adding 220 outlets, how many?

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  #1  
Old 05-26-12, 03:52 PM
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adding 220 outlets, how many?

I'm wanting to add two 220 outlets which will used to power mobile subpanels. My question, are these outlets wired to my electrical panal or directly to the the incoming power line? How many of these outlets can I add?
 
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Old 05-26-12, 04:12 PM
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First off it would be 240v receptacles not 220 if this is residential single phase. Nothing in code specifically limits the number and you post is to vague to give an answer to your question. What is the purpose of the mobile subpanels? What are their maximum loads? Will more then one receptacle at a time be used. Is this residential or commercial? What size (amps) panel will the receptacles be connected to.
 
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Old 05-26-12, 08:33 PM
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They cant be connected to the incoming power line. They have to be fed from a panel/breaker and treated as a sub panel. I am kinda guessing here on what you are asking though, could you explain a little more?
 
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Old 05-27-12, 06:15 AM
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I'm making mobile subpanels out of a pool breaker box to supply power for my christmas lights. Right now everything is working off of 80 amps but i'm looking to increase to 120 amps for this year and I know I'll need more later so I'd like to just install the second outlet now to save money.

Does the amps drawn off of these subpanels subtract from my main breaker box? I'm wanting a separate stand alone system set to a timer for my display.
 
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Old 05-27-12, 06:53 AM
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Still not enough information, but let's look at this from another angle. Do you have a budget of at least a couple thousnd to do this project?
 
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Old 05-27-12, 08:27 AM
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Residential...2 outlets to be used at the same time supplying to subpanels...each sub panel 160 amps...the units will run from 5pm to 10pm 7 days a week from black Friday to New Years day.

why thousands of dollars? each panel box is costing me $275 and the outlets around $500 for both

It's my understanding that my main breaker has a certain capacity. I'm wondering if this load draws from that, or since it's a subpanel if it has it's own load. I don't want to blow the main breaker reeking havoc inside because of my outside display.
 
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Old 05-27-12, 08:37 AM
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80amps? 160 amps? Where in the world are you getting your amperage figures. They are way out of line for any residential display I can imagine. Maybe 30 amps or even 60 amps I would be surprised. How did you determine the amps. Christmas lights are used on 20 amp circuits. A 160 amp 120/240v panel could supply 16 twenty amp circuits. More them most home have.

Please see: Christmas Lights Power Consumption
 
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Old 05-27-12, 08:46 AM
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Trust me, I know my amps. Right now I have 4 dedicated outlets 20 amps each and I'm running near max blowing fuses when it's wet outside. My display this year was 35k lights and I plan on having near 50k this coming year.

I don't want to use the full 160 for the subs, I want to keep it under the recommended consumption to minimize tripping the breakers
 
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Old 05-27-12, 08:54 AM
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What size are the main fuses for your house? Have you done a load calc for your house to determine how much spare amperage you have for the lights?

blowing fuses when it's wet outside
Fuses shouldn't blow because of wet conditions. Wet conditions should not cause a trip with proper outdoor lights and burble covers. In any event a ground fault should trip your GFCIs first. Are your GFCIs working correctly? If you have a fuse box I doubt you have more then 100 amps total available. First step may be to upgrade your fuse box to a modern 200 amp breaker service panel.
 
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Old 05-27-12, 09:08 AM
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Did I see your house in the Christmas Vacation film? How many amps would using LED's require?
 
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Old 05-27-12, 09:51 AM
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The main box is 200 amps. Sorry, I was tripping the breakers because they were 15 amps and I was drawing over 16. We upgraded the breakers to 20 and I'm drawing 18.5 or so per. The GFI is what's tripping when it's raining, I didn't properly cover everything this year.

The main reason for the subpanel is isolation and timing. The subpanel will have a timer installed controlling everything.

I'm trying to see what I can get away with without having to upgrade the main box. It's very plausible for me to need 120 amps this year and another 60 the year after. I just don't want to have to turn everything inside off because of the display outside.

I'm not using LEDs and although they would draw less they look horrible. I'll pay the extra cost.
 
