Shop Compressor Possibly Fried LEDs in House. Related? Is this wired correctly?

OilMagnate

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394
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Oklahoma
This is important. First there is no such thing as a "lug" ( connection device) "acting" like a breaker ( circuit interrupter)
I think we're using different terminology. I'm referring to main lugs as in breaker box terminology. Here's what I mean. It's a box without a dedicated main breaker. You can install breakers within it to act as a main, but it's not a true main box. This is the exact box I'm going to be installing in the shop to replace the existing box. It is a true main breaker box with a dedicated main.

Again, I'm no electrician, so I may be using improper electrician terms. I'm just using the correct product terminology.

Where exactly is the actual power meter?
It is about 8 inches above the 125A "main" box on the pole.

An MLO panel IS a "sub panel" so what is the breaker size of what feeds this? ( it may be rated for 125 amps but that's not a certainty that its being FED 125 amps so it could be being starved on the front end)

I do presume this is 240 (220) VAC coming in at this MLO panel?

That MLO panel should be fed by probably #2 conductors and neutral (220/240) with a ground rod

Is there a fused disconnect?

At a minimum I would have #4 feeding the house and shop panels and break into 120 at those panels (I would put a main in each panel) This would be G&B all the way through.

Then rewire that death/fire trap starter/compressor.

Again, this is an indierct commentary based on an observation of your posts and actual decisions should be made by a licensed electrician under the authority having jurisdiction for your particular code.
To be crystal clear, I have 2 different professional licensed electricians arriving Monday for their input, and I'm not touching anything myself. I know my limitations, and beyond replacing a breaker, electricity is definitely one of them.

To further clarify, using the above links as the basis of my terminology, the 125A "main" lug box has a 125A capacity, the 2-pole breakers within (which control the other subpanels/lugs) are 100A for the house, 60A for the shop, and an unknown 30A.

I'm assuming MLO means Main Lug Only. I have no idea what conductors/wires feed it. I'll have the electricians evaluate that.

A fused disconnect? No idea. Don't even know what that is.

Compressor starter will be corrected. So will the breaker box in the shop. You'll see why in the next post.
 

OilMagnate

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Messages
394
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Oklahoma
To further add to the disgust of this thread, here's my shop breaker box. This is why I said it's being replaced regardless of what anyone says. THIS is disgusting compared to the starter/compressor. Sadly, a licensed electrician was the last one to touch this (admittedly he was disgusted himself, but he only touched the 30A 2-pole breaker and nothing else). Prior to him touching it, it probably hasn't been touched or used in 20+ years.

Ignore the copper wire to the right of the box. That is the new 6-gauge ground wire that will be running to the grounding rod that isn't installed yet. Also, the secondary box with the 40A breaker is positively not in use, it's an empty outlet. Once it's on the new box, that may change, but it's staying that way until then. The blue painter's tape is what's "locking out" the compressor, I just let it dangle for the photo then replaced it.

Enjoy Cringe!:
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10,963
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MA
You are perfectly fine with a 30 amp breaker and #10 conductor for a 220V 5 hp. motor ( makes no difference what its turning) for that length circuit provided it is wired and terminated correctly.

It wont hurt anything to bump up one size both ways but it wont help anything or give you any real benefit.

Make certain you are grounded and bonded all the way through

You need to find out what the upstream conductors are and what is feeding your MLO
Are you quoting the NEC? Anyway, good that the OP is getting an electrician to look at it. Just checked, you're not supposed to go over 80% rated load and no more than 50' on a 30 amp breaker. From the main panel, it sounds like it's 70 feet to the compressor.
 
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1,965
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Are you quoting the NEC?
Indirectly and based on WWG's published specs for that motor ( which is 22 FLA) plus this is intermittent duty and cap start. A 30 amp breaker will be adequate.

Just checked, you're not supposed to go over 80% rated load and no more than 50' on a 30 amp breaker. From the main panel, it sounds like it's 70 feet to the compressor.
I concur with the 80% but this is home grade. According to the OP the breaker ( 30) is only 20 ft from the compressor and its fed from a 60 some 50 ft away ( unless I read it wrong).

I did ask about the size of all conductors because as you pointed out for that length it should be #8 to be sure coming in to the sub then feed the compressor with a 10- he has not clarified that question.
 
Messages
10,963
Location
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Indirectly and based on WWG's published specs for that motor ( which is 22 FLA) plus this is intermittent duty and cap start. A 30 amp breaker will be adequate.


I concur with the 80% but this is home grade. According to the OP the breaker ( 30) is only 20 ft from the compressor and its fed from a 60 some 50 ft away ( unless I read it wrong).

I did ask about the size of all conductors because as you pointed out for that length it should be #8 to be sure coming in to the sub then feed the compressor with a 10- he has not clarified that question.
It's close enough that maybe you could get away with it. But that looks like an old compressor and who knows if there might be something wrong with it and maybe it's pulling more than it should be. If feed from the 60 I guess it's ok as long as the 60 is set up right. Maybe it's all just loose wires and bad grounds. Hope it's a good electrician that's going to take a look at it.
 
