Sub Panels

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Popadux, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. Popadux

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 7, 2015
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    I have a 220 line running to my well house from the main service panel. Can I run that 220 line into a sub panel and then run 2-220 lines and a 110 line from that sub panel. 1- 220 line will run my well and the second 220 line will run my welder. 110 will run lights and an air compressor.
     
  2. Mark Johnsen

    New Member

    Nov 30, 2015
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    It's been awhile since I looked into sub-panels. I think (pretty sure) that you need to run the ground and the neutral (120 part) from your main panel to the sub-panel.

    You can run that one 220 'set' of lines into the subpanel as long as it has enough Amp (current) rating for the well pump and your welder. In the sub panel you'd break out your 2 220 lines or whatever to your outlets for what you want to power (pump and welder in this case).

    Also, you need to run a neutral (the 120 part of the circuit) out to the subpanel (so 4 lines 220 L1, 220 L2, Neutral, GND) to complete the 120 outlet you want. You have to run that extra neutral because only in the main box do you ground your neutral and ground, that's the safety part of it. For the 120ac you'd have either one of the 220 lines (L1 or L2) and that neutral plus your ground to make the circuit. If there's water (well pump) I'd throw in GFCI circuits, at least for the 120Vac.

    Anyway, it's doable, if you're not clear keep reading on the internet. I had found a thread in a forum on electrical wiring (house, not circuits) and this question has been asked. A bunch of the replies came back as "you shouldn't do it if you don't know what you're doing." But, really, it's not hard if you can figure it out. Oh, that forum had electricians reply and they like to use the terminology of 240Vac (single phase) and 120Vac. The 110 and 115 are supposedly for the know-nothings...

    Good luck... Don't break any codes:)
     
  3. SLK001

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2011
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    I seriously doubt that the capacity of your incoming 220VAC line can handle more than the pump and maybe a light or two. It is probably only a 20 amp circuit. You don't say what kind of welder you have, but even the most basic welder (and not a kiddy 120VAC version) will draw at least 20 amps.
     
  4. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    A 240 volt, 20 amp circuit can power a damn fine welder. (Of course the pump needs to be off.)
     
  5. SLK001

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2011
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    Yes, that's true, if you are only trying to weld 0.1" steel or less. Most stick welding would be difficult to impossible to do at the end of the cable run. MIG welding would be possible if you kept the duty cycle low (and turned the pump off). I don't know how long the cable run is from the panel, but I can safely say that you won't have 240V at the end of the run.
     
  6. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    If the pump was correctly installed then the wire size should be large enough to support the cable length. If the line voltage drops too much, pumps have a habit of running hot and burning out. Both MIG and stick welders can compensate for a low line voltage. My Hobart 140 MIG can easily weld .125" steel and it is just 110 volt welder.
     
  7. Whatashame

    Member

    Nov 30, 2015
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    Just don't do it, period. Rent a ditch digger and install atleast #6 aluminum direct bury wire. You will need 4 wires. 2 blacks, 1 (taped) white, 1 (taped) green. Buy a ground bar for the panel you choose. Grounds as someone already said, are separate from the neutral bar in a sub panel. Do this right. Yes, it will be expensive but you won't burn you well pump up or melt wires in you house. Wires can heat up and then the build up resistance, getting hotter, and in this case , they don't trip the breakers as fast. Do it right. You dig the ditch, let an electrician do the rest. You will save alot of money doing that.
     
  8. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Jumping in to agree with Mark Johnsen. Very good description.
    (Everything is simple, right after you know how.:p)

    As for SLK001...who told you it's a 20 amp line? My "usual" for a sub-feed is a 60 amp dual breaker with 6 ga. copper wire.
    It's kind of like installing insulation in your attic. Do it right the first time and that's the end of that problem.

    I believe there are Code Legal ways to add a local ground rod, but rather than learn the limitations of that method and bet my life on the conductivity of the soil, I just use the 4 wire cable...and I don't like aluminum! Yes, aluminum is, "normal" for the power company, but after the meter, it's your problem. If you don't do everything correctly, aluminum will take any opportunity to corrode or recede away from the connectors because of heat cycling. That's why it was outlawed for internal house wiring.

    The Law around here is: 12 inches deep if there is no chance of vehicular traffic, 18 inches if there is. Florida being made of sand, and Murphy's Law saying anything that can go wrong, will, I go to 18 inches for everything. Other places, like Kentucky are so much worse for digging! Sometimes called, "red concrete with extra rocks". That's why ditch diggers were invented.

    That's how an old fart with a healthy level of paranoia does it.;)
     
  9. Whatashame

    Member

    Nov 30, 2015
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    Copper is always best, but you are going to pay an arm, a leg, feet, hands and more. I did not go into all details but I will add this. Aluminum will last 200 years if done right. Proper wire size, tight, tight connections, no-loc chemical must be used, stops oxidation. Terminals, bugs, or lugs that except aluminum wire, (don't use copper bugs or lugs). Cadmium is what is used. Again, dig the ditch, go 2 foot down, not anything less, 3 foot down across driveway. A ditch digger will cut through 2 foot of dirt as fast as 1 foot of dirt. 1 foot down will get someone killed planting flowers. Use caution or red tape just under the grass above the wires. Also don't order the wire until the ditch is dug. I'm 63 now. Only 11 years of my life I have not been an electrician. I was wiring houses when I was 13. These houses still stand and connections are still tight. Be back in some to recheck the aluminium wire some were wired with because you could not buy copper. Aluminium wire is fine for homes, service entrance equipment and sub-panels especially stuff that's used once in a while, like your welder. 24hours a day, use copper. Whatashame over n out.
     
