Electrical safety

thomat65

TJ Enthusiast
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Nov 9, 2019
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351
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Southwest MI
Hey guys, I'm not seeing a thread dedicated to electrical safety. Correct me if I'm wrong. Otherwise post up!

The point of this thread is how to protect your equipment from damage, your Jeep from catching fire, and your passengers from injury.

I'll start.

Fuses:
  • Fuses are your friends. They blow instead of letting something catch on fire
  • Fuses need to be the wink link. So use the right size. Doubling a fuse rating will certainly keep the fuse from blowing, but only because you'll first let the magic black smoke out of something else instead
  • Use a heavier wire gauge than your fuses can handle. That way the fuse blows instead of melting your wiring
  • Fuse high. Meaning put your fuse on the +12v side of things so that when something shorts to ground the fuse cuts current instead of having a fire
  • Fuse close to the battery. That way you're protected against your circuit and its wiring
Wiring:
  • Flexible wire can rub on things and wear through the insulation
  • Stiff wire can break from metal fatigue/vibrations
  • Any wire (flexible or stiff) touching anything harder than its insulation will eventually wear through the insulation
  • Proper mounting will solve all three of those problems
  • Running a wire through a hole in your sheet metal? Use a grommet
  • Don't run wires where they'll interfere with normal operation such as people's hands and feet
  • Make it look professional. Not only for the looks but also because a tidy job usually means things are mounted well, insulated well, routed well, etc
 
I'll add in:
  • Butt connectors and heat shrink are your friend when crimped properly. Always tug your connections to make sure it's tight.
  • Butt connectors > solder. Especially for high vibration environments like a vehicle.
 
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Great advice. One thing I do is ALWAYS disconnect the battery before any doing any work. That way I can't create any new shortso_O
 
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Every circuit has a fuse, whether you put one in or not. Actual fuses just happen to be their safest, most cost effective, and least troublesome form.