Connecting 4 gauge wires together.

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  #1  
Old 12-10-10, 10:29 PM
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Is there a better way of doing this?

I need to provide 220 volt 20 amp power inside several apartments in my building this coming summer. (Don't ask, it's a long story.)

I'm thinking the best way to do this is to tap off the range cord in each apartment. Each apartment has a stove with a range cord that plugs into a 50 amp 220 volt range receptacle.

What I was thinking of doing is simply buying a small mini-panel, a 6 inch electrical box, a range receptacle, some 20 amp circuit breakers, two feet of 50 amp 3 conductor cable, 30 feet of 20 amp 3 conductor wire and a grounded 20 amp 220 volt female receptacle.

I'm thinking I can run a range cord and the three conductor 50 amp cable into the 6 inch electrical box, and connect the wires from both the range cord and the 50 amp cable to the back of the range receptacle and pack all that into the 6 inch square electrical box.

Then, the other end of the 50 amp cable would go into the mini-subpanel and connect to the two buss bars and neutral bar in that mini-subpanel. I could then put two 20 amp breakers in that mini-subpanel and run a 20 amp 3 conductor wire from the breakers in that mini-subpanel to a 220 volt 20 amp receptacle that the "mobile boiler" (of all things) could plug into.

That way, the tenant could still plug their stove into the range receptacle in the 6 inch electrical box so that they could still use their stove's surface elements (but I'd tell them not to use the oven). And, I have 220 volt 20 amp power available at the 20 amp 220 volt female receptacle.

First question:
I don't see a problem connecting the 4 gauge wires from both a range cord and the 50 amp cable into the back of a range receptacle. Those are generally pretty big slots they provide at the back of range receptacles. But, I do see a problem getting all that heavy wire and the range receptical into that 6 inch electrical box without swearing or using a sledge hammer. Do they make "deep" 6 inch electrical boxes? Or, is there a bigger box I can still mount a range receptacle in?

Second question:
I've never wired a sub-panel. I'm presuming a mini-subpanel with space for only 4 single breakers or two double breakers would have "L1" and "L2" buss bars and a neutral bar just like any other electrical panel. Is that a reasonable assumption or so I need to learn more about mini-subpanels?

Third question:
I'm assuming that any kind of 3 conductor wire that's rated for 20 amps can serve as the cord between the mini-subpanel and the 20 amp, 220 volt female receptacle. Is there a particular kind of 3 conductor 20 amp wire I should be using?

And, finally, is there a better way of doing this?
 

Last edited by Nestor; 12-10-10 at 11:39 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-10-10, 11:00 PM
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Your plan would work if the range receptacles were 4 prong. In that case the hook up would be red, black, green but not white. I think though it would be a big hassle for the tenants. Connections could be made with split bolts or Polaris connectors but I don't recommend doing it the way you propose. {Edit: Offered better suggestion in my follow up post but only if it absolutely has to be done this way.}

Do you have a separate "house" meter independent of the tenants meters? I would suggest you add a 20a 240v breaker and receptacle to that panel. The contractor can use his own extension cords and air hoses to get the air where he needs it. Just don't let him use alligator clips on the bus bars of a panel.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 12-11-10 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 12-10-10, 11:46 PM
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Thanks for your response, Ray.

I changed my post because I figured a better way to do it. Please re-read.

It's actually a mobile boiler, not an air compressor. I'm wanting to provide electrical power to the boiler because the boiler's operation is silent. It's the diesel generator that they fire up to provide electrical power to the boiler that will keep the tenants up all night. I firmly believe that if they stay up all night with that generator running outside their windows, they'll be more than happy to have me tap electrical power off their range cord to provide the needed power to the boiler.

But, I'm open to any other ideas that can make things easier or better.

Yes, the range cord I use in my building are all 4 prong; two power lines, a neutral and a ground. Ditto for the range receptacles.
 
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Old 12-11-10, 08:15 AM
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I still really think a receptacle off the house meter and extension cords are best. If you just have to do it this way I would suggest a square of plywood with a 60amp main lug breaker box, a surface mount range receptacle, and a 20amp 240v receptacle mounted to the piece of plywood.

A 4 wire range cord would go to the lugs of the breaker box. Add a ground bar if not included. Neutral bar must be isolated.

