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Old 12-30-2010, 11:42 PM   #1
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Attached garage wiring code


We just had a building put up (40x50) about 5 feet off our house. It was wired by an electrician who knows it will be connected to out house next spring with a breezeway. He went from out 200 amp main service into the new building with 3 large wires and installed a 100 amp service in the new garage.
We dont plan to doing anything in the garage except parking cars...no water, sink or tv's etc. Someone told me that it may not be up to code because he maybe should have used 4 wires to come into the new garage service???
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:48 PM   #2
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Attached garage wiring code


The 2008 NEC now requires a 4 wire feeder to remote panels. It was required to use a 4 wire feeder in outbuilding before the 08 if there was any metallic path back to the main building.

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Old 12-30-2010, 11:50 PM   #3
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Attached garage wiring code


I don't know what code cycle MN is on (or if it even follows the NEC but that is the most common) but by now, most of the country is on the 08 code . If so, yes, it needed 4 wire feed from the house to the garage. It also required a grounding electrode system. It also requires a main disconnect.

Now, if the two buildings are going to be attached to each other, You would use a 3 wire feed, no grounding electrode system, and no need for a main disconnect.

the above, in red, is incorrect. The correct wiring would require a 4 wire feed. I left it in so who ever reads this will not think they were going wacky and swear they read something different but it obviously needed correction.

If you were certain of the attachment, maybe the inspector allowed it as the requirements would change when you made it an attached building. Hard to guess.

For some unknown reason I stated a 3 wire was acceptable. Jim Port caught it and was kind enough to call me on it. Thanks Jim.

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Old 12-31-2010, 12:03 AM   #4
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Attached garage wiring code


Thanks
I didn't clarify that its a farm site and the main 200 amp service is brand new as well ( same guy did it the same week) and it sits on a post independently out in the middle of the yard.
It has a main disconnect and then individual breakers for our House (which is also 100 amp) The Well, The old
garage and this new garage all housed in one brand new
main pole mounted 200 amp service.
Does this change anything ??
Also it has not been inspected yet as they are months behind but the electrician has been paid already.

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Old 12-31-2010, 12:21 AM   #5
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Attached garage wiring code


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob1955 View Post
Thanks
I didn't clarify that its a farm site and the main 200 amp service is brand new as well ( same guy did it the same week) and it sits on a post independently out in the middle of the yard.
It has a main disconnect and then individual breakers for our House (which is also 100 amp) The Well, The old
garage and this new garage all housed in one brand new
main pole mounted 200 amp service.
Does this change anything ??
well, that's a horse of a different color. Since the garage cannot be attached to the structure the main service is mounted to, in, on, then it must be a 4 wire feed, grounding electrode conductors, main disconnect; exactly what is also required at the house. You cannot run multiple circuits from the 200 amp on the pole to the house. You must have a main disconnect at the house.

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Old 12-31-2010, 01:06 AM   #6
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Attached garage wiring code


Thanks for the reply
Maybe I am not saying it right... so to clarify Our main power comes in off the road to a post on which is mounted our new 200 amp service box and meter...
inside it are
1 A main disconnect for everything on our property
2 A disconnect/Breaker going to the house (which has its own 100 amp sevice pannel in it as well) with a disconnect on it.
3. A disconnect/Breaker going to the well pit.
4 a Disconnect/Breaker for the old garage which has its own service pannel in it as well.
5. A Disconnect/breaker for the new garage which has its own 100 amp service pannel in it.
If this isnt right then why would he only run 3 wires ??
Thanks

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Old 12-31-2010, 01:35 AM   #7
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Attached garage wiring code


OK, so you have a disco at the house. good. I was reading that differently.

Quote:
If this isnt right then why would he only run 3 wires ??
I don't have a clue. It should be 4 wire. Do have inspections in your area?

Sounds like you should ask the installer.




do you have grounding electrodes at the house, new garage, old garage, and well? They are needed at each.

and each of the separate structures need a main disconnect at the structure regardless of the situation at the main service panel.
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:02 AM   #8
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Are those 3 wires exposed anywhere along the run? Or were they installed in conduit?
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
Are those 3 wires exposed anywhere along the run? Or were they installed in conduit?
More importantly, is it metallic conduit?
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Old 12-31-2010, 02:03 PM   #10
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do you have grounding electrodes at the house, new garage, old garage, and well? They are needed at each.

and each of the separate structures need a main disconnect at the structure regardless of the situation at the main service panel.

There are the 8ft copper rods in the ground If that is what you mean and there is a seperate main disconnect at the House service pannel, old garage, new garage and well pit also.
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Old 12-31-2010, 02:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
Are those 3 wires exposed anywhere along the run? Or were they installed in conduit?
They are big thick aluminum wires (encased in black coating) not sure the size but there is pvc conduit coming down the wall and off the main service but not underground going across the yard.

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Old 12-31-2010, 10:40 PM   #12
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Bob

After rereading my last response I decided to start over with questions instead of my opinion on what you have.

This much I am sure ... you have what is called a farm pole or FLPS (farm load pole service). This is designated as the electrical distribution point for the buildings on your property.

You have a combination metering enclosure mounted on that pole serving as your service equipment. From that equipment you have feeders with overcurrent protection to your house, old garage and new garage. Also a well has power to it from the pole service equipment. All the buildings have main breaker disconnects in the panels to which the feeders are terminated.

Your question is about whether or not the installed 3 wire feeder from the service equipment on the pole to the new garage is code compliant. Your wondering if maybe it should be 4 wires.

The simple answer is it should be a 4 wire feeder. As an example look at this link .... scroll down to the feeder drawing (2nd drawing).

http://www.ci.bloomington.mn.us/hand...3fffdetach.pdf
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:12 PM   #13
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Attached garage wiring code


Thanks for the reply
So can anyone explain why an electrician who has been in business for 30 years would only use a 3 wire feed to my new garage ???
And what can be done about it??
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:05 PM   #14
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Attached garage wiring code


Up until 2008 code version three wire feeds were permitted. If your region is not on 2008 code cycle then it is still permitted.
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:30 AM   #15
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Attached garage wiring code


Joe is correct

That is why I said the simple answer is a 4 wire feeder. I said that because a 4 wire feeder will allow you to have metallic paths like metal water lines or communication cable to the garage if they are installed at sometime in the future .. regardless of what code cycle you are on. I would suspect that your electrician is following 2005 or prior code requirements and not 2008. There is nothing wrong or dangerous about a 3 wire feeder, to make a long story short a 4 wire feeder gives you more options. If conduit is being used installing a 4th wire will not be that difficult when and if it becomes a requirement.

Ask your electrician what code cycle your county has adopted .. if it is anything other than 2008 your fine with a 3 wire feeder as long as none of the dreaded parallel metallic paths do not exist.

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