"Little W".....Jeeplab grounding. - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2002, 04:38 AM Thread Starter
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\"Little W\".....Jeeplab grounding.

[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img] In answer to your inquiry about the Jeeplab, what I will do is use my "construction panel" to start with and it is basically a portable that I made which is an eight-circuit breaker panel fed by a rubber-covered #8 four conductor cable. The panel is attached to a thick plywood board, and has outlets all around the perifery; some 220V some 110V. Every outlet has the "true ground" except for the three-pole welder plug and it resembles a standard clothes dryer 30A plug. I should have converted my Millermatic to four wire, but didn't (yet) because it does use both 220V and 110 V to operate and therefore needs an equipment ground just to be really "proper". Having that little "construction panel" has really been a big help since I only have to install a four-pole 50A plug wherever I happen to be and presto! I'm plugged in and good to go! We lived in a rentashack for ten months and I made the panel for that application. All I had to leave behind when we vacated was a breaker in the main panel and a four-pole plug on the wall of the garage, and I could have taken THAT out if I was that kind of a SOB.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif[/img] So to get things up and running, we will feed over to the Jeeplab with a four-wire service; probably three #2's and a #6 ground wire;(sizing the wire for the future 100A service as you can see) install a disconnect with a 50A plug below it, and just for good measure we will drive a ground rod near the building and connect an additional #6 bare copper to the fourth wire in the four-wire 50A service. Later on, we will install the panel permanently and put EVERYTHING in metal conduit.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2002, 08:20 AM
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Re: \"Little W\".....Jeeplab grounding.

Ah the joy of building a shop. Its a wonderful thing.

Can someone please bring me a hammer my 33's just ate my fender again. Damn i need more lift.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2002, 11:32 AM
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Re: \"Little W\".....Jeeplab grounding.

Dave,
What about a provision for switching over to genset power? Did you ever find a miller (or other) setup? Do you do anything fancy to ground out the auxiliary generator when one is utilized?

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2002, 12:43 PM
 
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Re: \"Little W\".....Jeeplab grounding.

You might want to consider these suggestions (not being a smart ass-I just spec out a lot of this for a living):
1. Your portable plug with the 4/conductor #8-you are on the raged edge of the ampacity. At 90 degrees C, ampacity is probably 55 amps. If you have any length to this "dropcord", you can have voltage drop issues-I know you have it built, but maybe #6 if it is long.
2. In your 100 A breaker panel: I would increase your ground at least up to #4 or #2. Electricians will argue the use of the larger wire, but the fact is welders are "noisy" machines. They will pollute the power and that transmits through your home electronics also. Also if there is an electrical fault, the voltage on the ground will raise and poof-there could go some of your home electronics. Sensitive electronics can only handle between 4-7 volts on the ground before they blow. The bigger wire will help the noise and the ground voltage problems.
Be leary of just adding ground rods also. Too many ground rods can produce "ground loops". This again raises the voltage on the ground circuits. Really there should be only one good ground rod for your area-house included. The good ground, depends on the type of soil you are in. Sandy soil (Iowa) sucks. Need to get down into some water or conducting material.

This stuff is usually not thought about but it can save you a lot of headaches and money in the future. Intermittant problems with computers, phones, tvs etc are not fun. Hope this helps, your Jeep stuff has helped a whole bunch.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2002, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: \"Little W\".....Jeeplab grounding.

[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img] We have set up the big electrical array here in our basement such that we have a "critical loads" subpanel. That sub is separately fed from the 200A Main distribution panel with a 50A breaker. The genset and changeover gear, when installed, would go in that feeder such that the critical loads sub would be the only one energized when the changeover gear is on "Emergency". Some of the loads we have in that sub are referigerator, furnace blowers and transformers, select overhead lighting, one kitchen plug, and the well pump.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img] The gen sets usually have an equipment ground right on the machine that you can tie to.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]*****Hmmmmm.....I suspected that here in Iowa getting a decent ground was a big problem; you can tell by the way the utility sets up their gear. My portable subpanel only has about a twelve-foot cord on it. I knew I was marginal on 50AMPs with the #8, but the reality is that I rarely pull much over 30. The 8/4 that I had on hand was such a nice piece of cord that I substituted "availability" for "suitability" [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/blush.gif[/img][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] Since the shop building is about 125 feet away I figured that I could avoid the ground loop problem....maybe not?[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2002, 09:18 PM
 
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Re: \"Little W\".....Jeeplab grounding.

Dave-
You mention "equipment ground" that I am under the impression as a seperate earth (or water pipe) ground other than the common. And it is OK for this ground wire to touch the metal conduant but should be kept seperate from the common? Or kept seperate at least until it reaches the ground stake or to a water pipe?

Now, additionally you mention "true ground". Now I'm lost if this dosn't mean the "common" or "white wire".

Brhino -
It's really refreshing to see knowledgable others adding and/or "suggesting" other methods, sizes, additional things to be aware of, etc. in a polite and helpful manner. That's the true ORC BBS fashion ... and much appreciated. [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

Thanks, and cheers to both of you! [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

Oh, and by the way ...
TR, you offered to post a diagram on how to convert ... say my new 50 foot 10 Ga. 3 wire welder cable ... into a heavy duty 110v extenison cord by way of an adapter plug/box. I'd sure like to see how to (if it is deemed proper) make one.
I'm guessing you use one leg of the 220 and the white common into a standard 110v recepticle?




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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2002, 11:00 PM
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Re: \"Little W\".....Jeeplab grounding.

Thank you all for the information. "Ground Loop" gotta learn about that. [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img]

Here we've got a welder (Millermatic 185) plug inside the cellar bulkhead on 6/3-w/ground, about 15 feet from the panel. Everything wired back to a new 200 amp panel. The remains of that spool of 6/3 (40 feet) is an extension cord for the welder.

The future plan is a steel building on a slab about 100 feet from the panel. Plastic pipe between the buildings. It'll be grounded back to the panel, but I thought another ground rod at the steel building would help. Melting winter snows from the vehicles and the wet conditions they produce have me concerned.

Knowing you were in the process of setting up the Heartland Skunk Works I thought I'd see how you were doing it. I really enjoy learning of possible pitfalls, and how others have handled them. All ideas are welcome and greatfully appreciated.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

Oh yeah ! The house has computer/TV/telephone plugs in every room, except for two closets (yup - bathrooms, too). Everything can be run from everywhere - pretty much. Interference would be a problem. [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/frown.gif[/img]

PEACE !! [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
w
post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-09-2002, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: \"Little W\".....Jeeplab grounding.

[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] Jaffer......I have a habit of calling the fourth wire of a 220V service the "true ground" or "equipment ground" to distinguish it in my mind from the current-carrying white "neutral". As you may know, MOBILE HOMES are considered "appliances" in some states, and as such have long been required to have a fourth wire in the 220V service. It wasn't until recently that the clothes dryer manufacturers finally wised up and did it too. You recall in the marathon thread on the 220V welder thing that someone astutely pointed out that you don't tie neutral and ground together except at the main? That's because if the neutral fails between the sub panel and the main, then the equipment ground would become a current-carrying conductor.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-09-2002, 09:34 AM
 
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Re: \"Little W\".....Jeeplab grounding.

Sorry but my anal engineer side is coming through but this may help others out there too who are adding on to garages or upgrading services. Neutrals are designed to carry current. This is why they must be the same wire size as the hots. Grounds are actually there for safety. There are a lot less rules and more flexibility in the National Electric Code (NEC) on grounds. This is why they can be bare, 2 wires sizes smaller, different connections. The problem is that grounding "systems" are not very well understood. Yes they are systems. First of all they do have to dissipate the current when there is a fault-safety. This is so someone doesn't die by touching a frame when a washing machine shorts out. This is also why they are seperate circuits until the distribution panel. The new sensitive electronics throw a wrench into this theory. They have new requirements as I stated ealier. This is why I swing now to keeping the ground wire larger than required. Take care of you big $$ sensitive equipment.
As long as I am on a roll, GFCI operate on another principle. They monitor the current in the hot and the neutral. They should be the same, but when there is a difference, it assume the current is going through the ground (your body) and trips. This is why they can be set so sensitive (it is a differential relay-old logic very reliable). All right I will shut up. Just want to help those out there with the new MIG welders, they cause some funny problems and need to have some thought put into it. CJDave, sounds like you are doing it the right way-I am still pondering your two ground rod way though-gotta calculate which way would give you less ohms.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-09-2002, 07:26 PM
 
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Re: \"Little W\".....Jeeplab grounding.

Ok, someone spoke directly to me, so I'm going to throw my $0.02 worth in...

