Splitter Boxes - 3 phase vs 1 phase

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Old 03-14-14, 08:18 PM
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Splitter Boxes - 3 phase vs 1 phase

I bought two 600v, 400amp rated splitter boxes...I bring them home and notice they say 3ph on them...doh.

FYI - Hoffman AST4404R and a electrical distributor owned brand Electripro T3403. The first number stands for length in feet, second amperage and last one is how many blocks. The reason two different ones is strictly space considerations and what the distributor had on hand.

I bought them for 1 phase service...to be used at both ends of a double run (275ft) of ACWU 250/3...to limit line loss for a long run.

These must be ok for 1 phase? I hope so, or am I about to flush $400...I'd think a single phase splitter box would be the same. As a matter of fact, I haven't seen splitter boxes that are 400amp 1phase...need 400amp as a 150amp double pole breaker in main is feeding all this...

First box on load side of 200 amp main panel, second box at other end of ACWU, with 100 amp sub panel feeding out of it, thereafter, another line out of splitter to another sub in house (future).
 
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Old 03-14-14, 11:00 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I guess your question is..... are these splitter boxes ok to use with single phase. I don't see why not. They do seem to be a little on the large size for the house though.
 
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Old 03-14-14, 11:19 PM
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Yeah, they are large and heavy...smallest 400amp model is 3ft long. Oh, I forgot why I got the 4ft version...it was because it has the right sized blocks (handle 4-250MCM), whereas the 3ft version doesn't have as many larger lug sizes. Found it mind bending looking over the block sizes for about 12 different versions. Guess folks use them with one main input and several small outputs. The larger box looks like a school locker....

Thanks for the feedback...can always use more...cheers.
 
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Old 03-14-14, 11:29 PM
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Oops, forgot to mention that what my logic would indicate is these 3 phase labelled boxes would be fine for 1 phase, but when the Electrical Inspector pays me a visit, I bet he will ponder the label...a stickler by all accounts. But if the boxes can handle 3 phase 600v, then they must be good for 1 phase 240v?

I vaguely recall there is some calculation from 3 phase to 1 phase....
 
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Old 03-15-14, 12:04 AM
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...need 400amp as a 150amp double pole breaker in main is feeding all this...
Why does the fact that you are feeding with a 150 ampere circuit require a 400 ampere tap box? I hope that you are not thinking that a two-pole 150 ampere circuit breaker is equal to 300 amps.

If you can return the tap boxes and instead get 150 ampere or 200 ampere single phase models you will be better off. You can use the third phase terminal for your neutral connection if there is not already a neutral connection.

Further, why not simply get a three-pole (hot-neutral-hot) power block and mount it into a plain enclosure?

Power Distribution Blocks | AutomationDirect.com

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Old 03-15-14, 05:11 AM
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Given the extra heavy cables you are using for the long (275') run, it is possible you may want to keep the boxes you have with lugs that are large enough. Otherwise those boxes just take up more space than need be and probably cost more than needed

No special calculations are needed for the 400 amp box to substitute a single phase 120/240 volts (on up to 600 volts leg to leg) feed with up to 400 amps per leg for the maximum incoming 3 phase up to 600 volt phase to phase up to 400 amps per phase feed.
 
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Old 03-15-14, 09:00 AM
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Furd - I was wondering about (two pole 150amp = 300amp)...it was the Field Safety Representative (aka Electrician with super powers - can sign off on his own work) who said 400amp box was needed...he looked into it. Returning the boxes would cost me about half the cost of what I paid (ferry/long drive/day trip), and space isn't an issue (although I did say otherwise below - 3ft version for a temp location - just easier)...thx
 

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Old 03-15-14, 09:10 AM
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AllanJ - space isn't an issue (although I did otherwise below - 3ft version for a temp location - just easier). Thx for the 'no special calculations' bit. Yeah, finding boxes with enough lugs the size I needed was torture.

Now, I have to source a ground bar for each...no idea why no grounding bar came with these things. One does have a single grounding lug (4 ft'er has grounding lug), but I need a bar. I was mulling over the idea of using the box with four blocks - using the fourth as a grounding bar, and bonding it to the box grounding lug?
 

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Old 03-17-14, 10:45 AM
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Just a quick followup question...
One of the splitter boxes came with a ground lug, probably 2/0 size...anyways, wondering how many grounds I can stick under there...splitter box has no info listed, unlike main/sub panels?

One box will have 3 ground wires and the other 5 ground wires...
 
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Old 03-17-14, 03:17 PM
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Can you show us pictures of the insides?
 
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Old 03-17-14, 06:56 PM
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One of the splitter boxes came with a ground lug, probably 2/0 size...anyways, wondering how many grounds I can stick under there
Probably just one, but there are some lugs approved for two conductors.
 
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Old 03-21-14, 03:11 PM
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Here are the pics of the smaller splitter box....
I've ordered the ground bars...$$$
 
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Old 05-03-14, 11:54 PM
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Completion

Really dislike recreating stuff I spent 30 minutes on...:NO NO NO::NO NO NO:

Try again...
I got the kiosk portion all together. To sum up: House site on property is far away from power lines on road. So, I built an electrical shed to receive the overhead service. In the shed is a 200amp service with splitter trough. From splitter trough, I have two 250MCM ACWU lines running 275ft to temp kiosk in picture. If you see anything amiss or could be better, please let me know. I know electricity, but electrical code, not so much.
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Old 05-04-14, 12:11 AM
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I should quickly point out I un-bonded the neutral/ground bars in sub-panel. I hooked up a ground plate to sub-panel since it is not in the electrical shed where main is, but I wonder about which lug or bar it should be going to...as you can see, it is hooked up to a ground bar. The ground from splitter trough goes to a factory lug in sub panel. Suppose it is all the same...but I'm sure there are pages of rules on that...

