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Old 04-13-2009, 05:25 PM   #16
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200 Amp or 400 Amp service


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JamieDolan - I will do all the research necessary and they do have the NEC at the library. I don't mind reading it. The problem is understanding it all. I'm an engineer, so I like the challenge to understand it all. I like to know what I'm doing, not just blindily jumping into things and have no fear of appearing dumb if it will get me answers to my questions!
There are two main reasons that we're going DIY - one to save money, and to do this at our own pace. We didn't like the bank telling us to build this in 12 months since it would mean to finance the whole thing, which though we can pay the monthly bill, it would mean we'd have to build without all of the nice things we'd like to have, like lots of windows and building a superinsulated home.
Right now we have the shell built to the lock up stage, and I have no idea the boiler/heater/water heater/tv/hot tub/etc. etc. are going to be because it probably won't be until next year or the next before we start buying such things. I could take a guess I suppose to get a ball park.


So your walls and such are all open now?

If so, as a matter of personal preference, not by any requirement to do so, I would install all EMT (Metal Conduit) in the entire home. It's not that hard with all the walls open, and the cost really isn't that high. It is more labor intensive, but make it soo much easier to make changes in the future and offers more physical protection for the wiring down the road.

Jamie

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Old 04-13-2009, 06:52 PM   #17
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200 Amp or 400 Amp service


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I would install all EMT (Metal Conduit) in the entire home. It's not that hard with all the walls open,


:laughi ng:

Piping the whole house is a tough job for experienced people. There is no way a homeowner is going to pipe/wire everything. No way.
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:49 PM   #18
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Where do you live???
There are few states that don't have building codes.

If you don't know load calcs, how are going to wire your house?
Then again, if there is no NEC I guess you can put the whole house on one circuit.
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:54 PM   #19
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Every state has codes, they may not be enforced

NEC adoption by State:

http://www.childoutletsafety.org/fil...doptionMap.pdf
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:03 PM   #20
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Remember, the NEC is not a design manual. As stated in Article 90:

90.1 Purpose.
(A) Practical Safeguarding. The purpose of this Code is the practical safeguarding of persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity.
(B) Adequacy. This Code contains provisions that are considered necessary for safety. Compliance therewith and proper maintenance results in an installation that is essentially free from hazard but not necessarily efficient, convenient, or adequate for good service or future expansion of electrical use.
(C) Intention. This Code is not intended as a design specification or an instruction manual for untrained persons.

Without an adopted standard, you can essentially wire it with speaker wire if you want to, but, of course, that would be foolish. The standards in the NEC are pretty much the minimum required to provide a 'state of the art' installation, but by no means is each and every standard applicable to a single family house. In fact, probably 50% or more of the code has no application to a single family house.
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:26 PM   #21
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In re: EMT, it is actually required in some jurisdictions (Chicago, for example). Electricians from Chicago claim it can be installed in a framed wall by flexing the EMT through bored holes in 16 inch O/C wood studs.

Seems like a whole lot of work to me, even if that is true. Then, of course, you have to pull all the wires. Also seems like a lot of work for little, if any, practical gain. Romex (PROPERLY installed) is fine for a single family house. If you really want a little extra physical protection, give smurf a try. I love the stuff for exposed work. It is just the thing for bending a little past that inconveniently in the way main stack.
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:30 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Every state has codes, they may not be enforced

NEC adoption by State:

http://www.childoutletsafety.org/fil...doptionMap.pdf
Some states will adopt a 'model code' but not require each jurisdiction to use it, per se. If the local authority wishes to adopt a code, they can adopt the model or even portions of it. This is the way it is in Kentucky. The state plumbing code is enforced by the state, but pretty much everything else is optional for local jurisdictions to adopt if they see fit. Many rural parts of the state have no adopted code of any kind.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:22 PM   #23
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I agree for a first timer EMT in a whole house would be a stretch. But if they're up to the challenge....I know you think us Chicago guys are nuts, but I piped my tele/data runs as well.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:27 PM   #24
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Beautiful job, BTW. That's a lot of wire to pull!
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:32 AM   #25
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200 Amp or 400 Amp service


Check the Service entrance equipment out at www.midwestelectric.com. There are some interesting SE bases like 400 A in and various options out including convinience outlets. There would be independent breakers in this box that could feed two 200 amp panels. The utililities sometimes require very specific meter bases. Some utilities will not allow two sepparate services for one address.

