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

OilMagnate

Thread starter
Messages
394
Location
Oklahoma
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.
The hole will be addressed when the box gets entirely replaced (which is urgently soon). The dangling cable has already been brought up and will also be corrected, among other things.
 
Messages
1,965
Location
USA
You don't want critters like mice getting into an electrical box....
That reminds me about some runs at various mines out west.

In addition to mice, those reptiles with no shoulders go in there for food ( hunting those mice) and warmth too.

Personally I have never encountered a live one but have seen the skins and read reports of those who did encounter them.
 
Messages
1,965
Location
USA
The hole will be addressed when the box gets entirely replaced (which is urgently soon). The dangling cable has already been brought up and will also be corrected, among other things.
Sounds like you have this well thought out now and under control. Look forward to seeing the finished product.

Don't be surprised when you get good clean unchoked power that a motor of that age may start acting up.
 

OilMagnate

Thread starter
Messages
394
Location
Oklahoma
Sounds like you have this well thought out now and under control. Look forward to seeing the finished product.

Don't be surprised when you get good clean unchoked power that a motor of that age may start acting up.
Motor as in electric motor, or motor as in rod, piston, and oil motor (pump)? The non-electric motor portion has been rebuilt within the last few years. The electric motor seems original. I'll assume you meant the electric motor, in which case I'm glad you mentioned that. If I have everything corrected and then something happens to it, I'd be fuming if you didn't warn me.
 

OilMagnate

Thread starter
Messages
394
Location
Oklahoma
I didn't know electricians translated a 9am appointment as "noon" (still have no idea when or if they'll show up) and don't even call to say "Hey, I'm running behind." Contractors really have a strange way with appointments in my area. It's pathetic...
 
Messages
10,963
Location
MA
I didn't know electricians translated a 9am appointment as "noon" (still have no idea when or if they'll show up) and don't even call to say "Hey, I'm running behind." Contractors really have a strange way with appointments in my area. It's pathetic...
That's pretty standard. There's always some other emergency that pops up. When they squeeze you in, that means someone else is probably going to be late. Yours isn't like there's no power.
 

OilMagnate

Thread starter
Messages
394
Location
Oklahoma
Well my first electrician was scheduled between 9-11 this morning. I even called their office at 10:17 just to confirm everything. They said "yes, they actually should be there very shortly." That was the last contact. No call, no show, no apology, no request to reschedule. Just completely forgotten, which is crazy considering I even called to remind them. Unacceptable. Their loss.

The second electrician did have some delays, but they called two whole hours before their noon appointment to ask if there was any flexibility. Of course I was willing. They remained in contact, provided updates, and gave a 10 minute warning before arriving.

After taking 30 minutes of his time, here's what I was officially told:

1. The shop breaker box is horrendous (shocker!).
2. The compressor wiring isn't great.
3. I have a "really good" replacement box picked out.
4. I do have 4AWG wire supplying the existing shop breaker box, which he claimed was insufficient and should instead be 2AWG.
5. The existing 30A receptacle and 10AWG wire for the compresor is NOT deficient in any way.
6. The proposed ground rod setup "is perfect."
7. When asked if I could remove the 60A from the main and NOT replace it (considering the new box and it's own 100A main breaker) he gave a hesitant technical answer citing something about line of sight and said I need both. He was very hesitant though. It almost gave me the impression I didn't really need two redundant breakers and he was 'supposed to' tell me that, but I took him at face value and agreed.
8. The curveball. He said the wire that spans between the pole and the shop needs replaced. Apparently so bad that he said "I've never seen one (I believe he called it a four four?) so dire. There's nothing protecting anything from the elements!"

Here are the key points pasted from his estimate:
-Install 100 amp Main Breaker panel
-ground rod installation
-bond to gas and ground rod
-install carflex whip to air compressor
-replace overhead service wire with 100 amp triplex cable
-install new service entrance wire with #2 thhn

$2200 all-in seems a bit steep, but admittedly I'm way out of touch. A friend said it's actually quite reasonable.

Thoughts?
 
Last edited:
Messages
1,965
Location
USA
$2200 all-in seems a bit steep, but admittedly I'm way out of touch. A friend said it's actually quite reasonable.

Thoughts?

All of that turn key is very reasonable (admittedly we don't do residential or know the current rates in your area but that's not bad at all)

1. The shop breaker box is horrendous (shocker!).
2. The compressor wiring isn't great.
3. I have a "really good" replacement box picked out.
4. I do have 4AWG wire supplying the existing shop breaker box, which he claimed was insufficient and should instead be 2AWG.
5. The existing 30A receptacle and 10AWG wire for the compresor is NOT deficient in any way.
6. The proposed ground rod setup "is perfect."
Concur

. When asked if I could remove the 60A from the main and NOT replace it (considering the new box and it's own 100A main breaker) he gave a hesitant technical answer citing something about line of sight and said I need both. He was very hesitant though. It almost gave me the impression I didn't really need two redundant breakers and he was 'supposed to' tell me that, but I took him at face value and agreed.

You do. I don't know the code in your area but you should have some form of LOS disconnect ( switch, disconnect, breaker ) to kill power to every branch circuit. If something ever happens or somebody gets lit up- you will appreciate it.

8. The curveball. He said the wire that spans between the pole and the shop needs replaced. Apparently so bad that he said "I've never seen one (I believe he called it a four four?) so dire. There's nothing protecting anything from the elements!"

We didn't touch on that but I accept his judgment.
 
