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Old 05-29-2005, 04:47 AM
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Old 06-06-2005, 03:09 PM
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Man, you are a grouch, aernt you? Throw me that wiring question. I'll try to field it for you.
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Old 06-06-2005, 08:51 PM
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What're you doin' in here? Didn't you see the cobwebs and hear the crickets?

Aight, I might be a grouch but I can't ignore the fact that you took some trouble to post that.

Situation: 2 cables 8/3 w/gnd running to existing garage from 50A breakers (should be 40A breakers for that wire, I know), in 1" PVC conduit buried 30" or 36" (forget which). 1 cable feeds a 6 position 100A subpanel, 1 ends in an outlet for my welder. 5 of the 6 positions are occupied. I'm adding on a 12x40 section to the garage and have a 7.5 HP 30A full load compressor I'm cobbling together. Need at least one more lighting branch and two more outlet branches.

Opinions and suggestions wanted on options;

1. Replace the welder branch with 6/3 w/gnd and have compressor and welder share it, put a couple of tandem breakers in the existing subpanel for a couple more outlet branches?

2. Run another cable or 4 wires for compressor and welder and take the existing welder branch and feed another subpanel for more lights and outlets?

3. Pull it all out, run some fat wires (6? 4? 2?) to a 20 space panel and use 4 spaces for the welder and compressor?

4. something else?
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Old 06-07-2005, 07:12 AM
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First off let me say: DAMN, HOW BIG A WELDER YOU GOT? Anyway, now that that is out of the way, let me tell you a few things about me. I am presently not a licensed electrician, but in the past I held both a journeyman’s and a Master electrician’s license in a very large metropolitan city. A career change found me letting these licenses lapse. My knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC) is a little out of date, but it is sound. Although some things I have done in my own and friends shop might not follow the exact letter of the NEC as now written, I have never done anything I worried about, or in my opinion would jeopardize anyone’s safety.
That being said, I have questions:
1. Where your garage service is fed from, the primary dwelling, I presume. Does the panel there have bottom or “flow through” lugs at the bottom of the buss to accept wire lugs? Most residential panels don’t, but it would be cool if it did.
2. Do you have a space for a 100 amp breaker in this box, possibly replacing the 40 amp, two pole you have now?
3. Is the garage separated from the house, or attached? If it is detached, the NEC now says it must be treated as a separate structure for the matters of grounding. (a good thing)
4. You need to get yourself a book. “Ugly’s Electrical References” Distributed by Burleson Distributing Co, 3501 Oak Forest Drive, Houston, Texas 77018. Your local electrical distributor might have one. Great electrical book for laymen.
5. Now the important stuff: your 1” PVC conduit will hold two # 2 or 3 #3 THW or THHN (THHN recommended) wire. This will give you a rated 100 amp or 115 amp capabilities. (all NEC ratings are based on THW) using the #2 will require you setting a new ground rod at the shop location for Neutrals and grounds (do it)
6. My final suggestion would be to install a new 100 amp panel with about 20 or 24 spaces, feed your welder and compressor from it, and still have 16 single spaces for everything else.
7. Keep in mind that the NEC allows for de-rating of conductor size and branch circuit breaker size for welders, based on duty cycle, but the nameplate amps should take priority over that. Unless you have a real Hog, #8 wire should run it. (55 amps)
8. I don’t like “piggy back” or tandem breakers. (but I don’t like fat chicks, either, but some guys are alright with them. It’s a personal thing, I guess).
9. If you even consider using anything other than copper wire, I will personally send my dog, Bubba to bite you.
10. Remember, electrical outlets are never as cheap as they are during construction of a new structure. Put in plenty.
11. Make certain all of your connections are tight. Loose connections build heat, which is not good.
12. If you have any concerns about anything I have written here, ask an electrician locally. Shop fires that burn down your wife’s house can be hard to explain to her. After all, I might be a crackpot, or just stayed at a Holliday Inn Express last night.
13. I hope I have been of some help. Gotta go now, my fingers are starting to cramp. (just the two I type with).
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Old 06-07-2005, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onenew32
First off let me say: DAMN, HOW BIG A WELDER YOU GOT?
It's just a 225 AC/DC Lincoln buzz box. I forgot to tell the distance being covered: it's about 125 feet, main panel board to garage panel board.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onenew32
Anyway, now that that is out of the way, let me tell you a few things about me. I am presently not a licensed electrician, but in the past I held both a journeyman’s and a Master electrician’s license in a very large metropolitan city. A career change found me letting these licenses lapse. My knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC) is a little out of date, but it is sound. Although some things I have done in my own and friends shop might not follow the exact letter of the NEC as now written, I have never done anything I worried about, or in my opinion would jeopardize anyone’s safety.
That being said, I have questions:
1. Where your garage service is fed from, the primary dwelling, I presume. Does the panel there have bottom or “flow through” lugs at the bottom of the buss to accept wire lugs? Most residential panels don’t, but it would be cool if it did.
It doesn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onenew32
2. Do you have a space for a 100 amp breaker in this box, possibly replacing the 40 amp, two pole you have now?
Yes. 7 spaces still unused besides the 2 double pole 50A breakers feeding the garage and the welder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onenew32
3. Is the garage separated from the house, or attached? If it is detached, the NEC now says it must be treated as a separate structure for the matters of grounding. (a good thing)
Yes. If I decide to replace the existing panel in the garage, I would install the new one just inside the garage at the corner nearest the house. This would reduce the feeder length from the main panel in the house to 105 feet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onenew32
4. You need to get yourself a book. “Ugly’s Electrical References” Distributed by Burleson Distributing Co, 3501 Oak Forest Drive, Houston, Texas 77018. Your local electrical distributor might have one. Great electrical book for laymen.
Thanks. I have a dog-eared copy of "American Electricians' Handbook", McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-013931-8, 1981.