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It's close enough that maybe you could get away with it. But that looks like an old compressor and who knows if there might be something wrong with it and maybe it's pulling more than it should be. If feed from the 60 I guess it's ok as long as the 60 is set up right. Maybe it's all just loose wires and bad grounds. Hope it's a good electrician that's going to take a look at it.
Pretty much agree with all of that except for this ( but admittedly, this is the pump- not the motor. Any number of motor issues could cause it to pull high amps independent of the pump)

If we assume the in tank check valve and the high stage discharge valve is operational... (on a recip you would know immediately if it wasn't because system pressure would be leaking back against the pump and if that were the case- it would take a 50 hp to start it)

In that case, the pump would start unloaded and build up so it would never see a pressure scenario where mechanically there would be a situation to pull more from the motor than the power to pump to the pressure cut off of the pressure switch.

Since the pump design max was what the motor was sized for ( so its probably pumping at about 4.5 hp requirement) it theoretically should never see a mechanical load at 5HP except when the valves bypass and if that's the case, I doubt that little motor could turn it even at locked rotor current plus.
 

OilMagnate

Thread starter
Messages
394
Location
Oklahoma
Indirectly and based on WWG's published specs for that motor ( which is 22 FLA) plus this is intermittent duty and cap start. A 30 amp breaker will be adequate.


I concur with the 80% but this is home grade. According to the OP the breaker ( 30) is only 20 ft from the compressor and its fed from a 60 some 50 ft away ( unless I read it wrong).

I did ask about the size of all conductors because as you pointed out for that length it should be #8 to be sure coming in to the sub then feed the compressor with a 10- he has not clarified that question.
You did not read it wrong. Spot on.

The wire that appears to come through the wall from the outside (using the top image above) has some writing on it. I'll double check this tomorrow, but based on zooming in on the original photo, I'm almost positive that it says "4 AWG" which would be 4-gauge wire. I assume this is the type of cable running the entire 50 feet between the "main" box on the pole and the shop breaker box. I circled it so you all can see what I'm talking about:
20201213_034452.jpg
 
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1,965
Location
USA
I'm almost positive that it says "4 AWG" which would be 4-gauge wire. I assume this is the type of cable running the entire 50 feet between the "main" box on the pole and the shop breaker box.
That's what it looks like so that's probably good.

After seeing that buss, you really need a grounding-bonding party and do that right.
 

OilMagnate

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394
Location
Oklahoma
Have you called and set up a appointment for a professional electrician to come in and completely take care if this issue.


*I'm not asking for professional electrical help, just asking if something seems obviously incorrect/correct. I will be seeking professional advice either way*
To be crystal clear, I have 2 different professional licensed electricians arriving Monday for their input, and I'm not touching anything myself. I know my limitations, and beyond replacing a breaker, electricity is definitely one of them.
 
Messages
1,965
Location
USA
I think we're using different terminology. I'm referring to main lugs as in breaker box terminology. Here's what I mean. It's a box without a dedicated main breaker. You can install breakers within it to act as a main, but it's not a true main box. This is the exact box I'm going to be installing in the shop to replace the existing box. It is a true main breaker box with a dedicated main.

That's a good choice. I would recommend #2 C THHN coming in to it (in conduit) and I would put a ground rod outside just for everything in that panel to have its own earth. ( still ground/bond everything)

I believe that would handle everything you could possibly pull and then some
 

OilMagnate

Thread starter
Messages
394
Location
Oklahoma
That's a good choice. I would recommend #2 C THHN coming in to it (in conduit) and I would put a ground rod outside just for everything in that panel to have its own earth. ( still ground/bond everything)

I believe that would handle everything you could possibly pull and then some
I already bought an 8' copper ground rod and 6' worth of 6-gauge bare copper wire to span between the breaker box and the ground rod. Outside the brraker box wall is a large concrete slab, but there is an 8 inch square hole that acts as a 'drain' (there is a water spigot above it) which is just dirt all the way down. I plan on sending the rod down this dirt for ground. I was told this is the proper setup to properly ground everything, save for maybe the less than ideal location. The next closest non-concrete area is at least 15' in any direction. I'll confirm with the electricians in the morning whether this is truly okay or not.

Thanks for the specific name of cable you recommend. I don't know all of this terminology, but if I'm told the exact proper name, I can find anything.
 
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OilMagnate

Thread starter
Messages
394
Location
Oklahoma
Well, one of the multiple issues has already been corrected. This hole now has a (I think) proper connector on it. I'll confirm with the pros tomorrow. One of my buddies (not the same one who installed it) just happened to have one in his toolbox in his truck. Odd, I know. But one less worry either way.
20201214_025759.jpg
 
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1,965
Location
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already bought an 8' copper ground rod and 6' worth of 6-gauge bare copper wire to span between the breaker box and the ground rod. Outside the brraker box wall is a large concrete slab, but there is an 8 inch square hole that acts as a 'drain' (there is a water spigot above it) which is just dirt all the way down. I plan on sending the rod down this dirt for ground. I was told this is the proper setup to properly ground everything, save for maybe the less than ideal location.
That should work perfectly
 
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10,963
Location
MA
Well, one of the multiple issues has already been corrected. This hole now has a (I think) proper connector on it. I'll confirm with the pros tomorrow. One of my buddies (not the same one who installed it) just happened to have one in his toolbox in his truck. Odd, I know. But one less worry either way.
Oh in some of your other pictures you have a hole in a box that's not in use. There should be a plug for all holes not in use. They actually sell them at home depot. You don't want critters like mice getting into an electrical box.... That's why it's good to have an electrician look at your whole system, should also fix that dangling bx cable in the picture.
 
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