Your Resident Electrician for all your electrical questions!

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by Young Frankenstein, May 12, 2012.

  1. skinz78

    skinz78 Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member

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    Actually both the black and the white can get you. If there is something getting power down stream and the power's trying to go back to ground and you open up the white wire, there is a good chance it can get you too if you are grounded good enough.... Been there done that, it sucks.
     
  2. Reef Breeders

    Reef Breeders The LED Guy R2R Supporter Gold Sponsors Toys For Kids 2016

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    Very true, you never know. I have discovered both of the wires live, due to miswiring in a 4 gang box where all the wires came together for a bank of switches. I have also seen neutral wires, especially from 50's wiring (horrible sheathing), where a wire was stapled with an uninsulated staple too tight (using uninsulated staples in the first place is a mistake). Any ways, the wire was arcing in the panel, and that circuit had to be replaced. I would say about 75% of the job is fixing the last guys mistakes.
     
  3. skinz78

    skinz78 Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member

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    Oh I have a few pic's that are truly amazing on my phone... I can't get them to upload while I'm at home though, no service.
     
  4. Reef Breeders

    Reef Breeders The LED Guy R2R Supporter Gold Sponsors Toys For Kids 2016

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    Oh boy, this is going to be good, lol. I remember a dishwasher line run through a hole in the floor, the insulation was almost gone, it was a ticking time bomb.
     
  5. skinz78

    skinz78 Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member

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    My current apprentice, ironically he whines the least and listens the best out of all my past apprentices. We were running dedicated circuits to my current tank:wink:

    [​IMG]

    The other pic's that I have I won't upload to my Facebook, I don't want people thinking I did the handy work....
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  6. Aquaph8

    Aquaph8 Love The Fish Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member

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    Whatever that thing is in his mouth I may have to get some of those for my employees :)
     
  7. SPSkeeper

    SPSkeeper Well-Known Member

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    Awesome!! Thanks so much for the input Sparky :) really appreciate it! It's nice to see people like you offering advice like this. You don't know how many electricians I had called that wanted to charge me to come look at it to make sure it was safe. I feel much more at ease with your input.
     
  8. shecter

    shecter Well-Known Member

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    What's the round about cost to have a generator wired in so I can run my major appliances and my tank maybe some lights?
     
  9. Young Frankenstein

    Young Frankenstein I sniff ozone and relax. R2R Excellence Award

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    Glad to be of help :) any time
     
  10. Reef Breeders

    Reef Breeders The LED Guy R2R Supporter Gold Sponsors Toys For Kids 2016

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    About $50-$100 an hour depending on the guy, plus materials.
     
  11. Young Frankenstein

    Young Frankenstein I sniff ozone and relax. R2R Excellence Award

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    Good question :) lets say the tank equipment including lighting at 1KW, I would settle for the basics, a circulation pump 150 to 300 w for a large one, some lighting 500w and misc at 200 w so 1 kw is ok. Now for the appliances, refrigerator 1000 to 1500w big ones 220v at 2kw, kook top forget about it 3 to 6kw, AC depends, with all that said I will split into 2 categories. Just aquarium at 1000 to 1500w and house at 15kw and up to 150kw. We installed 250 kw in a house in Miami Beach, it depends on the load. So a 15 k will run you approximately 5k with installation approx 8-10 $k including an ATS automatic transfer switch.
    For the average folk like myself, I have a UPS powering my circulation pump that draws about 100W, good for 8 hrs, and also looking to get a small generator. Now there are 100s of small generators and i looked into it. What you are looking for is hi duty cycle meaning most el cheap generator run for 2 hrs and need 4 hrs to cool down, that is not a good choice. Fuel is also important, if you get gas it needs cleaning so propane is a better choice. Sound attenuation also is an issue. Finally what i have in mind is tri fuel super quiet generators, either Yamaha or Honda. I will post some links, if you need anymore info let me know.


    to power a refrigirator also I like this EF2400iSHC | Yamaha Generators | yamahagenerators.com


    just tank super quite A+ generator EF1000iS | Yamaha Generators | yamahagenerators.com


    Also Quiet Honda Generator - Deluxe Honda Generators WiseSales.com

    Again check duty cycle and don't get cheap ones, you will probably need to run them for 3 days in a major storm and want them to WORK WHEN YOU NEED THEM !!!!
     
