Dielectric Grease vs Electrical Contact Grease - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-11-2012, 02:20 PM   #15
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OK, so I see a difference of opinion.

My Biology trained mind says to put a bit of the electrical contact grease on the males of any connection after cleaning. Then put some dielectric grease on the fittings on the rubber mating surfaces.

Is that a good compromise? Why or why not?
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:47 PM   #16
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I'm in the camp of using dilectric grease on all electrical connections like what we are talking about. Back in my days of racing off road motorcycles, we had to make sure that the bikes could run thru creek/stream crossings. It was common procedure in prepping a off road bike to use dilectric grease on each and every connection. I have never had a problem when using it.

I would definitely NOT use electrical contact grease on any connection such as we are discussing here. The problem would be that if/when any of that product migrated to a position where it could provide a electrical path to someplace you don't want ( another pin, or to ground ) you are going to cause a problem.

EDIT: the dilectric grease I use is made by permatex, and remains soft and flexible even after being in use for a very long time.

http://tinyurl.com/ygeptr
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:36 PM   #17
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I'll add a bit to this. Dielectric grease does protect electrical connectors. I was working on a project that used a small connector outside. The product was to be mounted on the mirror of a big truck. It was the second generation that used the connector (wheee, good thing it wasn't the first generation). We started getting failures, the pins on the connectors were corroded to almost not there. By the way the connector was supposed to be water tight. Time for an extreme test. Place two units in salt water, both running. One with dielectric grease in the connector and one without. Within a few days the one without stopped working and the connector was almost completely gone. The one with dielectric grease was still working when we stopped the test 2 years later.
That should answer any questions about whether dielectric grease protects or not your connectors.
NOTE.. I noted that there some stuff on the market called electrical grease, some conductive some not. The conductive type is not to be used in a connector where there's more than one connection. As with all grease it will migrate, then you could have all kinds of problems.

NOTE2... Concerns about dielectric being an insulator, the pressure between the contacts should be such that it will clear away the dielectric grease at the point of contact, leaving the exposed metal coated.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:35 PM   #18
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The electric hot rod of our hot water heater stopped working. The problem was corrosion on the contacts. I put some dieletric grease on each contact, re-inserted the contacts, problem gone.

Now the mere re-insertion may have resulted in good contacts again but the purpose of the dielectric grease is to prevent more corrosion.

These contacts were behind the hot water heater door, therefore exposed to the elements. These were individual amp wire connectors.

The Dielectric Grease per package instructions is just for this purpose. Actually my tube was a freebie given at the FRV/Bullards Beach State Park rally.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:38 PM   #19
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Basically, what would be better to surround an electrical connection, air that will allow corrosion to take place degree, or the grease which would eliminate this from happening. Electrical conductivity does not change in either case.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Basically, what would be better to surround an electrical connection, air that will allow corrosion to take place degree, or the grease which would eliminate this from happening. Electrical conductivity does not change in either case.
Attempting to keep the weather out, moisture is a good thing to do. Note I said attempting, it's almost impossible without special bonding tape to cover the connection. Even then there's no a possibility of moisture getting in.

My ham radio antennas and rotor connections have both. Dielectric grease first then after the connection the connector is wrapped with a self bonding tape, several layers, then standard electrical tape over that. I don't want to take that 20' across antenna down because of faulty connection.

Most connector are meant to be connected and unconnected more than once, not all but many are. Therefore is more practical to use dielectric grease and not attempt to keep moisture out by other means.


PLEASE NOTE... We're talking about dielectric grease. Non-conductive. FYI dielectric means non-conductive.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:13 PM   #21
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And Byron is correct in his spelling ( and definition ) of it, and I was wrong in how I spelled it my previous post. Sorry if my misspelling caused any corn-fusion.....

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Old 09-12-2012, 04:18 PM   #22
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Is dielectric grease what I should use when repacking electric bearings?
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:31 PM   #23
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Andrew, The answer is no. You use it on Muffler Bearings.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:45 AM   #24
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The last time this topic came up I posted this entry from Wikipedia. I think it is worth repeating.

[edit]Dielectric grease
Dielectric grease is electrically insulating and does not break down when high voltage is applied. It is often applied to electrical connectors, particularly those containing rubber gaskets, as a means of lubricating and sealing rubber portions of the connector without arcing.
A common use of dielectric grease is in high-voltage connections associated with gasoline engine spark plugs. The grease is applied to the rubber boot of the plug wire. This helps the rubber boot slide onto the ceramic insulator of the plug. The grease also acts to seal the rubber boot, while at the same time preventing the rubber from becoming stuck to the ceramic. Generally spark plugs are located in areas of high temperature, and the grease is formulated to withstand the temperature range expected. It can be applied to the actual contact as well, because the contact pressure is sufficient to penetrate the grease. Doing so on such high pressure contact surfaces has the advantage of sealing the contact area against corrosion.
Another common use of dielectric grease is on the rubber mating surfaces or gaskets of multi-pin electrical connectors used in automotive and marine engines. The grease again acts as a lubricant and a sealant on the nonconductive mating surfaces of the connector. It is not recommended to be applied to the actual electrical conductive contacts of the connector because it could interfere with the electrical signals passing through the connector in cases where the contact pressure is very low. Products designed as electronic connector lubricants, on the other hand, should be applied to such connector contacts and can dramatically extend their useful life. Polyphenyl Ether, rather than silicone grease, is the active ingredient in some such connector lubricants.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:05 PM   #25
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I use dielectric grease on bulbs in my tug.
Even after years of use the bulbs are removed easily and the sockets are in good shape. One of my vans has 325,000 miles on it. Somewhat of a great proving ground! Using this has never resulted in faulty connections. I am also a licensed electrician. We use a product on aluminum wire to prevent oxidation on connections. I would not use products such as this or conductive grease on 12 volt connections. It will short the connection eventually.
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:28 AM   #26
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I have had corrosion problems on the contacts in trailer connectors on camper and utility trailer. I got tired of scraping a contact or two. Dielectric grease on both a 7-pin and a 4 to 7 adaptor and have not had continuity problems since doing so. It may be the trailer plug should have a cover. I saw someone here had installed one on the front of their tongue box; makes sense as the connector on our tv has a spring-loaded cover. The "unanimity" of opinion on this question is something to behold. Should I assume that petroleum jelly is conductive and should not be used?


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Old 09-16-2012, 05:21 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by rabbit View Post
The "unanimity" of opinion on this question is something to behold.


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Jack, I shall remain the one lone voice in the wilderness. Any product with a resistivity of 10^13 ohm-cm (about the same insulating quality as glass) should not be used on a conductor that lives depend on irregardless of the parade of anecdotal evidence. Raz MS, BSEE
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:14 PM   #28
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I was attempting irony, Raz. You're only alone in the sense that you're certain about what you think of a grease with the property of an insulator. The rest of us aren't sure if we're lubing, sealing, conducting or insulating and we're not sure what with and that includes the folks in the rv industry that made the video.

I believe everything that everyone says happens may happen or has happened with products which may have or do have the properties which everyone says they have or don't have. But I'm also lazy; I took a load of brush to the county DNR chipper site yesterday; the tail lights and markers lit up first time when I plugged in the connector so I won't scrub the stuff out of there until they don't. Then I'll probably blame the whole thing on folks who can actually quantify the conductivity of grease.

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