New build is offically a go!

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  #1  
Old 01-01-14, 08:13 AM
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Thumbs up New build is offically a go!

Its been a 19 month process (YIKES!) but we are finally closed on financing, lot has been cleared and we are starting to build our new house! We do have a little snow to move first...


I have had some very helpful comments from you all on my previous posts, and would like to use this thread as a official build thread, and to ask you all questions along the way.

I'll start with a little about myself, I live in and will be building in South Saint Paul Minnesota, I have a wonderful beautiful wife and a very energetic 6 year old daughter who are both ecstatic about helping build our new house.


I work as a Life Support Operator at the Minnesota Zoo where I maintain all our major aquatic exhibits. Everything from water quality, filtration, heating and cooling and system repair is all done in house. I have a fancy little plastic card in my wallet that says I am certified to be a PVC and CPVC pipe bonder (exciting right ) We also do all of our control and automation wiring along with everything from single phase 1/20 hp pump wiring to 460 3ph 30hp monster water moving pumps and 20,000v 20#/day ozone generators in house. We have a staff of electricians that work with us for the physical connection and disconnection of anything over 24vac, but we do get to work side by side and get our hands dirty with all of it. Its a pretty cool gig, and I get to play with a lot of pretty cool toys work very closely with a lot of awesome animals.

Our house is a 2 story walkout that I am generaling myself and have a awesome builder that is working with me to basically shell the house, take care of all the excavation, foundation work, concrete work, framing/roofing, exterior finishing and sheet rock. I'm having my HVAC and plumbing done by subs but am doing all the interior finishing, flooring, cabinets/tops, electrical and painting myself. Its going to be a pretty fast moving build, so hopefully I'll be able to keep things updated in the thread.

I am going to go purchase all my electrical supplies this weekend and would like you all to look over my service entrance and distribution options and make suggestions.
I have a 200amp buried service spec'd to be installed, and plan on using a meter/main combo outside. I plan on having a 200amp sub panel in my utility room supplying the house needs and a 100amp sub in the garage. I already have purchased (at a very nice discount) enough 3/0 THHN and 6ga Green THHN for the house sub panel, and enough 2ga (at not such a nice discount) to feed the garage. I am trying to decide what my best option is to physically run the wires though.

First option is to run conduit in the ceiling joists to the main sub panel and then run more conduit from the 200 amp sub to the garage. I am using engineered I joists on the main level, and this option doesn't sound too "fun" to get the conduit ran cleanly

CLICK HERE FOR FULL SIZE

The second hanging option bypasses the main sub panel and feeds both from the outside OPD, again hanging may be a pain.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL SIZE

What I would like to do is bury the conduit under the slab and pop up under each sub panel.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL SIZE
or

CLICK HERE FOR FULL SIZE
What are your thoughts?
Wes
 

Last edited by scubawes; 01-01-14 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 01-01-14, 08:23 AM
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Hi Wes...

I think it may be helpful if you post the blueprints to an on line image site so they can be blown up some...Such as photo bucket for example

Some members may not be able to see clearly as the writing is somewhat small.

The elctricians will offer advice soon so stand by..

Any heat or plumbing questions I or others will be glad to help...

Welcome....
 
  #3  
Old 01-01-14, 08:58 AM
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Under the slab will give you the option to finish the ceiling at a later date. Did you consider SER cable instead of conduit?

Does the meter main have room for two 2 pole breakers?
 
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Old 01-01-14, 09:08 AM
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New construction offers the ONLY opportunity to incorporate many energy saving features that can not only pay for themselves, but help pay the mortgage for years to come. And, during construction, the cost is the lowest.

Bud
 
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Old 01-01-14, 09:13 AM
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I added a link for full size images under the posted photos. I will add the blueprints shortly.
 
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Old 01-01-14, 09:17 AM
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Congratulations............

Just curious... why you didn't set the main panel directly inside/below the meter ?
 
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Old 01-01-14, 09:19 AM
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Off topic...

I assume your doing all HVAC because of cost? I ask because if the home is not built you may wish to heat with a boiler... In floor radiant with low temps for modulating condesing boilers? Better heat then blowing air around...

Or cost wise go with regular baseboard... You can overradiate to take advantage of lower boiler temps to save fuel...

Additionally add an indirect heater would be a good option...

Just a thought as there are many options...

I assume water pipe will be all pex? Run from a main manifolds? ( That would be best IMO....)
 
