Pre inspection electrical advice

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Old 10-03-16, 07:55 AM
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Pre inspection electrical advice

When I built my garage/shop a few years ago I called the county to check on building permits and was told I didn't need one unless I was hooking up to my septic system. Later I found out that I should have also checked with the City. So I plan on turning myself in and try to get my work legalized. Below are some labeled pics showing my electrical work. All the outlets are GFCI protected. I ran a wire from the breaker to the first GFCI plug and then daisy chained regular outlets off of it. Wiring looks a little messy in the attic. I do have stairs to the attic but am willing to remove them in place of a scuttle hole if that helps my cause.

Any advice on compliance issues would be greatly appreciated. They list National Electrical Code May 1, 2006 under building codes adopted.
 
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Old 10-03-16, 08:32 AM
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Yeah it does look like there are a few code compliance issues here. The panel clearance is not a problem. What I do notice:

1. The cable feeding the shop panel does not appear to be an outdoor/underground type. That looks like indoor NM-B cable.
2. The receptacle with multiple wires on one screw could be fixed by either switching to a backwire style device that can accept multiple wires or pigtailing with wirenuts.
3. The NM cable strung through the attic should be supported and protected better. Cable should run along framing members and be staples at intervals no greater than 4.5'. It should not hang in free air.
4. Cables within 7 feet of the scuttle hole need to be protected from damage by a 2x4 or similar substantial lumber.
5. The box looks overfilled, but you can replace it with a couple different boxes when you reroute those cables along framing.
 
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Old 10-03-16, 09:35 AM
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Thx ibpooks. I was afraid of that feeder not being of the underground type but I couldn't see any marking on the jacket without tearing up some sheetrock. How could you tell? I guess I have to dig that up and re-run it. I doubt I ran that PVC 18 inches deep. Or from what I've read I can install it in IMC at 6 inches deep. It's tough digging in Texas.
 
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Old 10-03-16, 01:13 PM
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Does the cable have any paper filler in it between the conductors? If so, that is an indoor NM cable. Outdoor cable UF will be a more thick, stiff black or gray rubber-like insulation with no paper filler.
 
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Old 10-03-16, 04:29 PM
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The only paper is around the ground wire. Since it's in conduit does it only need to be rated for wet?
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Old 10-03-16, 05:40 PM
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The paper indicates it is NM cable. NM cable can not be used in a wet environment. Buried conduit is a wet environment. (All conduit is expected to eventually fill with water from leaks or just condensation.)

This is UF cable. Notice how the individual conductors are molded into the cable.
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This is NM cable. Notice the wires are not molded in and there is paper.
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Old 10-03-16, 07:23 PM
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Overall you have a mess. You also need a main disconnect at your shop and should have used a main breaker panel.
 
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Old 10-03-16, 07:50 PM
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You may be able to back feed the panel you have at the shop or if the supplying breaker is 60 amps or less use an non fused air conditioner disconnect at the shop but the cable feeding it must be replaced. If the conduit is uninterrupted between panels and you can pull the NM you can replace it with THWN individual conductors.
 
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Old 10-04-16, 08:16 AM
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Ray.

I assume you mean a disconnect like the one I installed on my Split Air Unit shown below. I am only running a 60 amp breaker but If I have to re-run wire I'll probably bump it up a bit. I run a home built CNC plasma and have a pretty big mig welder which can't be run at the same time.

The plot thickens as one of the breakers on my shop panel feeds another panel for a DIY inground pool I'm also in the process of building. I plan on running only a 20 amp 120 line to my pergola which I believe I can direct bury at 12 inches along with a bare 6 awg copper for my equipotential bonding. Thanks for all your helpful advice guys, I'll invite everyone over for a swim and beer next summer if the inspector doesn't condemn my property.
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Old 10-04-16, 08:49 AM
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The bonding grid wire does not need to run back to a panel.
 
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Old 10-04-16, 10:05 AM
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I have a salt water generator and a sacrificial anode in between the pump and filter I thought I read somewhere that all needed to be tied together with the pump, panel, ladders and bonding grid system. I also have a grounding rod installed near by I thought I tie everything to as well.
 
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Old 10-04-16, 05:58 PM
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I assume you mean a disconnect like the one I installed on my Split Air Unit shown below.
I think Ray was referring to a disconnect like that one, many of them are rated at 60 amps. But, that disconnect at the A-C unit shouldn't be behind the condenser, that wouldn't fly in my area. Was it inspected?
 
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Old 10-05-16, 04:34 AM
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Not yet. I'm trying to prepare for one. What are the rules of where it should be?
 
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Old 10-05-16, 05:57 AM
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I don't see the THWN type wire at Home Depot is UF-B OK? Do I also need to use this type where the wire exits my shop to the AC unit and pool pump?
 
