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Electric Gurus :

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  • Electric Gurus :

    Hey, guys.

    Another barn wiring question here:

    OK, we're expecting to be inspected/finalized this coming week....and I feel contractor did everything I asked pretty well...but I had a question:

    In the beginning, I was VERY careful to go over each outlet location and what (?) would be running on each, and telling him, I'd be relying on his awareness of this in how he would run/use circuits accordingly in order that we not be overloading ANYTHING.

    Everything is in EMT conduit and all are GFCI circuits.

    We went with an upgrade from 200 amp to 400 amp, with 2 breaker boxes -- onefor the 200 to the house (panel at house)/ one for the 200 to the barn(panel at barn).

    I feel the circuits are pretty well 'not loaded' except for one? and wanted your opinions on if? I should question it:

    here's whats in the panel box 'so far'

    CIRCUITS Barn Panel (before finalizing)

    #1 Outlets counter Top : the three outlets above the counter only. (these three would be used for: mini fridge plug in (summer only) small stereo or boom box plug in. small microwave And any 'occasional' need as in a set of clippers, leaf blower, etc. etc.)



    #2 attached shed : the one outlet at workbench . --- probably a small fluorescent plugged in above workbench, and any re charging/using tool at workbench. Plus the one overhead fluorescent.



    #3 Open (this will probably be used now, for my electric fence, as I have asked him to move that to its own circuit)



    #4 Wash Area : the flood light in the wash rack
    the fluorescent light in the run in
    the high outlet for a fan in the run in
    an outlet in the wash rack area
    (clippers/whatever)


    #5 Open



    #6 Overhead Stable Lights : the fluorescent light in aisle

    the fluorescent light in
    right hand stall

    the fluorescent light in
    left hand stall

    the outlet above/between stalls
    for 2 fans / OR 2 bucket heaters

    the outlet at the spigot in the aisle way. this to plug in : one heated muck tub and probably one heated hose (seasonally)

    the outlet above dutch door into adjoining shed. will be used for aisle way fan.

    *** outlet for fence is on this for now but is to be moved to a separate circuit


    if it helps I also tried to share with him the specs for the items I'd be plugging in/using.

    the fluorescent lights: each are 4 ft , 120/227 multi volt electronic ballast . Each use two 32 watt T8 type lamps
    I think? the fluorescent flood light in wash rack is: Standard with electronic ballast (120 volt, 60Hz).


    the 4 fans will be: 18 inch Indoor/outdoor
    3 speed, waterproof, with 115 volt plug
    UL507 certified

    the heated water buckets (2) say they are 120 volts, 130 watts
    the Heated muck tub says: 200 watts
    the heated electric hose says : 110 V

    Do you guys feel circuit #6 is sufficient for what I have outlined to him will be used at those outlets?
    Do you feel the others are ok?

    I really thought (!) we'd have a lot more circuits/and more 'open' ones for latter use....
    I'm already not happy that: while I explained to him that I wanted the 200 -400 service upgrade so that I could add an ondemand hot water heater later on----seems the wireing he's put in didn't plan for that addition 'later on'....so, it would be another $1,000.00 just to have the conduit/circuits pulled for that and a junction box added for that 'later' addition. GRRRRRRR. So, for now, thats out.

    anyway...I'd LOVE the electricians here to give this a look over!!!

    thanks all !
    ayrabz
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
    --Jimmy Buffett

  • #2
    It's hard to know how much might be "too much" without knowing how many amps are allotted to each breaker, but nothing that you've listed seems even remotely high on the power-drain scale. Lights and electric fences pull very little amperage. Try to keep monster power tools (circular saw, etc.) or big-draw heating elements from competing on the same circuit and you're probably fine.
    Click here before you buy.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      thanks, DW!