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Old 01-01-14, 09:22 AM
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Bud9051

New construction offers the ONLY opportunity to incorporate many energy saving features that can not only pay for themselves, but help pay the mortgage for years to come. And, during construction, the cost is the lowest.

Bud
We are going to try to get every energy saving option we can afford built into the house. It is no Mansion, and we do not have a overly large budget, but we will try our hardest!

pcboss

Under the slab will give you the option to finish the ceiling at a later date. Did you consider SER cable instead of conduit?

Does the meter main have room for two 2 pole breakers?
I haven't purchased or picked it out yet. Is there any certain brand that you would suggest/prefer over another?
I have been looking at a few online, just waiting to hear back from my POCO as to which base they would like me to use. They have a "requirement" that all attached OPD's must be to the right and not under the meter for some reason.
Something like
this or this possibly?

I was originally thinking SER, but I got my 3/0 THHN for $0.40 a foot. Couldn't pass that up.

Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/ne...#ixzz2pATiSSEG
 

Last edited by scubawes; 01-01-14 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 01-01-14, 09:25 AM
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lawrosa

Off topic...

I assume your doing all HVAC because of cost? I ask because if the home is not built you may wish to heat with a boiler... In floor radiant with low temps for modulating condesing boilers? Better heat then blowing air around...
I am subing the HVAC and plumbing out.

PJmax

Congratulations............

Just curious... why you didn't set the main panel directly inside/below the meter ?
It is going to be a future bedroom, and I would much rather have all utilities neatly tucked into my utility/laundry room. I am also concerned about the amount of wall space behind the meter due to the framing around the very close by wall and windows.

I had considered putting a very small 200amp main breaker OPD directly behind the meter to supply both sub panels, but think it would look cleaner w/o doing that.
 
  #10  
Old 01-01-14, 09:30 AM
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Blue Prints

I'll work on linking larger images later, cant figure out why photobucket keeps dropping the image size.

Front/Rear CLICK HERE FOR FULL SIZE


Side CLICK HERE FOR FULL SIZE



Foundation/Basement CLICK HERE FOR FULL SIZE



Main level CLICK HERE FOR FULL SIZE



Upper Level CLICK HERE FOR FULL SIZE
 
  #11  
Old 01-01-14, 09:58 AM
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cant figure out why photobucket keeps dropping the image size.
Link to the library itself and not indivdual pics.. I belive you can pic the larger size url if posting indivdual images..






I have been looking at a few online, just waiting to hear back from my POCO as to which base they would like me to use. They have a "requirement" that all attached OPD's must be to the right and not under the meter for some reason.
Best opportunity to put in a generator ready panel IMO...


I am subing the HVAC and plumbing out.
Thats fine but why go with a general heat option? A boiler zoned will give you better comfort and energy savigs dependant on what you install..

How are you/they going to zone three floors? Two air handlers? One in attic for top floor? One in basement for main floor and basement?

Does not make sense to me especially for new construction...





Compare How Much a Boiler vs a Furnace Costs - Pros versus Cons of Boiler and Furnace - Price Comparison
 
  #12  
Old 01-01-14, 10:52 AM
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Given the right side elevation I would go under the slab to avoid conduits on the surface
 
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Old 01-01-14, 11:10 AM
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Thats fine but why go with a general heat option? A boiler zoned will give you better comfort and energy savigs dependant on what you install..

How are you/they going to zone three floors? Two air handlers? One in attic for top floor? One in basement for main floor and basement?

Does not make sense to me especially for new construction...
Honestly it comes down to upfront cost more than anything. We are using a dual zone 97% efficiency forced air system. Upper level will be one zone, main floor will be the second. As soon as we finish the basement we will add the additional automatic zoning. As for now it will be few off the main floor zone.

I do like the idea of hydronic heat (Its what I use and maintain every day at work) but do not like the idea of having to purchase a separate AC unit whether it be a High Velocity system, or a stand alone forced air just for the AC. I do realize we'll be loosing some efficiency by going forced air, but I think our HVAC guy has a pretty nice set up spec'd for our home.
 
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Old 01-01-14, 12:04 PM
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Hello from a fellow Minnesotan!

Being from the same parts as you I am similar with the requirements of the local power company.
Your meter socket will need to be 200 amp with a bypass handle. These can be easily found at the big box stores. Your main panel you have two options.

