3 phase to 1 converting

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  #1  
Old 05-11-12, 11:02 AM
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3 phase to 1 converting

To make a long story short I bought a house a month ago, there are 2 electrical services 3 phase in the garage and 1 phase for the house.
The electrical company wants a 1000 deposit beacuse of the previous usage for the 3 phase setup. All that is hooked up is the heat( dual 15amp) and ac (ual 60 amp)that is being used. all other equipment was removed.

Can I dissconnect the 3 phase from the pole and run from the 1phase box to run the few breakers in it or does it have to be a certain type wire?
I could also just get a small breaker box and jump from the 1 phase setup to run the few breakers?

I am somewhat new to 3 Phase and not sure what direction to go towards
Thanks!

Picts
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q...9/DSC00171.jpg
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q...9/DSC00172.jpg
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q...9/DSC00173.jpg
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q...9/DSC00174.jpg
 

Last edited by sabsolut2081; 05-11-12 at 11:42 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-11-12, 11:08 AM
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Three phase to a single family residence is highly unusual. Even to an apartment building it is rare unless the building has in excess of 20 or 30 units. I suspect that a previous owner had a serious shop in your garage.

No, YOU may not remove the three-phase service from the pole but you CAN get the utility to disconnect it and remove the wires from the pole to the garage. You would then need to run new wiring from the single phase house panel to the garage. Unless you are already well versed in electrical I suggest that this may not be a DIY project.

Several pictures of the existing installation may help us to help you. Instructions for adding pictures are at the top of the index page. Have both near and far pictures to allow us to see the entire installation.
 
  #3  
Old 05-11-12, 11:11 AM
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All that is hooked up is the heat( dual 15amp) and ac (ual 60 amp)that is being used
If either contain three phase motors, and they may if commercial units, then you can't run them on single phase with out replacing the motors and possibly the compressor or using a phase converter. The heating elements may also need to be replaced or re wired. First step is finding out what you have. Look for name plates on blowers and the compressor. Please post the model number and info on the outside unit.
 
  #4  
Old 05-11-12, 11:16 AM
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I worded that wrong I meant to get the utility to disconnect the power. LOL
The previous owner ran a machine shop and had 4-5 three phase hookups. The date on the box shows it was done in 2007 so its fairly new. I will take a few pics and post them.

Both the Ac and heating units are 1 phase both running on 2 pole breakers
 
  #5  
Old 05-11-12, 11:19 AM
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I would have the 3-phase removed a.s.a.p. and save the $1,000. (I work with 3-phase all the time, but never at home.) If you want a sub-panel in the garage, you will need to replace the existing 3-phase panel with a single-phase one and feed it with 4 wires from your main panel. Since you say your heat and your A/C are both on 2-pole breakers, they should be fine in the new subpanel.
 

Last edited by Nashkat1; 05-11-12 at 11:22 AM. Reason: to add the breaker info
  #6  
Old 05-11-12, 11:44 AM
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picts added in first post, both 3 phase and 1 phase box
 
  #7  
Old 05-11-12, 11:59 AM
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Is this garage/shop attached to the main house?

You will need to replace the three-phase panel with a single phase panel but it appears that all the present loads are indeed single phase.

Pictures of the meter and incoming wiring from the pole also would be helpful.
 
  #8  
Old 05-11-12, 01:06 PM
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yes the garage is attached to the house and the 3 phase panel is approx 20-25 ft away from the Single phase on the same level..very easy to access above also.
 
  #9  
Old 05-11-12, 01:15 PM
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Should be easy to convert. Run a conduit on the outside of the house from the single phase panel to the vicinity of the garage panel. Have the utility remove the three-phase drop and meter. Remove the meter socket (if it is not owned by the utility) and replace the three-phase panel with a single-phase model. Run the conduit into the new single-phase panel and pull the appropriate wire. Install a double pole circuit breaker of appropriate size in the house panel anc connect it all up.

The new panel in the garage maybe a Main Lugs Only (MLO) panel or yuo may use a Main Breaker panel, whichever is less expensive. Getting a Siemens panel would probably allow you to reuse the existing one and two pole circuit breakers in the three-phase panel.

Of course you need to follow all LOCAL code requirements, including permitting and inspections but this could definitely be a DIY job.
 
  #10  
Old 05-11-12, 01:26 PM
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This seems to be a job for a pro.! Note: This is just my opinion.

I personally don’t believe electrical work is easy—unless we know the persons skill level!! I'm sure most may understand my point!!
 
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Old 05-11-12, 01:49 PM
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yes the garage is attached to the house and the 3 phase panel is approx 20-25 ft away from the Single phase on the same level..very easy to access above also.
Instead of running conduit on the outside to feed the new subpanel, you could run cable above, or single conductors in flexible conduit.
 
  #12  
Old 05-11-12, 03:43 PM
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I think I am going to go this route, the space above is a attic crawl space big enough to stand in and runs the entire length of the structure.
 
  #13  
Old 05-11-12, 03:55 PM
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Two things worry me a little:

1) The wording on the two panel say "building" not house/home. Is this a house, in the traditional sense? You also said "very easy access above" which makes me think it has a suspended ceiling, which is also found in a commercial building.

2) It appears that you might have a High leg 3 phase service due to the red marking on the panel. However every 3rd breaker (C phase) is marked rather then every 2nd one (B phase) which is the code requirement.
 
