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  1. #1
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    How do you install 3 phase

    Does anyone have a good guide, book or instructions on installing three phase wiring in a home?

    Per [link:www.faqs.org/faqs/electrical-wiring/part2/section-10.html|FAQS - Electical wiring]:

    Bringing in a 3 phase feed to your house is usually ridiculously
    expensive, or impossible. If the equipment you want to run has a
    standard motor mount, it is *MUCH* cheaper to buy a new 110V or 220V
    motor for it.


    I have a 1200 SQ Ft modular with a 200A main panel. When I build my new shop I was figuring drop off the main panel and run a sub-panel in the shop. But I may end up picking up some serious equipment (http://www.woodworking.com/dcforum/DCForumID5/2707.html) and I was wondering if a three phase shop is an option. I have my own transformer sitting on my property.

    I have done basic wiring (new circuit breaker and line to a a couple of outlets) and am not terrified of electricity, wary yes.

    I'm just wondering if it can be done. And how?

  2. #2
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    RE: How do you install 3 phase

    Jim,

    You would not be able to run a sub panel from your existing and have 3 phase. The main panel is different between a normal single phase and 3 phase.

    If you have 3 phase at your transformer you might get the power company to give you a 3 phase drop, but it might not be at the transformer or they may have to install a new transformer to do it. Both of these options are very expensive.

    A normal breaker panel has two hots and a neutral. Three phase has three hots and a neutral. Each of the hot lines is out of phase by 120 degrees for each other. The panel will have three hot bars that are set up so that three breakers next to each other will be on different phases. A tripple breaker gives you three phase to the tool. Your power cords have to be 4 conductor and ground for most typical applications

    So here is what you do. Call your power company and see if it is possible and how much it will cost. If you still want to go forward then you need a main panel for the shop with a seperate drop from the company or you will have to replace you homes main panel. At that point unless you are very confident with your electirica skills I would recomend you call a pro.

  3. #3
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    RE: How do you install 3 phase

    I am not an electrician, but I did wire up my shop and the 100amp sub box that is fed from my 200 amp main. Having said that, here is how I would wire three phase:
    1. pick up the phone.
    2. call a qualified electrician.
    3. consider it money well spent.

    Seriously, I work with 110v all the time and probably have lost some of the respect I should still have for it. What you are talking about sounds like some serious juice. I would at least have an electrician out to give you an estimate. It might turn out to be less than what you think and he will tell you what all is involved in running it. If it does sound like a lot of money, think of it in terms of how much you are going to spend building a shop and filling it with equipment. From that perspective it may seem more in line.

    Anyway I hope you score big on the sale. Sounds like some GREAT stuff. Wish I was close and could at least see it all.

    -brent

    -brent



  4. #4
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    RE: How do you install 3 phase

    Search around for info on phase converters,that's gonna be your solution if you're determined to run 3 phase tools. At least that's the way it works around here. The electric company will hit you with a phone # and this usually is enough to make guys go with the phase converter

  5. #5
    Sonny Edmonds
    Guest

    RE: How do you install 3 phase

    Jim,
    Yes it can be done. And no, it's not worth it.
    A Phase Invertor is a substitute at best. A rotory phase convertor, (AKA: an MG set) is a better alturnitive.
    Chances are that your area was wired with a single wye high voltage to single phase low voltage transformer scheam.
    In plain engrish, no there isn't likely 3 phase out there at the pad mount transformer.
    If, per chance, you have a 2 phase, 4 wire system, then a Scott connected transformer arrangement may work
    If, I say IF you do get equipment from the school auction, it would most likely behove you to factor in single phase motors as a cost to power the equipment.
    It takes power to make power, look at the efficency factors alone of converting single to three phase.
    In the case Lou stated, the 5 HP motor is acting as a syncronis condencer for the phase invertor.
    So what have you got? A phase invertor (or several) and a motor that's doing nothing more than smoothing the invertors output, THEN you can poke the button and run the beasties.
    It's a nice dream, but I liken it to the old racers adage:
    "How fast do you want to go? Well, how much money do you have to spend?"
    Go to the auction with a price list of any forseeable motors you might have to replace to run the machine's you think you might try to buy. (Or just take a [link:www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg/homepage.jsp | W.W. Graingers Catalog]
    Then bid wisely, having an idea of what the hidden costs might be to run it in your shop.
    Good Luck! ;)