Option #1 is one you have listed. Install a 200 amp main breaker disconnect on the outside of the house, and then run your feeders to your main panel. In this case you are required to have a main breaker on the outside due to where you want to place the panel otherwise code would require the main panel adjacent to your meter. If this is what you want, I would suggest getting this outdoor panel: QO 200 Amp, 8 Space/16 Circuit Load Center at Menards which has 8 space/16 circuits available for other loads. It also has feed through lugs for your 200 amp inside. That way you could feed your subpanel in the garage off it (100 amp) and possibility your A/C outside. In this case that would be your main panel and everything after that would be a sub panel (Neutrals and grounds seperate, four wires to the panels (hot,hot,neutral, ground) Also since this is the main panel, this is where you would bond the water service and ground rod.

Your other option would be to feed the main panel underground. In this case you would not need a disconnect outside the house (Most homes in MN do not) as the feeders would be outside the building. In this case the 200 amp inside would be your first overcurrent protection device and would only need three wires between the meter and main panel if run in PVC. Bonding the water service, etc would be done here. The only bad thing with this option is it could be a tough pull to get the wire in.

The bad news: Your wire is oversized. You would really only needed to get #3 for the 100 amp panel and 2/0 of you went with option #2.

Lastly, where ever you place your service, do not forget the inter-system bonding requirement on the outside of the house.

Given the right side elevation I would go under the slab to avoid conduits on the surface
I would agree, plus coming out of the outside panel will also not look very clean and will also be a tough pull, perhaps tougher.
 
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Old 01-01-14, 12:11 PM
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Option #3: Install the meter on the garage wall and first 200 amp panel in the garage. Then run a 100 amp subpanel to the basement. Run the heavy loads (A/C, Range, Dryer, etc) out of the 200 amp in garage and the general purpose loads out of 100 amp in basement.
 
  #16  
Old 01-01-14, 12:21 PM
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Option #3: Install the meter on the garage wall and first 200 amp panel in the garage. Then run a 100 amp subpanel to the basement. Run the heavy loads (A/C, Range, Dryer, etc) out of the 200 amp in garage and the general purpose loads out of 100 amp in basement.
Unfortunately the local utility is not on that side of the house. I was considering that, but they would have to do a service drop from a pole across a culdasac. The space next to the garage is a parking pad for our camper, and I wouldn't have the height clearance to get the trailer in there with a drop.


The bad news: Your wire is oversized. You would really only needed to get #3 for the 100 amp panel and 2/0 of you went with option #2.
Will I get tagged for that? I was always under the assumption that heaver is OK, under sizing is not.

I really appreciate all the feedback guys!
 
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Old 01-01-14, 12:34 PM
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The power company would still install it underground by trenching around the house. There may be an extra cost involved but you are in frost charges this time of year anyway.

No, the larger wire is fine, just a waste of money.
 
  #18  
Old 01-10-14, 09:40 AM
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Happy Friday everyone! They have been flying on our lot the last 2 days now that it isnt -50 out. I just stopped up to the lot and had a conversation with the foundation guys about throwing a sleeve in the footing to run my conduit through and he suggested a 4" piece of drain tile be placed where I want to run my conduit through. He wants to put it so it comes through the foundation 2' below the bottom of the poured floor. Can anyone confirm that is a acceptable depth for my conduit? Tolyn?
 
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Old 01-10-14, 10:04 AM
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It would need to allow a conduit elbow to be installed later. I am not sure how that would work.
 
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Old 01-10-14, 11:52 AM
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Could you elaborate on that?
After the walls are poured and the forms come down, I plan on slipping the elbow (attached to the vertical run of conduit) into place, and gluing the horizontal run to the elbow before they back fill around the walls. The interior portion will then be laid in a trench to the sub panel and back filled.
 
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Old 01-10-14, 06:30 PM
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He wants to put it so it comes through the foundation 2' below the bottom of the poured floor. Can anyone confirm that is a acceptable depth for my conduit? Tolyn?
The depth under the slab sounds fine. Will this be above or below grade on the outside of the foundation? Considering the radius of a 2" elbow, will a 4" drain tile sleeve allow enough room for the elbow to turn through the opening? If this is below grade, a lot of foundation guys rough-in a plastic 5 gallon bucket as a sleeve for the openings for conduits, water lines and waste lines.
 
  #22  
Old 01-12-14, 09:24 AM
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This will be below grade on the outside of the foundation. I now follow the radius vs. distance from the finished wall ratio. In my daily work we don't use long sweeps and I didn't think of that!
I will be on site tomorrow and will bring the elbow along with a few options for sleeves (4", 6", 8" PVC). We'll see what works best. I have 2 emails into our inspector just confirming there aren't any local rules disallowing the meter/main usage. I figure if there is a problem with it, I'll throw the meter outside, a small OPD of some sort in the bedroom (behind the meter) and drop the conduit inside the finished wall to head under the slab to the sub panel(s). Not as clean looking than I'd like, but I'll be flexible.

