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Thread: Exisiting electrical to barn and help to rectify

  1. #16
    DIY Member backwaterdogs's Avatar
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    The cabin is pretty lightly loaded and no one lives there any longer, just used on occassions. I have done some quick load calculations.
    There is already a 100a services in the cabin. It's 1 bed, 1 bath, and a utility lower level, all seldom used. It has: 220v range/oven, 110v refer, 220v well pump, 10 light fixtures(no more than 100w ea) and 10 110v outlets....if everything was full load running, I'd estimate less than 65a total.

    The barn will have 10, 150w light fixtures (halogen) 1 30a 220v circuit for compressor and 1 for welder and 10 20a outlets. I was given a square D main breaker panel w/ several breakers and would like to utilize this in the barn.

    Not sure I follow, 200a feed through 6 circuit panel...don't I jut need to replace the service disconnect at pole with a device that has two circuits...1 to feed the house and another to feed the barn?

  2. #17
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Those black wires coming into the barn certainly look like 200 amp sized, but then we see these crazy blue wires out in the air with cement in the pipe? whats that?

    You dont have to pull the meter. Shut off the service disconnect, mount a panel with a few spaces on a post and board next to the service disconnect and put in 2 100 amp breakers to feed cabin and barn. Then run a neutral to the barn.

    I dont see a reason to disturb that 200a service disconnect. do all your changes downstream of it.

    the only place that you need the monster wire is the short jump from the existing double lugged disconnect to your new box where you will split into the 2 100 amp services.

    The hillbilly "electrician" ran out of pipe and fittings when he got to the barn and just ran it in air thu that big hole? Sad. That area is your biggest danger.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 09-12-2012 at 09:32 PM.

  3. #18
    DIY Member backwaterdogs's Avatar
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    Thanks ballvalve! That makes good sense!

    blue wires? if you are referring to the 3 #4 conductors...two coming out of the conduit and the other w/out conduit. The two in conduit, I've traced back to the service disconnect on pole. These are the two 110v conductors that are supplying the 100a breaker in the pos sub panel....where you are correct, dude ran out of conduit or something. The 3rd conductor just coming up out of the gravel there is tied to the neutral in that same crappy box. For life of me, I can't find where the other end of that neutral is...not in service disconnect and not in subpanel in cabin. I suspect there it is tied to a ground rod somwhere in the yard.

    Perhaps that would explain poor performance of higher powered saws and such (slow to start, easy to stall)...everything is trying to return to ground?

  4. #19
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    ONLY the utility can cut the seal and remove the meter. THen they install a "blocked face" WITH a new seal, so there is no possibility for you to install "jumpers" and reactivate the system without a meter, or contact the live lugs and die. After the inspection and approval, they remove the blank face and reinsall the meter. IF there is any time that the meter is removed and you COULD tie into the hot lugs, you are eligible for a fine, regardless of whether you did it or not. Perception is the key thing, whether you COULD have done it or not.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  5. #20
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    ONLY the utility can cut the seal and remove the meter.
    So how would someone replace the service disconnect under the meter?
    The conductors that supply that disconnect are attached to the bottom of the meter. How could these be changed? every thing from the point of attachment at the top of the pole including the meter can belongs to the home owner. Everything from the point of attachment at the top of the pole including the meter can will be inspected by the electrical inspector so how do they do their inspection?

  6. #21
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    So how would someone replace the service disconnect under the meter?
    The conductors that supply that disconnect are attached to the bottom of the meter. How could these be changed? every thing from the point of attachment at the top of the pole including the meter can belongs to the home owner. Everything from the point of attachment at the top of the pole including the meter can will be inspected by the electrical inspector so how do they do their inspection?
    Who owns what depends some on where you live...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  7. #22
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Who owns what depends some on where you live...
    This is true but no matter who owns it unless the utility installs the equipment then sealing the meter base will not allow anyone other than the utility to effect repairs.

  8. #23
    DIY Member backwaterdogs's Avatar
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    ok, so Im planning on putting in a new a new 200a panel with a few spaces on the downstream side of the existing service disconnect.

    I'll run appropriate size copper to this new panel mounted w/in a few feet of the existing pole. I'll have a 100a breaker to service the cabin (there is already 2/0 copper to the cabin from the existing service disconnect, I'll reroute). I'll have an 85a breaker for service to barn and I'll reroute the existing #4.

    My next question is on grounding and bonding.

    In the existing service disconnect, the neutral and ground are connected (though I don't see a bonding screw) and I'm assuming neutral is bonded by the fact the ground/neutral strap are one and the same,:
    Name:  barn9.jpg
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    So, assuming the 1st service diconnect is bonded, I should ensure this new panel Im putting is unbonded as well as any downstream subpanels, correct?
    If so, I notice another problem w/ existing service in cabin, the subpanel in cabin appears to be bonded as the box doesn't have separate straps for ground and neutrals:
    Name:  barn10.jpg
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    On to the barn:
    Though there is no other metalic connection to barn whatsoever, I believe I need to pull a ground as well(i'll have 3 #4 and 1 #6 from new panel to barn) to meet 2008 code.
    I should leave subpanel in barn UNBONDED, correct?
    Do I need a ground rod at the barn as well?

    Thanks for all the help!

  9. #24
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Neutral and ground are only to be bonded at the first panel...all down-stream ones they should be separate. Each building needs its own grounding rods (min of 2). As to how best to do this, I'll defer to the pros...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #25
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    You need a ground rod at the barn. It will tie to an Equipment Ground Buss that is installed by you. Instructions will come with the panel. Neutrals go where you would expect to see them.

  11. #26
    DIY Member backwaterdogs's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone!

    I'm having a heck of a time sourcing the panel with space for 100a and an 85a break to feed the cabin and barn

    Anyone have any suggestions on model or part number? Local electrical supply had nothing in stock and wanted $200 to order!

  12. #27
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    There should be no problem finding a 200A panel and breakers at home desperate. You won't find an 85A breaker, but you will find a 90 and a 100.

  13. #28
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    For #4 Copper conductors nothing bigger than 80 amps

  14. #29
    IBEW Electrician big2bird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Each building needs its own grounding rods (min of 2).
    Two? Please reference a code.

  15. #30
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big2bird View Post
    Two? Please reference a code.

    Parrotting what (I think) I've heard other's say that should know the codes...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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