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Old 07-09-2011, 09:41 AM
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Lu47Dan Lu47Dan is offline
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Default Electric Service Upgrade.

I have wanted to upgrade the service to the shop for sometime now, but had not done anything other than checking prices on parts and pieces of it. The reason for the upgrade now is last Sunday I came home from working ten hours to a house with no power. The transformer on the pole fried, the Electric Power Co-op replaced the transformer and we were back in power again. Since I bought the machine tools recently, and I want to remodel the shop to put them in one part of the shop. I need to run the new service to the shop before I do the concrete floor as I do not want the conduit on the outside of the build. In the winter time here I plow snow pretty close to the wall and would hate to hit the shops service.
When I go to install the new panel and conduit I will be installing the conduit for the shop's service in the ditch and away from the conduit from the pole so I can dig it up to continue the run to the shop once the new service to the house is up and running.
So far I know I need,
150' of conduit 2" If memory serves.
A new meter base.
A Duplex service panel rated for outside service.
Two new ground stakes for the house and maybe another one at the shop.
Wire for the run to the shop.
Various clamps to attach the conduit to the pole and house.
I will know more on Monday when I make the call to the co-op's engineering department to schedule a survey.
More later.
Dan.
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2011, 02:30 AM
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GWIZ GWIZ is offline
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Some City's may also require you to run an uninterrupted ground and attach it at the water pipe that enters the building.
I don't recall but there may be a minimum distance that the ground rods must be between separate buildings.
As too the two ground rods on the same building I don't know if there is any spacing requirement. Let me know if you find out.

Assuming a detached shop building, you may need a sub panel that will accept a main disconnect breaker inside the sub panel.

"concrete floor"
Some City's would have you lay rebar in the concrete floor in place of the ground rods, using an accessible rebar-rod for grounding.

All this you have to ask your City's electrical inspector on what they want.
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  #3  
Old 07-10-2011, 09:12 AM
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Lu47Dan Lu47Dan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWIZ View Post
Some City's may also require you to run an uninterrupted ground and attach it at the water pipe that enters the building.
I don't recall but there may be a minimum distance that the ground rods must be between separate buildings.
As too the two ground rods on the same building I don't know if there is any spacing requirement. Let me know if you find out.

Assuming a detached shop building, you may need a sub panel that will accept a main disconnect breaker inside the sub panel.

"concrete floor"
Some City's would have you lay rebar in the concrete floor in place of the ground rods, using an accessible rebar-rod for grounding.

All this you have to ask your City's electrical inspector on what they want.
GWIZ, the ground on the water system is already in place, the rebar ground is not required here, last time I asked.
The two ground stakes at the house are required as the service will be 375 amp combined service, and if the electricians I know are correct they need to be 10' apart. The extra one at the shop might not be required. I have one newer rod at the shop right now.
The co-ops engineering department says they have a list of their requirements for a duplex service setup, I will call them tomorrow for a site inspection. Once the engineer approves the location of the buried cable, method of installation and the type of cable, ie separate conductors in conduit, I can start buying what is needed for the upgrade.
The inspection company says since it is not a whole house rewire all that will need inspected is the new work from the service to my main lugs in the panel in the house. Nothing past that will be inspected.
If all goes well tomorrow I can see having a new service installed by sometime after the 17th of this month.
Thanks for the information and anything that I find out I will post up here.
I am trying to keep the service interruption down to a couple of hours by doing as much of the work as possible while the old service is still powered.
Dan.
Dan.
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  #4  
Old 07-10-2011, 12:57 PM
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Sberry Sberry is offline
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Yes, I have had service interruption of 15 minutes or less when doing upgrades. Heated the new panel with jumper from the old after inspection, moved most of the circuits to new panel, had poco come disconnect old and put the heat to the new.
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2011, 01:25 PM
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A common misinterpretation is you need to ground your electrical system to the water pipe - its actually grounding your water system to a common bond, normally your electrical service. (prevents shorting if there is an element failure in your hot water tank, for starters - water is a poor conductor in relation)

The ground rods should be 10 feet apart, with one closer than 3 feet of the "entrance" to your building. The wire should be a copper conductor and start at the one and run continuously (no splices) to your panel. Some electricians still like to use the "devils triangle" which is 3 ground rods each 10 feet apart configured in, of course, a triangle. Some municipalitys/counties/districts will allow a ground plate as well. IMO a plate is poor grounding, and can cause floating ground potential and other problems. (like shocks off your range in the kitchen)

Grounding to your rebar in a concrete slab isnt even allowed where I live. It would fail inspection.

