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Home breaker panel explanation
  • jeepinjeepinjeepinjeepin
    Posts: 17,336
    Somebody give me an electrical lesson. I'm researching electric brewing and I can figure wattage in relation to amps and voltage, but my breaker panel is confusing me a bit. I am trying to figure out if I have the capacity for a 30A dual pole breaker in my panel. I have a 200 amp main service, but if I add up all of my breakers I get 340 amps. That makes no sense to me. Obviously every circuit isn't going to be near 100% all at once. ???
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  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,766

    Somebody give me an electrical lesson. I'm researching electric brewing and I can figure wattage in relation to amps and voltage, but my breaker panel is confusing me a bit. I am trying to figure out if I have the capacity for a 30A dual pole breaker in my panel. I have a 200 amp main service, but if I add up all of my breakers I get 340 amps. That makes no sense to me. Obviously every circuit isn't going to be near 100% all at once. ???



    a 200 AMP panel will have a mains dual pole breaker rated at 200amps per pole. that allows a maximum of 200amp and 220VAC.

    the individual circuit breakers can sum up to whatever you want... they protect the wiring downstream of the circuit breaker, not the panel. their only job is to keep you from drawing 50AMPs through 12ga wire and burning up your house.
    the mains breaker will protect the panel itself.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • jeepinjeepinjeepinjeepin
    Posts: 17,336
    200 amps per pole? So that would actually be 400 amps @120 vac, 200 amps @ 240 vac, or the much more likely combination of both?
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  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,766

    200 amps per pole? So that would actually be 400 amps @120 vac, 200 amps @ 240 vac, or the much more likely combination of both?



    Yes
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,766
    Interestingly, most 200 amp panel are actually serviced by 4 100 amp breakers, two per pole, with the throws all ties together by a tie bar.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • jeepinjeepinjeepinjeepin
    Posts: 17,336
    I love you.
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  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,766
    Thanks.

    You should always confirm the panel capacity by looking at the main breaker(s). That will tell you exactly what the total capacity of the panel is.

    If there is any doubt to what you are looking at just post a picture of it.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • jeepinjeepinjeepinjeepin
    Posts: 17,336
    It is labeled 200A.
    image.jpg
    3264 x 2448 - 2M
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  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,766
    Oh and in the 120vac sense its not indescriminantly 400amps, you would have to load the circuits perfectly balanced, meaning circuits on one lerg of the service are pulling 200amps, circuits on the other pulling exactly 200 amps.

    Loading one at 50 amps and the other at 350amps will pop the mains on the overloaded leg.

    Of course, we all know you should never try to do this. Never plan to exceed 80% of the rated load of any single circuit or the combined circuit capacity of an upstream protection device. 80% is the max.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,630
    Solid info.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • jeepinjeepinjeepinjeepin
    Posts: 17,336
    This research is leading into the install of an outlet for an electric brewery and hopefully also a welder. Logic tells me to go welder shopping and then install and use that style of plug and receptacle for the brewery. Brief research leads me to believe that welder wiring is a bit different than that for your dryer/range/furnace/etc. Anyone have firsthand knowledge on that?
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  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,766

    This research is leading into the install of an outlet for an electric brewery and hopefully also a welder. Logic tells me to go welder shopping and then install and use that style of plug and receptacle for the brewery. Brief research leads me to believe that welder wiring is a bit different than that for your dryer/range/furnace/etc. Anyone have firsthand knowledge on that?



    I have a 220vac outlet that I use for an arc welder, a mig welder and my brew rig. I have a 4-wire 2 phase with neutral and dedicated ground as the wall outlet, it can support any type of electrical connection. The brewery uses the same 4-wire installation, while the welders are both 3-wire, but each use different plugs. I just have conversion cords that I made that plug into the 4-wire outlet and conver to the various 3-wire (no neutral) configurations.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • jeepinjeepinjeepinjeepin
    Posts: 17,336
    Lakewood said:

    This research is leading into the install of an outlet for an electric brewery and hopefully also a welder. Logic tells me to go welder shopping and then install and use that style of plug and receptacle for the brewery. Brief research leads me to believe that welder wiring is a bit different than that for your dryer/range/furnace/etc. Anyone have firsthand knowledge on that?