I used 14/3 teck cable for outlet, so one wire had to be capped.

Lastly, I got confused with Canada rules on having line side power cover...a cover plate was installed over the incoming line power in sub panel, but the instructions said to remove it, if it isn't a main service panel...did I read that right?

thanks....
 
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Old 05-04-14, 12:26 AM
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Looks good. The only thing I question is the bare ground in close proximity to the hot terminals.
When we do work like that.... the hot and neutral connections are covered.
 
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Old 05-04-14, 12:34 AM
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Thanks PJmax
In the splitter box? There are no 'covers' available for blocks. How do you cover them up?
Hard to see in pic, but the hot/neutral blocks are raised up (2inch phenolic blocks).
 
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Old 05-04-14, 08:12 AM
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Please tell me that the cable-like thing going from the splitter to the panel top is not just snake skin covering, but is a flexible conduit.
 
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Old 05-05-14, 09:19 PM
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Yep, it is ACWU 2/0 feeding a 100amp sub panel.
 
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Old 05-05-14, 09:41 PM
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Completion at Service end

Got the other end done....
So, now I have power up a hill to the middle of property...flicked on 150 amp branch circuit...total run 375ft from road. Need to test voltage line drop, but for now, all I care about is that I have power...Hindsight is everything, but I think I would look long and hard at alternatives, like being content with less amperage at house and just running a single line (250MCM). Pics of electrical setup in Electrical shed (where line power comes in from overhead from road, goes into main panel, then out through 150amp branch circuit to splitter trough, and underground via 2 - 250MCM ACWU cables. Most of run was buried easily, as can be in BC rock, but 50ft had to be concreted (going up rock gorge).
 
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Old 08-23-14, 09:58 PM
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Had an apprentice look at my work

Generally, it was A-ok, but felt there should be a cover over the sub-panel line side (neutral and two hots). See post #13 for pic. In any main panel, there is cover over the line side, but the instructions for sub said to remove the line side cover (Canadian rules). BTW - another cover goes over everything - just removed for pics. The only concern I have is that the 'line side cover' has tabs (towards back of box) that gets awfully close to the neutral. Since the neutral isn't bonded to ground in sub, I see that as a problem. Also, realized the neutral bar may get covered in the process.

Another concern is the lines coming into the temp kiosk...felt they should in a pipe. I did span a board between the two posts, and clamp the lines to it (a foot below cabinet). The lines already have mechanical protection...should they go into a pipe? That could be difficult given their spacing from each other.

Comments appreciated...2 mths ago, I hooked my RV to temp kiosk and all has been good. Any way one can measure line loss (voltage drop under load) without buying a device for that purpose? I plugged in a circ saw, powered it up while I measured the other plug. Oddly, I suffered less voltage drop at temp kiosk than I did at electrical shed, which is 230ft closer to source....1V/1.2V drop at each location.
 
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Old 08-23-14, 10:21 PM
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Any way one can measure line loss (voltage drop under load) without buying a device for that purpose?
A standard voltmeter is the way to check it. Apply external loads and read voltage off the meter.
Remove load and measure again. The difference is your voltage drop.

I had mentioned covering the terminals previously.
 
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Old 08-24-14, 10:50 AM
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I thought you were referring to the splitter box lugs...No biggie, can fix that in a flash.

As for voltage drop, I believe I did what you mentioned, but I need to know voltage drop at max load. Getting voltage drop under a 15amp load isn't terribly useful, as I cannot scale that....or can I? I used half a dozen calculators to calculate what size of cable(s) I needed to get below 3% threshold (it might have been 5%...). At any rate, getting real world numbers would be helpful.
 
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Old 08-24-14, 11:08 AM
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Got a pic of the line side cover...read what the label says...maybe I am not reading it right. thx.
 
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Old 08-24-14, 11:20 AM
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Here are excerpts of the instructions...
Confusing the heck out of me...this is a subpanel in temp kiosk...the main panel is in electrical shed.
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Old 08-24-14, 11:43 AM
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Maybe I am getting tripped up with the term 'service equipment panels' and 'main service panel'. What I do know, it that the main service panel has the neutral bonded to ground. Anything beyond that and the neutral and ground are unbonded.

I'll go with the note on Canadian rules and put the barrier on, even though instructions further on say to discard barrier when removing neutral bonding screw. Guess this sub-panel is a service equipment panel?
 
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Old 08-24-14, 01:08 PM
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I'll go with the note on Canadian rules and put the barrier on, even though instructions further on say to discard barrier when removing neutral bonding screw. Guess this sub-panel is a service equipment panel?
When reading this thread I kept thinking the barrier must be a Canadian code thing. I think your answer is right there, the service equipment would be the main panel and this is just a subpanel. When you remove the neutral bonding screw, as in a subpanel installation, there is no need for the barrier. That being said, I doubt the code prohibits using the barrier even with a subpanel.
 
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Old 08-24-14, 04:45 PM
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Thanks CJ...I put the barrier on.
Long ago, I was concerned the barrier was a tad close to neutral lug and would cover neutral bars, but after putting it on, it looks ok. This is a service panel, albeit, not a main service panel. The whole blurb on removing bonding screw, then tossing barrier threw me for a loop. Much safer now...especially when removing breaker cover to add more circuits.
 
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