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Ask the Electrician

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Alexb03, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Apr 15, 2012 at 8:27 PM
    #61
    epa4wd

    epa4wd Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward for someone with experience to answer this, 3" PVC SCH X? is pretty big, I don't have the NEC with me but IIRC you can pass bigger wires than #12 on there if you would go about adding a sub-panel. Is a small panel say 8-10 slots really that much money? Not really sure if its needed or not, but for me I would just add a small sub-panel, just for having more options (maybe separating lightning from outlets or future things you might add, for example a 50A 240V circuit).

    How big is the detached garage??
     
  2. Apr 15, 2012 at 8:47 PM
    #62
    Rich91710

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    Issue is going to be his local codes.
    Electrically, in 3" conduit, he'd be "safe" running 4 circuits of 12/3 Romex, as the 3" is more than large enough to prevent excessive heating of the conductors.

    But as far as I know, Romex is not allowed to be run through conduit... but I don't have the codes handy. I'm a traffic signal tech so I'm used to working with #14 individual conductors and CalTrans 5/9/28 conductor THHN cable.

    Even if California and the NEC allow something, his local codes may not.
     
  3. Apr 15, 2012 at 8:55 PM
    #63
    Saskquatch11

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    our codes are very similar but I'm not familiar with American codes, the Canadian electrical code requires the panel to be in the building being served, you cannot have circuits fed from another building. I would recommend running a 6/3 NMWU (which is suitable for burial, don't need conduit in the trench) from the house to the garage and installing a sub with a main breaker. you will also have to install a ground plate/rods for the garage.
     
  4. Apr 16, 2012 at 9:20 AM
    #64
    225nontypical

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    ok there are a few issues with this. first romex is not allowed in counduit unless it is sleeved for physical protection only, it is also not allowed underground, (type uf cable is and it can be direct burried). second you would would have to derate the ampacity of the wire based on the number of condutor in the conduit per NEC table 310.15 (B) (3) (a) you would be looking at a 50% derate of ampacity.

    the last part is you have to have a disconnecting means as soon as the power enters the building/garage. so you have have to have 4 double pole disconnects or 8 single pole disconnect they way you are talking about doing this. 8 would be a code violation also, so the bottom line is you really should use a sub panel. they are cheap and i would recommed that is what you use. then use the 3" conduit for you feeder wires to the sub panel. from there you can add all the circuits you want.
     
  5. Apr 16, 2012 at 9:31 AM
    #65
    225nontypical

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    pretty much what he said.
     
  6. Apr 16, 2012 at 1:51 PM
    #66
    I5runner

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    Yeah I wanted to avoid installing a sub panel mainly due to having to install new ground rods. I didn't know your not allowed to run romex inside conduit. Thanks for the advice. Looks like I'll have to cough up some more change and do this the right way. How deep will i have to bury the wire. It's a two car garage and I will have to pour concrete over the berried wire.
     
  7. Apr 16, 2012 at 2:33 PM
    #67
    Saskquatch11

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    2' 6" is the minimum cover requirement for that particular situation, normally 3' but because it will be under concrete the depth can be reduced by 6". again, our codes are very similar but I can only reference the CEC.
     
  8. Apr 16, 2012 at 5:08 PM
    #68
    Saskquatch11

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    teck90 under concrete is a bit overkill IMO, sleeving the cable where it comes out of the ground is also required by code.
     
  9. Apr 16, 2012 at 5:45 PM
    #69
    I5runner

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    I go ahead and dig a 2 1/2 ft deep trench. I'll only have to dig about 4ft to 5ft wide. I'm thinking a 60Amp sub panel will be more then enough. All the receptacles will be 120v and im thinking about using 4 20Amp breakers. From the main panel to the sub panel, I estimate about no more then 10 ft. I know now that I need an underground feed wire but what gauge exactly should I use? Also correct me if I'm wrong but I'll also need to run 2 ground rods 6 or 8 feet apart? I live in southern CA, LA county to be exact.
     
  10. Apr 16, 2012 at 6:16 PM
    #70
    Saskquatch11

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    use a 6 gauge 3 conductor NMWU. remember to allow for the depth of the trench and allow ~2ft at each end for terminations when figuring out the length of the feeder. yes, you need 2 ground rods 10ft apart or you could use 1 ground plate buried 2ft deep. you might have to contact a local electrical contractor or electrical inspector to determine whether or not your sub panel requires a main breaker.
     
  11. Apr 16, 2012 at 8:38 PM
    #71
    I5runner

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    Alright, thanks for the help. I'm sure I'll be back when I actually start the job. Hope this thread stays alive.
     
  12. Apr 16, 2012 at 9:37 PM
    #72
    225nontypical

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    6 Gage 3 conductor is right. Here in the states we use uf not nmwu, your trench only has to be 24" or maybe 18 it depends on what you use that area for. And the ground rods only need to be 6 feet apart but I unusual drive the first one then lay the other one down so it touches the first one then drive it right where the other end is so that would make them 8' apart. Yes you will have to have a main breaker and 60 amps is the minimum you run by code if you have more then 2 circuits.
     
  13. Jul 22, 2012 at 5:44 AM
    #73
    newfie8

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    Planning on putting an heater in my recently insulated crawl space. The wires down there now the circuits are full.My hot water tank is down there also. Can I run anything else off the hot water tank circuit? Getting a new wire down there will be a major pain in my ass.
     
  14. Jul 22, 2012 at 6:28 AM
    #74
    maineah

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    If you have a electronic store near by stop in and get some clip on ferrite chocks. I would guess it's more the sub woofer then the fridge they are very sensitive to electrical noise take 2 or 3 wraps of the speaker wire through the choke as close the the sub as you can. You may have to try the choke in different spots to cure it if the sub is powered from the wall socket you might try the choke on the power cord.
     
  15. Jul 22, 2012 at 9:26 AM
    #75
    SlamFire

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    Journeyman Electrician here, currently licensed in Michigan and Florida. Both your Electric Water Heater and desired Heater have heating elements... real electricity hogs. I'm guessing 30 amp 240 volt on the water heater, and after a shower or a hot clothes washer cycle, that thing will be using most of the available amperage. On a cold day, same will happen with the heater. To avoid what I imagine would be constant tripping of the breaker, bite the bullet and run a new circuit down there.
     
  16. Jul 22, 2012 at 9:38 AM
    #76
    Large

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    How many amps is the breaker for the hot water heater?
     
  17. Jul 22, 2012 at 9:50 AM
    #77
    Saskquatch11

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    rule 26-750(4) of the CEC
    Every electric storage-tank water heater shall be supplied from a branch circuit used solely for the heater.

    you can not put a heater (or anything else) on the same circuit as your hot water tank. if the heater you're installing is rated at more than 1500W, that heater needs to on its own circuit as well, rule 26-746(1).
     
  18. Jul 22, 2012 at 10:17 AM
    #78
    ImpulseRed008

    ImpulseRed008 Gone But Not Forgotten

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    Why do some of my circuit breakers have bar thingy's on them to keep them from popping? Water heater being one.
     
  19. Jul 22, 2012 at 10:26 AM
    #79
    Saskquatch11

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    I believe what you're referring to is this\/\/\/
    [​IMG]

    the bar is there to interlock the two breaker handles together when used as a 2 pole breaker.
    you could use the same breaker for 2 single pole circuits by removing the bar.
     
  20. Jul 22, 2012 at 11:29 AM
    #80
    ImpulseRed008

    ImpulseRed008 Gone But Not Forgotten

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    [​IMG]

    See the wire bar.... it keeps the breaker from flipping If I want to turn the water heater off, I have to swing the thing out of the way
     
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