I'm not trying to sell this as a home game, this is just what *I* do...

First off, use 2/0 (not 2 Ga.) stranded copper from the meter box.
Once it comes through that meter, I have to pay for it, and the idea of paying the electric company to heat up aluminum wire pisses me off!
I use two 200 AMP services. One is for 'Utility', the other is for 'Selective' use.
I only use Square D service boxes with copper busses.
I only use Visual Trip Alert Square D breakers.
I don't use 'Copper' wire...
I use virgin copper wire, no alloys that are so common today.
I NEVER use bonding in the boxes.
(The utilities bond neutral to ground at the pole, but that's not the way *I* do things...)
By having an isolated, true EARTH ground, that means having to install earth ground bars in the service boxes. (Square D, as good as they are, don't come in 22 space with a separate earth ground)

All of my outlets, switches and accessories have separate grounding lugs, or I don't use them. (Do you know how many grounded light switches I've seen outside of my wiring....?....)

UTILITY SERVICE.
Two 2/0 'Hot Legs', one 2/0 Neutral Leg, two 4 Ga. solid copper earth grounds run to the same 15' ground rod (ohmed out ground).
3" plastic conduit, going into the building, and 1" inside the building to the heavy outlets.
Each outlet on it's own breaker.
Every outlet has a neutral AND an earth ground.
If the device is 'permanent', (IE, stationary air compressors and milling machines, ect.) I run a 10 Ga. earth ground from the outlet to the machine frame, if it only has a three wire plug.
Conductors...
6 Ga for 50 amp outlets, 8 Ga. for 30 amp outlets.
Four 110 v outlets to each 20 amp breaker. Two 110v outlets per 20 amp breaker over the welding/ drilling/ grinding bench... (I'm pretty hard on current there...)
20 amp breakers get 12 Ga. wire, 25 to 40 gets 8 Ga. wire, 50 amp gets 6 Ga. wire.

I never 'Chain' my outlets like the union guys do. Each set gets it's own 'Hot', Neutral, and Ground back to the breaker.
I use double outlet boxes every time I install a box. Four places to plug in are only $1 more expensive than two when you are doing it...

All of the 'Noisy' and cycling devices get wired here, (and that means the shop at my house).
I ran a couple if lines in the house for the freezers in the basement, but that's all in the house that uses 'Utility' service.
Welders, grinders, air compressors, milling machines, Not to mention LOTS of 4' fluorescent lights all raise one hell of a noise.

SELECTIVE USE SERVICE.
This is my primary home service.
Separate meter box, 2/0 X 2, virgin copper for hot legs, one 2/0 virgin copper for Neutral. One 2 Ga. solid copper to 15' grounding rod at the box.

Most of the house is wired into this box.
Lots of GFI stuff for outdoor outlets and wiring, and my kitchen is on a different GFI, while the bathroom is on still another...

Sub panel #1. Same Square D breakers.
Power goes through my power filter and battery back up, then to the sub panel #1.
8 Breaker Square D with solid copper busses.
This sub panel and battery back up has it's own earth ground rod, 8 Ga. with 15' rod, about 35 feet away from the primary box ground.
This power feed is for my computer and peripherals, and it services the TV, vcr, dvd, surround sound and the rest of the entertainment center and stereo system

Ground # 3 is a 6' rod with 10 Ga wire hooked to the phone line filter and lightning arrestor.

Ground #4 is at the right front corner of my house, and is connected to the satellite TV, antenna, and their lightning arrestor. It's a 15' with 8 Ga. wire.
<hr>

Don't like the way I wired my house? Tough.
Don't think it's up to code? Tough.
Like I said, I'm not trying to sell this as a home game, this is just the way *I* do things...
(that should be good enough for the drama queens that like to follow me around here...)

I've been in this house sense '96, and I haven't suffered one melt down on anything electrical.
All of my neighbors have lost something, everything from air conditioners to entertainment systems from surges, brown outs, and lightning.
Lightning is really bad in this area, we are on kind of a hill...
Brown outs and surges are common, as the city services buys electricity from three different plants and when they switch over, they get a little carried away some times....
(all within 30 miles of here, and all have high voltage lines running through one end or the other of town...)
<hr>

I am interested in the concept of 'Ground Loop'...
I've read about it, but never actually seen anyplace where it was a problem, and what problems it caused...?
Care to expound on that theroy!?

So many cats, so few recipes...
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