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Waterproof insulated wire?

  1. Jun 15, 2009 #1
    I need simple 10-awg insulated wire that can be passed through water and not corrode. I'm having trouble finding types of insulation to use. What would be my best bet?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 15, 2009 #2


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    PVC seems OK but I'm not sure if it is guaranteed for submerged application.

    One possibility would be to use PVC wire but pass it through medical grade silicone tubing. Make sure that any connections are made above water.
  4. Jun 15, 2009 #3
    Most PVC-insulated wire will withstand water for a long, long time. How long do you need it to last? What kind of water is it being put into? Is it still, fresh water?
  5. Jun 15, 2009 #4
    Thanks for the quick responses. Eventually we'll need wire that can be submerged for years at a time, but for now it needs to only hold up for a couple hours, or days at most. The water is freshwater and flowing at river speeds.

    Would Silicone Rubber work well? Is it overkill for this application? It is pretty expensive.
  6. Jun 15, 2009 #5


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    Wire is already made for this in submersible pump applications for wells.
  7. Jun 15, 2009 #6


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    You would have to judge how severe the environment is.

    There is a type of silicone rubber tubing used as the elastic element in spearguns and this would be cheaper than medical grade, but still not cheap. Probably not an overkill if the application is important.

    You can get normal plastic tubing made of polythene. This is meant to carry liquids so it must be waterproof. Good hardware stores would have this.

    The other consideration is if the wire can move underwater, it might rub against a rock or get bitten by a fish or a crab claw, so a rugged coating could be needed.
  8. Jun 16, 2009 #7


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    Some of the other posters may be making a few assumptions here, so how long of a segment do you need to pass under water? Are we talking just a few feet (at which point, why not just route it around the outside of whatever this is), a few meters, or long distances, here?

    Also, are you looking for a single wire, or for several conductors?
  9. Jun 16, 2009 #8
    Marine store like WestMarine has suitable wire that holds up pretty well in damp/wet environments.
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