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Old 12-02-2011, 08:58 AM   #31
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I'm open to alternatives. For the hardware - all I can do is look at what fits and has a good price. This is another area where experience would be a huge help - brand and model selection. Even at the pro shops - "Yeah, that will work" isn't as good as, "I've used that model for years and it installs easily, is well made, and you can't beat the price." If you want to know the difference between web hosts, web sites, open source CMS, and programming, I can help you out!

Is there an issue with mini breakers? So far, my plan has 17 circuits.

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Old 12-02-2011, 11:07 AM   #32
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No issue with the mini's other than me not liking to use them much.
They are listed and used everyday.




Maybe some lesson on how to post pics and such!!!
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:01 PM   #33
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I much prefer the flexiability of a full size panel that does not accept tandems. Tandems can also be more than twice the cost of two single breakers. Also in some brands a two pole breaker eats up the same space as 4 circuits using tandems. You run out of space fast.
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:48 PM   #34
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Hi All - I believe I have found a unit that everyone likes:
http://www.lowes.com/pd_79498-296-RC...ter&facetInfo=

Anyone have any experience with this one?

I also found a supplier in Bradenton that sells the 4 wire 4/0 cable. $5 per foot. CES 745 9994
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:33 AM   #35
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Hi folks - thought I would give an update. The unit I described above is accepted by both FPL and Manatee county. It looks well built and is affordable. One thing I learned is that for underground service, you must use schedule 80 conduit from the feed (underground) to the meter socket box. I couldn't find this is the code book - but confirmed it with the inspector. You can't use the conduit supplied by FPL - which is sch40. This is a bit tricky as HD, Lowes, nor ACE has schedule 80. I finally found it at City Electric.

QUESTION: I've been looking at wire and man - is copper expensive! I have more time than money. Has anyone done a comparison to see if running wire and conduit is cheaper that using something like Roamex? Even a few hundred would help out.
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:48 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by jbrantiii View Post
QUESTION: I've been looking at wire and man - is copper expensive! I have more time than money. Has anyone done a comparison to see if running wire and conduit is cheaper that using something like Roamex? Even a few hundred would help out.
Running conduit with individual conductors is definitely more expensive than romex (NM). It also requires much more practice to get it right. The expensive part is the copper, and you only get to save one copper conductor (the ground) when using conduit, and only some of the time.
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:08 PM   #37
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Ahh. Thanks, I appreciate it.

QUESTION! I have a generator that has a 120/240 V 4 prong locking outlet. I was able to find a 4 prong plug - but the device I wish to run is three prong. There are two breakers on the generator and two additional dual receptacles (standard). To wire to a three prong 240 v plug - do I tie the two hot wires together into one prong? Or - do I just not use one? I'm leaning to tie tthe two hots together as I see it as two 120 sources together making 240. If you have an answer - please reply! I'm going to test my theory tomorrow and would rather not blow something up...
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:24 AM   #38
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QUESTION! I have a generator that has a 120/240 V 4 prong locking outlet. I was able to find a 4 prong plug - but the device I wish to run is three prong. There are two breakers on the generator and two additional dual receptacles (standard). To wire to a three prong 240 v plug - do I tie the two hot wires together into one prong? Or - do I just not use one? I'm leaning to tie tthe two hots together as I see it as two 120 sources together making 240. If you have an answer - please reply! I'm going to test my theory tomorrow and would rather not blow something up...
AAAAHHHH!! Don't test that theory! The generator's 4-wire 120/240V output works just like your home's 4-wire feed from your main disconnect to your main panel. Or the 4-wire circuit for a dryer or range. You can run two sets of 120V loads, each between one hot and the neutral. You run 240V loads between the two hots. Since your 240V appliance is 240V-only and does not require a neutral, you just ignore the neutral connection. The load connects only to the two hots. And ground, of course.

If you were to connect the two hots together, that would be a dead short and could damage the generator.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:45 AM   #39
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That's why I ask the experts! So - two hots and a ground. Ignore the white wire. I'm heading out the door.

Folks, I appreciate all the help. I know it takes time to monitor and write, and that you are giving away hard learned and earned information for free. At least in our case, you are helping two hard working people make a home that they couldn't afford to make if they couldn't DIY. Thank you.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:36 AM   #40
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Two hots and a ground worked GREAT! Those are some expensive plug ends.

The exterior panel went in nicely. There were no mounting instructions - so I used four interior hole to screw it to the wall of the building. Also, expect to have a heck of a time with the two screws that hold in the breaker cover! We dented the panel cover (just a tad) trying to get them off.

QUESTION: The underground feed comes out at an angle and even with a meter box offset the bottom ten inches of the sch 80 conduit doesn't touch the house. Think this is OK code wise?

