If you’re undertaking your first marine electrical project, chances are you’ve already been bombarded with hundreds of product offerings, advertisements, and sales pitches from marine supplies companies. Determining which offers to believe, though can become harder and harder with each product that is put before you. Thankfully, there are 8 easy characteristics you can keep in mind that will help you find good Marine Battery Cable. Keep reading to find out more!
1. SAE Certified Insulation
The most important characteristic of good marine battery cable is that the insulation they’re made with needs to be SAE certified. The SAE (an abbreviation for the Society of Automotive Engineers) maintains well-researched standards for marine cable insulation that allow for certification of products under their standards. SAE certified cables are a must for any project.
2. Tinned Copper Strands
Only slightly less vital to the continued function of marine battery cable is tinned copper strands being used within the cables. Tinned copper refers to a process by which copper strands that make up cables are coated in a small amount of tin in order to increase their resistance to corrosion from moisture. Tinned copper is the standard for marine cable use, and as a result, it’s a core characteristic to keep an eye out for.
3. High Strand Count
A high strand count refers to the number of individual copper strands inside a cable. The higher the strand count a marine battery cable is, the more flexible and conductive that cable will be. This characteristic is particularly important to marine electrical systems because of the tight spaces most marine systems impose. Tight spaces on marine vessels are easier to work with if your cable is flexible. In addition, because marine insulation is much less flexible than other insulation types, a high strand count can help counteract this downside.
4. Clear Coloration
In electrical systems, a lot of negative results can come from misconnecting your cables. One very easy way to make this less likely is to label your cables and ensure they are different colors. You’re less likely to connect a cable to the wrong spot if you can tell you’re holding two different cables based on their color.
5. Proper Length
Knowing the length needs of your marine electrical system will be very important in helping you decide on a cable. Some cable options will not be the right length for your needs, and, as a result, a different version may need to be chosen. For most systems, length will be an easy solution; however, if you’re wiring up a very large boat with battery cables traveling a long distance, you may need to keep the fact that resistance increases with longer lengths of cables. In the case that you are wiring things in the degree of hundreds of feet, you may need to consider a change in our next characteristic.
6. Proper Gauge
Gauge is the main determiner of a cable’s current-carrying capacity, and as a result, it is very important to ensure you buy a battery cable that is the correct gauge. Cable gauges are measured according to the standards of the American Wire Gauge (AWG,) which allows for an easy calculation of the gauge of cable that is appropriate for the current you will be using for your electrical system. Keep in mind that, as mentioned above, length can become a more important factor in current-carrying capacity, depending on the distances your system will cover.
7. Made by a Brand With Faith in Their Product
Never underestimate the value that can come from a company that truly believes in its products. A company that has confidence in their creations and a sense of pride for their brand represents a company that will make things right in the unfortunate occurrence that there is an error with your order or a defect in the product you have bought. For marine systems, where a system outage can cause severe delays, this characteristic is particularly important.
The cable you choose should come from a company that is willing to guarantee their product, and you’ll likely find that choosing a product with quality guarantees, even if more expensive up front, will likely save you money in the long run.
8. Sold by a Trustworthy Distributor
The value of a trustworthy distributor or supplier is not to be underestimated. Much like the value of a company that has confidence in its products, an ethical and professional supplier can ensure any issues that arise are solved. Sometimes more importantly, they can help you find the products you need from the get-go.
If you want to skip the search for a trustworthy distributor of quality marine cable, head over to ewcswire.com. Our professional team can guide you through our amazing inventory of top-tier cables to make sure you get the cables you need today!