      I'm assuming (?) without him explaining otherwise that the circuits are pretty 'standard'? (whatever that is! but I will ask)
      In re: the 'high powered stuff' yeah...that is why I was a bit concerned, since circuit # 6 is now set up for:

      3 fans in summer 115 volt each
      3 120/227 fluorescent lights year round
      1 heated muck tub in winter
      2 heated buckets in winter
      1 heated hose in winter
      ayrabz
      "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
      --Jimmy Buffett

      Comment


      • #4
        Standard Circuit

        The current standard is 20 amp breaker per circuit at 120 volts.
        Equus makus brokus but happy

        Comment


        • #5
          Future

          Your 200 amp service allows the future additions. You asked for a service upgrade, not future wiring. It is simple to either add breakers & wire to the existing panel if space is available or add a sub-panel for more circuits.

          "How many open breaker spaces are left in the panel? " Is the question you should ask the contractor
          Equus makus brokus but happy

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ayrabz View Post
            Hey, guys.



            We went with an upgrade from 200 amp to 400 amp, with 2 breaker boxes -- onefor the 200 to the house (panel at house)/ one for the 200 to the barn(panel at barn).

            I feel the circuits are pretty well 'not loaded' except for one? and wanted your opinions on if? I should question it:

            here's whats in the panel box 'so far'

            CIRCUITS Barn Panel (before finalizing)

            #1 Outlets counter Top : the three outlets above the counter only. (these three would be used for: mini fridge plug in (summer only) small stereo or boom box plug in. small microwave And any 'occasional' need as in a set of clippers, leaf blower, etc. etc.)



            #2 attached shed : the one outlet at workbench . --- probably a small fluorescent plugged in above workbench, and any re charging/using tool at workbench. Plus the one overhead fluorescent.



            #3 Open (this will probably be used now, for my electric fence, as I have asked him to move that to its own circuit)



            #4 Wash Area : the flood light in the wash rack
            the fluorescent light in the run in
            the high outlet for a fan in the run in
            an outlet in the wash rack area
            (clippers/whatever)


            #5 Open



            #6 Overhead Stable Lights : the fluorescent light in aisle

            the fluorescent light in
            right hand stall

            the fluorescent light in
            left hand stall

            the outlet above/between stalls
            for 2 fans / OR 2 bucket heaters

            the outlet at the spigot in the aisle way. this to plug in : one heated muck tub and probably one heated hose (seasonally)

            the outlet above dutch door into adjoining shed. will be used for aisle way fan.

            *** outlet for fence is on this for now but is to be moved to a separate circuit


            if it helps I also tried to share with him the specs for the items I'd be plugging in/using.

            the fluorescent lights: each are 4 ft , 120/227 multi volt electronic ballast . Each use two 32 watt T8 type lamps
            I think? the fluorescent flood light in wash rack is: Standard with electronic ballast (120 volt, 60Hz).


            the 4 fans will be: 18 inch Indoor/outdoor
            3 speed, waterproof, with 115 volt plug
            UL507 certified

            the heated water buckets (2) say they are 120 volts, 130 watts
            the Heated muck tub says: 200 watts
            the heated electric hose says : 110 V

            Do you guys feel circuit #6 is sufficient for what I have outlined to him will be used at those outlets?


            !
            you can estimate 100 watts is equal to about 1 amp.

            Likely each circuit will be 20 amp. Remember not all things will be on at the same time so many small loads can add to more than 20 amps. You should be concerned with the large loads.
            Equus makus brokus but happy

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              thanks, HP.
              I admit, I'm no electrician. I have tried to give my electrician the most most most detailed explanation of what I will be running/plugging in...and as you can see from my detailed 'list' most 'specs' of items I have yet to purchase? list everything differently, as in : watts? amps? voltage? I dunno. I've tried to give the 'professional' the low down on each item I am going to buy, plug in, and run.

              I was hoping that would have been sufficient.

              Yes, my 200 service DOES allow for future additions. But I went with that service (and yes, did explain this to my electrician) because I knew 100% that I wanted a 'future ability' to put an on demand hot water heater at the barn. Now electrician tells me he can 'run more conduit', and put in more breakers/circuits and then a junction box to be used later JUST for this 'later' possibility (no heater now, no hook up) to the tune of 1K.

