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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-12-2005 12:23 AM
grouch
Quote:
Originally Posted by 72CutSupreme
I know this doesn't have anything to do with your garage but I just thought i'd point out that both things you pointed out above (14 guage wire and 7 devices on a circuite) are perfectly exceptable. 90% of the wire I use in a house is 14 guage and there is almost allways 7 devices on a 15 amp breaker. The only main places that 12 guage is used is for the washer, fridge, microwave, and dishwasher. This stuff is standard prctice and ahs nothing to do with taking pride in your work. It has to do with taking things to an uneeded extreem. I know of no electricin who uses 12 guage for his regular 15 amp plug circuits.
It's perfectly acceptable to have a car with a 25 HP engine, dog-feeder dish hubcaps, pastel blue paint, bench seats and vinyl stuck on the side that tries to look like walnut, too. If we were a bunch that settled for whatever is acceptable in cars, we wouldn't be posting on hotrodders.com nor sweating over these illogical mechanical creations.

I'm not competing for customers so I can "hotrod" my wiring. The only 15 amp circuit in my house is the one dedicated to the dishwasher. All others are 20 amp. I used 12 ga. wire because it heats up less and yields less voltage drop. The maximum number of duplex outlets per circuit is limited to 5 in my house because you never know when you might want to fire up a radial arm saw in a bedroom that already has floodlights and a ferris wheel going. Actually, I arrived at that by taking 80% loading (16 A) and dividing by 3 (1.5 A per outlet, 2 outlets per duplex receptacle). The limit is 4 outlets on each of the kitchen circuits. The second floor is fed by two sub-panels, just for convenience and to shorten the runs.

An electrician bidding on a job has to compete with other electricians. He or she has to justify any extras to a customer who likely pays more attention to the price tag than any other factor. I don't have to justify those extras or attempt to explain cable runs, voltage drops, heat and resistance relationships or expanding electricity usage in the future to somebody who is stuck on, "But Joe can do it 15% cheaper."

Look through the journals and see how many cookie cutter car-lot Hyundais you find.
06-11-2005 10:44 PM
72CutSupreme
Quote:
Originally Posted by grouch
There is not a single circuit left in my house from the time that initial inspection took place. It was too sloppy to suit me, made use of a lot of 14 AWG wire, and had some circuits carrying as many as 7 duplex outlets. I'm not an electrician, but the one who initially wired this house prior to inspection wasn't much of one, either, in my opinion. The point is that electricians are people, too. Some want to take pride in every job they do, some are just punching the clock, and most fall somewhere in between.
I know this doesn't have anything to do with your garage but I just thought i'd point out that both things you pointed out above (14 guage wire and 7 devices on a circuite) are perfectly exceptable. 90% of the wire I use in a house is 14 guage and there is almost allways 7 devices on a 15 amp breaker. The only main places that 12 guage is used is for the washer, fridge, microwave, and dishwasher. This stuff is standard prctice and ahs nothing to do with taking pride in your work. It has to do with taking things to an uneeded extreem. I know of no electricin who uses 12 guage for his regular 15 amp plug circuits.

Dave
06-11-2005 05:37 PM
onenew32
on the right track

I think you are on the right track, also. good luck, and have I mentioned to use copper?

Now, anyone out there got a good Boss 351 motor for about $50.00?

build a great hot rod.
06-11-2005 03:30 PM
Fast Orange Sounds like you're on right track-but one more suggestion.For equiptment with high starting amps,I prefer to use a bolt in c/b-plug in c/bs tend to loosen their grip on the buss bars in panel,causing a high resistance,causing higher temps throughout circuit.If you are still using Sq.D,check pricing between type QO and type QOB panels and breakers.For air comp. and welders,I think you'll be better off with the bolt ins.
Just my personal opinion,George
06-11-2005 12:45 PM
grouch I need to point out something about the area where I live: house wiring is inspected only when the service is installed, or the meter is moved. Other than that, neither local government nor the utility company are interested in what happens beyond the connection to the panelboard (load center, breaker box, service, whatever they call it where you are).