  #14  
Old 05-11-12, 07:17 PM
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Doesn't matter if this is a corner grounded delta service if he is getting rid of it.



I personally don’t believe electrical work is easy—unless we know the persons skill level!! I'm sure most may understand my point!!
All work is easy to the person who is skilled at the particular job. That doesn't mean that I think that anyone can do anything, far from it. However, once the three-phase service is removed, removing the meter base and three-phase panel IS easy. Running cable (or conduit) from the single-phase service to a new panel is nothing more than adding a sub-panel and THAT job is often described on this forum as DIY friendly.

I originally wrote that making the change should be a DIY job but before posting I changed it to could. Not everyone can be skilled in electrical work and that is why I often post that a particular job appears to be beyond the skill set of the person asking questions or that they need to do more self education before attempting the job. I consider myself to be pretty good when it comes to electrical work (and so do many others that have seen my work) and also with supply plumbing. Most other things I am just a DIYer with limited skills. I can't work with wood to save my life, well, just barely save my life. Painting is a skill I never developed even though my daddy was a painter. I used to be fairly good with auto mechanics but now I won't go beyond changing oil and spark plugs. Bottom line is, my DIY skills are fairly limited but what I DO know I know well.
 
  #15  
Old 05-11-12, 07:56 PM
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@ Furd,
Happy to see you changed it to “could”!! Just seems if people keep presenting a skilled career as “easy”, it would likely diminish all the hard work a person did to arrive at “electrician”! An Electricians career is more, and has great meaning!! It should be respected--as it is one of few careers that require careful detail, or people can be killed!!! I do agree that some of our work takes less skill, but panel changes, service changes, generators, motors (depending), 3 phase, muti-circuits, and a few other installations, are not DIYer jobs!!! To be honest, installing a switch could be a "switch off" from life. Example: One DIYer removed the grounded conductors from a wirenut. As someone mentioned, if this would have been a multi-circuit, he could have caused damage to his personal 120v appliances, or even caused a fire.
Sorry to be rambling, I’m done
 
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Old 05-11-12, 08:05 PM
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@ furd,
enjoy our weather. It’s going to be sunny for the rest of the weekend. Woo Hooo……LOL!!!
 
  #17  
Old 05-11-12, 10:24 PM
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I understand what you are saying and I agree. I've been messing around with electricity since shortly after I was out of diapers and with the exception of bending conduit there isn't much that I can't do well in the under 600 volts class. What I was yammering about was that there are very few jobs, in any field, that cannot be done by just about anyone PROVIDED they have the proper training.

Back when I watched all the DIY-type shows on the television it would gall me to no end when they would tell the homeowners that they could do the painting but never the plumbing or the electrical. Painting is a skilled trade just as much as any other. Obviously a homeowner with no training or exposure to 480 volt three-phase systems won't automatically know of all the ramifications of such systems just as a person that merely took a "kitchen survival" home economics class in high school could possibly know the cooking details that a graduate of a culinary arts college would know.

I think the biggest problems with forums such as this one is that far too often the members that DO have the experience try to tell others that anyone can indeed do electrical, mechanical, plumbing, structural and such with no formal training or even self education and in my mind that is just plain wrong AND dangerous. I often will tell someone that based upon their questions it is obvious that they do not have the skills for the job they wish to do. Other questioners are sometimes arrogant to the max thinking(?) that they are somehow blessed with immunity from making mistakes and I try my best to shoot these people down BEFORE they kill themselves or others. I sometimes cringe when I read the suggestions from other members but I'm just an idiot, not a moderator and if I were a moderator (I've been asked a couple of times and refused) I'm sure I would be fired quite soon for deleting posts that provide unsafe information.

As for the weather, I'm busy in Georgetown Saturday and Sunday and then I have my own yard work next week.
 
  #18  
Old 05-12-12, 05:22 AM
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Just seems if people keep presenting a skilled career as “easy”, it would likely diminish all the hard work a person did to arrive at “electrician”! An Electricians career is more, and has great meaning!! It should be respected--as it is one of few careers that require careful detail, or people can be killed!!!
So true. Even DIYers who do have the actual knowledge required often cannot duplicate the work of a good electrician. I know of a case of a retired electrical engineer who took the homeowner's test, passed it and took out his homeowner's permit for electrical work on a project. I gave him advice and a few pointers and even helped a little when I had time. The end result was a project that electrically was correct and quite good and passed inspection without a hitch, but the exposed conduit work looked like an unskilled DIYer had done it. Will this affect the prospects of a future potential home buyer? Perhaps not, but a skilled eye will always view this entire project as a DIY event.
 
  #19  
Old 05-12-12, 09:13 AM
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We've gone way off topic but I need to add my nickel's worth on the topic of electrical engineers. Most of the ones I have known couldn't plug in a toaster and do it right. As for the one with the less-than-professional conduit job, bending conduit IS an art all by itself. It is the one area of electrical work that I have troubles doing well.
 
  #20  
Old 05-12-12, 09:44 AM
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Exactly!!! IC, and Agree!!!!!!!!
 
  #21  
Old 05-12-12, 12:21 PM
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I understand electricity and know the dangers of it, I have a few projects involving it in the past few years just never with 3 phase. I am going to do most of the work myself switching it, anything I am unsure of I will ask an electrician.
 
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