Help a idiot with electrical?

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Mr.Spooky
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Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by Mr.Spooky » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:56 am

Im clueless about it.. Here is what I know. I have a dedicated 240 outlet in my shop for my welder / boiler. The only panel box in the shop has 2 black wires and a yellow feeding the panel (coming from the house). The yellow wire, AND a solid copper ground wire are screwed in the same lug that connects to the "ground strips<?) The "ground strips" also have bare copper wire, and white wires screwed to them. I thought those were ground posts, but with the white wires also tied to them, does that make them neutral post?

Part 2---- I have a genuine (probably one of the first controllers ever built) MK5500. You OG's will know who mulekicker is :D . This controller has 4 wires. A ground, 2 hots and a NUTRAL . When I build a plug for it, it has to be a 3 prong plug,,,, so where does the "neutral" line go? hope yall are picking up what Im putting down.
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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by RedwoodHillBilly » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:30 pm

Mr.Spooky wrote:Im clueless about it.. Here is what I know. I have a dedicated 240 outlet in my shop for my welder / boiler. The only panel box in the shop has 2 black wires and a yellow feeding the panel (coming from the house). The yellow wire, AND a solid copper ground wire are screwed in the same lug that connects to the "ground strips<?) The "ground strips" also have bare copper wire, and white wires screwed to them. I thought those were ground posts, but with the white wires also tied to them, does that make them neutral post?

Neutral is tied to ground at the panel. They are different at the outlet. If you need neutral at the outlet you should have 4 wires at the outlet. Ground should only carry current in a fault condition.

Part 2---- I have a genuine (probably one of the first controllers ever built) MK5500. You OG's will know who mulekicker is :D . This controller has 4 wires. A ground, 2 hots and a NUTRAL . When I build a plug for it, it has to be a 3 prong plug,,,, so where does the "neutral" line go? hope yall are picking up what Im putting down.

I don't believe that the MK5500 uses a neutral. Is there a 120v fan in it? If you really need a neutral, you'll have to run it from your panel and install a 4 wire outlet.

thanks

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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by Mr.Spooky » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:52 pm

yer right.. the MK5500 don't have a neutral in it but I had Brian wire in a 120 pigtail coming out of the control box incase I needed a 120 power supply for some reason....... recon I could just open the box up and disconnect the 120 stuff? That way I wouldn't need a neutral?
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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by RedwoodHillBilly » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:54 pm

Mr.Spooky wrote:yer right.. the MK5500 don't have a neutral in it but I had him wire in a 110 pigtail coming out of the control box incase I needed a 110 power supply for some reason....... recon I could just open the box up and disconnect the 110 stuff? That way I wouldn't need a neutral?
If you're not using the 120V feed into the control box, disconnect it. Just use the 2 hots and ground.

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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by Mr.Spooky » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:58 pm

RedwoodHillBilly wrote:
Mr.Spooky wrote:yer right.. the MK5500 don't have a neutral in it but I had him wire in a 110 pigtail coming out of the control box incase I needed a 110 power supply for some reason....... recon I could just open the box up and disconnect the 110 stuff? That way I wouldn't need a neutral?
If you're not using the 120V feed into the control box, disconnect it. Just use the 2 hots and ground.
thanks,, probably what Ill do.. Id love to have the 120,, but at this point,, its just time to get down to business...
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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by HDNB » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:59 pm

everything the hillbilly said is true.

whoever wired your shop prolly just stacked the yellow on top of the ground for extra current conductor instead of providing an earth ground at that panel, which would be more normal.

think of the ground wire as an over-all shield to to ground for the box or tool you work with. The neutral carry the return path of 120VAC only in tools of that voltage...so if the internal part of the tool, say the motor fails and the voltage gets loose from that motor (on the hot side or the neutral side) it will hit the "box" earth ground before it hits your hand and goes through you to ground.

if 120VAC is not used, there is no need for the fourth wire.
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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by RedwoodHillBilly » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:19 pm

HDNB wrote:everything the hillbilly said is true.

whoever wired your shop prolly just stacked the yellow on top of the ground for extra current conductor instead of providing an earth ground at that panel, which would be more normal.

Not to be pedantic, but what he is talking about is a sub-panel. I'll have to check the code, but I don't believe that the sub-panel requires 4 wires i.e. a separate true earth ground. I wonder if the "yellow" wire is really a green/yellow wire. The colors defined are: white or grey - neutral (grounded conductor), green or green/yellow or bare cooper - ground, any other color - hot(ungrounded conductor).

think of the ground wire as an over-all shield to to ground for the box or tool you work with. The neutral carry the return path of 120VAC only in tools of that voltage...so if the internal part of the tool, say the motor fails and the voltage gets loose from that motor (on the hot side or the neutral side) it will hit the "box" earth ground before it hits your hand and goes through you to ground.

if 120VAC is not used, there is no need for the fourth wire.

