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Burning up wires

Discussion in 'Strobe Lighting' started by dgerke, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. dgerke

    dgerke Member
    Messages: 54

    OK I am not a novice when it comes to wiring , but I am having a fit. I have had a rotary beacon on my truck which was working fine for a couple of months then a few weeks ago I had it on when all of the sudden the cab fill with smoke shortly after I switch it on. I turned it off until I got back home and looked at the problem and saw the wire going to the light was melted down. ,So I thought the light went bad so went out and bought a strobe light to replace it along with a new switch , I wired the switch positive to positive , ground to the frame and source to the light . I hooked it all up and ran it for 20 min with no problems the other day im out plowing and a couple minutes of running the strobe the cab filled up with smoke and found out the source wire burned up again , I used #12 wire with a 30 amp lighted switch I know should put a fuse in it , which i will this time but whats causing the wires to burn up ?
  2. forbidden

    forbidden Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    If you have a drop in voltage current is going to spike. If you have too much draw on a circuit, current is going to spike. If you have a connection that is bad, it is going to build resistance in it. The same goes for multiple connections in the same line. In either case a byproduct of excess current is heat which in turn melts down wiring.

    1) Do not use existing power points such a cig lighter.
    2) Do not wire a switch through a + line.
    3) Always use a relay and use a ground trigger through a switch to activate.
    4) Electricity is an algebra equation, what you do to one side you must do to the other. If you are running a 12 gauge power line, you must run a 12 gauge ground line.
    5) DO NOT connect the ground wire to any other wiring, run it to the sheet metal of the vehicle or the battery.
    6) If you have a 30 amp draw on the power line, you should be using at least a 10 gauge wire minimum and run it direct from the battery, fused no further than 18" from the battery.

    What is a proper ground for info.


    Relay diagram. While this is for a alarm system to make the park lights flash it is the same relay set up for any type of light that is switch activated through a ground and gives a + output. Ground one side of the switch, other side of the switch goes to terminal 86. Use a Bosch type relay SPDT 30 amps.


    RBRONKEMA GHTFD 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,592

    Very nicely said forbidden. Couldn't of said it better myself.
  4. dgerke

    dgerke Member
    Messages: 54

    Thanks forbidden you summed up the problem , Was using 16 gauge for ground and tapping into other power feed lines , think ill pull everything and start fresh with battery then run relay with a separate power bar and fuses. Great info thanks for the lesson.
  5. Dissociative

    Dissociative 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,066

    ummm..yea a 12g feed with only a 16g return is no good...

    and if your not a novice then why the heck did you wire like that with NO FUSE???

    BE CAREFUL GUYS.....this kind of stuff burns trucks down all the time....your actually very very lucky you didn't have a fire....
  6. Too Stroked

    Too Stroked Senior Member
    Messages: 548

    Remember the first rule of Electricity: "Everything electronic runs on smoke. If you let the smoke out - it doesn't work anymore."
  7. Dissociative

    Dissociative 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,066


    i'd love to let all the smoke out of my truck...get me a new one....a hella fire would be a blessing..LoL
  8. Pirsch

    Pirsch Senior Member
    Messages: 596

    :yow!: George...You know from multiple experiences don't ya'....:laughing: