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Thread: Electrical service size

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Zeller View Post
    $114k, ouch. How far are the lines from your building? Did they have to put in new poles? I've heard the price is all over the place. I was looking to build a shop next to my wife's house that has 3 phase in the back yard. No extra poles would be needed as it's only about 150'. The power company said to estimate about $5k to $10k but wouldn't go into detail until formal plans were in place. Her lot isn't big enough so I would have to buy a vacant lot next to it to build on. If that works out I would probably pull the trigger.

    Estimating the power needed is a little trickier with 3 phase. It's not just 1/3 the current needed compared to single phase. You also need to figure out what the maximum single phase load you could have. For a woodshop it's not too bad as I don't think I've ever seen a single phase motor over 10hp.

    But a large single phase kiln could draw a lot of power. A friend of a friend makes custom coffee mugs and has a medium size walk in kiln. I think she said it was on a 200 amp breaker? If so that would mean 600 amp 3 phase power (she doesn't have 3 phase). 600 amps of 3 phase power would drive a lot of woodworking tools.
    I had actually thought there was 3 phase on the pole that I get my power from. I later found out that there used to be 3 phase power but they no longer use the 3rd leg since there wasn't enough demand for it. I'm not sure what they would need to do to re hook up the 3rd leg. I'm surprised that the school a couple blocks up doesn't use 3 phase.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    A large kiln would almost certainly be 3 phase, or at least easily adaptable to 3 phase. But clearly that is moot here.
    I was surprised that more of the glass kilns are not 3 phase, but single phase are widely available. I suppose since it is just mainly a heating element the advantages of 3 phase power is minimal.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch schiffer View Post
    I was surprised that more of the glass kilns are not 3 phase, but single phase are widely available. I suppose since it is just mainly a heating element the advantages of 3 phase power is minimal.
    The only advantage I could see is smaller wiring. With 3 phase you would have three smaller heaters vs one large one. I guess it would mean smaller controlling devices too.

    The local power company will refund money if another customer uses a line you paid to have installed. For the first 5 years it's at 50% and then drops to 0% by 10 years. The problem with 3 phase is, of course, if a building is set up with single phase people are unlikely to upgrade to 3 phase without a need. If one of the phases aren't in use anymore my guess is there's not lot of buildings on that branch. Otherwise the power company would want 3 phase to balance the demand.

  4. #34
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    I did get some more pricing in case anyone was curious. It is 23k for a single 600 amp service or 14k for a 320 and 200 amp or 11k for just a 320. These were just to install the panel. It does not include running any circuits.

  5. #35
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    "Wow"....that's a lot of shekels for just establishing service, regardless of the combination.
    --

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

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    "Wow"....that's a lot of shekels for just establishing service, regardless of the combination.
    I'm really not sure why it is so expensive. It doesn't include the permit fee or the fee from the electric provider. I am going to get a few more quotes yet and hopefully save some money. One thing I did learn is if I have more then 1 meter I can not use more then one meter for each floor or other separated units.

  7. #37
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    Is the incoming service feeder underground or overhead, copper or aluminum? How long is it? Does the utility have to install a new transformer, and does the quote include that?

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    Is the incoming service feeder underground or overhead, copper or aluminum? How long is it? Does the utility have to install a new transformer, and does the quote include that?
    Its a overhead service about 80-90 feet. The electric service provider is charging me a additional 650$ to get the service lines to the building. The quote is only for the riser which is about 16-18ft, the meter base, and the panel which will be directly on the other side of the wall from the meter. They are all aluminum conductors.

  9. #39
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  10. #40
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    Those prices seem nuts to me. It will be interesting to see what other quotes will be.

  11. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch schiffer View Post
    Well those are quotes. Electricians in my area were pretty busy. I had to shop a while to find a master electrician with a "reasonable" price. For comparison, I paid about $4000 including copper for 400a (320a nominal) service install and rewire. I also talked to at least 10 electricians.

    y 400a service, new meter, disconnect, panel upgrades, re-wire, etc, took about 5 hours with 2 teams of 2 electricians. 2 inside, 2 outside. I further cut the cost down by buying my own panel, breakers, fuses, disconnect, and meter can. I coordinated the install with the electric company. The price for the electricians was still overprice; I was hoping to keep it under $100 an hour, but all the good electricians are busy with generator and transfer switch installs, so the price locally has gone way up. I saved at least 50% on the cost of all my electric equipment by shopping it and buying new one-off stock from eBay or other vendors over a period of 2 months. If not the exact model I wanted, something with a slightly different irrelevant option. You can likely find everything you need for your 600A service, new, at a steep discount if you shop it yourself. An electrician is just going to go to their electric supply house, get a quote for the parts they like, and mark them up.

