Before it Rains on your Planter

Published on: 14:10PM May 05, 2019

Heavy rains are forecast across this area in the coming week. Take a few minutes to prevent moisture problems with your planter's electrical wiring.

If you have wiring harnesses dangling from the back of the tractor cab, try to position screw-together harness connectors horizontally. If harness connectors dangle vertically on their harnesses, rainwater can trickle down the wire into the back of the connector. Most connectors are sealed with rubber grommets and relatively water-resistant, but  a few drops of rainwater --or a steady downpour--pooled inside the upstream end of a connector can eventually get past rubber seals and lead to corrosion of the pins inside the connector.

If you have older-style push-together connectors for your seed monitor, try to locate them in the tractor cab, out of the weather. If they must be exposed to the elements, don't wrap them in duct or electrician's tape to "protect" them. It's been proven over the years that moisture WILL somehow get past the tape, and then the tape becomes a reverse-seal that holds moisture inside the connectors and actually increases corrosion.

Finally, if you have weird electrical problems or the planter has NO power to it, after the rains abate, be suspicious of the tractor-side of the 7-pin connector. Long story short, spring field work generates especially fine, powdery dust that insinuates itself into odd places. It's not uncommon after a few days of planting that's been interrupted by rain, for the backside of 7-pin connectors on tractor, under the protective rubber boot, to be full of mud. Sometimes the mud dries without problems, but sometimes it corrodes the terminals under those boots into green paste that causes all sorts of electrical problems.