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Old 05-27-12, 10:10 AM
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, I was tripping the breakers because they were 15 amps and I was drawing over 16.
So you weren't blowing fuses as you stated.
We upgraded the breakers to 20 and I'm drawing 18.5 or so per.
If you didn't change the wiring to #12 this is a fire hazard.
The GFI is what's tripping when it's raining, I didn't properly cover everything this year.
We can't help you if you don't correctly explain your problem.

You really don't sound very knowledgeable about electrical work. I'd suggest first you buy a book like Wiring Simplified available at Amazon and building supply stores and read it cover to cover first. I really think you also need to face reality and scale back what you are doing.
 
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Old 05-27-12, 10:12 AM
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You are probably looking at a couple thousand to increase the service to your house, even before you add in the cost for the subpanels.
 
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Old 05-27-12, 10:53 AM
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I'd almost entertain the thought of going off grid to a 20k generator and run it off propane. That way it wouldn't affect your house and you wouldn't have to run all new wiring as Ray stated. Just changing breakers doesn't make it right. You gotta change the wiring as well.
 
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Old 05-27-12, 11:21 AM
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The electrician that changed the breakers said the wiring was suitable for the upgrade.

I'm not doing any of this myself, an electrician is. I'm trying to get a better grasp on what I'll need to convey it to him.

The primary question was if there were any limitations on the number of 240 outlets i can install and how that would impact the rest of the house if it impacted at all since it was feeding a subpanel.
 
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Old 05-27-12, 11:34 AM
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The electrician that changed the breakers said the wiring was suitable for the upgrade
And I have a bridge in Brooklyn I will sell you cheap. It is very unlikely if the circuits had 15 amp breakers they were wire with #12. Not saying they weren't but it is something I suggest you check for your self.

I think chandlers idea is best and if you have natural gas go with natural gas instead of propane.

The primary question was if there were any limitations on the number of 240 outlets i can install
As many as you want.
and how that would impact the rest of the house if it impacted at all
That is the real question. Use a load calculator to determine approximately how many amps your house needs then subtract that from 200 to determine how much spare capacity you have for the Christmas lights. Single Family Dwelling Electrical Load Calculator

Also see: Christmas Lights Power Consumption
 
  #17  
Old 05-27-12, 12:07 PM
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First and foremost you should be using total watts for your calculations rather than amperes. 120 volt loads (your lights) will be distributed across the 240 volt supply in a manner to (as much as possible) balance the loads.

Absolutely the main circuit breaker (200 amperes) is the limiting factor and yes, the sub-panels WILL be after the main circuit breaker. Depending on what the load is for the house you may very well have a significant problem supplying all the holiday lighting you desire. Do you have electric heat, water heating, coking appliances?

I personally think you are nuts but to each their own as long as I don't have to pay for it.
 
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Old 05-27-12, 12:21 PM
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if you have natural gas go with natural gas instead of propane
I forgot there are civilized parts of the country.
 
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Old 05-27-12, 12:31 PM
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Thanks guys! Guess I have some work to do. I still have those 15 amp breakers, guess I'll just replace those 20s and reuse them in the subpanel.
 
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Old 05-27-12, 02:38 PM
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And do what with the fire that is caused by underwiring of the circuit?? Don't take a chance on that. Have the wiring checked for proper size or rewire it if you are dead set on this project. You are deficient in wiring knowledge and won't take our advice. Please be safe.
 
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Old 05-27-12, 06:08 PM
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why thousands of dollars? each panel box is costing me $275 and the outlets around $500 for both
The main box is 200 amps.
It's very plausible for me to need 120 amps this year and another 60 the year after.
You are probably looking at a couple thousand to increase the service to your house, even before you add in the cost for the subpanels.
I think the other replys answered your question the best. A couple thousand obviously won't be enough.
 
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Old 05-27-12, 06:13 PM
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Changing a service is very labor intensive. It is way more expensive than the parts. You will also have the permit fees to add in.
 
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Old 05-27-12, 07:04 PM
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Plus above 200 amps the electric company may have to change their transformer and since the service is larger then normal pass the cost on to you.
 
  #24  
Old 05-27-12, 09:01 PM
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What I did for my display, was install a 14-50 receptacle, with a 6-circuit panel.
 
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