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Old 10-04-2010, 09:15 PM   #1
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Hey everyone.

I am trying to figure out an electrical problem. I am stumped on it.

I recently wired my shed, more or less finally converting it to a functioning workshop. I did not want to bust open walls in my house to go right to the CP, so.... I installed a plug on the 'house end' of my 12/2, which is about sixty feet in length. Once inside the workshop, I reverted back to 14/2. I just went with the 12/2 to be sure of carrying the load for the distance.

I have a 10 gal compressor with a 2hp 15amp motor. I throw the switch and it functions great! That is, until it has to cut in again. Then it will only starve-cycle until it trips the breaker.

Currently, doing home renovations, the compressor is plugged directly into the outdoor plug on my house and the shed is plugged in to the same outlet. I have to time it right and wait for the compressor to cut out before I use my mitre saw in the shed or the circuit trips.

All of my gear is between 13amps to 15 amps and all 110v.

I hope one, or more, of you can give me an answer to my problems. What can I do to solve this?

Could it be a faulty breaker? 15s will handle up to 25amp right?

Thanks;

~Morley

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Old 10-04-2010, 09:21 PM   #2
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Is the 12-2 on a 15a breaker ?
If not you should not be using the 14-2
12-2 @60' will lose about 3.4v
Not counting the house wiring or anything else

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Old 10-04-2010, 09:25 PM   #3
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A 15 amp rated motor should be on a 20 amp circuit. Could also be an issue with the unloader causing the compressor to try to start under load.
Nm cable with a plug on the end is not code.
NM cable outside is not code. It is not wet rated.

It's normal not to be able to run those two items on the same circuit.
You should run some 6/3 cable and put in a 60 amp sub panel to run all those items.
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:42 PM   #4
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You are trying to do too much with that circuit in addition to all the other problem that have already been stated.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:56 AM   #5
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The compressor started okay the first time with an empty tank but could not start again with air under some compression already in the tank.

Nothing prevents you from stringing a cable of any kind on the ground between the shed and the house and using a cord and plug connection at the house and then coiling it up and putting it away when you are done.

Including the house wiring and shed wiring I estimate you are suffering a voltage drop of 5 to 6 volts when the compressor is out in the shed and starting up, probably with a startup draw of around 25 amps since it is tripping the breaker.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 10-05-2010 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:18 PM   #6
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Using any kind of solid wire as an extension cord is a bad idea, no matter whether it's legal or not.

Copper gets work hardened once you bend it a few times. Then it gets brittle and starts to crack.
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Old 10-05-2010, 04:07 PM   #7
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The wire used to connect the workshop is 12ga bx, buried 4-6" under the sod. I had a small extention cord, possibly 16ga, but was getting very tired of having to move the cord everytime to cut the grass. The plug end is siliconed to keep rain out of the casing. I guess I will accept what I have and focus on the correct solution when I buy my next house. After thinking that the 12ga bx would suffice, I am not about to run a length of 6ga and open walls in my house to do so. I personally would, but I am not willing to undergo that arguement with the missus.

So, basically, the correct thing to do is run 6ga right from the CP to another panel in the workshop, where I would then divide to required 15a and 20a circuits?

Thanks!
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Old 10-05-2010, 04:20 PM   #8
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Your current solution should be considered temporary until you can wire properly to your garage. Otherwise you are just asking for trouble. This could potentially damage your air compressor.

Is your compressor hose long enough to reach the garage from your house? It would make more sense to plug your compressor into a 20 amp at the house and run the hose out to the work if possible.
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:18 PM   #9
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Min burial depth is 12" for a run that is GFCI protected before it goes underground
Unless protected w/concrete
#6 wire you could run a 60-70a sub-panel
Burial depth usually 18" min

I wasn't aware BX was even rated for direct burial
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Min burial depth is 12" for a run that is GFCI protected before it goes underground
Unless protected w/concrete
#6 wire you could run a 60-70a sub-panel
Burial depth usually 18" min

I wasn't aware BX was even rated for direct burial

it doesn't sound like any of this install is "rated." wouldn't number 6's yield 50 amps?


From the sounds of your load, you could get away with #8s or possibly even #10
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:34 PM   #11
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Depending upon the wire & distance #6 will give you 65a
I used #6 THWN to my pool cabana w/60a breaker
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Min burial depth is 12" for a run that is GFCI protected before it goes underground
Unless protected w/concrete
#6 wire you could run a 60-70a sub-panel
Burial depth usually 18" min

I wasn't aware BX was even rated for direct burial
90% of the BX is not rated for direct burial unless it is listed.

Merci.
Marc

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