8 wire office furniture

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  #1  
Old 06-12-05, 07:39 PM
eilerjc
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8 wire office furniture

I recently bought some work benches for my basement that have an 8 wire electrical connection(the same setup use for cubicles)
1 circuit is isolated (1 hot, 1 nuetral, 1 ground) and 3 circuits are shared (3 hots, 1 nuetral, 1 ground). Am I correct in assuming I can only use 2 of the shared circuit because otherwise I would be doubling up on the nuetral from the same phase? Is it safe to tie 2 of the shared hots together and treat them as a single circuit just with more outlets?

Thanks,
Joe
 
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  #2  
Old 06-13-05, 05:08 AM
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I'm not sure what you mean by "1 circuit is isolated". If one circuit is truly isolated then you can use it as a circuit. This would leave you with the shared neutral circuit, of which you can use only two hots (as you surmised). In this case simply cap off one of the hot wires and do not use it.

If however the wires are all together, then you could run four circuits using two hots and a neutral for each circuit.
 
  #3  
Old 06-13-05, 06:38 AM
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I presume that at the end of this workbench you have some sort of junction box where all of the wires are available.

It sounds to me like this workbench was made to support a total of 4 'separate' circuits in an environment with 120/208 three phase service. With three phase service you can balance three separate hot legs around a single neutral.

You should first ask if you need quite this much power at a personal workbench.

If you do need this much power, then you will need to rewire the bench so that it has 4 circuits as 2 dual circuit assemblies. If you have access to the wiring both from the receptacles and the install side, then I agree with Racraft; simply rewire this as two shared neutral circuits.

If you don't need this much power, then you can combine any (or all) of the hot legs of the internal wiring on these benches onto _single_ circuits. As long as all of the combined hots and their associated neutral conductors are protected by a _single_ suitably sized breaker, it is entirely fine to have 2, 3 or more hots with a single neutral. You only have to worry about correctly balancing the feed on a shared neutral when _multiple_ breakers feed the separate hot conductors.

-Jon
 
  #4  
Old 06-13-05, 06:44 PM
eilerjc
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Thanks for the advice. I found some real info including a circuit diagram which does a much better job of explaining the layout.

I only planned on using 3 circuits, 1 for lights and the other 2 for more useful stuff (that way if I do trip a breaker I can still see).

I can't use the isolated circuit because I don't have any of the nifty #4G outlet modules, only #1, #2 and #3. Maybe I'll take the dremel and cut one open to see if I can rewire it

I did find a place to order to order extra outlet modules, but each module costs $12 and I only paid $10 for each bench. I think I'll just run 2 circuits and distribute a couple of lights on each.

Thanks again for the help.
Joe
 
  #5  
Old 06-14-05, 02:44 AM
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Location: Oregon
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When you say that you plan on using three circuits, do you mean three separate supply circuits from your panel, or three of the separate circuit sections in this workbench.

Are the lights part of the bench?

If you can't use the isolated ground section of the bench wiring, then there is no way that you could supply the other portion with three separate circuits in a home with conventional single phase service. You could only have _two_ shared neutral circuits supplying this.

However you could use all three sections of the bench shared neutral wiring; putting one on one supply circuit, and the other two on a separate supply circuit, following the rules for shared neutral circuits (ie using opposite supply legs, and if any of the receptacles use both supply legs, then using a double pole breaker)

-Jon
 
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