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Thread: Load Center for "new" shop

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul F Franklin View Post
    Or enlarge the hole in the panel to take the connector for the 3" pipe. The knock-outs are a convenience; but you are not limited to using only the provided knock-outs. A greenlee punch is the easiest tool to use for this, but a jig saw with a metal cutting blade would do in a pinch.
    I bought a two pack of jigsaw blades for metal cutting but with a reciprocating saw shank. Easier to get the nose of a reciprocating saw into places a jigsaw will not fit. If you hack it up too bad you can add a reducing washer to cover the mess. Also easier with the little one hand reciprocating saws which have 1/2 the stroke length of the full size tools. Plus they have led lights to see what you are doing.
    Bill D.

    https://www.ridgid.com/us/en/one-handed-recip-saw
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 05-30-2020 at 12:48 PM.

  2. #32
    One note on MC cable, it is subject to the same requirements for protection from physical damage as NM cable. Plus, get ready when the 2020 NEC is adopted in the area you live, as of this writing only Massachusetts has adopted it, all 240V equipment will require GFCI protection, and that will include A/C units, & clothes dryers, your shop tools.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    SE MI
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    120
    Thanks all - though I’m having trouble locating a 3” threaded meter offset, might have to downsize to 2”.

    I’m running individual conductors - 1-1/4” schedule 80 pvc is the smallest allowable pipe size for what I’ve calculated (3 #3, 1 #6?). My run to the house is 2”, I put in 3” through the foundation not knowing what I’d actually need when this project started. So... I think I will have to size it down to at least 2” unless I can find the larger offset.

  4. #34
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    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    Bend the 3" pvc into an offset with a hot box. I bet a microwave oven would do it nicely.
    Bill D.

  5. #35
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    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Pariseau View Post
    Thanks all - though I’m having trouble locating a 3” threaded meter offset, might have to downsize to 2”.
    Like Bill mentions, the offset can be bent prior to the fitting that connects to the load center so you can use a simple 3" connection.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #36
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    Jan 2009
    Location
    SE MI
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    Ok, will post what I end up doing. I've got a leftover section of 3" laying around - will see how easy it is to (safely) heat and bend.

    Been busy with work on the outside - conduit connections, ground rods, and so forth.

  7. #37
    I've bent large-ish PVC a few times, filling the section with sand before heating with a heat gun and bending. If you don't fill it, it will kink easily. You can do it without heating the sand before filling the pipe section, but it helps to preheat the sand in an oven.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  8. #38
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    I'm not sure about 3" size, but quite often one can get pre-bent pieces of PVC conduit designed to move the centerline for this kind of situation.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #39
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    SE MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    I'm not sure about 3" size, but quite often one can get pre-bent pieces of PVC conduit designed to move the centerline for this kind of situation.
    I've not been able to find anything prefabricated like this in 3". Meter offsets are a similar case - 1-1/4" and 2" are available, but other sizes don't exist. I'm getting closer to finishing up the conduit - just need to cut and cement my conduit at the house and I'll be ready to work inside the barn and set the panel height.

  10. #40
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    Jan 2020
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    Elizabethtown, PA
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    How much offset do you require? Depending of the distance you can use 45s or 22.5 fittings. Take your offset and multiply 1.4142 for 45s or 2.6 for 22.5 degree fittings, that will give you the travel between centers. Then subtract your makeup (the amount of pipe inserted into the fitting) from the end to center of the fitting, this is your take out. Multiply your takeout by 2 and subtract it from your travel,that is your cut length of your pipe between fittings. If the travel is really short you may be able to use a "street" fitting Male x Female to get a shorter offset. Sorry I think about this like a pipe fitter..

  11. #41
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    Jan 2009
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    SE MI
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    Hopefully I'll know this weekend - might not be much. Once I add a 3/4" plywood sheet, the fitting might just line up or need a 1" shift at most. I figured with an offset adapter I could just rotate it till it was at the proper distance.

  12. #42
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    Jan 2009
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    SE MI
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    And installed, wire run! This is right before I ran the conductors. I used pano mode to take the photo, hence why the plywood board doesn't look straight.



    I ran the conductors the other day, just waiting on some tools to arrive so I can properly torque all the connections down. I ended up having to step down to 2" conduit for the main line - for a couple of reasons. Primarily because the conduit between the house and barn is 2", so going down to 2" doesn't change how many conductors I can run in the future if I needed to increase things. In addition, I needed the offset to shift the panel towards the other conduit.

    Used a heat gun to curve the 1.5" and .5" conduit.
    Last edited by John Pariseau; 07-01-2020 at 3:44 PM.

  13. #43
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    +1 on the 42 slots. Like clamps, you can never have enough. You would hate to have to double up.

    Put me in the upstairs load center camp. Imagine you want to mess with a machine and want to turn off the breaker. Just walking over to a load center and flipping the breaker is a lot easier and you are more likely to do it rather than mess with a hot circuit. I say this knowing that I am just lazy enough to take the risk sometimes. That's just one reason I have a load center dedicated to my shop even though it's only 18" from the main panel.

    Another reason I have a load center is the big cutoff switch I have between the main and the load center. If I want to mess with the load center, I can cut off power to the LC in a way that isolates hot and common. Then I (a rank amateur) can do whatever I want. The 70 amp fuse in the cutoff is nice too. I had this in my old shop when my daughter was little. She knew that if daddy got in trouble to go pull the big red lever. I made sure to mount it low so an 8 year old could reach it.

    Yet another reason for the cutoff->load center is that it's a dandy line of demarcation between the professional electrician and the weekend warrior. Everything upstream of that big red lever belongs to the pros. Everything downstream is fair game for me.

  14. #44
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    Jan 2009
    Location
    SE MI
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    I almost added a cutoff switch between the load center and house, but decided it wasn't necessary since the panel has a main breaker, and I can shut it off from inside the house at the main panel as well. In fact, the hot lugs get covered with plastic protectors, so there is less a chance of shock when working inside the panel as opposed to the one in the house.

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
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    Nice job bending that 1.5" conduit. It can be a handful without forms or springs.

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