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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by Pikey » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:24 pm

Your electrics sound SO interesting 8) - we just get live-neutral earth - 240 volts - unless we're lucky enough to have access to 3 phase when we get 415 volts. to get 110 - we have to transform it down.

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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by Mr.Spooky » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:28 pm

I wired it :problem: ... I do have the ground ( solid bare copper wire) connected to a 6ft ground rod . but like I said ,, 3 wires from the house, and one of those wires (yellow) is screwed in along with the ground.[img][IMG]http://i703.photobucket.com/albums/ww37/Mr-Spooky/20170618_171633_zpsfrwzrxoc.jpg[/img][/img]
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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by Mr.Spooky » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:29 pm

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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by Mr.Spooky » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:45 pm

Pikey wrote:Your electrics sound SO interesting 8) - we just get live-neutral earth - 240 volts - unless we're lucky enough to have access to 3 phase when we get 415 volts. to get 110 - we have to transform it down.
Interesting enough just to screw up a average joe LOL
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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by rgreen2002 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:34 pm

Pikey wrote:Your electrics sound SO interesting 8) - we just get live-neutral earth - 240 volts - unless we're lucky enough to have access to 3 phase when we get 415 volts. to get 110 - we have to transform it down.

We are not to be trusted making our own likker..... you think we are going to be trusted with 415V?... :mrgreen:
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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by DAD300 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:51 pm

You need some research here. What or where is the breaker box you connected ground and neutral?

"Whenever you have an auxiliary panel the neutral and ground should not be tied together because the ground wire becomes a parallel path for current with the neutral wire (any current going through the neutral wire will be shared with the ground wire because they have the same connections at both ends)."

Neutral is usually only grounded at the Pole and Service Entrance. Think lightening protection.

A Sub panel (breaker box in the house) should have an added bar for ground as a default when an appliance fails or a bare wire touches something it shouldn't.

On a sub panel, if the ground wire (bare copper) and neutral are tied together and you are grounding (bare copper wire) to a water pipe, you are putting a some amount of electricity into your plumbing system OR any breaker in the box is potentially providing electricity to a popped breaker through the ground wire.
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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by Mr.Spooky » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:39 am

DAD300 wrote:You need some research here. What or where is the breaker box you connected ground and neutral?

"Whenever you have an auxiliary panel the neutral and ground should not be tied together because the ground wire becomes a parallel path for current with the neutral wire (any current going through the neutral wire will be shared with the ground wire because they have the same connections at both ends)."

Neutral is usually only grounded at the Pole and Service Entrance. Think lightening protection.

A Sub panel (breaker box in the house) should have an added bar for ground as a default when an appliance fails or a bare wire touches something it shouldn't.

On a sub panel, if the ground wire (bare copper) and neutral are tied together and you are grounding (bare copper wire) to a water pipe, you are putting a some amount of electricity into your plumbing system OR any breaker in the box is potentially providing electricity to a popped breaker through the ground wire.
OK youll have to have patience with me here :oops: .. I came out of the house panel box (that also has a ground rod) from a single pole 60 breaker. ran 3 wires to the shop panel box (2 blacks and a yellow, all aluminum), and wired them as seen in the pic in a previous post ^^^^. The welder/ boiler is on a double pole 30 (I think). Have I done something wrong? I had a electrician hook up the wires in the house box and I did the shop. thanks
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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by RedwoodHillBilly » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:03 am

DAD300, you're right. I just checked the code and it changed in 2008. There are some differences depending on whether it is in the same building or not. Here is a good article on grounding and bonding and the theory behind it with diagrams.
http://www.adamselectric.coop/wp-conten ... onding.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by HDNB » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:54 am

electricity that "works" and electricity that works right are two different things.

the picture of the panel ^^^ would not pass inspection here with the neutrals and grounds tied the way they are. But inspectors and jurisdictions are all a bit different.

i'm on a farm and there is hundreds of feet in between sub panels. My master sparky tells me that earth grounding each sub is not only safer but more efficient at balancing loads on the system.
i.e. return voltage from my furthest lights/appliances to my pole is maybe 500 feet, if the pole was the only earth ground there could be an awful lot of current on that one conductor collected from the whole farm.
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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by RedwoodHillBilly » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:34 am

HDNB wrote: i.e. return voltage from my furthest lights/appliances to my pole is maybe 500 feet, if the pole was the only earth ground there could be an awful lot of current on that one conductor collected from the whole farm.
If you're carrying current on the earth ground, something is wrong. Neutral yes, ground no.

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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by still_stirrin » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:59 am

Hey Spooky,

It is best to size photos to upload to the HD site rather than using an external host (photobucket). The images won't sustain time if externally hosted. So it is recommended to upload them to the HD site (see the "add attachment" tab at the bottom of the page, below the "preview/submit" buttons). But, the maximum image size is 800x800 pixels, so camera (smart phone images) must be edited or resized.