Use a 40a breaker to supply the range receptacle and a 20a breaker to supply the 20a 240v receptacle. Use conduit nipples between each receptacle box and the breaker box.

This way no trying to splice #6 cable.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 12-11-10 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 12-11-10, 08:25 AM
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I'm not a pro but none of this seems right to me but perhaps I don't get what the purpose of the 20 amp circuit is going to be used. If somehow a generator is being used, shouldn't there but a transfer switch installed to prevent backfeed into the grid for safety reasons?
"connect the wires from both the range cord and the 50 amp cable to the back of the range receptacle and pack all that into the 6 inch square electrical box": I don't think the receptacle terminals are set up to accommodate two conductors are they?
 
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Old 12-11-10, 08:53 AM
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Bob22 asked:
I'm not a pro but none of this seems right to me but perhaps I don't get what the purpose of the 20 amp circuit is going to be used.
The purpose is simply to sypply electric to heat a steam boiler. The contractor normally uses a generator for the electric. To keep the noise down the poster wants to supply the electric from a building circuit so no generator will be used.

I don't think the receptacle terminals are set up to accommodate two conductors are they?
You are correct.
 
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Old 12-11-10, 09:15 PM
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Right. The boiler is really more a diesel fuel burning water heater. It supplies hot water to an indirect fired water heater, and that water heater provides hot water for my tenants to have baths and showers while the heating system in my building is being changed. Normally, this company provides hot water to outdoor venues and has a diesel generator that provides electrical power to the boilers. That generator isn't a problem at a fair or whatever, but it's a real problem when it's outside your window at 110 decibels all night long. By tapping off the 40 amp circuit to a tenant's range cord, we can eliminate the diesel generator and operate the water heater with virtually no noise at all.

Ray: There are two 40 amp cartridge fuses in the sub-panel in the tenant's suite (that limit the amperage to the range cord.) So, why would I need to have another two 40 amp fuses at the other end of the range cord to limit current to the receptacle?

I do have other sources of 220 volt power, but I don't have any way of getting that power to the water heater. I have an electrical panel in my electrical room that has available spaces in it, but there's no hole in the exterior wall by which to supply that power to the outdoors where the mobile water heater will be. I also have 30 amp 220 volt service in each of my laundry rooms, but there again, there's no holes in the laundry room walls by which to get that power into the parking lot. I also have electrical power at the plugs in my parking lot, but it's all breakered down to 15 amps, and the parking fence is unprotected so any jerk can come along and pull out one or both of those plugs in the middle of the night to shut down the boiler and then there's no hot water for the tenants the following morning. By tapping off a tenant's range cord, I can simply run a cord out the tenant's window to the truck mounted water heater (boiler) in a parking stall.

I'd mount everything on a piece of plywood, but hopefully I'm only going to be doing this work once, so I'm not wanting to spend more time building this thing than using it. It only needs to last a few days; a week at most. After that, I'm likely never to need it again.

If there isn't enough room to run two 30 amp conductors into the back of a range receptacle, then I'll have to connect them together with a pigtail, and put the pigtails into the back of the range receptacle. Where I live it's not uncommon for people to install a second battery in the trunk of their cars, and they connect the battery cables with split bolts. I've never done that, but I've been told that you need to buy some kind of "varnished cambrick" tape and some "rubber tape" to insulate the split bolt on the positive cable. Apparantly, you wrap the spit bolt multiple (3 to 5) times with this cambrick tape, then 5 wraps with rubber tape, and then 5 wraps with plastic electrical tape. Is that good enough for my application as well? Are there "insulated" split bolts?

Is there such a thing as a "deep" 6 inch electrical box, or is there any way of mounting a range receptacle into a larger box to allow sufficient space for the heavy gauge wiring and connectors? Getting a range receptacle into a 6 inch electrical box is tough enough without having all kinds of other wiring in that same box.

Thanks for everyone's interest, time and advice.
 
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Old 12-11-10, 10:05 PM
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So, why would I need to have another two 40 amp fuses at the other end of the range cord to limit current to the receptacle
Breakers not fuses. They provide a connection point for the wires to the range plug. I'm puzzled by your statement there is no hole to get the electrical cord out. There has to be a door or window. How would you get it out of the apartment? A hole in the electrical room would seem a more reasonable approach then leaving a tenants window open to run a cord. You could surface mount a box outside of the electrical room and run AC or MC cable to the house panel. A lot simpler then going from an apartment IMHO.
 
