The electrical codes are not items of uncertainty, belief or imagination. They are hard and fast rules and where enacted into law they MUST be followed. There is no place for uncertainty, belief or imagination. Follow the codes or do not do the job.I am not yet absolutely certain...
I can imagine...
Even if you are not yet required to pull a ground, pull a #8 anyway.
Grounding = good.
The charts may say you can fit the wires in but the charts are often unrealistic. Does it still say something like 10 #12's in 1/2 EMT???
I recently re pulled 3, 4's + ground into an existing 1" EMT and it was NOT easy. An inexperienced person couldn't have done it without damaging the wire. Wires cannot twist or kink at ALL or they take up too much space.
Run 1.25 or 1.5.
But there are MANY places for interpretation.There is no place for uncertainty, belief or imagination.
Last edited by 220/221; 10-31-2008 at 05:35 PM.
I greatly appreciate everyone's help here, and I especially thank you, Jar546, for responding to this thread at all after others had either ignored or missed it entirely. I would have preferred to just ask simple questions and get straight answers -- Aluminum and plastic or copper and metal? -- but even antagonists can end up being helpful.
Still need some clarification for grounding purposes and for all purposes for that matter:I have yet to put the wire and EMT side-by-side, but I will take a good look and do the computations before hanging anything. I only have to go about 20' before my first turn, then another 20' before turning again and then turning up to the subpanel, and I can put that last turn in place after-the-fact, if necessary. Also, this is not my first time pulling wire.
1) What code cycle are you under?
2) Is the garage attached or detached (conflicting posts)?
3) Will the conduit be run underground or above ground?
4) Will the conduit if run above ground be subject to the weather?
5) Are your pull points from beginning and the end only or do you have pull points in between start and finish too (real pull points)?
6) Will the installation get inspected by local authorities during or at completion?
If the job is not going to be inspected then I refuse to assist you with anything further.
Without ALL of those questions answered above, no one can really help you or give you guidance.
Either you want help and realistic, actual guidance or you want people to tell you what you want to hear regardless of the actual situation.
Safety first. People have died doing what your are plannin on doing.
My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals
1. originally you were debating aluminum or copper, but the aluminum would have required a larger breaker.
2. Originally you were debating 1" or 1 1/4" conduit.
3. Then you debated whether the copper wire would support 100 amps, which is the same breaker you would have needed for the aluminum wire.
4. Now you are sticking with the 60 amp breaker which does not need the same wire as the 100 amp one would have.
5. Now you say you have the 100 amp wire and the conduit, so why are we still discussing it.
6. Since there is little possibility that you will ever reach the 240 v, 60 amp plateau, why worry about oversizing the wire?
Three strands of #4 copper inside 1" EMT as a ground will easily carry 60 amps for 50' to my attached workshop's subpanel and be completely legal here where I happen to live.
I am a licensed Master Electrician. Funny you are asking this question as I am currently adding a 100 ampere sub-box in my own workshop which is also about 50 feet from my main box. I already had some 2 gauge alum. twisted duplex wire taken down from a power drop. First let me say that if you can afford the copper wire, then that is your best bet. Second, if you can't afford the copper wire in your project budget, then the alum. wire is fine. Just keep in mind the alum. wire does not conduct as well as the copper so we must treat it differently. Since I already have the #2 alum. I'm going to use it myself. When using alum. wire you must remember it will emit more heat at full load than the copper. There fore up size your non-metallic conduit (PVC) on size to allow more room for the wire to "breath." I choose to use 1 1/2 PVC conduit. The number of turns doesn't matter as long as you have wire pull access along the way. Never put more than 270 degrees of turns under a floor or underground as you will not be able to pull wire through it. #2 Alum. is rated at 124 amps of current in a raceway or conduit. When I design and build anything electrical, I always try to design the equipment to never run at more than 80% full load on the amp rating of the materials. In other words, if the wire is rated at 124 amps, then a 100 amp breaker feeding the wire is perfect. Be sure to drive an 8 foot copper ground rod at the new sub-box. You only bond the neutral and ground at the main box. All sub boxes should have the neutral and ground buss bars separate from one another. Just remember the main job of the breakers is to protect the wire and equipment down stream from being over loaded which could cause fire. Never use a larger breaker than the wire or equipment it is feeding is rated at. Even better, don't exceed the 80% load factor and you will never have problems kicking breakers. Also when using alum. wire don't forget the Anti-ox grease in the wire connection points. Alum. expands more than copper when it heats up, the grease will help insure a good non-oxidized connection. I hope this helps!
quote; #2 Alum. is rated at 124 amps of current in a raceway or conduit.
My book says 3 #2 alum in a conduit is limited to 75 amps.
Licensed residential and commercial plumber