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Old 07-06-2016, 12:01 PM   #1
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Electric panel installation for dummy ?

Am kind of new to electrical installation of electrical breakers and panels. I can do some simple wiring and soldering. I have got drip barrack, I am willing to go and do some extra electrical adjustments, I'd like it to have its own electrical panel, but it would need to be powered from wall socket, now it only have biorb air pump running with, 15l stingray filter, and 2500l water pump. but soon I will add 100l heater another biorb air pump, and 300l/h tetratec air pump, lighting, and some 10w LED.
can any one advise me on what to do? Possibly guide me through the electrical components of the panel and how it should be wired ? Thanks


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Old 07-07-2016, 01:37 AM   #2
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I highly suggest you do some reading. Lots of factors to take into consideration. If you're doing a dedicated panel to your aquarium setup, you need to take into consideration things like distance from your main box, how much draw you've got on it, I would suggest going ahead and spending the extra on GFI breakers vs GFI outlets since you're dealing with water.

Things like, do you have a crawlspace, or are you running it up into an attic, then fishing it down into the walls all have consideration. If you may sell anytime soon, you may want to seriously consider a contractor so it's done to code.(not saying you can't do it yourself to code, but a contractor will know what permits to pull, and get it inspected so there is no concerns for the new buyer)

Otherwise adding a panel is easy. It's a matter of adding a line to your main box outside, then running the appropriate sized wire for the load to the new box location. Calculate your peak amp load, then add at least 50% for a safety buffer*. I would suggest doubling it.) running the cable into the box, then adding the breaker to the bus and running cable to your outlets/appliances. Biggest thing is making sure the wires can support the load without overheating and becoming a fire risk (THIS IS A VERY REAL ISSUE!!!!!!!) DO NOT OVER LOOK IT! ESPECIALLY if you're running it through your attic or crawlspace. if it overheats and starts to melt, you won't know till it creates fire. You can't go too big, but to small a wire and it will just burn through and short, and you'll be hating life trying to find the short. Just because it melts through, doesn't mean it will melt through the sheathing on the wire.

Use extreme caution playing inside your main box, invest in a voltage ticker (little device that you can hold up to a wire and it will tick if there is current on it). Don't assume a line is a dead line until you've put a volt meter to it, and can confirm it's not carrying current. Having had the experience of touching a live 220 line, and 120 line I can say, 120 is uncomfortable and will make you jump. 220 put me on my knees and made me want to cry like a baby. (working on a homeowners place that put a screw through a 220 line and didn't know it. when I put an uninsulated screwdriver on it to remove the screw, well yeah, I wasn't a happy camper)

My BIL actually still works as an electrician for a living, (I did satellite work and had to do light electrical work due to my job) and ended up with an overnight hospital stay when someone threw the breaker on a 3 phase line he was working on, thankfully he was pulling his hand away when it powered up, and it only arced to him vs him actually having a grip on it. Point is, don't underestimate electricity. It's one of those things that will make you hate life if you're stupid with it.

My experience is as I said, light electrical during satellite installs. Fixing circuits in an old house, in ground pump well work, wiring up a 36x30 shop, some AC work, and building wiring harness's for race cars. Good luck with it.

* you can go with less or more as a safety buffer, it also allows you to add more to the circuit later down the road if you go with more load. Easy to add when your first installing, can be a pain, and cause issues down the line if you don't take it into consideration.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruutah View Post
I highly suggest you do some reading. Lots of factors to take into consideration. If you're doing a dedicated panel to your aquarium setup, you need to take into consideration things like distance from your main box, how much draw you've got on it, I would suggest going ahead and spending the extra on GFI breakers vs GFI outlets since you're dealing with water.

Things like, do you have a crawlspace, or are you running it up into an attic, then fishing it down into the walls all have consideration. If you may sell anytime soon, you may want to seriously consider a contractor so it's done to code.(not saying you can't do it yourself to code, but a contractor will know what permits to pull, and get it inspected so there is no concerns for the new buyer)

Otherwise adding a panel is easy. It's a matter of adding a line to your main box outside, then running the appropriate sized wire for the load to the new box location. Calculate your peak amp load, then add at least 50% for a safety buffer*. I would suggest doubling it.) running the cable into the box, then adding the breaker to the bus and running cable to your outlets/appliances. Biggest thing is making sure the wires can support the load without overheating and becoming a fire risk (THIS IS A VERY REAL ISSUE!!!!!!!) DO NOT OVER LOOK IT! ESPECIALLY if you're running it through your attic or crawlspace. if it overheats and starts to melt, you won't know till it creates fire. You can't go too big, but to small a wire and it will just burn through and short, and you'll be hating life trying to find the short. Just because it melts through, doesn't mean it will melt through the sheathing on the wire.

Use extreme caution playing inside your main box, invest in a voltage ticker (little device that you can hold up to a wire and it will tick if there is current on it). Don't assume a line is a dead line until you've put a volt meter to it, and can confirm it's not carrying current. Having had the experience of touching a live 220 line, and 120 line I can say, 120 is uncomfortable and will make you jump. 220 put me on my knees and made me want to cry like a baby. (working on a homeowners place that put a screw through a 220 line and didn't know it. when I put an uninsulated screwdriver on it to remove the screw, well yeah, I wasn't a happy camper)

My BIL actually still works as an electrician for a living, (I did satellite work and had to do light electrical work due to my job) and ended up with an overnight hospital stay when someone threw the breaker on a 3 phase line he was working on, thankfully he was pulling his hand away when it powered up, and it only arced to him vs him actually having a grip on it. Point is, don't underestimate electricity. It's one of those things that will make you hate life if you're stupid with it.

My experience is as I said, light electrical during satellite installs. Fixing circuits in an old house, in ground pump well work, wiring up a 36x30 shop, some AC work, and building wiring harness's for race cars. Good luck with it.

* you can go with less or more as a safety buffer, it also allows you to add more to the circuit later down the road if you go with more load. Easy to add when your first installing, can be a pain, and cause issues down the line if you don't take it into consideration.

I am running low around 20amps all together, most of my equipment are 1.3amps but my issue is I have too many plugs in order to run it, I used 2 extension plugs one from my wall to the barrack and then another for the rest of the plugs, it's been fine for 2 years but I want some reassurance, I was hoping I could plug some thick wire into my wall socket via plug, then to the panel which would be on the wall. So maybe breakers if it overload to shut the power from the wall socket? Does any one have any video? Been on YouTube but couldn't didn't anything


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Old 07-07-2016, 03:31 PM   #4
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What you're suggesting is basically a giant DIY multi outlet. As long as the wall can support the amperage load you would be fine. Skip the panel part as you're overcomplicating it.

Difference being it wouldn't be on it's own dedicated circuit, it would share the load with whatever else is on that wall/circuit.

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Old 07-08-2016, 02:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ruutah View Post
What you're suggesting is basically a giant DIY multi outlet. As long as the wall can support the amperage load you would be fine. Skip the panel part as you're overcomplicating it.

Difference being it wouldn't be on it's own dedicated circuit, it would share the load with whatever else is on that wall/circuit.

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Yep but I'm only able to tap to one of the wall socket so maximum 13amps but just the heater is 8amps, how to increase the resistance of the wall socket? am going to put thicker wiring for the cable that will go the the wall socket plug. So I think my only option to increase the amp resistance is sub panel


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