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connecting two breaker boxes.. how to connect to the old one

connecting two breaker boxes.. how to connect to the old one

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  #41  
Old 02-02-13, 01:17 PM
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Sounds like the underground version of SER found here. Southwire - AL SE, SER, and SEU

If the 222 shows up on the jacket then it has 3 conductors of 2 gauge and a bare ground of 4 gauge. Plenty heavy enough for your application, but take no chances and make sure that's what's on the cable jacket.

2 gauge wire is 10 thousandths of an inch shy of 3/8" in diameter

6 gauge like Ray recommended is just shy of 3/16" diameter.( roughly half the diameter of 2 gauge)

If you cannot find markings on the jacket, strip the insulation off the end of one of the 3 conductors and measure the diameter of the wire only. If it is between 1/4" and 3/8" in diameter, you should be good to go.

I can post pictures of the sub panel I just bought and draw a diagram of how to connect the wires between the 2 panels if that would help.
 
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  #42  
Old 02-02-13, 04:50 PM
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I never work wit SE so I screwed up on giving you the markings to follow. Crispy has given you better instructions.
 
  #43  
Old 02-02-13, 06:55 PM
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this is what I have been told by Lowe;s where the wire was purchased. It is a SEU [ service entrance underground] cable. for 100 amp. the gauge size is #222 it is also known as 3/2's wire
In your post #1 you stated you had 1 white, 1 metal (I assumed to be bare), and 2 black conductors. You also stated you wanted to install a 100 amp breaker. #2 aluminum is correct for 100 amps and 3 insulated with 1 bare is also correct to feed a subpanel. I think that's what you have, is that right?

Now, for what Lowes told you, SEU only has 2 insulated conductors along with a bare concentric neutral. I believe what you have is SER; 3 insulated and 1 bare.

BTW, SEU does not stand for Service Entrance Underground. SEU and SER cables can be used in wet or dry above ground locations only, not underground.
 
  #44  
Old 02-02-13, 07:57 PM
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Joe is correct, and Lowes was wrong. I was looking at the wrong table in the link I posted below. SEU is 2 conductor plus a neutral and SER (what you have) is 3 conductor and a grounding conductor. Not really important at this point.

As long as the 3 conductors are 1/4" diameter or larger you are good to go. Just measure back away from the cut edge where it is not deformed from cutting.

How many strips with all the setscrews does your new panel have? If only 1 it should be mounted to the box with plastic standoff mounts on each end so it is not contacting the box. This is where the black with white stripe wire goes as well as all the white wires from your circuits except the dryer circuit white wire which connects to the breaker. The black dryer wire connects to the other breaker terminal. By rights you should put a piece of red tape around the white dryer wire insulation to desiginate it as being a hot wire since white is normally neutral.

You will need a second buss bar with setscrews for the bare wire in the cable from your main panel and all the bare copper wires from your circuits. This bussbar must be bolted directly to the box. This is different from your main panel where either all white neutrals and bare grounds are in the same buss bar or if there are 2 buss bars they may be separate, but both bussbars will be bonded together, usually by a heavy bare copper wire or flat copper strap. In your subpanel the 2 bussbars must be isolated from each other.

If your subpanel only has the neutral bussbar ( that's all the one I just purchased had) then you can buy a 30 hole one at Lowes for $7 and bolt it in the box for your bare copper ground wires and silver ground wire from the cable to connect to.

Main panel - black with white stripe (neutral) and silver ground wire go to either of 2 ground/neutral bussbars or both to same bussbar if there is only one. Solid black and black with red stripe connect to your 50A breaker

Sub panel - Black with white stripe goes to neutral bussbar mounted on plastic insulating standoffs. Silver ground goes to other bussbar that is bonded directly to the box. Solid black and black with red stripe go to breaker.

Sorry this got so long, but since it seems you are ready to proceed as long as the wire diameter works out I thought I'd lay it all out so you wouldn't have to hunt through previous posts to piece it all together.

Your almost there
 

Last edited by pcboss; 02-03-13 at 07:35 AM.
  #45  
Old 02-02-13, 08:13 PM
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Don't forget this stuff too. All 4 wires in your cable are aluminum,

Anti-Oxidant Compound
 
  #46  
Old 02-03-13, 06:38 AM
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I have some anti oxidant compound... how do you use/ apply it?
 
  #47  
Old 02-03-13, 07:20 AM
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First, make sure it is rated for use with aluminum. Just coat the exposed wire that will be inserted into the breaker or bussbar. The pressure of the screw tightened down on the wire will force it into the wire further and protect it from oxidation.

Oxidation of aluminum is the equivalent of something made of steel rusting which the compound will prevent.

Here is an article that stresses the importance of proper tightening of your connections in the box for aluminum wire.

Tightening Set-Screw Connectors with Torque Wrenches | Contractor content from Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
 
  #48  
Old 02-03-13, 11:45 AM
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This is where the black with white stripe wire goes as well as all the white wires from your circuits except the dryer circuit white wire which connects to the breaker. The black dryer wire connects to the other breaker terminal. By rights you should put a piece of red tape around the white dryer wire insulation to desiginate it as being a hot wire since white is normally neutral.
Wrong! The dryer circuit should be 10-3 NM cable which has 1 Blk, 1 Red and 1 Wht. The white conductor is a neutral and also goes to the neutral bar like all the other white neutrals from your 120 volt circuits (lights & outlets). Only the ground wires (normally bare or green) go on the auxilliary ground bar that you install in the subpanel. If your dryer circuit is 10-2 NM cable, I'd suggest replacing it with 10-3. Otherwise, the bare ground wire in the 10-2 cable would be used as a current carrying conductor.
 
  #49  
Old 02-03-13, 12:08 PM
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Ooops You are correct. That is indeed how my dryer is connected.

Now my well and hot water heater have black and white as hot with a bare ground. Is that correct, no neutral for them? My dryer and hot water heater are on the main panel, not a subpanel if that makes a difference. My well will soon be moved to the subpanel. Will I need to wire that differently when moved to sub?

If the well and hw heater are correct, is it because neutral is only needed for devices that use both 120 and 240 voltages?

Sorry for the misinformation. Glad you caught that.
 
  #50  
Old 02-03-13, 12:45 PM
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If the well and hw heater are correct, is it because neutral is only needed for devices that use both 120 and 240 voltages?
That is exactly correct. The typical electric dryer or electric range uses 120 volts for timers, motors and controls. Electric ranges sometimes even use 120 volts for lower settings on the smaller burners. 120 volt items require a neutral, that is why there is a neutral required for most dryers and ranges. The typical electric water heater or well pump motor uses 240 volts only, no neutral required.
 
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