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Author Topic: Sparky Language Lesson  (Read 9152 times)

Timothy J. Trace

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Sparky Language Lesson
« on: June 25, 2015, 01:54:42 pm »

Coming from a guy with my mileage...sheesh.

How do I clearly, and concisely, ask an electrician for lugs to tie in my two 50A legs of 110VAC single-phase on a common, bonded neutral and ground?

I typically say, "50A single-phase, please." Industry sparkies immediately grok my needs, yet I often confuse uninitiated commercial electricians.

I'm hoping for a lesson today in how to more clearly express my desires to a wider audience.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2015, 02:28:32 pm by Timothy J. Trace »
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Sparky Language Lesson
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2015, 02:33:45 pm »

May I respectfully suggest that this question should be moved or reposted in the AC Power sub-forum?  Lots of sparky-types over there.
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Andrew Broughton

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Re: Sparky Language Lesson
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2015, 02:44:26 pm »

I would say:
"50A single-phase 4-wire".

If you don't say 4-wire, the electrician doesn't know that you want 2 hots instead of 1.
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Timothy J. Trace

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Re: Sparky Language Lesson
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2015, 03:47:53 pm »

May I respectfully suggest that this question should be moved or reposted in the AC Power sub-forum?  Lots of sparky-types over there.

Mods, please.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Sparky Language Lesson
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2015, 04:00:18 pm »

I would say:
"50A single-phase 4-wire".

If you don't say 4-wire, the electrician doesn't know that you want 2 hots instead of 1.

50 amp 120/240v single phase with ground (3 wires plus ground, 4 wires total).

I've found that non-entertainment electricians do not consider the EGC to be "a wire".  The 120/240v designation SHOULD tell the electrician that we want split-phase, not 240v service.

When specifying 3 phase power I've found it necessary to call out WYE service, as in "200 amp 120/208v 3 phase wye, 4 wires plus ground (5 wires total)."
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Timothy J. Trace

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Re: Sparky Language Lesson
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2015, 04:44:47 pm »

50 amp 120/240v single phase with ground (3 wires plus ground, 4 wires total).

I've found that non-entertainment electricians do not consider the EGC to be "a wire".  The 120/240v designation SHOULD tell the electrician that we want split-phase, not 240v service.

That's quite helpful, Tim. Thank you. Two follow-on q's which I know will be a cakewalk for you LOL ---

  • How does this sound? "50A split-phase 110V phase-to-neutral, 3 wires plus ground, 4 wires total, for connecting a tail set or an L5-50P."  ....or did I get too wordy?
  • Forgive my ignorance, must the two hot conductors always be fed from separate lines of the split-phase, or may they draw from the same phase if the individual upstream breakers equal each conductor's ampacity?
« Last Edit: June 25, 2015, 04:46:56 pm by Timothy J. Trace »
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Sparky Language Lesson
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2015, 05:17:26 pm »

That's quite helpful, Tim. Thank you. Two follow-on q's which I know will be a cakewalk for you LOL ---

  • How does this sound? "50A split-phase 110V phase-to-neutral, 3 wires plus ground, 4 wires total, for connecting a tail set or an L5-50P."  ....or did I get too wordy?
  • Forgive my ignorance, must the two hot conductors always be fed from separate lines of the split-phase, or may they draw from the same phase if the individual upstream breakers equal each conductor's ampacity?

Perhaps you made a typo, but an L5-50P is for one 125v leg, not two. The NEMA designation for two legs (125/250 v) is 14-(amps).  I have seen 14-50p (straight blade range plug), but never an actual L14-50p. There is a 125/250 3 pole, 4 wire device, but it is the "CS" (California standard) series. (Namely the CS 6365.). The L15-50p is for 3 phase,250 volts only.
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Andrew Broughton

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Re: Sparky Language Lesson
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2015, 05:18:02 pm »

Forgive my ignorance, must the two hot conductors always be fed from separate lines of the split-phase, or may they draw from the same phase if the individual upstream breakers equal each conductor's ampacity?

I think you would need a double-sized neutral for that to be legal.
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-Andy

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Timothy J. Trace

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Re: Sparky Language Lesson
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2015, 05:40:52 pm »

Perhaps you made a typo...there is a 125/250 3 pole, 4 wire device, but it is the...CS 6365.

Thanks much, Mark. You're being generous by calling it a typo :)  I was outright mistaken.

These are functionally similar to my cables: http://www.motionlabs.com/pm-240-1-64-50a-125250v.aspx .

Is this better? "50A split-phase 110V phase-to-neutral, 3 wires plus ground, 4 wires total, for connecting a tail set or a CS6365C." I want to be concise as possible, so if I'm saying too much, please let me know.

« Last Edit: June 25, 2015, 05:44:46 pm by Timothy J. Trace »
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Timothy J. Trace

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Re: Sparky Language Lesson
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2015, 05:42:23 pm »

I think you would need a double-sized neutral for that to be legal.

Thanks. Can you help me understand how this is different than having two branch circuits drawing off the same line? Is it because we're dealing with portable distribution?
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Re: Sparky Language Lesson
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2015, 05:42:23 pm »


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