Power for PCs, help ASAP!

Old 02-27-04, 08:20 AM
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Power for PCs, help ASAP!

Alright, my group is going to be putting on an event that will support up to 150 PC's in an old movie theater. One of the more knowledgable guys (EET) designed the power grid for the event. Here's what we have:

We ran 1,500ft of 8/2 40A cable and purchased 150 Leviton standard 20A outlets. The problem we are running into, is that we cannot figure out any way to splice or attach the 20A outlets to the 40A cable so I have an idea that needs some feedback. I only have a DAY to so all of this as the event is tomorrow so please...anything would be helpful right now.

Would it be possible to do this:

For each row of computers (8-10 PC's) cut the 40A halfway and splice in 2x 20A (Romex cable) lines so half of the PC's get 20A and the other half gets 20A and run the outlets in series. 10-12 AWG wire is much easier to use than this 8 AWG cable we have....

Is there a better way of doing this and/or is my above new idea going to burn the place down in a great ball of fire.....

Thanks in advance!
Old 02-27-04, 08:59 AM
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It's neither legal nor safe to protect 20-amp receptacles with a 40-amp breaker. And it's certainly not legal or safe to use 12-gauge wire on a 40-amp circuit. Furthermore, 1500 feet is a very, very long way to run 120-volt power. The voltage drop will eat you alive. Finally, 150 PCs are going to need more than 40 amps of power.

Since this event is tomorrow, I suggest you get an electrician's help immediately. Your current design is very impractical and highly dangerous. It sounds like a lot of people are going to be putting their safety in your hands. Make sure you do it right.
Old 02-27-04, 11:46 AM
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It's not 1500ft total, it's 1500ft of 8/2 split over 16 rows so the maximum run is most likely 120ft.

This is not permanent in any sense, just need to generate revenue so we can hire a licensed contractor to re-do our mess and bring it up to code.
Old 02-27-04, 12:31 PM
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Receptacles to plug in the PC's cannot be served by a circuit breaker larger than 20A.
Depending on the wattage of the PC's you are using, and making a BIG assumption that each PC and monitor combined will draw 240W (or 2 Amps), I would suggest that you will need about (19) 20A circuits to satisfy the requirement.
Feel free to use #8, although overkill for 125' run, and when you get to the receptacle, use a wirenut to pigtail to #12 for final connection to the receptacle.

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