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Making watertight cable connectors

Making watertight cable connectors

Christian Liljedahl of Illutron wrote in to share their technique for making waterproof cable connectors. If you ever need to run wires near water, it could come in handy, and will definitely be much cheaper than buying underwater-rated connectors.

8 thoughts on “Making watertight cable connectors

  1. says:

    Also I’d be tempted to use two or more coats of liquid tape over the soldered connections.

    For example yahoo (of all places) has these PVC unions for sale:

    1. Christian Liljedahl says:

      No doubt, that the PVC unions would last longer in a corrosive environment.
      Looks like a good idea.
      – I have searched for similar PVC unions at my local pipe pusher, and it does not seem to be a standard component in Danish plumbing. But we are strange in many ways.. :-)

      The steel unions have the (for my application) useful feature, that they sink to the bottom.

      Liquid tape is a good idea, if it is removable.
      – One of the ideas with this connector is, that it is easy to take apart and reuse / rewire.

  2. Alan says:

    I prefer to just wrap the connection in silicone tape or, if that’s not available, Coax-Seal. The latter is messier, but does about as well at locking out the water. Both work by fusing to themselves and forming a watertight covering for the whole connection. No pipe fittings required.

    If I’m connecting coaxial cable, I’ll also pack the joint with a wonderful product called Stuf. It’s a nonconducting grease that fills the voids between the connectors, ensuring that any water that manages to get through the outer tape layer can’t penetrate the connection and cause trouble.

    Using these techniques, I’ve sealed connections that have survived for years out in the weather.

    1. Christian Liljedahl says:

      What is not mentioned in the article is, that we originally made the connectors to be used in the lake of a danish rock festival. (Smukfest)
      The cables where running on the bottom of the lake, but there was a risk, that energetic young festival guests would dive down and jerk around in the cables.
      – So, we needed something with high mechanical strength to protect the connections too.

      In other applications, we would mount a connector (like XLR) hiding inside the union. Making it very fast to assemble and deploy.

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