They were ready to pour the footings Friday, but they hit a huge frost channel and had to pull the forms, dig out the channel and back fill. So the pour was cancelled. Unfortunate because we now lost another 2 days (4 days lost total now) and we are only 1 week into the build!

Here are a couple of the ideas I have for adapting a 4" sleeve and a 2.5" Conduit
This one I can get within 3" of the finished wall



This one I can get within 1" of the finished wall.



Thoughts? I really dont want to sink a 8" sleeve into the wall just to have to try to seal a huge space once the conduit is in place.
 
  #23  
Old 01-12-14, 12:02 PM
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Is there any problem changing conduit size during the run? The largest knockout on both my meter/main and my sub panel is 2". I'd like to bury 2.5" and have all the bends be 2.5" for the sake of pulling. I cant imagine pulling 3- 3/0 and 1- 6awg through 2" with 2 90's and 245's would be very easy...
 
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Old 01-12-14, 01:06 PM
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To make a change in pipe size you would need to install a pull box under your sub pane. Your pull box will need to be at least 15" parallel to the 2.5" conduit unless you use a gutter. (IE a 16" x 16" pull box would be needed)

I am confused on your wire size, are you still planing on a 200 amp sub panel?

Why are you using conduit at all? If the conductors are under the building you could just bury direct burial wire and just use the chase that the concrete guys are installing to get through the footing. Only your risers would need to be conduit.

Is there a reason you want to use a meter/main? The extra cost the not needed if the service conductors are under the building. So you could save the extra ground wire, and the cost of the meter/main combo which I expect would be quite expensive. Also remember that any meter socket installed in MN is required to have a bypass handle.
 
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Old 01-12-14, 05:48 PM
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This one I can get within 1" of the finished wall.
I'd go with this one since it's below grade. The natural flex of PVC conduit will allow the conduit to still fit a conduit hanger (minnie) which has a standoff from the wall of approx 1/2"-5/8".

scubawes
Is there any problem changing conduit size during the run? The largest knockout on both my meter/main and my sub panel is 2".
All the 200 amp meter sockets and loadcenters I have ever seen have concentric knockout concentric rings that will allow a 2 1/2" conduit. With the largest concentric ring removed, the opening is approx 3" Dia which is what you need for 2 1/2" conduit. The typical 2" conduit K.O. opening is 2 1/2" Dia.

I cant imagine pulling 3- 3/0 and 1- 6awg through 2" with 2 90's and 245's would be very easy...
I don't recall if this was discussed before or not, but according to the NEC 2/0 copper is all you need for a 200 amp service. From the disconnect all you'd really need is 3 - 2/0 and 1 - #6. 2" conduit would work, but 2 1/2" will make the pull easier.

I have 2 emails into our inspector just confirming there aren't any local rules disallowing the meter/main usage. I figure if there is a problem with it, I'll throw the meter outside, a small OPD of some sort in the bedroom (behind the meter) and drop the conduit inside the finished wall to head under the slab to the sub panel(s). Not as clean looking than I'd like, but I'll be flexible.
Before I put a 200 amp breaker disconnect inside a finished bedroom, I'd put it adjacent to the meter on the outside. It may not be as clean as you'd like, but in my opinion it would be a lot better than having it inside any finished part of the house.
 
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Old 01-12-14, 06:16 PM
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I don't recall if this was discussed before or not, but according to the NEC 2/0 copper is all you need for a 200 amp service. From the disconnect all you'd really need is 3 - 2/0 and 1 - #6. 2" conduit would work, but 2 1/2" will make the pull easier
The wire was discussed previously, I acquired the 3/0 at a very cheap price and am going with the" bigger is ok, smaller isn't" mentality. I am considering trying to offload the thhn and purchase some URD to drop under the slab from the meter to the main panel to skip the conduit all together.

Before I put a 200 amp breaker disconnect inside a finished bedroom, I'd put it adjacent to the meter on the outside. It may not be as clean as you'd like, but in my opinion it would be a lot better than having it inside any finished part of the house
Original plan was a meter/main combo outside, conduit riser/conduit under the slab connected to a sub panel.

I have until Tuesday afternoon to decide, the forms go up in the morning.
 