  #9  
Old 12-11-10, 10:40 PM
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I'm really confused. Is this "boiler" really an oil-fired water heater that also requires a 40 ampere 240 volt supply for operation? That 40 amperes seems really high if it is only for operating the burner and controls and maybe a circulating pump and 240 volts also seems a bit strange since most burners and control systems would have 120 volt supplies. Assuming the maximum current draw is 32 amperes (80% of 40 ampere circuit breaker rating) at 240 volts that would be almost 7700 watts, a large requirement for a fuel-oil burner, circulating pump and controls.

Also, since this a temporary setup to supply hot water while the main system is undergoing repairs/replacement you obviously need a hole in the building to run the supply and return piping to/from the indirect water heater. Why cannot you also run the power cable out the same hole(s) as the piping? Why cannot you access the necessary power from the boiler room?
 
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Old 12-11-10, 10:53 PM
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I am on simuir page as Furd is and can you tell us quick specs what the boiler requirement and normally most portable boilers for small size can be wired either 120 or 240 volts depending on pump size.{ most small one are wired for single phase the med to large units will be either way depending on pump and burner motor size ( single or three phase )

How many KW the actual power the unit will required ?? I know most case it will be under 6 KW for sure but check with them so you can plan ahead.

With small power requirement you can get by with smaller conductor or cable.

I rather run the tempory pipes for boiler thur the electrial or mechial room wall whichever it is closer.

Most portable boiler is not super loud when run on electric mode but when you switch over to diesel generator the key issue is the enclosure { housing } they should not be over 85 DB at 7 Meters so check with them if they have quiet verison { aka crictial encloseure } aviable.

I have one towable generator which it is very quiet diesel unit which I used in few time when I do the service changeover when it will take longer than 8 hours or POCO have conflect with shedule with inspectors then I will set up a tempory power unit until this matter is done.

Let us know what is your plans pan out on this one.

Merci.
Marc
 
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Old 12-12-10, 10:07 AM
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Just to clarify the O/P originally wrote:
and a grounded 20 amp 220 volt female receptacle.
so I assumed he needed less then 20 amps for the boiler. I think the 40a came from his wanting to supply the tenants stove and the boiler at the same time. However I must say in mt early post I assumed a 50 or 60 amp supply to the stove. Now that it has been stated it is only a 40 amp fuse on the stove circuit I would be skeptical it could supply both the boiler and top burners of the stove.

Nestor, I think you really need to do a rethink on this. Maybe even find another source of temporary heat more compatible with the situation. Surely the commercial plumber who is going to make this change out encounters this situation on a routine basis. Have you ask him for suggestions?
 
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Old 12-12-10, 01:26 PM
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Now I'm even more confused. I re-read the original post and Nestor is asking to make this "adapter" (for want of a better term) to be used in several different apartments. WHY?

If this fuel-fired water heater is supplying domestic hot water for the entire building why should the power need to be supplied from multiple apartments? I'm also confused as to whether or not this "temporary rig" is a combination boiler and indirect water heater that will be supplying domestic hot water to the building or is it just a boiler that supplies heating water to an existing indirect water heater inside the building.

In either case we are now looking at a maximum load of about 3800 watts or 16 amperes at 240 volts. Nestor could rent (or have the contractor rent, fuel and maintain) a very quiet Honda generator to supply that if necessary. I think the generator idea is really unnecessary and running a 10-3 (or 10-4 if a 240/120 circuit is required) type SOW cable to the boiler/water heater makes more sense. The cable could run from the boiler room, electrical room or even the laundry room whichever made sense and followed the piping from the boiler/water heater rig.

Nor would installing a 20 ampere 240 volt receptacle in an appropriate place outside the building be anymore of a hardship than will be the running of the piping to/from the boiler/water heater. I just don't understand why Nestor would rather disrupt his tenants with haywire connections to their kitchen ranges (limiting the usage of those ranges) along with also having power cables snaking across the tenants floors and out the window.