              His contract shows each outlet, switch, and light we discussed. not one mention of how many 'circuits' or which circuit would support what....I didn't realize this was up to me to decide, since I didn't have the knowledge to know what to ask for, other than to share the most detailed explanation I could as far as what I wanted/needed to plan for or run. So...I tried!
              ayrabz
              "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
              --Jimmy Buffett

              Comment


              • #8
                I think that with the appliances and fixtures you've described, you will be just fine. Lights and fences and things like that use almost no power, really. The bucket heaters are probably your biggest draw, and I have a very, very beefy one inside my automatic waterer (750 watts) and other than a minor wiring glitch when it was first installed (nothing to do with the amount of power it draws, it was a faulty ground wire, immediately corrected) it has never come close to tripping a breaker.
                Click here before you buy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It's fine. Voltage doesn't matter in figuring load on a circuit, because everything you plug into a 110v receptacle will be designed to run on it. They never standardized calling 110v, 115v, and 120v the same number, but they all run on U.S. current with the same "Edison" plug that we all use all the time. Amps is what matters. Total amperage draw is limited by the design load of the circuit-like 15 amp, 20 amp, 30 amp....etc. 120v 20 amp circuits use #12 wire size, and a 20 amp breaker. 120v 15 amp circuits use #14 wire and a 15 amp breaker. Either will run anything you can plug into a receptacle up to the point where there is too much load, which trips the breaker. Lighting circuits are often run as 15 amp circuits in houses.

                  I wouldn't run the circuit for an on-demand water heater until you decide to put it in. How far away from the 200 amp panel will the water heater be, and what amperage is the heater?
                  www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The EMT conduit could present a problem, depending on how the inspector interprets the code. Dairies and certain other barns are supposed to have PVC (or other corrosion resistant materials) conduit and fittings up to about 8 -10 feet above grade because of corrosion problems from urine, manure, etc.

                    Also, some contractors will use the metallic tubing as a conductor for the ground wire, and corrosion can cause a high resistance connection here. We had this problem in the barn where I boarded, and BO's hubby and I did significant rewiring to correct it. Certain outlets and light switches would give a healthy (unhealthy, actually) shock if touched with wet footwear.
                    The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                    Winston Churchill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ayrabz View Post
                      Everything is in EMT conduit and all are GFCI circuits.
                      !
                      Normally lighting circuits are not put on GFI breakers... I might have misunderstood your explanation but it appears you have all GFI circuits...

                      fluorescent lighting may not work on a GFI... also you fence charger may not work on a GFI

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks all. At least the consensus seems ? to be the load to be run on the circuits looks fine.

                        Tom:
                        haven't chosen the actual heater yet so not sure on the amps...but I did discuss this with electrician and he was the one who mentioned to me that the tankless will draw/require more. The panel is on the far left hand side wall of the left hand 'adjoining' shed...and the conduit runs across the top of that (about 20+ ft.) and then into across the aisle of the barn area (about another 20+) and would then need say another 10 ft to come down wall /into washrack/water area.
                        (by all means ! if anyone has a suggestion on a unit you'd recommend I'd love to know your opinions! .... small barn, and only 2.5 horses at a time max)

                        I'm just a bit miffed that at least the conduit to the exterior wall wasn't included? done at the same time, as there is only that area it can go in. Oh, well.

                        Frank:

                        I hope you're wrong? in the conduit being the incorrect choice (!) I tried very hard to research that and electrician seemed? to concur?

                        Clanter:

                        all my barn building research said to have everything on the GFCI. I did find a notation that mentioned the ballasts with the capacitors that store power in fluorescent lights can trip them, and mentioned/discussed this with electrician first. He assured me (!) the vapor tite fluorescents he was using wouldn't do that (and there was an electrical terminology explanation, but that was the gist of it) I hope thats the case? Now, in re: the fence...I don't know! Again, that was what all my research showed ... to run all of them on GFCI circuits.....If the fence is an issue (the outlet for it is to be on a separate circuit all on its own) is it a big pain to ask him to make that ONE circuit back to non GFCI?
                        ayrabz
                        "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                        --Jimmy Buffett

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          One of the problems I see on some of your circuits is that you have mixed use going on (eg, lights, heated water buckets, etc).

