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Author Topic: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?  (Read 18168 times)

Neil Sakaitis

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #50 on: January 24, 2016, 11:20:29 am »

Just wanted to say thanks to Mark, Tim, Stephen and others that took the time to engage in this useful conversation with me. Rather than slap the code book on me, you walked me thru some much needed upgrades, that, after stepping back and looking over the distro, is very needed.

While the distro worked all of these years, it was pretty much in my garage for a short duration. But now that I am carrying it into a huge hall to power a lot more thirsty gear, I think the upgrade timing is perfect.

Final game plan, already ordered a few power distro blocks from SqD, double pole 1 X 8 for the 2 legs to feed 8 outlets each, a double pole 1 X 8 (2) to feed 16 Neutrals and a single pole 1 X 8 to feed 8 Grounds.

I think I am also going to re-work my panels, keeping the big 5U panel that houses a mix of CAMS, mini breakers (15A), and outlets, and simply not use the 8 mini breakers anymore. Then I will swap out my 2U 8 SqD breaker panel for a 3U 20 breaker SqD panel, filling only 16 spaces with breakers, and using the remaining 4 space for a main breaker, and from discussions on here, seems a double pole 200A should do the job to protect my #2 SC.
 
Also, having seen the color coded outlets (available from Ampshop), I think I am going to re-group my outlets I have now, since they are already physically grouped in 2 groups of 4, I will probably re-wire for each group to tie to a leg. Will make balancing a lot easier to view, just like those color coded outlets.

The only worry in the upgrade is having to fit those big power distro blocks underneath in the case, and hope the top of them do not interfere with the items on the panels (breakers, CAMs, etc).
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Neil Sakaitis

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #51 on: January 24, 2016, 11:26:51 am »

And one more thing, assuming the main breaker that winds up in my distro is a double pole 200A, and the #2 SC is capable of 190A (in a perfect environment), then when I hook up my distro to the hall's 3-phase 100A panel, and use only 2 legs, that means that my total capacity is limited by their panel's breaker and not mine. Meaning my main is 200A and their main is 100A, giving me up to 100A per leg available. Does this make sense ??
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #52 on: January 24, 2016, 02:33:02 pm »

Yes.
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David Buckley

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #53 on: January 24, 2016, 04:44:58 pm »

Whats the make and model of those mini-breakers?
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Neil Sakaitis

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #54 on: January 24, 2016, 11:09:19 pm »

Potter & Brumfield
W92-X112-15

From the looks of it, it originally was a double pole, but was stripped to work as single pole, at least according to the part number and info I found online. When looking closer in my distro, 2 mini breakers are taped together. By moving to a full panel of SqD 20A, I will leave these 8 Mini Breakers in my distro but not use them. If I pulled them to sell them, I would be left with 4 double cutouts in the panel, which would not be too safe, and would not be too sure how to cover the holes, so might as well just leave the mini breakers there to cover up the space.

http://www.amazon.com/TE-CONNECTIVITY-POTTER-BRUMFIELD-W92-X112-15/dp/B00HQSJBMM

http://datasheet.octopart.com/W92-X112-15-Tyco-Electronics-datasheet-14490223.pdf

Whats the make and model of those mini-breakers?
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Neil Sakaitis

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #55 on: January 25, 2016, 12:23:28 pm »

Just got off the phone with PSS (Ampshop). They can make me a custom panel for my breakers, BUT, they cannot fit a 200A double main, as it is just too big for my suitcase style case, and will barely fit onto a 4U panel. In all honesty, between my home event and the dance coming up, I will probably only every be tapped onto a 100A (double) feed anyways, so there is no use in maxing out the main breaker in my panel to 200A, for the sole purpose of matching my #2 feeder. Expensive and takes up a lot of room for power I will probably never end up using.

Once I dropped down to a 100A main, then options were possible. There was talk of a GE main, but they will try to hunt down a SqD QOU 2100. According to them, these industrial QOU's are harder and harder to find. Which brings me to my next point.

