Is #14 wire sufficient for my project

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by TGMcCallie, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. Aug 4, 2012 #1

    TGMcCallie

    TGMcCallie

    TGMcCallie

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    I have a #10 3 wire coming from my main breaker box to a sub breaker box
    which gives me 240 volts and 30 amps.

    I want to come off the individual breakers in this sub panel to a pool pump, pool cleaner and lights.
    The Pool 1 HP Pump pulls 7.5 amps x 220 volts
    The Cleaner 3/4 HP booster pump pulls 6.4 amps x 220 volts
    The light is 500 watts x 120 volts which I figure about 4.2 amps x 120
    This will give me approx. 18.1 amps total.

    Can I come off each individual 15 amp breaker and go seperately to each one of these loads with #14 3 gague wire? The distance from breakers to each load is less than 5 feet. Both pumps wired 240 and the light wired 120. I will use #14 2 on the 120 volt light circuit.

    The reason I want to do this is because #14 wire is so much easier to work with under the screws of the motors than #10 3 and #12 3 gague wire.

    If this is advisable, do I use 15 amp ground fault breakers on each circuit or
    can I use the one single GF breaker (20 amp) which I now have on the main
    pannel that serves the #10 3 wire????

    Thanks for your help. I just want to keep everything safe and working properly.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  2. Aug 4, 2012 #2

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

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    If you want to be safe, I would use #12, not #14. Honestly, the "workability" of the #12 wire is not that much different. However, you can support the amp load you describe using #14 . . . BUT, what is the startup load? Since this is a motor, it draws heavily for startup and then settles back down for operation. Also, remember to downrate the breaker to 80% so you don't push it too much.

    I am very careful with pool equipment . . . Hope you enjoy your summer! ;)
     
  3. Aug 5, 2012 #3

    TGMcCallie

    TGMcCallie

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    I understand your thoughts on this.

    As far as the GFI breaker in the main box protecting all the circuits which total 18.1 amps, do I use the 20 amp gfi breaker that I am using now or do I need to go with 80% of 18.1 and use a 15 amp GFI breaker?

    If I have a fault in the 1 HP motor circuit that is pulling 7.5 amps will it trip the 15/20 amp GFI breaker and the same for the circuit pulling only 6.4 and the light pulling 2.1.

    Does the GFI Breaker match the total of all loads or does that matter?

    I could change the 20 amp gfi breaker that serves all the circuits to a standard breaker and put seperate GFI breakers for each of the circuits in the sub panel. I used the one at the main box because those buggers are so expensive now.

    I do not know what the start up amps are for the motors. They just give this on the labels on each one of the pumps:
    1 HP pool motor: AMP MAX LOAD 1.0/7.5 HZ 60 CF1.1
    1 HP KW 0.75
    .75 HP Cleaner motor: HP 3/4 AMP SF 6.4/12.8

    It does not say start up amps. I assumed since both can either be wired 120 or 240 this is the AMP load for each wiring voltage.

    Tom

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  4. Aug 5, 2012 #4

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    There is absolutely NO "safety" advantage to using #14 for these loads, regardless of motor start-up.

    The breaker protects the wiring, NOT the load, so even if a motor is on a 20A breaker it will not trip any faster or safer on a 15A circuit.
    You match the circuit to the load within the scope of the code.

    Thing is, it is a code requirement that the ground for most pool equipment be #12 minimum and also be insulated. This precludes any #14 NM or UF cable use.

    If you are wiring up pool equipment you should ALREADY be familiar with Art.680 of the NEC. You SHOULD NOT be guessing or winging it as far as this stuff goes.
     
  5. Aug 5, 2012 #5

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

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    Therefore, to translate Speedy's post, your answer TGMc is #12 as a minimum . . . and do not undersize the breakers, i.e., 20Amp minimum.
     
  6. Aug 5, 2012 #6

    TGMcCallie

    TGMcCallie

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    I have decided to use 12/3 romex. I will have #10/3 line to the sub panel and #12/3 from sub panel to the times for all 3 circuits even the lights. I plan on using individual breakers in the sub panel for each circuit. You are saying that I need to use 20 amp breakers for all these even the light and timer circuit. Is that correct?

    You are also saying that the GF breaker in the main panel that will serve all the circuits needs to be 20 amp.

    Keep in mind that the serving lead from the main to the sub panel is 10/3. Does that make any difference in the breaker size at the main panel AND the sub panel?

    Thanks
    Tom
     
  7. Aug 5, 2012 #7

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    Sorry, I made a typo there I just noticed. I meant to say "There is absolutely NO "safety" advantage to using #12 for these loads..."
    The startup load is already taken into account with the circuit breaker.
     
