8/[3-4] SOOW Cable Question

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Old 10-31-18, 02:29 PM
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8/[3-4] SOOW Cable Question

Can someone explain to me what typical application I might need an 8/4 (white,black,red, green) instead of 8/3 (white,black, green) cable?

I inherited a 100' or so of 600v 8/4 soow cable when I bought my house (it was hard wired into an outbuilding panel the previous owner had used to weld a together a dock). I've cut it up and have used it for a couple different applications, including as an extension cord to my welder. I have never needed the red wire, and have always just cut and sealed it on both ends.

Recently, I need a extra twenty feet or so to do a couple of fence repairs and was going to order aonother 50-100' of 600v Soow. I've never ended up needing the red and have no idea if I ever will. Thing is, I'd rather have the extra wire and not need it than need it and not have it.

So, I thought I'd ask...outside of 3-phase, what types of applications might I run across on a ranch (or in a non-commercial equipment wood workshop) might require the 4th red wire?
 
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Old 10-31-18, 03:18 PM
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With a straight 240v load....... you only need two hots and a ground...... three wire.
With a 120/240v load ..... you need two hots, a neutral and a ground...... four wire.

I use 8/4 for power takeoffs from panels for stage use.
 
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Old 10-31-18, 03:34 PM
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Thanks...I get the "theory" of its use (240v vs 120/240v), but it is the practical is what I cannot figure out.
So, some real world use like "power takefoffs from panels for stage use" (something I am likely to be doing) that I am after. Personally (just a country guy and by no means an electrician), most of the time I've seen hot/hot/neutral/ground has either been in three phase or in 6 gauge and bigger wire.
 
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Old 10-31-18, 04:43 PM
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I have a practical use for it. You don't. So no need to purchase any more 4 wire cable.

I have most of my heavy cabling on CamLoks so I can use it for 120/240 or 240v only depending on how connected. I have a generator in my shed. I keep a 100' 8-4 cable there to connect it to the panel. Saves having to move the generator.
 
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Old 10-31-18, 06:02 PM
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I have a practical use for it. You don't. So no need to purchase any more 4 wire cable.
That was my thinking, but thought it better check first before I found myself in a "if only...". Thanks!
 
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Old 11-01-18, 10:36 AM
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Shore power for a large RV would be a possible application. Or hooking up a generator to a transfer panel or temp panel on a construction site.
 
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Old 11-01-18, 10:44 AM
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In residential use, the only thing I can think of requiring that much power at 240/120v is a large portable generator and oven/range (rarely movable). Most other large appliances used in or around a residence are 240v only like a kiln, welder, etc.

There's always Craig's list. You may be able to sell what you have leftover and purchase 8/3 cable, which is really only what you need.
 
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Old 11-01-18, 03:19 PM
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I've seen hot/hot/neutral/ground has either been in three phase or in 6 gauge and bigger wire.
L1, L2, N, Gnd is still not 3 phase. That would take a BLK, RED, ORN, and GRN, and maybe WHT for 3 ph 208/120V.

And, yes; there are 5 wire twist lock plugs.
 
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Old 11-02-18, 06:09 AM
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L1, L2, N, Gnd is still not 3 phase.
You can re-identify the white as a hot conductor. So a cable with black, red white and green wires can be used for 3 phase that does not have a neutral requirement.
 
 

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