I've added your electrical box wiring image here:
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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by DAD300 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:06 am

No malice. Now that I know it is a sub panel, I would caution you to not mix Ground and Neutral. Separate the Ground wires from Neutrals and ground them to a copper rod or two driven in the ground.

I just happen to be working the same issues myself right now and we're all learning as we go. I have a new 400 amp 220v service Ground and Neutral together at the pole, together at the Service Disconnect outside the building and separated at the Breaker Box in the distillery. At the Breaker Box the Grounds go to a copper rod driven in the ground.

All good. You did the right thing by asking!
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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by RedwoodHillBilly » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:17 am

DAD300,

You should check out the .pdf that I referenced above. The real part of the code that you want to check out is 250.52 that talks about grounding and bonding.

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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by Mr.Spooky » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:35 am

DAD300 wrote:No malice. Now that I know it is a sub panel, I would caution you to not mix Ground and Neutral. Separate the Ground wires from Neutrals and ground them to a copper rod or two driven in the ground.

I just happen to be working the same issues myself right now and we're all learning as we go. I have a new 400 amp 220v service Ground and Neutral together at the pole, together at the Service Disconnect outside the building and separated at the Breaker Box in the distillery. At the Breaker Box the Grounds go to a copper rod driven in the ground.

All good. You did the right thing by asking!
So how would you wire the sub panel box? I understand that the 2 blacks are right, but if you separate the neutral and ground where would you wire the neutral? The left and right side "ground blocks) are connected together. . Im feelin like i need to call a different electrican.
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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by shadylane » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:41 am

Mr.Spooky wrote:So how would you wire the sub panel box? I understand that the 2 blacks are right, but if you separate the neutral and ground where would you wire the neutral? The left and right side "ground blocks) are connected together. . Im feelin like i need to call a different electrican.
The way it's wired will work but wont meet code.
I would have installed a separate block for the ground wires.
And kept the ground and neutral wires separate.

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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by Mr.Spooky » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:59 am

Ok, so it wont be a problem to redo the configuration in the sub panel box. But what about the neutral wire on my controller? Can I gust connect it WITH the ground wire on my 3 prong plug?
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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by RedwoodHillBilly » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:01 pm

Mr.Spooky wrote: So how would you wire the sub panel box? I understand that the 2 blacks are right, but if you separate the neutral and ground where would you wire the neutral? The left and right side "ground blocks) are connected together. . Im feelin like i need to call a different electrican.
That panel isn't convenient to use as a sub panel. If you want to meet code, you would have to remove the shorting bar on the top. Make the right block your ground and the left one your neutral. Don't forget to connect the load neutrals and grounds to the correct block.

Or you could just say screw it, it will work. And I believe that it would meet the 2005 code as well. I don't have a copy of the 2005 code handy, but that is how I remember it.

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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by RedwoodHillBilly » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:03 pm

Mr.Spooky wrote:Ok, so it wont be a problem to redo the configuration in the sub panel box. But what about the neutral wire on my controller? Can I gust connect it WITH the ground wire on my 3 prong plug?
No, the controller doesn't use neutral.

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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by shadylane » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:20 pm

One other thing I was going to say
The way it's wired
The metal box on your subpanel isn't grounded

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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by Mr.Spooky » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:27 pm

RedwoodHillBilly wrote:
Mr.Spooky wrote:Ok, so it wont be a problem to redo the configuration in the sub panel box. But what about the neutral wire on my controller? Can I gust connect it WITH the ground wire on my 3 prong plug?
No, the controller doesn't use neutral.
my controller has a neutral. I had Brian wire it with a 110 pigtail also. Cant remember why now, been some years :crazy:
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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by Mr.Spooky » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:37 pm

So I guess heres my plan. Leave the panel the way it is (if it was good enough in 05 its good enough for me) ,,, and get inside my controller and cut out the 110 stuff, throw it up in the trees . WALA no need for a neutral. Im ready to get this thing rollin. I built ONE of the first flutes, ran it once broke it back down, tinkered and tweaked on it then packed it up. recon more than 5 years later its time get it goin...... Thanks for yalls help on the subject.
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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by Mr.Spooky » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:39 pm

shadylane wrote:One other thing I was going to say
The way it's wired
The metal box on your subpanel isn't grounded
because the neutral and ground are tied together? That solid copper wire is going to a 6' ground rod driven 5' 10" in the ground.
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Re: Help a idiot with electrical?

Post by shadylane » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:02 pm

The neutral busses are insulated from the metal box.
There's a green "box bonding screw" that goes in a hole on the neutral buss
to fasten the neutral to the box

https://d12m281ylf13f0.cloudfront.net/b ... Dbond1.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

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