  12. skinz78

    skinz78 Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member

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    I once had a 34 hour power outage in a snow storm, I installed a Emer Gen Switch in my house.

    Manual Transfer Switch by Emergen Switch | eBay

    This thing is the absolute minimum you can do when it comes to a manual transfer switch in your house. It will handle up to 6 120v circuits, 2 20A and 4 15A. I have 2 circuits going to my aquarium, 1 to my microwave, 1 to my refrigerator, and 2 general lighting circuits on it. Basically I just plug my generator into it with the removable extension cord and power things.

    The link show's about how much you can expect to spend on one and it can take up to about 2 hours to install. I don't recommend having it installed by anyone other than a licensed electrical contractor. As stated above prices can very, at my shop the flat rate residential fee is $52 an hour.

    On the other end of the spectrum, I've installed a 400A whole house generator, I think the bill on that was in the $60,000 range. So it all depends on how extravagant you want to get.
     
  13. skinz78

    skinz78 Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member

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    In all honesty though I've never had to use my generator and it's been six years since I've installed the manual transfer switch. Most of my power outages are 2 to 4 hours so I use one of these bad boys and just plug in one of my MP40's. It's actually a handy little gadget, I use it for camping, airing up tires, jump starting vehicles and much more, at about $100 it's a great deal.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Young Frankenstein

    Young Frankenstein I sniff ozone and relax. R2R Excellence Award

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    Don't get me wrong, you do have emergency power and a plan, for 2 to 3 days you need something stronger.
     
  15. Young Frankenstein

    Young Frankenstein I sniff ozone and relax. R2R Excellence Award

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    Most people in Miami with portable generatos have the same MTS
     
  16. MyReefToYours

    MyReefToYours Well-Known Member

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    Can you give me a rough idea on price (I realize it will be very rough) on changing out a breaker panel/box (materials included). I've got a federal pacific stab lock load center and she is full. I want to add a couple dedicated circuits to the fish room and split up some of the existing circuits (I realize this is a wiring thing so don't worry about this) to prevent overload on existing circuits. I'm just looking for a rough idea to see if this is in my budget or if I'd have to starve for a year to do it. Here's the current box:

    [​IMG]



    Thank you in advance.
     
  17. Reef Breeders

    Reef Breeders The LED Guy R2R Supporter Gold Sponsors Toys For Kids 2016

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    Do you want the service upgraded? Panel service is about $100 an hour plus materials. You are looking at maybe 6 hours total labor, a square D 100A panel runs about 50 bucks, so not too bad on that. Upgrading the service is about $2000 if you needed that.
     
  18. MyReefToYours

    MyReefToYours Well-Known Member

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    I can't imagine I'd need to upgrade as this is a small house (1400 sq ft), I just want to pull another dedicated to the fish room and split up some existing circuits. Right how the whole front of the house (built in 1906) is on 1 circuit. In the back the swamp cooler, window air conditioner, kitchen, and bathroom are all on one circuit, if you try to run the microwave while the air conditioner is on or if the wife fires up her hair dryer we pop that one. The fish room is currently on one 20A circuit and in order to expand, I'd need another circuit. It's just when they wired this place they just kept stringing stuff together. We have never popped a fuse anywhere else in the house so I assume that many of the others are only hooked up to a few overhead lights with very little draw. This house is old, added onto 3 times (assuming last time in the 70's or 80's) and there are wires running all over, some live, some not. I did have an electrician pull the wire to the fish room from an existing circuit that didn't have any draw on it but the box won't accommodate any more breakers. I appreciate everything!
     
  19. Young Frankenstein

    Young Frankenstein I sniff ozone and relax. R2R Excellence Award

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    Federal breakers :) change the panel, they don't trip. Federal used to be #1, in all schools police stations etc, before square d became the best panel you can get, anyway everyone paid top $ for federal ................and there were a bunch of fires that this company was responsible for. Ge makes breakers that fit in that panel and they are safe. Cost to change a panel is about $ 800 and for a 200A complete service upgrade like anemone said 2k. Change it.
     
  20. Reef Breeders

    Reef Breeders The LED Guy R2R Supporter Gold Sponsors Toys For Kids 2016

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    I would just have your whole house re wired, but that would be a few grand. Like I said, a new 100A panel will be materials plus about $600, or more. With a sub panel, maybe a few more hours, so up to $900 to replace your old one, and run a sub panel.
     

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