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Old 11-17-2008, 08:14 PM   #1
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Sorry to be a pest with questions, I am making progress.

I wanted to find out if it makes any difference where you place your breakers in your panel. Should you put your heavy loads closest to the main?

I don't know if it is true, but I was told once that it can reduce light flicker caused by high inrush current appliances like central AC if they are placed close to the main.

Thanks
Jamie

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Old 11-17-2008, 08:27 PM   #2
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It doesn't matter AT ALL.

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Sometimes I feel like if I answer any more questions it is like someone trying to climb over a fence to jump off a bridge and me giving them a boost.
Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:20 PM   #3
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As stated above, it makes absolutely no difference. A 10 ton single phase A/C unit starting at the far end of a 40 circuit panel will cause less than 1/10th of a volt drop in the panel busses.

The lights dimming is almost always caused by voltage drop between the POCO transformer and the panel. POCOs everywhere are notorious for using small wire. I can't count the number of times I've seen a 4/0 AL or a 2/0 CU coming out of the mast spliced to a #6 or a #4 triplex that the POCO installed.

Usually, the electrician gets blamed for the lights dimming, even if we can prove the problem is on the POCO side of the service. Most annoying!

Rob
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micromind View Post
As stated above, it makes absolutely no difference. A 10 ton single phase A/C unit starting at the far end of a 40 circuit panel will cause less than 1/10th of a volt drop in the panel busses.

The lights dimming is almost always caused by voltage drop between the POCO transformer and the panel. POCOs everywhere are notorious for using small wire. I can't count the number of times I've seen a 4/0 AL or a 2/0 CU coming out of the mast spliced to a #6 or a #4 triplex that the POCO installed.

Usually, the electrician gets blamed for the lights dimming, even if we can prove the problem is on the POCO side of the service. Most annoying!

Rob

POCO's due not have the same rules as electricians that have to follow the NEC. IMO, they can run 250's and the lights are still going to dim. AC units simply just have to much starting current.

Last edited by chris75; 11-17-2008 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:34 PM   #5
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A POCO engineer once told me, in complete honesty, that they size their equipment (transformers, wire, etc.) based on what survived and what didn't.

The statement I remember most is 'If you don't burn up a transformer every now and again, you're oversizing them".

If you look at some of the stuff they get away with, the above is likely true!

Rob
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micromind View Post
A POCO engineer once told me, in complete honesty, that they size their equipment (transformers, wire, etc.) based on what survived and what didn't.

The statement I remember most is 'If you don't burn up a transformer every now and again, you're oversizing them".

If you look at some of the stuff they get away with, the above is likely true!

Rob
IMO, the NEC service requirements are simply crazy, and the POCO's know what real loads are, plain and simple. but I do agree with your engineer's idea.
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:26 AM   #7
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I have started to isolate the AC breakers (AZ) because they will sometimes get hot, burn the bus and affect breakers around them.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:19 AM   #8
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ACs need bigger caps....
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:35 AM   #9
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ACs need bigger caps....

Interesting.

Caps give a jump start right?

Less jump start from a cap means more amp draw at start, right?


Hmmmm.


How would someone find out the proper cap size?

How would someone read the cap size?

How would someone test the cap?


Is a hard start kit simply a bigger cap???
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
Is a hard start kit simply a bigger cap???

Yes, I just meant they need to make them with bigger caps...
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Old 11-18-2008, 01:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgsgww View Post
Yes, I just meant they need to make them with bigger caps...
Smaller caps = less cost to the consumer (upfront anyway). Big appliances with a large startup current (mainly those with large motors) should have larger caps to help with the startup of the appliance.

Edit: I wouldn't reccomend anyone to be messing around with large capcitors on their household appliances for the simple fact that they can store a lot of energy even when the power is off to the appliance.
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
Smaller caps = less cost to the consumer (upfront anyway). Big appliances with a large startup current (mainly those with large motors) should have larger caps to help with the startup of the appliance.

Edit: I wouldn't reccomend anyone to be messing around with large capcitors on their household appliances for the simple fact that they can store a lot of energy even when the power is off to the appliance.

Oh yeah, I would never mess with those caps. I think they should...its less wear on the cbs and connections anyways. (most cbs shouldn't have a problem.)

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