There is not a single circuit left in my house from the time that initial inspection took place. It was too sloppy to suit me, made use of a lot of 14 AWG wire, and had some circuits carrying as many as 7 duplex outlets. I'm not an electrician, but the one who initially wired this house prior to inspection wasn't much of one, either, in my opinion. The point is that electricians are people, too. Some want to take pride in every job they do, some are just punching the clock, and most fall somewhere in between.

I appreciate all the information and advice given. I'm convinced now that the thing to do is not add another tiny subpanel but rather to yank the one that's there and replace it with a 20 space 100A service. This will simplify the wiring for all major tools in my shop as well as the other circuits.

The subpanel will be fed by #2 copper. Maybe that's unnecessary expense, but amortized over the remainder of my life expectancy, the difference between copper and aluminum for 100 feet of wire is insignificant.

I will be digging a new trench to lay larger conduit for the feeder. I can then pull one of the existing 8/3 w/gnd out of one of the 1" conduits and use that conduit for a coax and cat5e. (72CutSupreme: I don't have high-speed Internet; it would be used to connect a thin client in the garage to my home LAN, mainly so I don't have to listen to lousy radio stations).
06-10-2005 10:45 PM
onenew32
Aluminum is for Radiators

Like I said at the outset, if you have doubts, get the opinion of a reputable local electrician. There is one down side to the NEC, the fact that 10 people can interpret it 10 different ways, and although all would be correct and safe, everyoneís opinion would be that everyone else is wrong. Yes, I know that aluminum is used on most high voltage lines and feeders, there are several reasons, but expense usually does not enter into it. Heat dissipation, and weight are two of the biggies. (Think about it Ö a conductor 7/8Ē in diameter running between towers 300 feet apart. Those high voltage lines donít sag because they look cool; theyíre HEAVY). These are also installed by professionals, using correct techniques and materials. Copper is much more forgiving. Size it right, tighten the lugs, and itís done. The two largest areas of jurisdiction in this state, (now state regulated) do not allow the use of aluminum branch conductors in construction of new single family dwellings. That should tell you something. They do, however allow itís use in mobile homes (that may have changed). We have a lot of those burn down each year. Go figure.
06-10-2005 10:30 PM
Bee4Me Dave is right on the $$$$money.

Do what you like,it's YOUR money.

Aluminum for large amperage wiring as your wanting is fine.
Make ALL the joke's you wish but the joke will be on you for spending WAY too much for copper on a service circuit.

Like I said, I will never use alum. for a common circuit under 50 amps. Over that and your wasting $$$.
No, I'm not an electrical engineer but 30 years of wiring experience and SEEING for MYSELF what will and won't work alleviates any doubt as to what I would use.
06-10-2005 08:24 PM
72CutSupreme
Quote:
Originally Posted by grouch
Are you sure? I'm pretty well set in my ways and always use copper. What's this aluminum stuff? Isn't that just for covering the bbq grill and making airplanes?

Seriously, the only aluminum wiring around my house are the electric company's drops from the transformer to my main load center. I wired the rest of my house and garage and the smallest is 12/2 w/gnd COPPER.

Don't be talking about a "parting shot". You've confused me with this two wires talk. Are you saying treat the garage as a completely separate entity and just run two 'hots' to it, e.g. red and black? Let the ground rod(s) be tied to both equipment ground and neutral in the garage panel? Something doesn't sound right there. I thought I needed 4 wires from the house and to isolate the neutrals from grounds at the garage, plus have at least one ground rod at the garage.

The manual for the 7.5HP compressor motor says use #3 for the distance I'm running it, to get the voltage drop within NEC recommendations, so I like the idea of using #2 wire. I also like the idea of having wire with a higher ampacity than the breaker it's attached to.
ALuminum or copper for maine feeders or sub feeders really comes down to personal preferance and $money$. Aluminum is half the price of copper and if treated correctly is no more dangerous.