(How is it that practically every level of government includes the NEC in their regulations, but you have to buy the damned NEC book to know the requirements? Aren't we being taxed to create the laws, then forced to buy the letter of the law from a private organization?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by onenew32
5. Now the important stuff: your 1” PVC conduit will hold two # 2 or 3 #3 THW or THHN (THHN recommended) wire. This will give you a rated 100 amp or 115 amp capabilities. (all NEC ratings are based on THW) using the #2 will require you setting a new ground rod at the shop location for Neutrals and grounds (do it)
So I could pull two #2 wires in each of the two existing conduits and elimate the need for both of the existing 8/3 w/gnd cables in there now? And not have to dig that trench again to replace the 2 small conduits with 1 big one? Example: one "hot" and neutral in one conduit, one "hot" and ground in the other conduit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by onenew32
6. My final suggestion would be to install a new 100 amp panel with about 20 or 24 spaces, feed your welder and compressor from it, and still have 16 single spaces for everything else.
I kept thinking that might be possible but wasn't sure. The handbook I have only includes the NEC up to 1981.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onenew32
7. Keep in mind that the NEC allows for de-rating of conductor size and branch circuit breaker size for welders, based on duty cycle, but the nameplate amps should take priority over that. Unless you have a real Hog, #8 wire should run it. (55 amps)
If I put in the 20 space load center I could use some of this #8 cable as an extension cord for the welder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onenew32
8. I don’t like “piggy back” or tandem breakers. (but I don’t like fat chicks, either, but some guys are alright with them. It’s a personal thing, I guess).
I don't like them either but if enough advised that it was the best option at this point, I'd try some.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onenew32
9. If you even consider using anything other than copper wire, I will personally send my dog, Bubba to bite you.
heh - All the wiring I've done has been copper. My mother's house was built around 1900 and had its wiring on porcelain insulators. It took me two years of spare time to re-wire it with 12/2 w/gnd NM. It took her at least that long to get used to not having to carry around an extension cord for everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onenew32
10. Remember, electrical outlets are never as cheap as they are during construction of a new structure. Put in plenty.
My garage is a pole-barn construction that seems to grow faster than my wiring abilities can keep up with. I've been trying to maintain that thing about an outlet within 6 ft of wall space at any point along the wall. That's why I have only 1 space left in that garage panel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onenew32
11. Make certain all of your connections are tight. Loose connections build heat, which is not good.
Hmm. Turn 'em until they strip then back off 1/4 turn? Just kidding. I appreciate the warning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onenew32
12. If you have any concerns about anything I have written here, ask an electrician locally. Shop fires that burn down your wife’s house can be hard to explain to her. After all, I might be a crackpot, or just stayed at a Holliday Inn Express last night.
Actually, I have both a brother and a brother-in-law who are electricians, but I *know* they are crackpots. I just like to get as much info and input as possible when I'm about to get in over my head.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onenew32
13. I hope I have been of some help. Gotta go now, my fingers are starting to cramp. (just the two I type with).
You sure have! Thanks, loads!
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2005, 01:31 PM
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To: Sparky

Sorry for the reply in this state, but I have been unable to figure out how to do “quotes” yet.

Yes. 7 spaces still unused besides the 2 double pole 50A breakers feeding the garage and the welder.

Just replace the 50’s with 100’s, replace the wire and get going.

So I could pull two #2 wires in each of the two existing conduits and elimate the need for both of the existing 8/3 w/gnd cables in there now? And not have to dig that trench again to replace the 2 small conduits with 1 big one? Example: one "hot" and neutral in one conduit, one "hot" and ground in the other conduit?

Just one of the conduits will handle two # 2 wires and supply your 100 amp service. (if you set a new ground/neutral) put the welder on the other #8’s, change the breaker to 40’s and go. I can’t imagine the welder not running on 40’s

I don't like them either but if enough advised that it was the best option at this point, I'd try some.

You talking about the breakers or the chicks?

One more thing. You could run a whole new service, and use the existing conduits, pressurize them, and get the little woman to send beer through it for those long garage stays. Just a new variant on the same problem. Gotta think outside the envelope, ya know.
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Old 06-07-2005, 07:44 PM
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Hey now, that last one sounds good. I could hook up that compressor to the conduit. When an empty comes blasting into the house from one conduit, she can stuff a full one into the other for return. The only hitch in the plan is convincing her that it's a worthy, important job to stand by the end of the conduit watching for empties to come in.

