Three Phase Wiring

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  #1  
Old 11-28-04, 04:06 AM
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Three Phase Wiring

In a 3 phase panel, aside from the ground (green), does it matter what color wire goes on what lug? Red, Black, Blue???? Is there any particular order?
Thanks.
Joe
 
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  #2  
Old 11-28-04, 05:32 AM
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Phase _colors_ do not matter to the NEC, with one exception: if you have a 'high leg' system, the high leg must be identified as orange. Various local codes exists that require particular colors for particular voltages, so you will have to double check your local codes.

Phase sequence does matter to the NEC. See 408.3(E).

Where are you messing with a three phase panel? Generally three phase power is associated with situations that legally require a professional electrician.

-Jon
 
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Old 11-28-04, 03:59 PM
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Well, the church I go to now is having an outdoor christmas play and I know about home wiring and things like that and I even put in my own service here at home and a few at work. So I voluntered. I noticed that the panel was 3 phase and there were 4 wires coming in. Green, red, black and blue.
so thats how I got into it. They are mainly for lights and a pa system so I guess it'll work out.
joe
 
  #4  
Old 11-28-04, 04:43 PM
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This is one of those situations which almost certainly requires a licensed electrician. If not because of state law, then because of insurance; it is quite likely that if something should go wrong with the electrical wiring that causes a 'loss', that the Church's insurance company won't pay.

With the above in mind, I can't reach through the screen and make you not do this. But since your Church is being 'penny wise and pound foolish' in my opinion, make sure that you don't let them cheap out on materials and safety equipment. Use GFCI protection, use waterproof covers, use outdoor rated service cord, etc. Use the best quality materials, and take the time to double check everything and do it right. Don't use multi-wire branch circuits, because neutrals in 3phase systems are different, and remember that while line to neutral is going to be 120V, line to line is only 208V. Review the code books; the requirements for public spaces are different than those in your home.

And again, IMHO this is not a task for DIY.

-Jon
 
  #5  
Old 11-28-04, 04:51 PM
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Run, don't walk away from this "job". It is likely that it is against the law for you to do this work (unless you are a licensed electrician). You could go to jail if you get caught. Worse, if a problem develops, you could get sued beyond your wildest imagination.

Doing work for a friend is one thing (still not a good thing to do), but doing commercial work is quite another. You can't afford to do this work.
 
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Old 11-28-04, 05:45 PM
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It's unfortunate that these jobs are regularly done by non-professionals. Usually the law/insurance/liability issue is clouded by the $$$$$$ issue. Especially with churches these days. I have seen some horrendous work done in churches/halls by amateurs which I have had to fix and/or replace.

I actually do pro-bono work in my wife's church/school, but then again I do this for a living and I am licensed.
 
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Old 11-28-04, 05:48 PM
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I had an interesting discussion with one of the church members on the buildings and grounds committee of my church. He said that all he has ever done at the church is to replace a receptacle or switch. He said that for everything else he hires an electrician, even though he could do it himself safely and properly. He says that the liability and legal issues are just too great, and that he doesn't want that on his shoulders.
 
  #8  
Old 11-29-04, 03:46 AM
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Thanks for the advice guys. I think I'm going to run and not walk away from that job. Right now I see the 4 cables running across the ground with a cover over them so no one trips and they go right to the panel. Also, there is no disconnect before the panel, which doesn't sit too good with me. I'm assuming that someone will connect the service to the pole. I hope the electric company sends out some kind of inspector before it's turned on. I think I'll volunteer to just run the wires from the lights to the area where it's supposed to go into the panel and let someone else put them in and if thats not good enough for them, well, let them hire someone.
Joe
 
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