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Old 02-10-2010, 07:32 PM   #1
 
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Would it be safe?


Would it be safe to encase exposed wires with 100% silicone sealant? I'm trying to seal the exposed wires on the terminal screws of bulb sockets, I have used electrical tape...but since they are at a high temp, they tend to peel off over time. I was thinking about sealing the terminal screws in silicon sealant. Good or bad idea?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:19 PM   #2
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a bad idea. not sure why but it is never done. Why are you concerned about these wires being exposed?
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:28 PM   #3
 
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well I have heard of "potting" and this came to mind. I'm concerned that if I were to touch the socket without being fully conscious about it, I would get zapped.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:41 PM   #4
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still cannot see why you would do this. Do not work with electric while it is live! And the bulb goes in first with your fingers on the fat side of the bulb. So leave it be, it is not unsafe. If it were UL listing would never happen.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
a bad idea. not sure why but it is never done. Why are you concerned about these wires being exposed?
I'm thinking that its never done because it has not been a proven method to protect exposed conductors (a similar statement to a question I recently had on an unrelated electrical question).

Sure, it might be good today, but if the heat is peeling the tape, what is the heat going to do to the silicon?

I too am curious as to why you are concerned about these exposed wires, more specifically, why are they even exposed with power applied to them in the first place? With perhaps the exception of a home-grown science experiment, I'm not understanding why once something is properly assembled why there are exposed conductors?
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:33 PM   #6
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1. I don't know what 'potting' is unless you working with plants.
2. Even if the power was on the only part of a socket that can zap you is the button down in the bottom of the socket. Don't stick your fingers in a light socket and you will be safe.
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:25 AM   #7
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Potting -- a clay like material which may be epoxy based and which may allow heat to dissipate through it, often packed around things like fluorescent light ballasts and some electronic circuit boards for such purposes as damping out hum causing vibrations or protecting against impact damage (if not enclosed in a metal case). Usually it hardens and cannot be removed or some kinds may melt under abnormal heat and ooze all over the place.

They still make porcelain lamp socket assemblies with exposed terminals. These should be mounted out of reach, or if you are making a test bed (test frame; test jig; home grown science experiment) with them you just have to be careful not to touch the exposed terminals. Or find some sheet fiber (looks like cardboard) and cut some pieces to hide the exposed terminals with.
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darksome View Post
Would it be safe to encase exposed wires with 100% silicone sealant? I'm trying to seal the exposed wires on the terminal screws of bulb sockets, I have used electrical tape...but since they are at a high temp, they tend to peel off over time. I was thinking about sealing the terminal screws in silicon sealant. Good or bad idea?

Thanks in advance.
NO! Silicone is a deteriorating agent, it will deteriorate the wires insulation!
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:47 AM   #9
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I think he means the terminals where the wires are screwed to on the outside and back of the lamp holder. If thats the case and the wires are exposed for some reason, I think he has a good idea. It sure beats no insulation or tape.
Silicone is used all the time on circuit boards to hold down wires. There should be no reaction between the silicone and the conductors or terminals. But I am not sure.
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
I think he means the terminals where the wires are screwed to on the outside and back of the lamp holder. If thats the case and the wires are exposed for some reason, I think he has a good idea...
My thinking is that if there are exposed wires on the outside/back of a lamp holder, then we're using the wrong kind of lamp holder.

And I think we're talking about more than what silicon could do to insulation. From what I'm invisioning, the OP is attempting to put silicon directly on conductors as a way to protect them. Basically using silicon as an after-market insulator.

So the only way I think we can determine that this is safe is if the silicon is labeled for use in this manner. Silicon is used in the production of some electrical cables, so I don't think we can just dismiss silicon as being unsafe.

So the next question is "what type of silicon are we using". If the answer is something like "GE Silicon I", then GE says DON'T DO IT (here's their FAQ page: http://www.caulkyourhome.com/frequen...ions.php#app_8).
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Old 02-11-2010, 02:46 PM   #11
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A lamp socket used as designed and UL certified will not need any 'potting' or silicone or anything else. I'd like to know exactly what is being attempted.
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
I'd like to know exactly what is being attempted.
Yea, a picture would be really great.
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