Calling all Electricians!!!!

Re: Calling all Electricians!!!!

PostBy: Hunlock On: Tue May 18, 2010 7:37 am

Thanks again.

I will try not to bug you fellas too much, but you never know...haha


To address the knob and tube in the attic, I ran all new branch circuits from the subpanel in the closet. Once the main is hooked up, I will tie the subpanel in and be good to go.

This thread is awesome!!!!

:)


JB Sparks wrote:Right on Yanche, The new code requires that a bonding means located at and outside the metersocket be provided for grounding of the cable tv and tel interfaces. the cheapest way I found was to use a short grounding bar that comes with it's own mounting angle bracket and mounted it right beside the socket.

sorry Hunlock, I forgot to mention that, us old timers kid each other everytime we forget something by saying " You can't think of everything"!! That and we would say if I carried everything on the truck that I needed I would be driving a tractor-trailer.

BTW haven't mentioned it on this site yet but, the wife and I have decided that it is time for me to hang it up. I told the contractors I do work for that I will finish up the projects we have going but that will be it, start looking for another electrician. Now maybe I can get our kitchen remodel completed that I started a year ago this month and at best is only half done.

Good luck on the service change Hunlock, while you are doing the work and you get stuck on something just give a shout and we'll be happy to bail you out.

Jeff
Hunlock
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hyfire II

Re: Calling all Electricians!!!!

PostBy: SMITTY On: Tue May 18, 2010 9:49 am

Yes it is! 8-)

Now I have a question ...... : If you have well water, does it make any sense to run a ground to the copper plumbing?

I never saw the logic in this, as plastic pipe goes from the well pump to the pressure vessel. This is the way my house is set up. And there are additional ground rods going into the earth directly. Sounds like all this will do is light me up if I'm taking a shower during a thunderstorm! :lol:

I also had to separate the neutrals/grounds out in the barn because my fancy new gen set kept popping the GFCI. After reading this, looks like I should disconnect the ground rod out there ...


EDIT: just checked out my setup. The ground to the plumbing is for the telephone. (still makes no sense to me). Another goes from the panel to earth several feet away. Then there is another wire in parallel that goes to the opposite side of the basement directly to earth. Seems I should eliminate one of those.

As for the barn, turns out there is no neutral coming from the house - there are only 3 wires going to the barn & one of them is bare. So I think I'll leave that rod there ... :gee:
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Calling all Electricians!!!!

PostBy: JB Sparks On: Tue May 18, 2010 3:49 pm

Hey Smitty, Ok you ask some good questions, I'll do the best i can. First, the reason for bonding the water pipe is so the copper pipe which can carry current just the same as copper wire stays at the same potential as earth ground. One of the reasons for grounding is in a fault condition enough current will flow back to ground to make the circuit breaker operate (trip) thereby saving the equipment plugged into the circuit. BTW the only purpose for the circuit breaker is to protect the wire and secondly the equipment. It's fuction is not to protect people. There are other reasons for grounding which has to do with balancing the system But I'd bet Yanche could explain it a lot better than I can.

And your right, when you separated the grounds from the neutrals in your barn the GFI breaker didn't trip. This is why, in a GFI protected circuit all the current passing thru the hot leg of the circuit needs to return on the nuetral wire, if it doesn't the GFI will trip as designed. When you had the grounds on the same buss as the nuetral you were splitting the return current flow between the ground wire and the nuetral wire causing the GFI to trip. This is why all sub panels need to keep the nuetral bar separate from the grounding bar. So in your house you should look for a #6 copper wire clamped the water pipe system some where if you don't find it install one. Don't worry about the well, almost every code change, well grounding requirements have changed. There are few reasons for it but that's another story. Just make sure you have the water piping system in the house grounded to the service ground.

As for the generator, only 2 wires plus a ground, is the generator suppling 120 volts or 220 volts to the house? If it's only 120 your ok. If it's 220 volts you should run another wire. I suspect if your suppling 220 to the house the 2 wires are the 2 hot legs and your using the house nuetral to return to ground. I know it works but that is a no-no. Your generator is basicly called "A separately derived system" It's just like having another power company delivering your power. All power produced by the generator needs to return to the source. Now because it is a separately derived system it wants it's own ground rod.

