Dielectric Grease vs Electrical Contact Grease - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-07-2012, 10:41 AM   #1
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Dielectric Grease vs Electrical Contact Grease

Here is one for the electrical Gurus to explain. I frequently see many here suggesting the use of Dielelectric Grease on our trailer connectors.

When I check out Wikipedia, it says that Dielectric Grease is an insulator, while Electrical Contact Grease enhances connections.
Silicone grease - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

etrailer on the other hand says to use dielectric grease when they are using Electrical Contact Grease in this video (embedding disabled, click top line once or video twice):
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:46 AM   #2
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There is enough contact between the metal parts to allow electrical flow and the Dielectric Grease keeps the moisture and air away by sealing things up.

Should you use a Conductive product you would certainly have a problem on the bulb receptacles where the bulb has two contacts on the base (Running and Turn/Stop) elements and it could also produce a short directly to ground instead of going through the bulb on the double and on any other type of receptacle.
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:59 PM   #3
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I use dielectric grease from Corning, and I have never had a bad connection or corrosion issue since I started using it
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:51 PM   #4
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When I was a power lineman, we used Penetrox. Though it says not to use it on rubber, or polyethylene insulated wire. Most of the wire I use is PVC insulated.
http://www.dxengineering.com/parts/dxe-p8a
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:24 PM   #5
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I had a tech squeeze some in my 7 way plug and my lights stopped working. It took a lot of cleaning to get them to work again. I went to a manufacturers site and found nothing about use on contacts but lots on water proofing and sealing connectors. I know it has lots of followers but I am not one. Raz
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:04 PM   #6
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it can depend on the type of dielectric grease, I have seen some that harden right up, and become like cement, the corning type i use remains soft and removable
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:27 PM   #7
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I use Permatex diaelectric grease, no corrosion, never had contact problems with it
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:39 PM   #8
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Good, because permatex is what I just bought. Have not even opened it up.
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
I had a tech squeeze some in my 7 way plug and my lights stopped working. It took a lot of cleaning to get them to work again. I went to a manufacturers site and found nothing about use on contacts but lots on water proofing and sealing connectors. I know it has lots of followers but I am not one. Raz
I suspect that the problem with your lights was due to the connector shorting out. If your 12 VDC power supply got involved, you may have ended up with a fire. The stuff is conductive. When I was a lineman, we used it on the large un-insulated terminals, like a breaker termination. It would probably be good dabbed on the connector before you tighten the screw, but think of it as a conductor.

Dielectric, (non conductive) grease kinda makes sense. When you push the blades of a 7 prong connector in, they make physical contact and the grease is basically wiped off the point of contact. The grease would prevent corrosion on the metal of contacts, where they would be otherwise, be exposed to air.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:07 PM   #10
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I was advised by the party who replaced my last tow side connections due to corrosion problems caused by driving on salted roads to ski hills in winter to use the Dielectric on my connections. Havent had any problems since using it.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:33 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
I had a tech squeeze some in my 7 way plug and my lights stopped working. It took a lot of cleaning to get them to work again. I went to a manufacturers site and found nothing about use on contacts but lots on water proofing and sealing connectors. I know it has lots of followers but I am not one. Raz
I"m not sure what was put into your connector. If it was dielectric grease the cause of the light not working more than likely would have been caused by lack of contact pressure. There's a compromise between the pressure applied to the contacts when the plug is inserted and the amount of force it takes to insert the plug all the way. This contact pressure displaces the dielectric grease enough to make a good connection.
Any way, if the blades in the plug are not tight enough they wont displace the dielectric grease enough to make a solid contact. The contacts might not be making a nice solid connection after all the cleaning. The best correction would be to replace the cord end.
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:21 AM   #12
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When I was a power lineman, we used Penetrox. Though it says not to use it on rubber, or polyethylene insulated wire. Most of the wire I use is PVC insulated.
http://www.dxengineering.com/parts/dxe-p8a
Yeah, thanks a lot David. I have been out of the power industry (Power Systems Electrician) for over 16 years, and had finally forgotten about Penetrox, and how it coated everything I owned when doing connections. Can't begin to guess how many cases of that stuff I have used.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:11 AM   #13
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seems like a conductive grease would be the same a short if it was spread between two contacts. i know i always used dielectric on ever plug i have ever had and never had a problem.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:59 PM   #14
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Dielectric grease is an insulator. I have not found a manufacturer recommend it's use as a contact protector. You folks wish to use it that way that's ok with me. Raz
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