Messages
998
Location
MO
I’d pay it and be done with it. Sounds reasonable for the amount of work AND he showed up. $2200 is a lot to you and me but getting a contractor to show up for smaller jobs is half the battle. Good on you for getting it looked at and presumably fixed. Kick your friend in the nuts for me. Fortunately he didn’t do any permanent damage.
 
Messages
10,783
Location
Jupiter, Florida
You could mount your compressor near the meter and run pipe to the shop.....

Something I don't see brought up in the posts above. The electrical service to the house may be insufficiently robust to carry the load of a 5HP induction motor. There is quite a bit going on with such an inductive load.

Because it's affecting the house, I suspect the problem is upstream. Or even a bad motor....

My house is at the very end of the electrical run, however, I am on a nearby 7200V transformer shared with 1 neighbor. I have 200A service with (if I remember correctly) 0 gauge copper wire.

I can run anything without trouble.
 
Messages
1,965
Location
USA
Something I don't see brought up in the posts above. The electrical service to the house may be insufficiently robust to carry the load of a 5HP induction motor. There is quite a bit going on with such an inductive load.
Actually I did ask that upthread. (For the same reasons you bring up) Never got a clear answer.

Just because there's a 100A breaker in the panel doesn't mean there's a full 100 amps feeding it
 

OilMagnate

Thread starter
Messages
394
Location
Oklahoma
Well, I had a second electrician and opinion here this morning. I expected nearly the same with a few variances from the first electrician. Wrong. He was almost the exact opposite. I'll list the individual topics with their answers side by side. I'll list the newest one as "B" and the one from Monday as "A":

Shop breaker box?
A and B: Change it! Your selected box is just fine.

Compressor/starter wiring?
A and B: It's lazy work. Fix it.

Do I need redundant breakers for the shop at each box?
A and B: Yes.

To answer ABN_CBT_ENGR's question - Is the 125A "main" box being supplied 125 amps?
A: At least that, if not double.
B: Yes, but you should be asking what is coming OUT of it instead.

Should I replace the "main" breaker box? Is it overloaded?
A: No and no, but upgrade the shop breaker to 100A.
B: Unquestionably yes and yes. It's the single largest problem. You need a 200A box.

Is the overhead wire between the pole and shop in need of replacement?
A: YES! It's worse than any I've seen.
B: No, it's not going to help anything. There's nothing wrong with it.

Does the compressor receptacle/wiring/circuit need upgraded?
A: No, the other issues will fix it, this setup is just fine.
B: Yes, it needs AT LEAST 8AWG and a 40A breaker. Get rid of the receptacle and direct wire it.

Is my proposed ground rod setup alright?
A: It is perfect.
B: No. You can use this setup at the shop, but you also need two at the pole. One for the house [to supplement the existing one] and another for the shop. Two grounds are [supposedly] required per code.

Good grief. Talk about a mixed bag of answers. I'd love to hear what you all think. I'll get some pictures of the overhead wire later to help form opinions.

Oh, and electrician B said: "I think you need some more oil!"
And he would be right! :LOL:
 
Messages
1,965
Location
USA
B: Yes, but you should be asking what is coming OUT of it instead.
Given the fact this is an MLO box, that answer alone should disqualify agent "B". What goes "in" is what can come out. ( the distribution is another question)
B: Unquestionably yes and yes. It's the single largest problem. You need a 200A box.
In a "perfect world" its pretty much the standard to go with a 200 service but that's what the power company will have to hold in reserve for you so you can expect a bill change if you do that.

B: No, it's not going to help anything. There's nothing wrong with it.

We never looked at that but for the small relative cost of 4-4 service cable ( plus what you are going to do) its more than justified.

Is there anything "wrong" with it ( bearing in mind we never saw it) most likely nothing more than normal aging. Cant say.

B: Yes, it needs AT LEAST 8AWG and a 40A breaker. Get rid of the receptacle and direct wire it.
In an industrial setting directly under OSHA and NEC, I would concur but its not necessary.

B: No. You can use this setup at the shop, but you also need two at the pole. One for the house [to supplement the existing one] and another for the shop. Two grounds are [supposedly] required per code.
Need to review the code for your state but in truth the main should be rodded and every thing grounded/bonded through all the way back.

For a 100 amp sub, I would rod it regardless.
 

OilMagnate

Thread starter
Messages
394
Location
Oklahoma
Here are 3 pictures of the "4-4 service cable" which spans between the pole and shop. I doubt it would clarify anything, but I labeled the wires anyway. The metal 'shield' is only frayed in the one spot, but it's frayed nonetheless. It just looks like wires to me, but maybe someone can identify the horror the first electrician was referring to.

20201216_123745.jpg

20201216_123921.jpg

20201216_124139.jpg
 
Messages
1,965
Location
USA
When you say "to" breaker box- that's actually FROM ( fed from) the meter going to the shop?

That looks like an old school 220 set up ( no neutral) from what I can see- I recommend upgrading the service entrance.
 
Messages
7,548
Location
California
The electric igniters on the stove made our kitchen light strobe, the bulb failed after about 6 months. I replaced the cheaper LED with a GE HD+ led and it stopped doing it, so I think you’re onto something.
My parents bought some el cheapo LEDs for their appliances. Their range hood flickered with the microwave on. I put in the right incandescent appliance bulb - no more problems.

I cringe when I see Feit Electric LED or CFL bulbs. I’m adamant about using only Philips or Cree bulbs.
 
Top