Another thought...Since this temporary rig is normally used to supply hot water to places where no domestic hot water is available it could be that it has a three-phase, 240/208 supply voltage rather than a single-phase 240 volt supply. If that is the case then unless Nestor has three-phase power available in his building he is just SOL as far as eliminating the use of the generator.
 
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Old 12-12-10, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Breakers not fuses. They provide a connection point for the wires to the range plug. I'm puzzled by your statement there is no hole to get the electrical cord out. There has to be a door or window. How would you get it out of the apartment? A hole in the electrical room would seem a more reasonable approach then leaving a tenants window open to run a cord. You could surface mount a box outside of the electrical room and run AC or MC cable to the house panel. A lot simpler then going from an apartment IMHO.
Ray: All of my apartments have 24 inch wide self cleaning ranges. 24 inch wide apartment ranges normally require 40 amp 220 volt service, whereas 30 inch wide residiential electric ranges normally require 50 amp service. But, because NEMA doesn't have a plug/receptacle configuration for 220 volt 40 amp service, I use 50 amp range cords on my stoves. Still, in the fuse panel of each apartment, there are two 40 amp fuses that provide power to that suite's range. Since I already have 40 amp fuses in each apartment's electrical panel limiting the current to 40 amps, I'm wondering why I'd also need 40 amp breakers at the other end of that same cable limiting the power to the range receptacle to those same 40 amps. Your point that the panel would provide a place to make connections is well taken, but couldn't I just use a deep 6 inch electrical boxes to make split bolt connections in?

The reason why I need to provide 20 amp, 220 volt service to this boiler is to avoid using the diesel generator to provide electric power to the boiler. That's because that generator will wake up the dead. By providing electrical power from an apartment, then the diesel burning water heater can operate relatively quietly so that tenants won't be kept awake all night.

I want to do this work during the summertime. Consequently, running a wire through an open window won't be a problem. Much less of a problem (IMHO) than having to run a cable from my boiler room or electrical service room. If the tenant is concerned about bugs getting in through the slightly open window, I can tape some fiberglass mesh drywall joint tape over the open area of the window. I'll only be for a few days. Who knows, I'll even give the lucky tenant $100 off their rent for that month for having to live with the great inconvenience of only being able to use 1 or 2 of their surface elements at a time when cooking, and not being able to open both or all three of their windows for that solitary week.

Is there such a thing as a "deep" 6 inch electrical box. I know I can buy deep octagonal boxes.
 
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Old 12-12-10, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Furd View Post
I'm really confused. Is this "boiler" really an oil-fired water heater that also requires a 40 ampere 240 volt supply for operation? That 40 amperes seems really high if it is only for operating the burner and controls and maybe a circulating pump and 240 volts also seems a bit strange since most burners and control systems would have 120 volt supplies. Assuming the maximum current draw is 32 amperes (80% of 40 ampere circuit breaker rating) at 240 volts that would be almost 7700 watts, a large requirement for a fuel-oil burner, circulating pump and controls.

Also, since this a temporary setup to supply hot water while the main system is undergoing repairs/replacement you obviously need a hole in the building to run the supply and return piping to/from the indirect water heater. Why cannot you also run the power cable out the same hole(s) as the piping? Why cannot you access the necessary power from the boiler room?
Furd:
It's a diesel burning water heater. The electrical requirement are for both the water heater controls and a water pump (also mounted in the truck with the water heater and the generator) which will pump water from that water heater through a coil inside the indirect fired water heater inside my boiler room. The pump runs 24/7, and when tenants use hot water, the water returning to the water heater will drop in temperature as cold water comes into the system to replace the hot water used. When that happens, a thermostat on the diesel water heater turns on the burners and heats the water in the system back up to 140 deg. F again.

You are an astute fellow. In order to run the hoses to the indirect fired water heater, I plan on removing the hood on the outside of the building and running the hot water hoses through the make up air gooseneck. However, since I intend to do this work during the summer time, it's not an major inconvenience for any tenant to have this "adapter" in their kitchen for a week at most. I have a separate electrical service room and a separate boiler room. There is no source of 220 volt power in my boiler room; everything in there is either 120 or 24 VAC. I'd have to run a cable from my electrical service room into my boiler room and then out the same route as the hot water hoses. In my view, it's just plain easier to tap off the range cord of any of the apartments in that corner of the building.

