Can wires arc even if they are connected to each other?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by mashers, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. mashers
    OP

    mashers Stubborn ape

    Member
    3,837
    5,154
    Jun 10, 2015
    Kongo Jungle
    I've just been tidying up the cabling behind my console display unit. In doing so, I've wired together some mains extension cables/ 2-way splitters. They're daisy-chained so that each console has its own pair of sockets, to avoid all their cables trailing all over the place. I've used 13A cable, there is a total of only 8 sockets, and only one console will be on at any given time, so I'm not concerned about overloading the wiring.

    My only concern is that in order to daisy-chain them, I've connected two wires to each screw-terminal inside the 2-way splitters. They are firmly connected and there's no way they're coming out. However, because the wire is 13A it's quite rigid. This has resulted in some cases in the wires separating as they exit the terminal. They are firmly connected within the terminal however. Here's a picture to illustrate:

    IMG_0063.JPG

    The insulation has been stripped back that far because it was the only way I could get the wires to fit. With the insulation running right up to the opening of the terminal, the wires were too wide to get close enough to each other to both fit in the terminal. Once inside the terminal, they are firmly attached and not going anywhere. There's no possibility of the L/N/E wires shorting against each other, so I think this is safe. I just want to check whether there's any possibility of arcing between these connections since they are actually connected firmly to each other within the terminal itself.

    Thanks in advance!
     


  2. grossaffe

    grossaffe GBAtemp Addict

    Member
    2,705
    2,087
    May 5, 2013
    United States
    So to be clear, the concern is over wires that are touching each other in one place arcing in another place? I wouldn't imagine such a thing to happen as the wires should have the same charge on them, thus no potential difference to allow the flow of electricity from one to the other.
     
  3. mashers
    OP

    mashers Stubborn ape

    Member
    3,837
    5,154
    Jun 10, 2015
    Kongo Jungle
    Yes, that was exactly my concern. Because the wires were adjacent and very close in parts I was concerned about them arcing in that location. My thinking was the same as yours, that there would be no potential difference due to their firm connection elsewhere, but I just wanted to check. Thanks for your response!

    Just invoking the all knowing @FAST6191 for extra confirmation :P
     
  4. grossaffe

    grossaffe GBAtemp Addict

    Member
    2,705
    2,087
    May 5, 2013
    United States
    I just wanted to make sure that I was reading the situation properly.
    No, go ahead and ask someone else. I only have a useless Engineering degree... :(
     
  5. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,193
    8,945
    Nov 21, 2005
    Unless you are worried about the wires breaking or spilling something in it and creating an isolated section then no worries there. No PD and also a lower resistance path = no arcing.

    Also only a pair? Now what are you going to do when you have a megadrive, 32x and segacd all in one stack?
     
  6. mashers
    OP

    mashers Stubborn ape

    Member
    3,837
    5,154
    Jun 10, 2015
    Kongo Jungle
    @grossaffe
    Sorry I didn't know you had an engineering degree. I didn't mean any offence when I said I'd get another opinion to confirm. I wouldn't have bothered if I'd know your qualification.

    @FAST6191
    There's only one console on each so no worries there. May need to rethink if the NX is good though...
     
  7. grossaffe

    grossaffe GBAtemp Addict

    Member
    2,705
    2,087
    May 5, 2013
    United States
    I'm just messin' with ya. I mean, I do have the degree, but no offense taken. ;)
    Besides, a piece of paper doesn't mean one can't overlook something.
     
    Last edited by grossaffe, Sep 24, 2016
  8. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,193
    8,945
    Nov 21, 2005
    Relevant


    I should also ask what sort of engineer? Aerospace is great if I need to understand fluid dynamics but for general consumer/household wiring* I would have learned infinitely more watching https://www.youtube.com/user/jjward/videos and https://www.youtube.com/user/bigclivedotcom/videos or indeed


    *I could probably describe the components of resistivity from quantum mechanics on up, there was less on how to wire a multi way switch and if the numbers were similar to the "how many of you have pulled apart an engine?" question, and going by what I saw in the how to use an oscilloscope labs I have no reason to suspect otherwise, then most there would be deriving it from principles rather than just knowing it.

    Also to be a snob I do have to point at the American flag and say there are some strange ideas over there -- I walk onto a site in the UK and there are unearthed sockets and/or no RCD (I would accept a GFI/GFCI I guess but they don't really exist here) and I am either sorting that as the first thing or walking off site citing that.
     
  9. mashers
    OP

    mashers Stubborn ape

    Member
    3,837
    5,154
    Jun 10, 2015
    Kongo Jungle
    Phew, I'm glad. On both accounts :P

    @FAST6191
    Amusing and informative at the same time... Exactly what I've come to expect from you :)
     
  10. DinohScene

    DinohScene Dino May Fire

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    DinohScene is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    15,610
    11,983
    Oct 11, 2011
    Antarctica
    В небо
    As a electrician with a slight OCD, I can't stand it.

    You got nothing to worry about but I personally would've made sure no copper is exposed.
     
    cearp likes this.
  11. mashers
    OP

    mashers Stubborn ape

    Member
    3,837
    5,154
    Jun 10, 2015
    Kongo Jungle
    I didn't know you're an electrician. Anyway, I would normally leave the insulation right up to the terminal but as I said in the OP, this forced the wires too far apart to fit into the terminal. I had to strip back more to allow the copper to bend closer together in order to get it in the terminal at all.
     