Folks, the 3d model really helped me visualize raceways and materials needed. But, it left me questioning basic wiring methods. I re-read through my code book and went online for some visual aids. I created the illustration below to be sure I'm on the right path. Its the most complex circuit in the house with a few three way switches. See anything wrong? Yellow circles are luminaries, red boxes are switches, double circles are exterior floods, blue circles are wire nuts, and green boxes are outlets. The top left 2 wire is coming from the panel. Runs with red are three wire.

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Old 01-10-2012, 03:46 PM   #41
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Thought I'd update. I wired one 20 amp circuit to the meter socket / disconnect with 4 double outlets and one florescent light. I also wired up the well - 20 amp 230V. Today we passed TUG inspection! So - all is well. Things I learned:

1. New code uses the rebar in poured foundations as the ground. I thought I needed additional ground rods - but it wasn't the case. However, since I already had one anyway, I wired it it in. To do this, you take the copper that is embedded in the slab, connect it to the rod with a direct burial clamp, and bring it into the service box. Be sure you leave enough wire to make it to the clamp as the wire is to be one piece.

2. To wire a 220 - 240v device, it requires two hots and one ground. What this means to the non electricians is that the neutral (white wire) becomes another hot - like the black wire. You will need to tape the white wire red so that it is identified as hot in both the devices connection box and in the breaker box.

3. Its allowed to pull roamex or NM shielded cable through conduit as long as its not considered a wet area. You can pull out door NM through conduit in these situations. Of course bare wire ie easier, but we all don't need 500 foot rolls...

4. Those little 90 degree pull elbows SUCK. Its impossible to get NM to pull tight. To make them work I had to strip off the outer shielded tuck the unharmed wires in one at a time. I checked with the inspector and this was fine. The longer boxes work great, but if you can't use one due to space you can go up a size and use reducing bushings to have more room.

5. In my case, the circuit is run inside a shop area. I didn't know this but it requires GFCI protection. I used two GFCI outlet on the box that is out doors, but the inspector gave me a money saving tip. I only need to use one GFCI as the first device in the circuit run.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:57 PM   #42
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I live in Bradenton, next door to Parrish, and I'm extremely curious about the progress of this project. Is there a place to see updated information?

Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:44 AM   #43
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The project is "complete". Do you have any questions?
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:36 AM   #44
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Great thanks. I found a good post while looking for the disconnect and thought I would share. Original thread is here:

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...p-service.html

Here is what interested me:

> What would be the recommendation?

A 200A service of reasonable distance (<100') is just fine with either #2/0 copper or #4/0 aluminum. Given the price of copper, it's hard not to recommend aluminum. The only special considerations with the termination of aluminum wire are that it must be shined up with a wire brush, coated with non-oxidation grease, and torqued to the panel manufacturer's specs (which really should be done with copper too).

> Do I need to run it in conduit?

Service entrances need to be in either metal conduit (EMT, IMC, RMC) or schedule 80 PVC conduit (RNC). Standard schedule 40 PVC is not acceptable, nor are flexible conduits. If the service wires attach to a conduit mast above the roofline, then you need to contact your power company for structural requirements of the mast.

The (3) #2/0 copper conductors require a minimum of 1-1/2" conduit, and the (3) #4/0 aluminum conductors require a minimum of 2" conduit. However, local or power company rules frequently overrule national code on service entrances -- check with your electrical inspector and/or power company.

> It's 25 feet from the outside meter along floor joists to the new 200
> amp panel.

If the service entrance runs 25' into the house, you will need to either install a main disconnect outdoors or redesign the conduit run to follow the exterior of the building. It is no longer legal to have un-fused conductors run through a dwelling for more than 5'. This issue needs to be resolved first, because it will determine if you need to install (hot-hot-neutral) conductors to the house panel or (hot-hot-neutral-ground) conductors.
in all the jurisdictions where I work schedule 40 PVC is perfectly acceptable for most installations
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:37 AM   #45
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My wife and I were also considering building with shipping containers, and I am very interested in the entire process, from end to end. Questions at the top of my list are:
1) How many square feet did you end up with?
2) Did you use shipping containers exclusively or did you supplement them with any traditional structures?
3) Did you build on piers/posts/stilts or did you use a concrete foundation?
4) How many floors is your house?
5) Do you have a sunshade over your structure that acts as an attic would to block direct sun heating and circulate warm air away?
6) How did you make windows? Did you cut holes or just use the open ends?
7) Did you cut holes on the sides to make large interior spaces and weld together multiple containers?
8) How did you waterproof the joins between containers?
9) Do you have any pictures to share?

Thanks!

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