fires they started from wires falling out of their product.
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Old 04-03-2020, 04:36 PM   #10
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Good point. Pull test is always the last step and often overlooked. A good pair of crimpers is also important.
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Old 04-03-2020, 05:49 PM   #11
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At home I exclusively use WAGO 221 level connectors, they are smaller than wire nuts so for home automation wall switches with limited room they are great. Much faster than wire nuts. https://www.wago.com/us/c/wire-splicing-connectors

Lately I also used them in my van, no issues. See some information about them in the marine world. https://www.proboat.com/2016/09/term...or-compliance/

Here some info from the RV world. https://www.loveyourrv.com/quick-and...go-lever-nuts/

Comparison of WAGO vs generic copies.
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