Usually the max breaker size is about 100 A in normal panels.

Your "kill switches" could be done in a number of ways. If you use it a lot, then an outdoor disconnect is possible.

You did not mention the distances say between the service drop (if one) to say the remote farm building if there is one.
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:14 AM   #26
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I agree for a first timer EMT in a whole house would be a stretch. But if they're up to the challenge....I know you think us Chicago guys are nuts, but I piped my tele/data runs as well.
Showoff...
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:49 AM   #27
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..... If you really want a little extra physical protection, give smurf a try. I love the stuff for exposed work. It is just the thing for bending a little past that inconveniently in the way main stack.
What is smurf? Is it that blue plastic conduit?
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:46 AM   #28
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What is smurf? Is it that blue plastic conduit?
Yes, formally known as ENT. It's called smurf because it's, well, blue.

Actually comes in three colors, blue for power circuits, yellow for telecom and red for fire alarm circuits. It's very tough but easy to cut and bend.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:46 PM   #29
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One option which I'd seriously consider is to have the service and any load side panels wired by electrician, and then wire the branch circuitry yourself - most of the more arcane rules related to wiring relate to the proper installation of components up to and through these panels, after they are in place you need only master a few basic wiring skills and understand a much smaller subset of the code to produce a satisfactory and safe result. Besides, most of the things that actully relate to convenience and satisfaction in actual use - an adequate number of circuits and receptacles and lighting fixtures where you want them controlled the manner you prefer, are the things a homeowner can do themselves for only the cost of materials, and can be done a little at a time under room by room basis as time and budget permits once the service and load side panels are in.

-----------

Re EMT: I'm a big fan of EMT, you really, really appreciate the flexibility and convenience the first time you have to pull an additional and circuit or deal with the defective conductor. Even in Chicago these days you less and less frequently see a piece of artistry in conduit like that picture above goose134's work in residential work, more and more often you see a lot of short pieces cobbled together with with couplings and pre-bent turns:



it's not nearly as pretty, but it works, and it's certainly within the capability of any homeowner who can operate a hacksaw, a reamer, and a fish tape.

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Old 04-15-2009, 01:15 PM   #30
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Well, Thanks to all of you for your information. I just found out that Iowa changed the law and I can no longer do any type of electrical work myself. I have to hire a licensed electrician, and the state inspector has to come out and inspect it. The code officials had the gall to say in an interview that if you're used to hiring an electrician, this won't affect costs. If you live in a city, maybe. But for us county folk our prices have just gone up since now the electrician has to pull the permits and hire the state inspection and pay the fees. I am actually surprised that the farmers aren'tup in arms about this. Need to rewire your grain bins? Gotta hire someone now.

I am so upset. I don't mind the inspection part of it. I think that if I can wire my house to be up to NEC standard and the State inspector inspected it and approved it, I shouldn't have to be forced to hire someone. But there's no provision for that. The code officials claim that homeowners can still do their own work on existing house for maintenace work (so thank goodness they will allow me to change my lightbulbs or replace a broken ceiling fan). But reading deeper into the code you find that if I want to add another outlet, I have to hire someone to do it! Empty space on the panel to add extra lights? Someone else has to do that work now. That's insane. A simple job I could do for $50 will now cost me $200.
I'm building a chicken coop inside my barn, and to add those new circuits I probably need to change a few things in the panel, and I have to hire someone now? That's bull.

I know in the city they allowed my SIL to wire her basement herself when she finished years after the house was originally built. She could apply for the permit herlself, then get her work inspected. With the new law, you can't do that anymore.

I might as well put off dreaming of having this house done for a few years. I can't afford to hire the electrician right now.

Sorry for my rants. Thanks for the information, those pictures look great~

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