The reason for the code change to two ground rods is because it has been determined that one rod most of the time does not provide sufficient grounding. Bottom line in new england soil even two rods isn't good enough in most cases. So the more ground rods you have the better.

BTW smitty, in a thunderstorm, stay the hell out of the shower please!! I enjoy reading your post so stay alive will ya.

Hope this helps a little.

Geesh, just realized i've been spelling nuetral wrong, it's neutral ...duh!!! If anyone knowledgable on the subject sees any other errors please feel free to correct anything I've said.
JB Sparks
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman - Chubby
Stove/Furnace Model: Harman: SF160 - Chubby Sr.


Re: Calling all Electricians!!!!

PostBy: SMITTY On: Tue May 18, 2010 5:12 pm

Thanks for the info - helps a ton! I'll leave those ground rods alone.

Just to clarify ... my generator is portable, so it only gets hooked up during an outage. The house is wired for the gen (transfer switch).

The barn has 220 going to it through those 2 wires, although there are no 220 outlets out there .... yet (will be after I upgrade my air compressor sometime in the future). So there is no neutral going to the barn at all, unless that bare wire is wired to the neutral of the main panel (can't remember - I'll have to pull the panel & look - anything is possible in this place!) All the grounds in the sub go to a grounding rod just below the panel into the dirt floor. All the neutrals in the barn now go to the neutral bus in the sub ... but I'm going to have to look in there at some point to see what that bus is connected to ..... probably to the house ground. I think I may have to run a 4th wire to the house for a neutral, in order for this setup to be correct.
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Calling all Electricians!!!!

PostBy: JB Sparks On: Tue May 18, 2010 5:41 pm

Wow smitty, this is sounding more scary the more we dig into this. First it doen't matter if the gen. is a portable it is still a separately derived system and must be connected properly. secondly you are back feeding to your house with the subfeed to the barn, make damn sure you turn off your main breaker when you run the gen. You diffinately need another wire run to the subpanel in the barn. Is the existing feed in pipe? If so is the pipe big enough to run another wire in it? What size wire is run to the barn? Oh sorry, you said you have a transfer switch, your system may not be wired right but you are isolating your system with the switch.

If you want, in about a month I'm hoping to be freed up a bit and from what I gather you live somewhere around Warren or Palmer, I'd be happy to take ride out some Saturday morning that way I can fill my eyes with that beautiful piece of property you live on and go over your electrical system then tell you what you need to do. Then when you can get the cash and the time together you can get-er-done.


Jeff
JB Sparks
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman - Chubby
Stove/Furnace Model: Harman: SF160 - Chubby Sr.

Re: Calling all Electricians!!!!

PostBy: Hunlock On: Tue May 18, 2010 6:24 pm

Man Smitty, I sure am glad I started this thread!!!!


:shock:
Hunlock
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hyfire II

Re: Calling all Electricians!!!!

PostBy: Yanche On: Tue May 18, 2010 9:25 pm

Since I brought lightning considerations into the discussion let me continue with an example. Consider this illustration taken from the IEEE document I referenced.

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It's a common example of a central A/C installation. Note there are two grounds one intended and one not intended. The not intended ground may be because it's a metal cabinet condensing unit or the uninsulated copper refrigeration lines touching wet earth. The intended ground is the earth ground at the service entrance. Now when a lighting strike occurs, induced currents are really out of this world huge. 30,000 amps in the example. The earth becomes a conductor between the two grounds, the intended service ground and the not intended ground. 25 ohms in the example. V = IR ; V = 25x30,000 = 750,000 volts! Poof went your A/C motor insulation! This example shows why you only want one earth connection in your house wiring and outbuildings. You don't need to have a direct strike. A nearby strike to a tree or other object will still induce ground currents in the path of your two or more earth grounds.

How to protect your equipment? Several ways, be sure your wiring is correct. Identify all the possible conductors coming into your house, electric lines, telephone wire, CB antenna, metal water pipes, metal sewer lines, etc. Think through what could happen when lightning induces a current between any of them. If electronic items are included in the current path between two or more of the grounds it will be damaged. If there is only one earth ground there will be no damage because the absolute voltage will rise but all parts of the system will rise by the same voltage and there will be no current produced.

Use a whole house surge protector. Here's an example of a Square D brand in my service entrance panel. The protector needs to installed correctly, follow the instructions for wire trimming carefully. During a surge it's really a high frequency transmission line.