You are exactly right with the way you are tihnking for wiring. You need to run a #2 three conductor (which is two hots, a neutral and a ground(the ground is not counted as a conductor)). In your panel you will have seperate bus pars for you neutrals and your gounds. The neutral buss bar is conected to the ground bus bar with a conductor much smaller than the main #2 neutral. this is so the return always travels back through the neurtal to the pole. The current takes the path of least resistance which is through the biggest wire. The ground is only as a backup if the neutral breaks. No ground means you will be the backup and this is not a good thing.

Good luck
Let us know what you decide to do
Dave
06-10-2005 08:04 PM
grouch
Quote:
Originally Posted by onenew32
Three # 3 THW wires (100 amps) or two # 2 wires (115 amps) will fit into a 1 ď 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 thatís 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.
Are you sure? I'm pretty well set in my ways and always use copper. What's this aluminum stuff? Isn't that just for covering the bbq grill and making airplanes?

Seriously, the only aluminum wiring around my house are the electric company's drops from the transformer to my main load center. I wired the rest of my house and garage and the smallest is 12/2 w/gnd COPPER.

Don't be talking about a "parting shot". You've confused me with this two wires talk. Are you saying treat the garage as a completely separate entity and just run two 'hots' to it, e.g. red and black? Let the ground rod(s) be tied to both equipment ground and neutral in the garage panel? Something doesn't sound right there. I thought I needed 4 wires from the house and to isolate the neutrals from grounds at the garage, plus have at least one ground rod at the garage.

The manual for the 7.5HP compressor motor says use #3 for the distance I'm running it, to get the voltage drop within NEC recommendations, so I like the idea of using #2 wire. I also like the idea of having wire with a higher ampacity than the breaker it's attached to.
06-10-2005 07:06 PM
72CutSupreme
Quote:
Originally Posted by grouch
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.
Running some cat 5 is definetaly a good idea. Not only is it better sound quality for telephone it also gives you the option of running high speed internet out there. Having a solid line is definetaly a better signal than a wireless router and depending on the distance you could have an issue. wireless routers are also known to have dead spots in certain areas.

A seperate ground is deffinetaly a must but as you said having seperate neutrals is also very important. For the ground I would suggest a plate instead of a rod. Burry it two feet in the ground and this gives a far better source of ground then a rod. Actually I don't know if rods are even available anymore. At least not up here in Canada. As Onenew32 said squareD is a very good panel. I've never had a problem getting breakers for them tho. Even the old ones.

Onenew32: The term grounded neutral does not mean that the neutrals all use the ground. The ground is a safety in case the neutral fails. That is why the ground is never as big as the neutral. It is not meant to be your main source of return. The return is meant to travel back through the sub panel into the main panel and back to the main lines, with the ground as a safety only. To ensure that the circuite never finds you to be a better return to ground. A seperate neutral is a must. Ask any inspector anywhere and I guarantee they would never allow you to use a ground plate as your maine source of neutral. It is just far to dangerous. Corners should not be cut when it comes to electricity.
Also wondering why you are so against Aluminum. All main feeders from the poles are aluminum. Every service or sub panel I have ever run has been in aluminum. The only problem is when you get into the smaller guages like 12 or 14 and the wire is very brittle and will easily break. But this is not an issue in the larger guages like 2 or 3.
Just wondering your reasons for being so against it?

Dave
06-10-2005 06:48 PM
1931 steve Are you saying use copper????? I'm a little confused LOL!!!!
06-10-2005 06:17 PM
onenew32
NEC Reference

Wire ampacity section 310-16 of the NEC says 100 amp for #3, 115 amp for #2
Chapter 9 Table one of the NEC says two # threes, or two #2ís and that is THW wire. What you will buy is probably going to be THHN, then NEC says 3 #3 wires or 3 #2 wires.


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.
06-10-2005 06:06 PM
onenew32
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.
06-10-2005 06:02 PM
onenew32
My parting shot

Three # 3 THW wires (100 amps) or two # 2 wires (115 amps) will fit into a 1 ď 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 thatís 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.
06-10-2005 03:45 PM
grouch 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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