What is the preferred method for connecting a triplex overhead feeder to a SE cable at a service entrance head? This is for a 100 amp single phase 120/240 volt subpanel at another building.I know crimp on connectors are often used but if I don't have access to a crimping tool, Can another method be used such as split bolts? This is somewhat unfamiliar territory for me. I don't know if I even used the proper terminology. My work normally consists of indoor industrial wiring. I appreciate your help.
Split bolt connectors could very well be your next best choice. They are common here. The only thing to watch for is the UL rating. Split bolt connectors (all-purpose type) are only UL rated for copper and copperweld wires only. but they are advertised for any combination of two dissimilar metals. Most vendors don't know this. One to look for will be dual-rated APS series (NSI), made from tin-plated aluminum. UL (486B) listed for aluminum and copper condutor combinations. The other thing to look out for is a good sealer to avoid moisture, and a very good connection.
That was my next question. What is the best method of sealing such a connection? And I am assuming that even with a connector that is approved for 2 dissimilar metals, I should still use the anti-oxidizing compound on the connection.
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
You might check with your supplier. Many wholesalers have a Hypress crimper that they'll rent/loan to you. I make the split bolt connections much as Sparky stated. Make connection with NoAlox (using connectors properly rated with separators for the Cu/Al connection). Wrap the connection with #130 linerless rubber tape. Then put on Scochkote, and finally tape with regular elect tape. It keeps the gook off of the split bolt if you want to access it later. If there is a possibility of abrasion, use varnished Cambric tape over the Scotchkote, and under the elect tape.
Loc: Mont Belvieu, TX
Copper/Aluminum split bolt (for copper to aluminum connections), scotch 33 wrapped on backwards (sticky side out), cambric, linerless rubber (or scotch pad), scotch 33 again (sticky side down this time), and a layer of friction tape is my formula for noncrimp connections. I use the same for gutters when I have to use split bolts. The backwards tape is used to make it easy on someone if they ever have to break those connections. HMEL#688
The Watt Doctor Altura Cogen Channelview, TX
Loc: Chestertown, MD, USA
Although the utility here cuts i their own drops with crimps, I have found the pre-insulated taps from NSI or Polaris to be a real time and labor saver on service upgrades when making a temporary connection to provide power until the inspection and final cutover. Be sure to get them back as they are almost $30 each for a 4/0 size.
Loc: Sedalia,MO, USA
Hey Watt Dr glad to see someone else tapes a splice with 33 before using splice tape. It does make it easier to undo later. I work on several pump motors we have to replace on a semi- regular basis that have the connections covered in splice tape and one guy does not use 33 before the splice tape, sure hate following him. Usually takes a day for the bleeding to stop after cutting the splice tape off.
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