    I have a 220vac outlet that I use for an arc welder, a mig welder and my brew rig. I have a 4-wire 2 phase with neutral and dedicated ground as the wall outlet, it can support any type of electrical connection. The brewery uses the same 4-wire installation, while the welders are both 3-wire, but each use different plugs. I just have conversion cords that I made that plug into the 4-wire outlet and conver to the various 3-wire (no neutral) configurations.


    That's what I was finding. I was hoping to get out of making short adapter extension cords.
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  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,766

    Lakewood said:

    This research is leading into the install of an outlet for an electric brewery and hopefully also a welder. Logic tells me to go welder shopping and then install and use that style of plug and receptacle for the brewery. Brief research leads me to believe that welder wiring is a bit different than that for your dryer/range/furnace/etc. Anyone have firsthand knowledge on that?



    I have a 220vac outlet that I use for an arc welder, a mig welder and my brew rig. I have a 4-wire 2 phase with neutral and dedicated ground as the wall outlet, it can support any type of electrical connection. The brewery uses the same 4-wire installation, while the welders are both 3-wire, but each use different plugs. I just have conversion cords that I made that plug into the 4-wire outlet and conver to the various 3-wire (no neutral) configurations.


    That's what I was finding. I was hoping to get out of making short adapter extension cords.


    you can put a 4-wire plug on the welder, one of my welders didn't even come with a plug, just a pigtail. if you put a 4-wire plug on a 3 wire pigtail, then just connect to the two hots and the ground. leave the neutral floating. (don't tie the neutral and ground together)
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • jeepinjeepinjeepinjeepin
    Posts: 17,336
    Lakewood said:

    Lakewood said:

    This research is leading into the install of an outlet for an electric brewery and hopefully also a welder. Logic tells me to go welder shopping and then install and use that style of plug and receptacle for the brewery. Brief research leads me to believe that welder wiring is a bit different than that for your dryer/range/furnace/etc. Anyone have firsthand knowledge on that?



    I have a 220vac outlet that I use for an arc welder, a mig welder and my brew rig. I have a 4-wire 2 phase with neutral and dedicated ground as the wall outlet, it can support any type of electrical connection. The brewery uses the same 4-wire installation, while the welders are both 3-wire, but each use different plugs. I just have conversion cords that I made that plug into the 4-wire outlet and conver to the various 3-wire (no neutral) configurations.


    That's what I was finding. I was hoping to get out of making short adapter extension cords.


    you can put a 4-wire plug on the welder, one of my welders didn't even come with a plug, just a pigtail. if you put a 4-wire plug on a 3 wire pigtail, then just connect to the two hots and the ground. leave the neutral floating. (don't tie the neutral and ground together)


    There is that too. I'd have a hard time cutting a sealed, stress relieved plug off to replace it with a different style repair plug. I'll just have to wait and see. It does look like I will wire up a 50 amp 4 wire receptacle when I decide to move forward with this. That will give maximum flexibility in the future. So what if I have to make sure the dryer and range are off before firing up the brewery?
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  • jeepinjeepinjeepinjeepin
    Posts: 17,336
    So what size wire for a 50A circuit? It would be short, maybe only 2-3'. 6awg copper for the 2 hots? What about the neutral and ground?
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  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,766

    So what size wire for a 50A circuit? It would be short, maybe only 2-3'. 6awg copper for the 2 hots? What about the neutral and ground?



    I'll have to check the IRC tonight to give you the right answer, its been a while since I did any electrical work. The guys at your local homedepot should know the answer though.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • BenSBenS
    Posts: 6,248

    So what size wire for a 50A circuit? It would be short, maybe only 2-3'. 6awg copper for the 2 hots? What about the neutral and ground?



    15A-14awg
    20A-12awg
    30A-10awg
    50A-8awg
    You want to use the same size wire for all wires in the circuit just in case they ever carry the max load.
    There's no starting point. It's just a massive sea of shit to wade through until you find the occasional corn kernel. -DrCurly
  • jeepinjeepinjeepinjeepin
    Posts: 17,336
    I figure I might as well throw up a couple pics. The shot inside the panel is from before I changed to a matching sized ground wire.
    image.jpg
    3264 x 2448 - 2M
    image.jpg
    3264 x 2448 - 2M
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  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 75,508
    damn, you're all done before I could give you some really bad advice.
    "Again?"
    CurlyFat's 60,000th post
  • jeepinjeepinjeepinjeepin
    Posts: 17,336
    And it works!
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