    :D

    [link:www.sonnyedmonds.com | Sonny Edmonds]
    "Precision Firewood Specialist"
    God Bless America !
    One Nation Under God!
    "If a flaw is detected,
    Within the eye of the beholder,
    Possibly the eye of the beholder is wherein the flaw lies?" S.E. 2003

  6. #6
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    RE: How do you install 3 phase

    Sonny is right on almost everything on his post. He works in the power industry and knows his stuff.

    The phase inverter with a no load motor is an ok solucion and is better than the others I looked at. Big motors are expensive good ones are very expensive. One 5 hp phase converter can run a whole shop of 3 hp tools as long as your not trying to run them all at the same time.

    Getting 3 phase from the Electric is a possibility but not likely.

  7. #7
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    RE: How do you install 3 phase

    Point taken. Thanks for all the advice!

    I guess I'll do the conversion.

    But you all have to agree, having 3 phase in your shop would be great. Unfortunately/fortunately I don't live in an industrialized area.

  8. #8
    Sonny Edmonds
    Guest

    RE: How do you install 3 phase

    Jim,
    At my old house, it wouldn't have been much of a problem at all to put 3 phase in. I had a pole in the corner of my yard and there was 3 phase wye primary power running up the hill.
    Just set another transformer and make the drop to a 3 phase meter and panel service.

    But why? Shucks, I'm just a one man shop almost all the time. The tiny percentage when there is more than one working in my shop it's because I'm teaching someone. Like my Grandson of late.

    Naaa, I don't need 3 phase for my casual use. I'm not running a gang of workers feeding machines 8-10 hours a day.
    I'm just a French Fry in a potatoe field. :7

    I would recommend you run a 100 amp feed to your new shop, though. ;)

    :D

    [link:www.sonnyedmonds.com | Sonny Edmonds]
    "Precision Firewood Specialist"
    God Bless America !
    One Nation Under God!
    "If a flaw is detected,
    Within the eye of the beholder,
    Possibly the eye of the beholder is wherein the flaw lies?" S.E. 2003

  9. #9
    Member
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    RE: How do you install 3 phase

    Thanks, but the 3 phase thought is in the same mode of getting a [link:www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?itemnumber=G4815|Grizzly G4815 20" Spiral Cutterhead Jointer]. Do you really need it? No.
    But would you be the envy of woodworker you know? Yes. Sometimes you just want to be able to grunt. :) And have more power.

    Since you do this for a living.....which would be the smarter, not necessarily cheaper.....

    I have a 200A main panel in the house...with an electric stove, water heater, dryer, furnace. Add in central air plus a fridge, 14 Cu Ft chest freezer, and her liking to sew. My plan is to convert most of the electric heating type items over to gas as they break, but most of the stuff is less than 4 years old. My shop currently consists of an older Craftsman TS that can go 2x0V and various 120V hand tools. I know I have to figure in a DC, bandsaw, hopefully I can pick up a jointer and/or planer. A friend sold me an AC unit (120V 30A) I plan to mount so I can work all summer. Heating is still up in the air, but a radiant floor system was crossing my mind. I'm in Ohio so I have to consider all four seasons.

    Would I be smarter to drop off the main panel? Have the drop put off the meter? Or get a second meter and line from the transformer?

    I know this got long?

  10. #10
    Sonny Edmonds
    Guest

    RE: How do you install 3 phase

    Jim,
    Honestly, I'd just put a 100 amp, two pole cb in the main panel to feed a sub panel in the shop. Run 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" conduit buried and bedded to the shop with a 125 Amp sub panel so's I'd have lots of growing room, and take it from there in the shop. #2 or 1/0 wire.
    I personally wouldn't put a main in the sub-panel. Why have a 100 Amp cb on both ends? It's a sub and the CB at your main panel protects the wire feeding the shop. So just branch it up as needed out there.
    (You know,
    30A, 240V for the TS;
    20A 240V for a DC;
    20A 120V for each wall for recepticals;
    2 each: 20A 120V for TWO different lighting circuits, staggered lighting. (No leaving you in the dark with spinning sharp steel inches from your finners because a ballast took a crap. No Sir!)
    For a brief synopsis. ;) )

    THEN, if dreams come true, add as needed for more equipment 240V circuits.

