Cleaning Electrical Contacts

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by wulffe, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. wulffe

    wulffe Member

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    I'm cleaning as best I can all the contacts I run into on my old beast. Generally applying dielectric grease before reassembly... I did read not to do that on the contacts in the solenoid which is my next little project.

    I am using CRC QD contact cleaner and the can suggests just spraying until the contact is clean but that doesn't sound right. I read about people abrading off/polishing the contacts. I've been using a brass brush but the bristles end up bending and it doesn't always fit well into the areas I am trying to clean. My questions are these:

    Are there better tools? A significantly better cleaner? Is emory cloth or sandpaper appropriate? I also occasionally run into a contact where there is a copper colored coating of some kind applied - should I be treating those differently?

    I think I looked through the right sections of the self-help for this info. Apologies in advance if I missed it.

    Wulffe
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Contacts unless they are corroded to any degree should just be cleaned with a contact cleaner. There are burnishing tools used to just clean the contacts where accessible but no dielectric grease should be used on contacts themselves.
    The burnishing tools are barely abrasive and will clean without removing any of the contact plating that prolongs the surface of the contact face itself.
     
  3. drake

    drake Senior Member

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    I don't know jow small of an area you're working in, but a pencil eraser does wonders on removing build up on contact surfaces. in some areas, it's not wise to be using liquid cleaners. Hope the eraser works for you! Later!!!
     
  4. bikerdad

    bikerdad Junior Member

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    I work in the electrical field and agree with the pencil eraser idea. We do it all the time. If a little more abrasion is required we step up to an ink eraser.
     
  5. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    Burnishing tools are fine, even a clean strip of cardboard. You may not want to rub to much, as some contacts are coated with rare earth metals for their resistance to pitting and corrosion, so inspect before deciding what to do.
     
  6. opaka lips

    opaka lips Member

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    If contact cleaner doesn't flush it clean then I use the pencil eraser trick (I work in electronics). Been doing that since the 'sixties. Never got me in trouble. Glad to see some of the other guys baking me up on this.
     
  7. wulffe

    wulffe Member

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    Thanks all

    If I'm not supposed to use the dielecrtic grease on the contacts themselves what is the purpose?