  8. Aug 5, 2012 #8

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    Even though romex is not complaint for this installation? OK, it's your house. :rolleyes:

    This whole thing kinda scares me.
     
  9. Aug 5, 2012 #9

    TGMcCallie

    TGMcCallie

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    There is a bonding bar in the box. Do I hook it up in the neutral bar or leave it not hooked up. I was concerned about the metal box not being grounded or is it grounded someway through the main panel?

    tom
     
  10. Aug 5, 2012 #10

    TGMcCallie

    TGMcCallie

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    I call all elec cable romex, I guess from the old school. What I am using is 12/3 which is yellow in color and it will be inside water tight conduit with water proof fittings. It is type NM-B. I know it says indoor wire but I am putting it in the water tight conduit with water tight fittings like they use to hook up air conditioner units outside.

    If this is not correct, what should I use?

    Thanks,
    Tom
     
  11. Aug 5, 2012 #11

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    It is absolutely NOT right, not to put in sealtite for an A/C and especially not for pool equipment. You should be using individual THHN/THWN conductors, along with a green insulated ground wire.
     
  12. Aug 6, 2012 #12

    TGMcCallie

    TGMcCallie

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    Is THHN?THWN conductors individual single wires without the outter jacket that the romex has?
    If so I can certinally do that. The pool man wired my light with individual wires and I always wondered why?

    Tom
     
  13. Aug 6, 2012 #13

    kok328

    kok328

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    You will attached the Red & Blacks to a 20Amp breaker.
    You will attached the White to the neutral bar in the breaker panel.
    You will attached the Green to the ground bar in the breaker panel.
    The ground bar & the neutral bar will be separate bars being that this is inside a sub-panel.
    You will run all wires through sealtight with water tight fittings.
    You will use 3/4" sealtight to be able to enclose all circuits.
     
  14. Aug 6, 2012 #14

    TGMcCallie

    TGMcCallie

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    My new GE sub panel Model TL412R1P DOES NOT have a seperate grounding bar or strip for the green equipment ground wire. It only has
    one single neutral ground bar.

    It does have a ground rod strip that you can attach to the neutral grounding bar in order to ground the equipment.

    I will have to attach both the bare ground wire and the Green wire from the main breaker to this single neutral bar. I will also have to attach the bare ground wire and white neutral wire here as well for all the load wires that go to my motor/cleaner/light via. the timer. In other words I can not seperate the equipment ground wires and the neutral wires.........

    I am planning on running all load wires in 3/4 or maybe 1 inch sealtite flexible conduit, with water tight fittings, from the sub panel to the timer box. From the timer box I will use 1/2 inch same type conduit for the wires
    to the 3 loads.

    Is this going to be according to NEC code? Just need to make sure that I can use this PVC watertight conduit with watertight fittings like Lowe's sells to hook up Pool Motor, Pool cleaner motor, and pool light.

    Tom
     
  15. Aug 6, 2012 #15

    TGMcCallie

    TGMcCallie

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    Here is a wiring diagram for my project. If you see anything that I need to change in order to be safe, please let me know.

    Tom
     
  16. Aug 6, 2012 #16

    TGMcCallie

    TGMcCallie

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    Well guess I don't know how to post a file document so that did not work.
    Tom
     
  17. Aug 6, 2012 #17

    kok328

    kok328

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    You have a serious problem with not being able to attach to a ground source separate from the neutral.
     
  18. Aug 6, 2012 #18

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    And that's only the start.
    I am bowing out of this one as I want no part of helping someone completely unqualified wiring pool equipment.
     
  19. Aug 6, 2012 #19

    TGMcCallie

    TGMcCallie

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    This has been this way since the pool company installed the equipment. Each Motor and light is bonded to a seperatge ground rod that is #8 copper and driven in the ground near the pump slab and has been that way for over 30 years. The ladders and all metal parts of the pool plus rebarb are all bonded to this ground rod as well.

    I just wanted to know if I need to buy a equipment ground strip and install it in the sub panel and use # 8 wire to ground this strip to the ground rod that is already driven into the ground where everything else is grounded like it was originally.

    My house is approx 50 years old and all the neutrals and bare wires are all together on the neutral ground bar. Years ago they did not seperate these.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  20. Aug 6, 2012 #20

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    Yup, been that way for years is never a good sign.
    You have Bonding and grounding going on which are 2 separate things, and not to mention a nuetral with a ground.
    Pools are a touchy subject, and ONLY a professional should be looking at your issues. Please hire someone to come out and look,
    From my chair (and everyone elses) this is something that needs to be handled by a licensed electrician. Your saftey, How much is it worth?

    I have been at this a long time, and seen many, many things that work,that should have killed someone.
     

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