I also think you're undoubtedly correct in assuming that the pump and diesel water heater together aren't going to use all of the power available to them. However, on this truck the generator, water heater and pump all connect to each other with 220 volt, 20 amp plugs and receptacles. So, in order to supply power to the pump and water heater, I have to provide a grounded female 220 volt 20 amp receptacle. Probably the pump won't use more than 2 or 3 amps and the water heater less than an amp at most.... then the more power available to the tenant for using their stove's cooktop. Why they're using 220 volt 20 amp connectors in there is something I don't know, and I don't need to know. I just need to provide a grounded female 220 volt 20 amp plug, and I can do that.
 

Last edited by Nestor; 12-12-10 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 12-12-10, 08:09 PM
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Marc:

Oh, heck, I don't know what the KW on the boiler or generator are. I just know that I'm being told that to avoid having to use the generator, I need to provide a grounded female 220 volt 20 amp receptacle. How much of that 20 amps the heater and pump are going to use is anyone's guess. I plan to do the work during the summer, and so I'll just tell the tenant that I'll pay any difference between their electrical bill and their previous month's electrical bill.

Most portable boiler is not super loud when run on electric mode but when you switch over to diesel generator the key issue is the enclosure { housing } they should not be over 85 DB at 7 Meters so check with them if they have quiet verison { aka crictial encloseure } aviable.
And at night, when someone is having a party at 2:00 o'clock in the morning, I'll bet that BOOM-BOOM-BOOM you hear from the walls and ceilings shaking in your apartment probably isn't more than about 20 or 30 decibels, barely louder than quiet conversation. But it annoys the he11 out of you because it's distracting you from getting to sleep.

85 decibels at night when you could otherwise hear a pin drop is going to sound like a freight train all night long.
 
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Old 12-12-10, 08:34 PM
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Is it a flat roof. If so run PVC from the electrical room to the roof. Lay the conduit on 2X4 blocks across the roof and down to the boiler room. At the electric room put an outside box and run the conduit from there. At the boiler room just terminate the conduit in an outside box with receptacle. When all is done just remove the conduit and boxes. Won't really cost that much.

You said summer so how happy are your tenants going to be with bugs coming in. And speaking of bugs an open window is a security risk.

I know we aren't giving you the answers you want but please take time to consider all aspects of this. You have till summer. Consider also the liability if something goes wrong with your jerry-rigged solution.
 
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Old 12-12-10, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Nestor, I think you really need to do a rethink on this. Maybe even find another source of temporary heat more compatible with the situation. Surely the commercial plumber who is going to make this change out encounters this situation on a routine basis. Have you ask him for suggestions?
Ray: It's my heating contractor's practice that is driving me to rent a temporary water heater. My heating contractor is telling me he does these kinds of jobs all the time, and that hot water will only be out for one day. What he wants to do is put all the new equipment in the boiler room and then connect it all up. Then, he takes one day to connect the existing water supply piping to the new system. Then he takes the old boiler and water heater out of the boiler room.

And, that sounds great on the surface. The problem is that there were good reasons the original heating contractor located the boiler and water heater where they did. It made sense according to where the chimney was located and where the water meter and cold water supply pipes were located in the boiler room.

My heating contractor is wanting to put the new equipment in while the old equipment is still operating, and that means that it's not going to be located where it really should be if logic were the governing rule. The new equipment is going to make sense from a "change over" point of view, but it's not going to be located where it really should be.

I'm wanting to change an old heating boiler with a coil in it for an indirect fired water heater to a stand alone heating boiler and a coil type water heater with a separate 100 gallon water storage tank. According to the plumbing code here in Manitoba, whenever two gas appliances are connected to the same chimney the smaller appliance has to be connected closer to the chimney. Right now, there's a boiler in the way of where the gas fired coil heater really should be. My heating contractor wants to put that coil heater on the other side of the boiler room, right between the gas meter and the sump pit (thereby making access to the water meter quite a bit more difficult. But, he figures it'll still be 6 inches closer to the chimney than the flue off the boiler, so it'll still be "closer". I don't care about meeting the code on paper. I know that if the coil heater is closer to the bottom of the chimney it'll draft better, and I won't have an 8 inch diameter duct running across the ceiling of my boiler room. It simply makes more sense to have the coil heater and the new boiler BOTH on the same side of the boiler room so that a single duct can collect the flue gas from both.

