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

OilMagnate

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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.
I'm not sure. I only know those wires/conduit attach to said items. Not sure which way it actually 'flows.'

By "service entrance" you mean...the box?
 
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Not sure which way it actually 'flows.'

By "service entrance" you mean...the box?

Power flows from the service entrance (coming from the grid) in a straight line all the way to the end use device

Like in your case- grid to meter>Meter panel split to wherever> goes to whatever sub panels> goes to each circuit

I cant see those wires that clearly but it looks like no neutral coming in from the grid- that's what I would ask to be upgrades from my power company.
 

dcd

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I’m also curious about how your project is going. Single-phase reciprocating air compressors can certainly make lights flicker, especially a large one like this. I’ve seen much smaller ones (1 - 2 hp) cause lights to flicker on a 200 Amp service feed. I’m afraid you may spend a lot of money and still have an issue, although larger wire from power co and to shop should help.

You probably know this, but a lot of the work identified will bring your installation up to code but not necessarily help your air compressor issue.

What are your air compressor needs? You may be better selling this one and getting a smaller ( or different) one that is more friendly to your electric system.
 

dcd

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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
I think agent B was referring to 160 Amps (100 for house and 60 for shop) coming out of a 125 Amp panel (with no main breaker) being the issue. This would be made worse if the 60 increased to 100.
 

OilMagnate

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Did you have the garage and compressor rewired?
I’m also curious about how your project is going.
I didn't forget about you guys, just didn't have an update (or the time to even log in) until today. Here's what has taken place so far, and everything is still in progress:

1. The shop breaker boxes have been replaced with the one I linked. It is not yet complete (meaning I haven't divided the circuits the way I want them yet), but it is operable and the shop has power. The box was just ripped out, all of the "hots" "neutrals" and "grounds" were identified, then placed on their own circuit in the new box (meaning goodbye double-taps). The old boxes had a 2-pole 40A, a 2-pole 30A, and 3 single-pole 20A breakers. That was it. The new one, without any divided circuits or modifications now has 7 single-pole 20A breakers, a 2-pole 30A breaker for the compressor, and a 2-pole 40A breaker. That just shows how horribly overloaded the old boxes were.

2. After that, a single 110 outlet was installed at/for the furnace (blower). That also received it's own breaker. Now we're at 8 20A breakers.

3. The compressor was worked over. It started with mounting the starter box higher, installing the proper connectors, and (most importantly) properly grounding it. Upon running it, an amp clamp revealed it was drawing about 24-24.5 amps while running (which is exactly what I guessed in an earlier post - I like it when I don't know what I'm talking about, but end up correct after some coaching. Thanks everyone!). The first check at that point was the capacitor. The old one was in such bad shape it wasn't legible and was really swollen and warped. The best guess on the text was "80." It was an oval-shaped cylinder. He grabbed a new 80 microfarad capacitor (circle-shaped cylinder), installed it, and ran it. The load reduced from 24-24.5 to 20-21 amps. The lights still surge, but my eyes tell me the new capacitor reduced the surge by about 75%. Dramatically better. This is where we stopped, but more work is still being done.

The new box and all of the wiring within looks SO darn good. No more rat nest.

The plan is to remove the 4-4 cable that runs between the pole and shop. The 4AWG cable that supplies the shop breaker box is also going to be removed. 2AWG will replace it, and a 100A breaker will go on the main/pole breaker box to compliment the new 100A main in the shop breaker box. Instead of hanging a cable, the plan is to bury it between the pole and the shop. We'll bury it to the closest corner of the building, then run it up to the roofline on the wall, over the doorway, then down to the breaker box (all on the outside in some sort of conduit/shielding). This is necessary due to the large concrete pad being in the way.

I'll post pictures when the work is complete, and update as time allows. Thank you all for your advice!
 
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You need a real install. The half assed wires running thru metal holes with no bx straps is just screaming help me. This is no joke. Your dealing with poorly installed wiring and no idea whats correct.
 

OilMagnate

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You need a real install. The half assed wires running thru metal holes with no bx straps is just screaming help me. This is no joke. Your dealing with poorly installed wiring and no idea whats correct.
This was rectified over a year ago. Everything has been replaced and fixed. Now there is just a slight flickering with the shop T8 LEDs when the compresor is on, but very minor. The only pending upgrade is the main breaker on the pole. It is still a 60A breaker, so I'm being cautious with power usage until the 100A breaker gets installed. The only way to really cross 60A is to have the tankless water heater and the compressor running at the same time, so I have made it a habit to keep the compressor off unless I need it, and when I do, nobody uses the sink. It's worked perfectly so far.
 
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Do you know if your electrician went a gauge larger on the compressor wiring? 10awg wire would be found on 30a breakers but if he ran an 8awg it would help with voltage drop and provide more torque for the motor.
 
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UL Rating can be misleading. Like this example on a label:

UL Listed
Cord included

This actually means UL Listed cord included. Does not include the appliance. A common trick pointed out to me by a former UL inspector.
 
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