The whole idea of grounding is to provide "ground" potential for your electrical service which is normally used for protection from shock. Ever reach out to a piece of equipment and get a "tickle" from the metal housing? THe range in the kitchen? Maybe your hot water tank? I cannot stress enough the importance of grounding and bonding. The business I am in it is essential for proper performance to have proper bonding and grounding.

Back on topic, it seems you have thought about this already, and are planning on running conduit for your buried service. I ran conduit to my buildings in my yard for reasons of upgrading service in the future, but unfortunately my shop didnt get conduit, so im stuck with a 100amp service.
Talk with a local (trusted) electrician as well. They can steer you in the right direction for keeping with the local codes as well. You would hate to have to re-do half your job when you find out something wasnt done completely or correctly!
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  #6  
Old 07-11-2011, 07:58 AM
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Lu47Dan Lu47Dan is offline
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Sberry, the service interruption can be up to about four hours before I start worrying about things going south in the refrigerator.
Rusty, I have heard from a few friends that the service panel for the outside of the house will need a ground stake also. I will go into that with the engineer when he comes down to look at the existing service and the proposed area for the buried service line.
I am going to install conduit, it will run to about the same cost as the direct burial cable and the sand to protect it. We have a lot of rocks here in the ground, and if you use direct burial cable, the poco wants the cable padded with sand.
I will have to get some new ground wire for the house and shop services before I start the installation of the new system. If I can arrange it I will have one of my friends stop by and shoot the ground wire onto the stakes for me making a permanent connection.
Dan.
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  #7  
Old 07-12-2011, 09:25 AM
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Lu47Dan Lu47Dan is offline
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Default A little update,

Engineering was supposed to call yesterday or this morning, and I am still waiting to hear from them. I guess I will have to get knee deep in putting the back hoe on the tractor for them to call.
Dan.
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  #8  
Old 07-13-2011, 09:58 AM
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Lu47Dan Lu47Dan is offline
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Well, Engineering was here, and now I am waiting on the inspector to come and tell me what they want for devices on the new service.
I have an appointment for after 3pm today.
Dan.
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  #9  
Old 07-14-2011, 07:21 AM
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Lu47Dan Lu47Dan is offline
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No Inspector yesterday, so I am stuck on this project for now. I would call his office but do not want to tee him off before I even get this started. I am going to start getting things arranged around here for the delivery of the bank gravel for the driveway cuts and the drains around the shops footer that need installed also.
Dan.
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  #10  
Old 07-16-2011, 06:27 AM
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Lu47Dan Lu47Dan is offline
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The inspector came on Thursday and told me what equipment and devices I need to have pass inspection. On Friday I bit the bullet and went to the local Electrical supply house, on leaving I had spent about $805 on conduit, fittings and panels. They had everything except 2" long sweeps, I forgot to check on a Fluke MM that can give me accurate amperage reading on motors, so I will check on that on the next trip up there. I still need new ground wire and the wire from the service to the shop, but I do not need that to install the conduit to the shop. I am going to install 2/0 copper to feed the shop.
The conduit and 3" long sweeps will be here Monday, 200' of 3", four 36" radius sweeps and 60' of 2" conduit. I had to buy the 2" sweeps at HD, I also bought a 150' fish tape at HD so I can pull the rope from the shop to the house once the conduit is in.
So as it goes right now I have close to $900 in this project.
Pictures to come once I get back from the Pioneer Steam and Gas shows Flea market later today.
Dan.
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