It's going to cost me probably more than $40,000 to change over this heating system. I'm more than happy to pay an extra $1,500 for one week's rental, or $2,500 for 2 weeks rental on this truck mounted water heater to have the components of the system installed where they really should be based on the layout of the boiler room. We're talking about an extra 6% (at most) for the truck rental, and that buys me a layout that makes the piping simpler, ensures good drafting of the two gas fired appliances and provides plenty of access around each of the components of the new system to service them. I'm willing to pay for that cuz it's likely to be laid out that way for decades.

So, yes, the heating contractor does this kind of thing all the time. But the end result isn't what it really should be if logic were the sole determining factor. The contractor is going to arrange everything so that the change over to the new system will only take one day. I'm willing to pay more to have the new system arranged in the way that makes the most sense. And, the two aren't the same.
 

Last edited by Nestor; 12-12-10 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 12-12-10, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Is it a flat roof. If so run PVC from the electrical room to the roof. Lay the conduit on 2X4 blocks across the roof and down to the boiler room. At the electric room put an outside box and run the conduit from there. At the boiler room just terminate the conduit in an outside box with receptacle. When all is done just remove the conduit and boxes. Won't really cost that much.

You said summer so how happy are your tenants going to be with bugs coming in. And speaking of bugs an open window is a security risk.

I know we aren't giving you the answers you want but please take time to consider all aspects of this. You have till summer. Consider also the liability if something goes wrong with your jerry-rigged solution.
C'mon Ray. I'm wanting to make a simple adapter to provide power to a 20 amp 220 volt receptacle for a week (2 weeks max.). Most probably, that adapter is only going to be providing less than 5 amps. You're talking about running conduit across my roof for 2 weeks, and then tearing all that conduit out again when the job is finished. It seems to me that what I need isn't just advice, but PRACTICAL advice.

And, there's really no security issue involved with an open window. I have "roller" windows on most of the suites above or adjacent to my boiler room (where the rental truck will be parked close to). Roller windows are triple glazed sealed units that are mounted in a PVC frame that rolls on PVC rails. So, I have two parallel PVC rails and the two triple glazed sealed units run past each other on the PVC rails very much like bypass sliding doors. That design makes these windows suitable for "jamming" closed with a piece of wood cut at an angle to the right length. I can jam a piece of 2X2 between the partially open window and the closed window to prevent anyone prying the partially open window open any further.

My building is a 2 1/2 story "walk up" meaning the basement level is set 1/2 way into the ground, and there's no elevator. So, the window of the "main floor" apartments is about 12 feet off the ground, and those of the upstairs apartments are about 20 feet off the ground.

Apartment rentals in Winnipeg, Manitoba

If I dangle a 220 volt 20 amp cord from a main floor apartment window or an upper floor apartment window, down to the truck in the parking lot below, some one would have to climb up on top of the truck to get into a main floor window. And, even burglars aren't stupid. They'll confirm that no one is home before attempting to break in to an apartment. Who knows, it could be rented by a big guy with a great collection of baseball bats or a little old lady with two german sheppards as pets. A burglar will only break into an apartment once they know no one is home. Generally, they do that by getting into the building, knocking on a basement suite door to see if the occupant wants to subscribe to the local newspaper or donate to charity, and if no one is home, then they going outside to pry or break open a window to that apartment.

I'm not an electrician, but I do know a little about house wiring. I know my problem intimately and I believe that tapping off a range cord is the simplest and easiest way of providing 220 volt 20 amp power on a temporary basis. I believe that with good advice on how to insulate a split bolt connection I can make up an adapter (for lack of a better term) that will be both safe, and serve my needs.

So, can I please change the topic a little to inquire as to the best way to insulate a split bolt connection?

And, where can I find out whether or not there's such a thing as a "deep" 6 inch square electrical box as no one in here seems to know the answer to that question.
 

