Six wires from the electric company

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Crossoft, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. Crossoft

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 6, 2015
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    I have 600 amp service at my house ... 3 200 amp breaker boxes. It's a lot, I know :/

    I'm labeling everything...breakers, boxes, and came across something that I'm not familiar with.

    There are two separate 'input' boxes from the electric company through the wall of my house, each with three huge wires. These six total wires go into a block, out of which nine wires come, three for each breaker box.

    Has anyone seen this configuration? What is it?
     
  2. cmartinez

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
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    You must have a very big house... that configuration that you're seeing is either for two three-phase high voltages (220 and 440 VAC) or your house has been split in two different service areas. BTW, your profile doesn't mention where you're from... that could give us a better clue
     
  3. Crossoft

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 6, 2015
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    Hi, thanks for the advice - I updated my profile (Pennsylvania, US). It's not as large as you might think, but I have a lot of appliances.

    It's definitely single phase 220VAC, that much I know.
     
  4. cmartinez

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
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    Then most probably the company split your house into two different service areas, maybe you have a central Air Conditioning system and one set is used for that, and the other three-wire set for other systems ...
     
  5. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    More than likely they used multiple conductors to get the 600 amp capacity over to the house then split it back out to the individual panels.
     
  6. Reloadron

    Active Member

    Jan 15, 2015
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    Then they are coming off the pole with likely 240 Volt split phase (120-0-120) x 2. Then doing as tcmtech suggest.

    Ron
     
  7. JWHassler

    Member

    Sep 25, 2013
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    Sounds like you have electric heat.
    The extra wires (in my ancient experience) were because of the necessary ampacity .
    They stock wire for 300 Amp services, but not for 600 Amp(?)
     
  8. Crossoft

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 6, 2015
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    Indeed. Electric heat ... eventually I need to switch to something more efficient.
     
  9. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    That sounds like the right answer to me.
     
  10. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    The problem with high amperage power systems is at some point running one large individual conductor Vs multiple smaller ones comes down to the physical practicality of the install.

    Up to around 4/0 size copper or aluminum cable most well built guys can work with the tuff within reason but once you get into cable sizes that go by the MCM sizing prefix unassisted bare handed muscle tends to not be enough.
     
  11. Crossoft

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 6, 2015
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    Agreed - the ones coming into my house are barely bendable to me. Can't imagine heavier cable.
     
  12. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    I am not sure it it has been done in the U.S., but in the UK I installed several storage heaters in a residential home, the local service company required that they were all wired over three phases, they provided the 3ph service with a separate meter.
    Max.
     
  13. alfacliff

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2013
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    was your house ever a multiple residence? apartments? might be why.
     
  14. Crossoft

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 6, 2015
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    Actually no, it is relatively new construction (2003), but when building I gave the builders instruction that I didn't want to fall short on available electric as I, at the time, had silly interest in putting a bunch of servers there. That, and wanted to ensure capacity for A/C and electric heat.

    They told me "We're giving you 600 amp service," to which I replied, "Sounds good" (not knowing how huge it would be). Each of the three breaker boxes is barely half utilized.
     
  15. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    I'll bet you have three parallel supplies off of 240v 600amp transformer. Are you the only residence around or rural?
    Max.
     
  16. Crossoft

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 6, 2015
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    It's quite rural here.
     
  17. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    Around here it's getting pretty common to see townhomes wired for 400 amp services and rural farms going up to 600 amp services.

    The utility companies are planning ahead for the event of more people going to electric heat as their primary heating source and or having electric vehicles in the next 20 - 40 years where having one customer drawing continuous loads of many tens of KWH's for extended time periods will be normal.
     
  18. Reloadron

    Active Member

    Jan 15, 2015
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    This gets a little off topic but I believe the 6 wires were solved.

    Ohio Supreme Court says all-electric homes cannot sue FirstEnergy

    Years ago, around 30 to 35 years ago the electric company (First Energy) offered a good deal to entire new sub divisions of homes going in way out to Cleveland's west side. All electric homes were the future you know. The gas company never laid any pipe in these sub divisions. Well the cost of electricity has gone up and is ever growing. Especially now with new demands that Ohio generate more renewable energy power like wind and solar. Here is the kicker:

    Yeah, they voted in that unrealistic goal several years ago, then a few years ago the governor made all the environmentalist when he signed a bill placing a 2 year moratorium on the law, but the 2025 date remains with goals along the way. Currently less that 1% of Ohio's power is renewable energy. Meanwhile natural gas has dropped and dropped in cost. I have natural gas fired heat and am real pleased. The real bitch is people trying to sell all electric homes in a housing depression can't get rid of them. Not like you can buy the house and convert to natural gas as there is no close gas main line. :(

    Ron
     
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