All good inventions have minor details that have to be worked out.

I checked a local store for wire today. The guy only had #2 in aluminum, so I passed. Time to go deeper into the wilds of civilization.

Thanks again.

BTW, quoting is done using square brackets around the following begin and end tags:

QUOTE=somename
/QUOTE
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Old 06-08-2005, 09:22 PM
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Just extend the conduit so's the empty lands by her TV chair. Or hit's her in the head to get her attention. Probbly better stick with the chair one.

Aluminum is perfectly fine to use for the larger amperage services. Copper is almost done for above #4 (both arm's & a leg). Just be sure and use some of the gray dielectric goop (has many names Nolox,Nylox,Purox,just kidding on the last one).
Most all the service drops from the pole are Aluminum.
I would NEVER use it for circuit wiring.
Only question on using the 100A. in the house box is,
What size SERVICE you got now?
Hopefully a 200A cause IF you only have a 100-150A you got a problem.

Or, Just use the Quote box above where your posting right above the "Enhanced Mode" button. It's the last one on the right, look's like a piece of notebook paper.

Last edited by Bee4Me; 06-08-2005 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 06-09-2005, 05:01 AM
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hmm nothing mentioned about GFCI breakers?
I thinkk its code to have those installed in a garage?
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Old 06-09-2005, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawg
hmm nothing mentioned about GFCI breakers?
I thinkk its code to have those installed in a garage?
I just rewired my barn and i put it on a seperate service with its own meter,so it had to be inspected before the electric company would turn on power.i had been told the same about the gfci and installed one close by the panel.i asked the inspector when he came and he said they weren't required anymore.so maybe it's a local code thing.
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Old 06-09-2005, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bee4Me
Only question on using the 100A. in the house box is,
What size SERVICE you got now?
Hopefully a 200A cause IF you only have a 100-150A you got a problem.
Sorry about that. Yes, it's a 200A service.
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Old 06-10-2005, 01:40 PM
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hey there Grouch

To do this correctly and safely its going to be a little more work and probably a little more money. You really need to dig up that old conduit and either put in #2 tech (which is a direct barriel wire) or put in the correct size conduit to run your feeder through. Run this from a 100 amp breaker in the main panel to a 100 amp sub panel in your shop. Then run all your new shop circuits from this panel.
You deffinetaly should not use the 1" conduit and run single conductors through it. This would mean that you would have no nutral for a return other than the ground. You should never rely on a ground rod or plate for your neutrals. If you ever become a better source of ground it could mean lights out for you.
As far as gfci breaker go they are not neccecary. If you are concernd about this tho you can use a gfi recepticle for the first plug in each circuit and this will protect all the devices on that circuit. this is alot cheaper then using gfi breakers.
Using aluminum for the main feeders is no problem as long as you use as penetrox to prevent oxidising(spelling?). Aluminum is about half the price of copper so this will save you a big chunk of change. ALuminum should never be used for branch circuits tho.
Hope this helps. Its allways better to do thing the right way instead of cutting corners. Alot safer to.
I would suggest getting a local electrician in if you are unsure on any of this tho. there is only so much that can be done over the Internet.
Good luck
Dave
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Old 06-10-2005, 02:45 PM
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72cutsupreme:

Thanks. I'm debating with myself over whether to dig it up or not in order to run some cat 5e to the garage. IIUC, you can't run ethernet or tv cables in the same conduit as 120V or 240V. It's a toss-up whether to run a cable or just do wireless. If I do re-dig that trench, there will be some 3" conduit going in alongside those two 1". Something in favor of digging a completely new trench just for a new feeder is that it would reduce the distance by 25 feet.

It will be a 4 wire feed to the garage, whether I use the existing conduit or dig it up and put in a 3". I will be installing a ground rod at the garage as onenew32 advised back at the start of the thread. All neutrals in the garage sub-panel will be isolated from the grounds. Found a 20 space Square D 100A panel for less than $150 so I may be rewiring pretty soon.
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Old 06-10-2005, 05:02 PM
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My parting shot

Three # 3 THW wires (100 amps) or two # 2 wires (115 amps) will fit into a 1 “ PVC conduit. Look at the book you said you had, or go look at the NEC and it will tell you that. Set a ground rod at the shop, because the NEC says that’s the way it is supposed to be. Grounds and neutrals are kept separate to the point of them all becoming grounds at the panel, hence the term "grounded neutral" Two wires will do this, run the third if it makes you feel better about the neutral. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. Use copper. WHAT IS YOUR HOME WORTH ??????? PLEASE BEFORE YOU USE ALUM. WIRE, TALK TO A LOCAL ELECTRICIAN.
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Old 06-10-2005, 05:06 PM
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Post Script

Square D is a great choice, as long as breakers are still available for the series you are buying. There are some obsolete one's out there.
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