I currently have a mix of Series 1,2,3 SqD QOU 20A. I was told the Series 1 has recalls on it, Series 2 is ok but the design is so-so, and the Series 3 is the most reliable. Of my 9 QOU's, only 5 are Series 3. They said, rather than spend the bucks on 11 more QOU's (plus my 5) for a total of 16 circuits, upgrade to all Westinghouse QCF 1020 compact breakers, for about the same price they could sell me the 11 QOU. By going this route, not only would I have a better breaker, but I would save room on the panel (smaller breakers) to house the main breaker as well.

So any thoughts of going with the QOU2100 as a main, as well as these QCF 1020's ???

They can basically cut me any breaker panel config I want, but am guessing these are the breakers they use and design with.

So in the end, I will toss my 5U panel I currently have (housing CAMs, 8 X 15A mini's, and 8 X Edisons), plus the 2U panel (housing 9 X SqD QOU 20A), and go this route instead:

2U with CAMS (re-use my CAMs, just buy the panel)
2U with 8 Edisons (re-use my Edison, just buy the panel)
4U with Breakers (QOU Main + 16 QCF 20A)

Thoughts ??

Thanks
Neil
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Ray Aberle

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #56 on: January 25, 2016, 01:24:16 pm »

Nothing wrong with using a 100A main breaker when you have #2 (single conductor) wiring, and you're certain you probably won't need the extra power in the future...

-Ray
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #57 on: January 25, 2016, 01:54:47 pm »

Actually, when you consider that on long runs ampacity is only one issue-the major one being voltage drop, using "oversize" feeders is probably a smart thing to do-so I wouldn't consider the extra copper "wasted" by any means.

As far as breakers,  I know a lot of people that would find it hard to stomach a breaker being sold as "better" than Square D.  But I can't say I have first hand knowledge or that I have done side-by-side comparisons.  The Westinghouse/Sqhecy uare D sales pitch hits me more like what I would expect to hear if I took my Ford truck into a Chevy dealer with problems. "I can sell you an even better truck for not much more than fixing yours....."  Not sayin' it s a bad deal-just not sure that "better" is an absolute definition.  If they are a more functional form factor, that may be all the "better" that matters.
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Steve Swaffer

Neil Sakaitis

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #58 on: January 25, 2016, 04:31:54 pm »

Yeah, I think in my case, I can fit more breakers on a panel by going with the more compact Westinghouse QCF @ 0.5" wide than with the wider and slightly larger QOU SqD. Allows for some breathing room for the Main.

Now, drum roll, let me get you guys all worked up on here, especially those that play by the code book. And not to worry, so long as space permits, I will be installing all of those power distro blocks I ordered for a nice and secure connection off of each CAM.

BUT, speaking with the folks over at PSS (AmpShop), the guy there, who seemed to know what he was talking about, informed me that "by code", the only connection that requires to be split properly (physically) is the Neutral, since losing 1 Neutral wire while the hot is energized could cause some serious issues. But there was no issue, as far as he was concerned, and his understanding of the code, to wire all 8 leg/hot feeds (I have 8 circuits per leg) under the CAM lug. Same for the ground.

Like I said, as long as space is available in my case, I am going distro blocks all the way to be safe, but thought I would share this info with you guys, I am sure the responses will be interesting to say the least...
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #59 on: January 25, 2016, 08:50:41 pm »

Well, code ALWAYS requires devices/lugs/equipment whatever to be used as "Listed".  The issue is not "splitting" the hots/neutrals, etc.  The issue is that the lug is "Listed" to be used only with the combination of conductors it was designed for-and that typically is marked on the lug.

Given the way I see panels/gear built, I seriously wonder what engineers are taught in college.  I recently installed a piece of equipment that, according to the engineer's advance information "required" 100 amps/3 phase/480 VAC-verbally verified the day before install.  Due to an ambitious install timeline, I had power roughed in about 175 feet-and wire cut to length (ie non returnable).  Once I got my hands on the equipment, I instantly realized something was way off-in fact it only required 30 amps/3 phase/480 vac.  Even better, the machine wiring drawing showed a 30 amp main disconnect with 60 amp fuses installed.  Yes, I make mistakes too, but this one cost $1500 extra on an install that should have been $2500 to begin with-and it shouldn't take a degree to know the difference between something using 30 amps and 100 amps-and this guy had done a lot of assembly on this equipment.

Bottom line, hearsay is hearsay-believe it and run by it if you want.
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Steve Swaffer
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