Last edited by Nestor; 12-12-10 at 10:18 PM.
  #19  
Old 12-12-10, 09:31 PM
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I have been reading this thread since it's inception and think I understand completely what you are trying to accomplish, but I, like Ray, don't like the jerry-rig solution you came up with. I like Marc's suggestion much better, a quiet generator. There are diesel generators available for rent that your tenants won't even realize is running. I'd go with one of these quiet generators and/or consider shutting the generator off at night when the hot water useage will be close to nothing. Check out this site, they have the hushpower gensets.

Emergency Response
 
  #20  
Old 12-12-10, 10:05 PM
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Nestor.,

I do not know if I did miss this part or what but any chance do you have a " house " or " common " panel which it will be it own metering and load centre which it is not tied to any apartment this typically used with secturey lights , heating equiment etc.

If so it may be the best route to run the tempory cord from the house panel so that way it will not affect any tentent power useage I do understand the situation but I will just try to advoid useing the apartment range circuit much as possible due differnace on conductor rating and OCPD requirment { this part it will be wise to talk to your electrician in your area whom they will know the code what it need to be on safe side }

One of my generator and one larger one I do rent from time to time one unit is super quiet which some pepole called movie geneator which it super quiet { little more quiet than car engine at the idle } I know they cost little more on rent cost but your tentents will not able hear it unless they have a window open with fan { as far we know window fan are pretty noisey if run at full speed }

Merci.
Marc
 
  #21  
Old 12-12-10, 10:24 PM
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If you insist on using the range receptacle at least do it as I suggested with a subpanel and breakers. The cost of a 60a GE main lug box and two breakers will be about the same cost and no 6X6 box or split bolts will be needed. Your going to need the subpanel even if you do it your way because you can not run a 20a receptacle off 40 amp fuses. But I strongly recommend doing this the correct way not jerry-rigged off a range receptacle.

I vote for the quieter generator.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 12-13-10 at 08:31 AM.
  #22  
Old 12-13-10, 12:26 AM
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The quiet generator is definitely the easiest and safest but it seems that Nestor has already made up his mind and just wants us to sprinkle some holy water on his idea.

Not gonna happen.

If I had been Nestor I would have had the contract written such that the mechanical contractor would be required to maintain the domestic hot water in the building as part of the job. It seems to me that although this is a $40,000 job Nestor is being really tight (and in my opinion foolish) in wanting to cut corners in keeping his tenants in hot water. Doing it properly will only cost a few hundred dollars more than the jim-crack method proposed and would not inconvenience his tenants.

And Nestor, everybody here knows about the availability of the electrical box you are asking about as well as the proper usage of split-bolt connectors. Nobody is answering these questions because it is the policy of this forum to NOT detail unsafe or unlawful practice.
 

Last edited by french277V; 12-13-10 at 12:44 AM. Reason: add bold part
  #23  
Old 12-13-10, 10:00 AM
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The use of a small subpanel to make the connections is a good one. I'm not adverse to using a subpanel to make the connections instead of an ordinary electrical box. If it avoids having to use split bolts and insulate them, I'm OK with that.

As far as the quieter generator goes, I wish it was a quiet generator. But people have to understand that I'm not in the driver's seat here. There's only one company in Winnipeg that rents a self contained mobile boiler. So, if Nestor comes to them and says: "You'll have to install a quieter generator before you'll get my $2500 worth of business." they're likely to tell me to get lost.

Then what do I do? Come back to that same company with my hat in my hands and my tail between my legs asking to rent that same unit with the 120 dB generator? I know that I don't have a lot of clout here, so there's no sense pretending that I do. I'm far better off providing electrical power to their boiler and pump to achieve the quieter results I want than I amp insisting that they provide a quieter generator.

I'm not wanting the electricians in here to annoint my idea. I just wanted to know if anyone had any better ideas on how to do much the same thing. But, I will use a small electrical panel to make the connections in instead of an ordinary electrical box.
 
  #24  
Old 12-13-10, 10:29 AM
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Having only followed part of this I don't see why the power needs to come from a tenants apartment. The public or house panel mentioned by Marc seems like a much better choice.
 
  #25  
Old 12-13-10, 10:43 AM
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So, if Nestor comes to them and says: "You'll have to install a quieter generator before you'll get my $2500 worth of business."
Just to clarify not argue that isn't what was meant. What was being suggested is you rent a quiet generator on your dime and provide it to them for power.
 
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