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Old 01-12-14, 06:33 PM
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I am considering trying to offload the thhn and purchase some URD to drop under the slab from the meter to the main panel to skip the conduit all together.
Not a good idea, I definitely would not do that. URD is rated for direct burial, true, but I would not direct bury it in a location under the house slab where it could not be replaced. At least with conduit the wire could always be replaced if necessary. A lot of power companies stopped using direct burial URD 30 years ago because of the failure rate.
 
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Old 01-23-14, 01:27 PM
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14% off Menards Bag sale!

I was able to get all my switches, GFCI receptacles, all my 15 amp receptacles and most of my 20 amp receptacles in one bag last night. I saved more than I originally budgeted for the switches! I will be going back tonight to grab all the breakers and some vapor tight boxes. I got the white PVC sleeve to the foundation guys just in time. Its installed and looks great! (the foundation guy asked me to put a couple together for him to use on his own house that he is building. )

I think I will be going the route of installing a simple meter socket (5 jaw lever bypass) and burying a 2.5" conduit to the 200 amp panel in my utility room. I'll then feed the garage sub panel from that, again through buried conduit. It seams like that is the best way for me with the wire I have already purchased. I'd like to purchase the rest of the electrical in the next few days. I am curious on one thing before I do, can I use a 100 amp main breaker panel in my garage as a sub panel, or does it have to be main lug? I like the idea of being able to de-energize the garage from inside the garage, and not have to go downstairs to do so.
Also, does my gas fireplace have to be on a dedicated circuit?

Here is a short unedited video I threw together of the form and pour.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kD_nVgilp-c Lumber gets delivered tomorrow, but with our 2nd "polar vortex" bearing down on us, I doubt the'll be out swinging hammers next week.
 
  #29  
Old 01-23-14, 05:10 PM
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A means of disconnect is not required at a subpanel in the same building as the service. It is optional.
 
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Old 01-23-14, 05:16 PM
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Thanks!
That's what I was hoping for. Any idea on the dedicated circuit for the fireplace?
 
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Old 01-23-14, 06:26 PM
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It should be able to share a circuit.
 
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Old 01-25-14, 09:24 AM
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What will you install as Grounding Electrodes ?
 
  #33  
Old 01-25-14, 09:31 AM
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Can install a Ufer if the footings Aren't poured yet.
 
  #34  
Old 01-25-14, 04:15 PM
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Concrete guys will many times poke a piece of rebar to bond to if they have done houses before.]

Nice video!
 
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Old 01-26-14, 06:55 AM
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Nice video!
They sure work fast!
 
  #36  
Old 02-02-14, 06:24 PM
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Grounding

Well, the foundation guys kind of screwed me... They put the sleeve 3 feet away from the correct spot. The sleeve is now directly under the window on the walk out side of the house... Now I have to find a 2.5" LL conduit body and try to get the conduit from the meter socket, down 3 feet, over 3 feet, then down to the sleeve. grrrr

As far as grounding, I haven't gotten that far yet. I have 50 feet of #4 bare stranded, and a bunch of left over #6 green thhn. Where do I need grounding rods? Outside under the meter, inside at the garage sub panel? the main OPD gets grounded to the Copper water pipe and a rod outside correct?
 
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Old 02-02-14, 07:09 PM
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Remember, you may not bury a conduit body.
Bummer about the sleeve. Can you just install a new one under the foundation? Ground is pretty hard right now. Since the sleeve is plastic maybe you can just spin it in place and only need to add one 90, or better yet a 45 below the meter?

You can put the ground rod anyplace outside, whatever is convenient for you, as long as it is accessible. You only need to run #6 to it from the main panel. In MN you only need one.

The #4 will be good for the water service bond, again, from the panel to where the water service enters the building. Use two ground clamps, one on each side of the water meter.
 
  #38  
Old 02-03-14, 03:00 AM
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The sleeve is very much stuck in its current alignment and location. I think I can get the first 90 off the meter base to the conduit body on the side of the house above grade so the body Wil not be buried.

Thanks for the input on the grounding, Now I have everything I need to start next week!
 
  #39  
Old 02-03-14, 07:39 AM
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I am having a hell of a time finding a 2.5" LL conduit body. Does anyone have a lead for me? I'd happily purchase online and ship it for those suggestions not in MN.
 
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Old 02-03-14, 08:57 AM
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I am having a hell of a time finding a 2.5" LL conduit body.
You didn't say whether you'd prefer PVC, aluminum, malleable iron or steel.

The good folks at Viking Electric Supply carry them in die-cast aluminum. Is 500 Broadway in St. Paul convenient to you?

You might want to call first to see if they have one in that store or need to get it from their warehouse.
 
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