  10. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Good example of a guy who knows the rules and can recite them. If you're that good, with every connection, you can use aluminum, or call a real electrician because he (or she) will know the rules and do it right. Some of the changes I have seen include one brand called, "No-Al-Ox" being banned because it is flammable, and cadmium sulfide photo sensitive resistors no longer available because cadmium is now on somebody's dangerous chemical list (like lead). I don't know if cadmium is no longer available for serious electrical wiring, or it's been replaced with something better, but it's details like that which trip up the amateurs. Same with the depth of burial. I know the Code where I live. I don't even know where you live in case I wanted to look up the Code. He77, I don't even know if you can buy the Code book any more! (Mine is from 1981) What I see in the DIY stores are mere pamphlets.

    So, there's your decision point. Are you that good? Willing to study until you're that good? What's the price of copper for this job compared to the price of a real electrician? How deep do YOU need to bury it where YOU live?

    Lot's to learn, there is!
     
  11. Whatashame

    Member

    Nov 30, 2015
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    It's National Electric Code , I have 50 years of experience. We know how to make and harness electricity. Scientists still do not know exactly what electricity is. Electricity can act different or do strange things sometimes. I have seen voltage in wire that was just rolled across a floor. They is a name for that but I only came acrossed it once. A "Phantom Ground", I'm told is what it is called. Very strange. Cadmium is used everyday and I still alive. I have no schooling only experience. I have seen junction box covers get blown away off the box by a short circuit and faulty circuit breaker. It sound like dynamite going off. Trust me, when it comes to electricity, don't take any short cuts. NEC wants wire 2 feet down, 3 feet under driveways. That's everywhere who accepts the NEC as code. The code is only guidelines for new work, not existing work. Soom Inspectors will try to get you the death penalty if you don't follow it. Lol. A shovel is about a foot long. You won't remember where the wires were buried years from now. You'll go to plant a tree and bang if your lucky. Go 2 feet down. Do it right. Be proud, be safe and fire free. I don't know what else to say. What is your family worth, that's the question here. If you don't care about yourself, at least think of them. Whatashame out.
     
  12. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    No argument here...except I still have the County Permit signed by the inspector after measuring my 18 inch burial.
    It might be a stupid decision, but the County made it and I followed the rules. Not being a, "real" electrician, that's the best I know how to do.

    Got it. Section 300-5
    Table 300-5
    24 inches for direct burial (without any sort of mechanical armor over the cable).

    I guess I live in a stupid county.:D
    Either that or I forgot that was "24 inches unless protected" and just remembered the 18 inch part. That's why I still have the book. Amateurs have to look things up every few years or they forget.:oops:
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
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  13. Whatashame

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    Nov 30, 2015
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    Understand I'm not hollering. I am a very good but always learning more. Inspectors , The Electric Company, and others used to say to me, they need to take pictures of your work and put it in the code books and say, now that's how you do it. I was taught by my father. He was far better than me. I hated doing electrical work, but it was drummed in my head. Our motto was, "we do it right or not at all. " Some people don't like that, they only want it to work or cheap. We say, bye bye. There are plenty of electricians that don't give a crap, get them.I just came back from a all paid trip to Bolder Colorado because my friend, x- boss , wants me to move his 200amp panel out of the kitchen and put it down stairs. I'm a hummble person. It's other people that tell me that my work is good and neat, and they never saw other jobs as good. That thanks goes to my father,ay he rest in peace, but I doubt it.Lol.
     
  14. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I've had that argument. My first boss in that line of work kept saying, "Can you do it cheaper?" I kept answering, "You will NEVER get me to install a fire hazard." No way. No price. No chance.
     
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  15. Whatashame

    Member

    Nov 30, 2015
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    18 inches is ok for small wires. I'm ok with that. Slide conduit over it where you might dig later. Use GFICs . Shovels will just cut right through it and trip GFIC. FEEDERS to a sub panel carries 60, 100 amps. You don't want to cut into that. If I would do this for you, it's going down 2 ft. to be clear.
     
  16. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    If I remember correctly, I used 18 inches under a "no vehicle" area for a 15 amp UF line to some outside lights, but the 60 amp sub-panel to the shed was inside whatever you call sunlight resistant plastic pipe. Looks like schedule 80 PVC except it's gray.
     
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  17. Whatashame

    Member

    Nov 30, 2015
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    Very good. I have read some of you comments and you seem very knowledgeable in electronics, far more, and I mean far more then I know. Everything you posted is true , not doubt. Inspectors are very different and so are rules in townships. That's what drives us electricians crazy. You have to know the NEC and what the town wants. You just do it and make them happy. That's something my dad couldn't do, always an argument.Lol I listen to you. Thanks
     
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  18. Whatashame

    Member

    Nov 30, 2015
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    That's fine. Deeper than a shovel and a half. Only if I'm not doing it for you. At my own house, 18" n Gfic.
     
  19. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Florida being made of sand, I use what my mother called a, "spade". Skinny shovel, about 8 inches wide with about 20 inches of length. You can do 100 feet of trench per hour if you're young.

    And I NEVER argue with Inspectors. I'd rather get a reputation for being docile and compliant, un-remarkable, very forgettable, than for beating them at their own game. That would make it a contest of wills. Much easier to smile and agree with them, especially for an amateur. It isn't going to cost me that much for 2 or 3 a year, especially when it's, "incidental to" a much larger job that is mostly not electrical.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
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  20. Whatashame

    Member

    Nov 30, 2015
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    Look at all the clams you'll find.
     
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