    You could also try to find an electrician who will do cost plus or operate on an hourly basis.
    Last edited by derek labian; 02-03-2022 at 9:27 AM.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by derek labian View Post
    Well those are quotes. Electricians in my area were pretty busy. I had to shop a while to find a master electrician with a "reasonable" price. For comparison, I paid about $4000 including copper for 400a (320a nominal) service install and rewire. I also talked to at least 10 electricians.

    y 400a service, new meter, disconnect, panel upgrades, re-wire, etc, took about 5 hours with 2 teams of 2 electricians. 2 inside, 2 outside. I further cut the cost down by buying my own panel, breakers, fuses, disconnect, and meter can. I coordinated the install with the electric company. The price for the electricians was still overprice; I was hoping to keep it under $100 an hour, but all the good electricians are busy with generator and transfer switch installs, so the price locally has gone way up. I saved at least 50% on the cost of all my electric equipment by shopping it and buying new one-off stock from eBay over a period of 2 months. You can find everything you need for your 600A service, new, at a steep discount.

    You could also try to find an electrician who will do cost plus or operate on an hourly basis.
    Did your electric company specify a lever bypass style meter? I had a hard time finding that online. Going to 600 amps requires a ct cabinet rather then a traditional meter base in my area.

  13. #43
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    I run multiple (2 at most at a single time) 7.5hp machines at a time on my 100amp house feed with a 60amp branch to my shop and I have NEVER blown a breaker with all the fluorescent lights on and the electric wall heaters running. The estimates here are all over the place and most sound very outrageous. To me it sounds like you need REAL advice, not internet advice even if the internet advice is well intentioned. Talk to someone that knows what they are talking about!

    Here is my "Internet" advice (worth every penny of what you are paying for it!):

    From your figures it sounds to me like 320 amp constant draw 400amp service should be more than plenty... even with a 20hp belt sander, a 7.5hp something else and 90amp kiln all running at the same time.

    2022-02-03_142949.png

    Running a 20hp wide belt sander off a RPC should draw no more than 100 amps 230v 1ph at full load of a 36" wide board being hit hard with 40 grit, call it 120 amps for a bit of extra headroom. 40 amps for a 7.5hp machine run at max power (like an air compressor, a saw draws no where near half this much). 90 amps for a kiln in the process of heating up (after it has heated to working temperature it will only occasionally come on to keep it at working temperature).

    120a + 40a + 90a = 250a

    That leaves you 70 amps constant draw, 150 amps intermittent draw to run the rest of the house and still be under a 320amp constant draw. You should be fine with 400amp service, with the ability to intermittently draw 400amps if everything decides to all of the sudden start up simultaneously (You would have to switch the main breaker on with everything powered on to have everything start up simultaneously).

    P.S. Power companies get pretty temperamental about unbalanced 3 phase service usage. If you are drawing 200 amps between legs L1 - L2 and 20 amps between L2 - L3 and 10 amps between L3-L1 the power company has to generate 200 amps of current on all 3 legs even though only one leg is drawing this much current. 200 amps 208v 3 phase isn't really anything for the power company unless they have a dozen other businesses all running the same lopsided legs. My father was an electrical engineer and I remember him showing me a 3 phase load balancer they constructed for one of their factories so they could switch 1 phase circuits between different 3 phase legs to balance the 3 phase usage. That was in Taiwan and the power on many blocks became much more stabile after they balanced the power usage of the factory.
    Last edited by Michael Schuch; 02-03-2022 at 6:28 PM.

  14. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch schiffer View Post
    Did your electric company specify a lever bypass style meter? I had a hard time finding that online. Going to 600 amps requires a ct cabinet rather then a traditional meter base in my area.
    My electric company specified a specific style meter can and configuration with an internal cut-off. I opted to add a 400a fused safety disconnect before feeding the main panels.

    I was specifically looking at your 320/200a quote. I thought the prices were too high.

    RE the CT Cabinet, I see a bunch of various CT Cabinet configurations on eBay, but I'd have to research 600a service to say anything else. There are options other than eBay or the electrician, once you know what you need you can search the internet for a good deal. Most power providers publish the specs of service requirements in detail, if you haven't reviewed that, you might want to. If you have reviewed it, it should indicate what type of CT cabinet configuration you need. I would expect most of the cost to be the labor.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by derek labian; 02-03-2022 at 6:33 PM.

  15. #45
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    Michael, there is not just the house and shop in the OP's project...there is also his spouse's glass operation plus a storefront. That's why the dance here is even more complicated.
    --

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

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