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Old 10-05-16, 06:10 AM
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I don't see the THWN type wire at Home Depot
They have it but they usually incorrectly call it THHN. It is actually dual rated THHN/THWN. Just check the printing on the wire to be sure. Example: Cerrowire 100 ft. 6-Gauge Black Stranded THHN Wire-112-4201C - The Home Depot. For 60 amps you will need one #6 white, two #6 black (or one black and one red) and a #10 green.
UF-B OK
It is a lot harder to pull but since the feed will ultimately supply a pool an insulated ground is required. UF has a bare ground..
Do I also need to use this type where the wire exits my shop to the AC unit and pool pump?
If conduit yes but wire size matched to amps.

You need an isolated neutral bar and a bonded ground bar at the shop sub panel. You will also need one or two 8'xĹ" ground rods connected by #6 to the ground bar in the sub panel.

This is an example of the disconnect you need for the shop subpanel: http://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-60-Amp...0RCP/100674085 All of the above assumes a 60 amp feed to the subpanel.
 

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Old 10-05-16, 05:46 PM
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What are the rules of where it should be?
Currently the A-C condenser is blocking access to the disconnect, just move it to the side so you have direct access to it. Some inspectors won't catch this.
 
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Old 10-09-16, 03:48 PM
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Iím going to be running a new feeder, as suggested, to my shop sub panel. I was planning on bumping up to 4 gauge and running it thru EMT conduit so I only have to bury it 6 inches. I know Iíve seen a lot of people complaining about the EMT but the area will only see foot traffic itís way cheaper than RMC and IMC and Iím running of money and itís tough digging in Texas.

1. Can I still run a 10 gauge ground with the 4 gauge feeders?

2. Looks like I need to run 1 ľ EMT for (3) 4 gauge wires and one 10 gauge?

3. Should I run the EMT all the way up to both panels or can I terminate the EMT as it enters the shop wall?

4. Is this wire acceptable for the feed wire?
Shop 4-AWG Stranded Black Copper THHN Wire (By-the-Foot) at Lowes.com

Iím also planning on replacing my panel with the one listed below, since Iíve already run out of space, with a Main Breaker panel so I donít have to add a separate disconnect as suggested by CasualJoe.

Square D Homeline 100 Amp 20-Space 40-Circuit Indoor Main Plug-On Neutral Breaker Load Center with Cover - Value Pack-HOM2040M100PCVP - The Home Depot

Please let me know if you see any issues with my plan.
Thanks for all the help Guys.
 
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Old 10-09-16, 04:03 PM
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EMT conduit so I only have to bury it 6 inches.
You can not bury EMT. If you only want to dig 6" you need to install IMC or RMC.

1. Can I still run a 10 gauge ground with the 4 gauge feeders?
No, it needs to be #8 copper

2. Looks like I need to run 1 ľ EMT for (3) 4 gauge wires and one 10 gauge?
You cannot use EMT. You can use 1" IMC for 3 #4 THHN and 1 #8 THHN.

3. Should I run the EMT all the way up to both panels or can I terminate the EMT as it enters the shop wall?
Did I mention you cannot use EMT? If you are running individual conductors the conduit run must be continuous from pull point to pull point (Panel to panel, or box to box, etc) If you are only using the raceway for protection of a cable such as UF, then you can stop the conduit run when it enters the wall cavitity. Remember that the conduit run may only have 360 degrees of bends between pull points, and if you do use a cable, the ends of the conduit need to be bushed with a fitting or bushing.

4. Is this wire acceptable for the feed wire?
That is fine, IF the conduit run is continous.

That panel looks fine.
 
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Old 10-09-16, 04:20 PM
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Is this wire acceptable for the feed wire? [4-AWG Stranded Black Copper THHN]
As stated earlier if as is common it is misidentified by Lowes and is really THHN/THWN then yes. Check the writing on the wire before buying.
 
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Old 10-12-16, 05:25 AM
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I AM A MORON!

I installed the steel wall panel with the light niche upside down so the light niche is too high. According to specs it needs to be 18 inches below the surface of the water. Seems impossible to fix at this point. Should I just put a cover on it and make it impossible to install a light cord or is there any type of light that doesn't have a mounting spec of 18 inches water? I wonder why the 18 inches deep?

Thanks for any suggestions
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Old 10-12-16, 08:33 AM
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My guess is that it needs adequate depth for convective cooling, but again just a guess. How close are you to the 18" depth? I'd try to contact the tech support / engineering department of the light manufacturer and see what they recommend.
 
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Old 10-12-16, 09:44 AM
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NEC code and the light MFG require 18 inches min from the top of the light to the nominal water line. Mine is about 3 inches
 
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Old 10-12-16, 01:21 PM
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Looks like maybe they make lights for shallower installations. I just found this blurb below:

You must install an underwater luminaire so the top of the lens is at least 18 in. below the normal water level of the pool, unless it's listed and identified for use at lesser depths [680.23(A)(5)]. Transformers used to supply underwater luminaires must be listed as a swimming pool and spa transformer ó and be of the isolating-winding type with a grounded metal barrier between the primary and secondary windings [680.23(A)(2)]. Branch circuits that supply underwater luminaires greater than 15V must be GFCI protected [680.23(A)(3)].
 
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