  12. DinohScene

    DinohScene Dino May Fire

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    DinohScene is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    15,610
    11,983
    Oct 11, 2011
    Antarctica
    В небо
    Well, the terminal is what actually connects the wires together, similar thing when using clamps to fix wires together in hubs in the ceiling to lead to sockets.
    It's the screw that clamps the wires together, along with the fact that the wire will spread out due to the pressure and sit together tighter.

    Anyway, if you got a high powered soldering iron, you could solder the two wires together.
    That way you got a permanent bond between them
     
  13. mashers
    OP

    mashers Stubborn ape

    Member
    3,837
    5,154
    Jun 10, 2015
    Kongo Jungle
    I did actually consider soldering them together, but I don't think it would work. There is so little space inside the terminal that it was difficult to force both wires in as it was. I think soldering them together would make them even thicker and then I don't think they would fit at all.

    The only thing I could do other than the way I've done it would be to install inside the splitter three connection blocks with larger terminals than those in the splitter itself. Each pair of wires would be connected to one side, then a single wire on the other side would connect each pair to the terminal in the splitter itself. The reason I didn't do this is because I was concerned that this could risk burning out the single wire if it is carrying the load of both individual wires on the opposite side. I suppose I could use higher amperage wire on the other side, but then I'd probably be in the same position where it wouldn't fit... Also each of those connection terminals adds to the resistance which is obviously not idea when considering that there are four of them daisy-chained in a row...

    Well, as long as the current solution is safe I don't care how it looks. It's screwed inside the splitters anyway :)
     
  14. DinohScene

    DinohScene Dino May Fire

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    DinohScene is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    15,610
    11,983
    Oct 11, 2011
    Antarctica
    В небо
    Thicker wire would solve that problem.
    I guess I'm glad I own large plugboxes, enough to to plug in me consoles ;p

    It's safe yes, tho not safe for repairmen if they open it up.
     
  15. mashers
    OP

    mashers Stubborn ape

    Member
    3,837
    5,154
    Jun 10, 2015
    Kongo Jungle
    Well, if I decide to tidy it up I'll use thicker wire with connection terminals. Thanks :)

    Well, I did have them all connected to this:

    Photo on 24-09-2016 at 11.51.jpg

    but as I'm sure you can imagine that made the wiring very untidy indeed. In fact I took some photos before I rewired it all. I'll upload them when I'm all done ;)
     
  16. pwsincd

    pwsincd Garage Flower

    Member
    3,304
    1,701
    Dec 4, 2011
    Manchester UK
    pwsincd < Qualified and practicing Electrician . Thats very very bad practice for numerous reasons. You dont have spare wall sockets i assume ? ..
     
  17. DinohScene

    DinohScene Dino May Fire

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    DinohScene is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    15,610
    11,983
    Oct 11, 2011
    Antarctica
    В небо
    No prob~

    Ohyeh, I kinda forgot that UK plugs are a bit bigger then EU plugs... heh.
    I got plug boxes of 15 plugs, smallest one I own is 3 and is barely bigger then me hand.
     
  18. mashers
    OP

    mashers Stubborn ape

    Member
    3,837
    5,154
    Jun 10, 2015
    Kongo Jungle
    Which reasons? Can you be more specific?

    I do, but not enough. Also, the idea is to rewire this unit:

    IMG_0064.JPG

    The top drawer under each console now has a two way splitter inside, daisy-chained to the next unit on the left via 13A cable going round the back of the drawers. The left most splitter has the mains plug on it which connects to a single outlet on the wall.

    So using one large splitter isn't feasible (see above for the photo of what I was using, then try to imagine a detonation in a cable factory to envisage how it looked), hence my aim to have individual sockets inside the drawers daisy chained together.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    I was thinking of upgrading to these actually:

    http://www.iconeye.com/design/news/item/3864-rca-student-radically-improves-the-uk-plug

    but never got round to it.
     
    DinohScene likes this.
  19. DinohScene

    DinohScene Dino May Fire

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    DinohScene is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    15,610
    11,983
    Oct 11, 2011
    Antarctica
    В небо
    [​IMG]
    WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!?
    Plugging in a plug like that would tear the inner connections apart!
    Not to mention the socket being dirty as fuck.
    Pigs...

    Anyway, That really looks amazing.
    Especially the 3 way splitter.
    It's essentially the same height of a normal UK plug.
     
  20. mashers
    OP

    mashers Stubborn ape

    Member
    3,837
    5,154
    Jun 10, 2015
    Kongo Jungle
    :wtf:
    I hadn't seen that picture. Why the bloody hell did they plug it into... that?!

    Yeah the splitter is really incredible.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Thinking about it again though, this wouldn't really help in this situation. I'd still need more splitters behind the unit (since three is not enough), and the wires would still be trailing around. The way I've done it there's one wire coming in from the mains to the back of the drawers, then the only other thing you really see is the 13A cable looping between the drawers. There are a few more cables, like the wires coming down from the consoles into the drawers, but you can't really see that clearly.