    Honestly Jim, just how much can one guy run at one time?
    Worst case senerio for me is (highest HP figgureing) 5HP at the TS, 3 1/2HP in the DC, Half a dozen 4' flourecents, and my 7HP compressor decides it wants to cycle because I happened to leave it on.

    Given that the lights are gonna be on, DC blower(s), most likely you will move from one place to another stopping one machine to start another, opening or closing blast gates as you go. Doncha think?

    Even if you did have that fancy britches spiral whatchamacallit jointer (BOY, wouldn't THOSE knives be a Bditch to sharpen!), Would you leave the saw running and go joint an edge? (Well, OK I DID do that on occasion, or once anyhow. ;) ) Rip... joint...rip...joint, etc.
    I think 100 amps @ 240 volts would be overkill in reality. But I seriously dought you'd dump the feeder CB back at the panel.
    Just remember, a CB's job is to protect the wiring, not what's connected to that wiring.
    I don't have anything smaller than 20 amps, nor smaller than #12 MC (metal clad) cable in my new shop. (I found out they require metal clad here during the selling/moving process. (Somebody might lean a rake or shovel against it, it is a garage afterall. OH MY! Please protect my lameness with laws and rules!) }> Anybody leans a rake or a shovel in my shop better like a 54" handel up their's! ;) )

    Jim, please feel free to email if you think I can help with any specifics. But don't hold your breath, it is best if you contact a local inspector or look on the web for permiting in your area.
    That's were I found out, after the fact, I needed a permit to change a damn door, INSIDE the house. Argh!
    Heh, Heh, nice thing about a GOOD realtor, they know just what forms are needed to skate the Burocrates.
    Form blah, blah, blah: Was any work done on this residence that wasn't permitted?
    Check yes and bury it in the pile. Sign here.... ;)

    But Ohio, shucks... never been there. Might have flown over sometime, but never knowingly have been there. So really, all I can give is general common sense answers about eggzackary what I do know, electricity. If you think I can help, I damn sure will try too.
    Even though I'm fairly active on the forum, there's a lot I miss because I don't frequent certian areas much.

    As far as braggin rights go, you're talking to the wrong guy here. I buy for purpose, not to say: I HAVE THIS! (Ahhh, the Invicta 1,000,000 thread! God Bless our Woodmangler!)
    I just want to see WHAT you can do with whatever you have in your shop. THAT impresses me. Brand be damned.
    And I know a few Friends, like Kelly, the Cabinet maker, who have some awesome equipment. But they also do some outragiously BEAUTIFUL, and ornate work. Work that warrents something like a 7 1/2 HP shaper and such, or a $3500.00 (plus... I'd imagine, gotta have some spare belts, right?), wide belt sander.

    But to have such, and to be able to show the merits..... Ahhh, this is where the chaf and the wheat begins to separate. ;)

    If there is ANYthing I might be able to help you to understand about electrics and your shop, Please don't hesitate to get in touch. ;) But I have seen some very beautiful work come from some very under-rated shops.
    Because a Craftsman works those tools, not because he has "bragging rights". But because he cares enough to do his very best. And he knows tomorrow he'll do better, because he wants to. He or She wants to do better.
    Therein lies the key. ;) It's the heart behind those tools. Hand, power, or super-power. The key lies within.
    Food for thought. ;)

    :D

    [link:www.sonnyedmonds.com | Sonny Edmonds]
    "Precision Firewood Specialist"
    God Bless America !
    One Nation Under God!
    "If a flaw is detected,
    Within the eye of the beholder,
    Possibly the eye of the beholder is wherein the flaw lies?" S.E. 2003

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