                          As someone mentioned above, you don't need/want GFI everywhere. Unless there is water around or its within reach of a horse GFI is not necessary.

                          Circuit 4 should be re-evaluated. That's a real mixed use. A fan that goes bad won't trip a GFI. Circuits that support electric motors should AFI.
                          A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            FTBT: thanks.
                            ...This little barn is a converted outbuilding...not really watertight/insulated, and the protected circuits seemed needed. However, I do/did find that he'd group things together 'oddly' ...it seems to me (?) he's simply run things that are 'in one area' all together vs. choosing per usage need. I hope I'm wrong, and that it will all work ok as it is, since I really gave complete (!) specifics of what EACH outlet would be used for...way before any wireing.
                            ayrabz
                            "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                            --Jimmy Buffett

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Any type of plug into the outlet transformer device Power supplies or rechargers for battery powered tools or even a battery charger for the tractor can and often will trip a GFI breaker as the transformer does not operate under a constant load and will cycle...the cycling will be detected as fault

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                It's not much trouble to change a GFCI breaker to a standard breaker.

                                GFCI circuits can be run off of a GFCI breaker to regular receptacles, or you can use GFCI receptacles off of standard breakers. For mixed use, I'd use a standard breaker and GFCI receptacles where needed. Mixed use is not ideal, but it will work fine. Most likely it was set up that way just for economy of running the least amount of wire.

                                I read your account of the distance for the tankless heater. I'd wait until you know what you will get to run the circuit for it. It would simply be a waste to run an oversized circuit now, and 1k sounds like a lot anyway for it.

                                GFCI breakers, as well as receptacles, are a lot better now than they used to be. Arc fault breakers, AFCI, are required now in homes, and I really like them after using them and experimenting with them. I don't know how they would work in a barn, but I would sure try one if I was running fans.
                                www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  haven't chosen the actual heater yet so not sure on the amps...but I did discuss this with electrician and he was the one who mentioned to me that the tankless will draw/require more
                                  For sure. Tankless water heaters draw big amps. Mine is on its very own 60 amp circuit. It might even be 80, I can't recall.
                                  Click here before you buy.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Essentially, watts = volts x amps

                                    200A service = 10 x 20A breakers

                                    Size breakers down by 20% for all permanently connected loads, such that each 20A breaker should have no more than 1920W

                                    For big loads, you will be more interested in the amperage than the wattage.

                                    Sounds like you have all kinds of room!
                                    where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      A 200 Amp service panel means the buss bars in it are capable of handling 200 Amps continuously. There will be more than 10 slots for 20A breakers
                                      The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                                      Winston Churchill

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Thanks so much everyone. REALLY !!! You guys taught me so much, and I followed, reviewed and researched suggestions, and went from there!

                                        Yes, it seems some of the suggestions? I should have gone a bit further on, but I tried to act on those that more than a few people agreed on!

                                        For now, I guess, I needed to know if what was on each circuit was safe or not.
                                        the type? of circuits, and the fact I asked for GFCI is already the 'done deal' part, since he did do that to my specs.

                                        Inspection is yet to happen....I am hoping/PRAYIN...that it will be this week. This job was bid on in February. Contract signed/job started in first of March.
                                        I'm over it already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        I want to get this job inspected, get the guy paid, and THEN visit if I have to change anything at this point, I guess. Yup...I wish he'd run more than the 4 circuits he did....but as someone else mentioned, the 200 service and panel are there, so I can always (!) entertain another electrician and more work once this is all approved and finalized.

                                        But, again...you guys teach me so much (electrician is always like: "Why did you ASK for that?" ...etc....

                                        and I highly value the horsemen's input I am blessed to obtain here!!!
                                        ayrabz
                                        "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                                        --Jimmy Buffett

                                        Comment

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