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Old 08-20-2012, 09:05 PM   #1
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sub panel w/ generator, 220 n ground rods in ecuador


hi all, newbie seeking love but would settle for some help. I'm looking to add a sub-panel that will run a kitchen and have the future ability to have a back-up generator keep the fridge going during power outages. I am also looking to run a 220 line for an electric clothes dryer. Initial problem i think i see, there is no main breaker on the box. there is another breaker box which looks to be wired directly from the input lines to the main box, also w/out breaker. the ground rod is only a meter long. Oh. i'm in ecuador by the way. What i'm thinking is 1) drive a longer ground stake next to the existing one (6 feet is longest i can find)tie it to the existing one. 2) in secondary box, install a dual slot, 30 amp breaker, use #8 x 4 wire and run that 25 feet to a 2 slot breaker box with another dual 30 amp breaker located next to the dryer outlet. wire that breaker to the 4 pole outlet/plug of the dryer. 3)find a breaker box with a main breaker (havent found them here yet) add 2 50 amp breakers to the old main panel, go from these to the main of the new box. add breakers for new kitchen- 3 ea 20's for fridge,freezer,dishwasher. 2 ea 15's for lights n outlets. 1 ea 50 for that will go to generator. when i want to run the genny i would shut off the main break(being fed from the 50's in main panel) and switch on the breaker going to the genny. am i catching on to this stuff or am i looking at frying more than fish??? thanks for any input
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:39 AM   #2
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sub panel w/ generator, 220 n ground rods in ecuador


Get a generator transfer switch with neutral switching (a 3 pole switch) which you will connect between the main panel and the subpanel to be powered by the generator. The transfer switch common terminal set is connected to the subpanel. The "A" terminal set is connected to the main panel feed (#8 copper for up to 40 amps, #6 for 50 amps, the ground can be #10 for up to 60 amps). The "B" terminal set is connected to your generator feed. Four conductors (hot, hot, neutral, ground) go to each of the three terminal sets of the transfer switch.

You can leave the ground rods the way they are but proper lightning protection for U.S. standards is accomplished by two eight foot ground rods at least 6 feet apart. A #6 copper wire connects them to the ground bus of the main panel.

Each subpanel and its feed should be protected by breakers in the main panel; each sub-subpanel should be protected by breakers in the subpanel higher up, etc. You can hang your dryer circuit off of any panel or subpanel but you should carefully consider how many amperes the feeds to that subpanel and any subpanel higher up can handle when making your choice.

In the U.S. each subpanel in a different building also needs a pair of 8' ground rods.

In the U.S. every standard 15/20 amp receptacle and every standard light fixture must be protected by a breaker not exceeding 20 amps. So you may not tap off of the dryer circuit to feed light fixtures.

Note: Check the Ecuador and also your city's code to be sure you also comply with that if more stringent than what I described.

(Sub-subpanel is not an official term in the U.S.)
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Last edited by AllanJ; 08-21-2012 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:07 PM   #3
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sub panel w/ generator, 220 n ground rods in ecuador


biggest ground rods i can find are 1.5 meters(5 ft ish) should i go for 3? are they to be wired in parralel? (rod 3 to rod 2 to rod 1 to fuse box) OR 6 ft apart and individually wired? does it matter that they will be 30 feet from the sub panel? is $ 8 per rod a good price?
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:30 AM   #4
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sub panel w/ generator, 220 n ground rods in ecuador


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Originally Posted by redfred View Post
biggest ground rods i can find are 1.5 meters(5 ft ish) should i go for 3? are they to be wired in parralel? (rod 3 to rod 2 to rod 1 to fuse box) OR 6 ft apart and individually wired? does it matter that they will be 30 feet from the sub panel? is $ 8 per rod a good price?
You can choose to wire them in parallel (daisy chain them) or to run individual ground wires (grounding electrode conductors) regardless of how far apart they are. Three 5' rods 30' from the panel will work okay although you should check your local code.
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