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Also use local surge protector at all electronics. These work because the lightning is really a very fast rising pulse that has difficulty traveling on house wiring. The inductance of the house wiring attenuates it. By the time it gets to your local surge protector it's reduced enough that the varistor in the surge protector can absorb it.

My house uses the metal well casing as the earth ground connection. When my house was built all well casings were steel pipe. Now plastic pipe is used. I've been told that well pumps burn out more frequently when you have a plastic well casing. Think about it. That pump motor is a dam good ground, it's in the water. Not surrounded by metal and poof. Read the referenced document for other examples. There are other references at the end for more in depth study.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Calling all Electricians!!!!

PostBy: SMITTY On: Tue May 18, 2010 10:33 pm

Thanks Jeff. I appreciate your offer & your taking the time to explain all this. 8-)

I'm going to back up a bit & explain things a little better.

The transfer switch & the house main I am going to assume are to code, as the main panel was upgraded in '04 from 100A to 200A service - and the company that did this was not shy about charging astronomical amounts of money to ensure everything was done to the letter of the book of building codes. They replaced the whole meter assembly when they did this. The plug for the gen is on the side of the house near the meter & is a properly wired 4-wire 220V which feeds the transfer switch in the basement. When I want power in the barn, I shut the main off in the sub panel in the barn & backfeed to a couple outlets to feed both legs of that system. The barn is fed by wires which look to be 2 or 0 gauge aluminum. They come out of the house from the main & go up the side of the house to an anchor point, then run overhead to an anchor point on the barn, then down the side & into the sub panel. Throwing a neutral on there would be less of a pain in the ass than if it were buried in conduit. It's just a matter of getting the cash for the wire -- as you know, stuff that size is not given away without a full frontal wallet assault.

My whole worry is having that ground post out there off the sub, while also having 2 ground points in my basement. Seems like I'm asking for alot of expensive repairs in the event of a lightning strike if I understand Yanche's post correctly. This is all about money for me -- I can't afford to spend it, or lose it. I honestly could care less about code ( everyone probably knew that already ... :lol: ) - I just want to avoid having to buy another tire machine & computer balancer, along with anything else that is plugged in. Mainly my very STUPID expensive appliances inside the house.
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Calling all Electricians!!!!

PostBy: 009to090 On: Tue May 18, 2010 10:57 pm

SMITTY wrote:- I just want to avoid having to buy another tire machine & computer balancer, along with anything else that is plugged in. Mainly my very STUPID expensive appliances inside the house.

Your Homeowners ins should pay for anything destroyed by a lightning strike, including wiring and appliances. :idea:
009to090
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice

Re: Calling all Electricians!!!!

PostBy: JB Sparks On: Wed May 19, 2010 5:56 am

Smitty, you are ok, At the time your system was installed it was code. Sorry for making you worry. If all this work was done by an electrical contractor I'm sure your water piping system is grounded. And the overhead feed to the barn is ok the way they did it.

go ahead and add anything you want to the barn service, you should be fine.
JB Sparks
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman - Chubby
Stove/Furnace Model: Harman: SF160 - Chubby Sr.

Re: Calling all Electricians!!!!

PostBy: JB Sparks On: Wed May 19, 2010 6:07 am

Thanks Yanche, great write up.
JB Sparks
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman - Chubby
Stove/Furnace Model: Harman: SF160 - Chubby Sr.

Re: Calling all Electricians!!!!

PostBy: SMITTY On: Wed May 19, 2010 9:32 am

Good deal. 8-)

Thanks everyone for the great info!
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Calling all Electricians!!!!

PostBy: Hunlock On: Wed May 19, 2010 9:52 am

SMITTY wrote:Good deal. 8-)

Thanks everyone for the great info!


+1

I will be sure to reference ALL of the info in this thread...FANTASTIC!
Hunlock
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hyfire II

Re: Calling all Electricians!!!!

PostBy: Hunlock On: Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:34 pm

PASSED!

Thanks everyone for your help! I had to make a few last minute changes, but it all worked out.

Thank You sooo very much SPARKS!!!
Hunlock
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hyfire II

Re: Calling all Electricians!!!!

PostBy: JB Sparks On: Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:13 am

Your welcome, just curious, what were the last minute changes you had to make?
JB Sparks
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman - Chubby
Stove/Furnace Model: Harman: SF160 - Chubby Sr.