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Jason
Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4286
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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i have a 200 amp breaker on a service outside my mobile home....i

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i have a 200 amp breaker on a service outside my mobile home....i am planning on building a utility shed very soon and will be ruunning power from the ouside 200 amp service pole to the utility shed....the shed is approx 50 feet from the service pole....I may decide to put a 220v welder in the shed and even a small wiindow unit a/c....question: If I put a 50 amp double pole breaker in the 200 amp service pole panel and run 8/2 or 10/2 w/copper ground to a 100 amp sub-panel in the shed, is this ok? I would then come off the sub panel for the welder, lights, etc

Jason :

Hello. Thank you for asking your question on Just Answer...

Jason :

You wouldn't be allowed by Code to put #10 wire on a 50 amp breaker. You can use #8 wire for a 50 amp breaker, but honestly, most electricians prefer to go up to #6 wire for a 50 amp breaker. If you go with #6 wire, you can use a 60 amp breaker to protect it. When I install a service to a detached outbuilding, I never go smaller than 60 amps. My opinion is if it's worth the trouble to put the service in, you should install a large enough service that you won't have nuisance tripping. With a welder and an AC unit, you may want to consider upsizing to 100 amps. For a 100 amp subpanel, you need to use #2 aluminum wire. Direct burial wire comes in a 2,2,2,4 quadplex. You would have two #2 hot wires, one #2 neutral wire, and one #4 ground wire.

JACUSTOMER-dwc6em8r- :

thanks....100 amp double pole breaker in 200 amp service pole....100 amp sub panel in utlilty shed and run 2,2,2,4 quadplex

Jason :

Yes, that's right. With a 100 amp panel in a small utility shed, I doubt you will ever overload the mains.

Customer :

should a heat pump be pulling 60 amps on one leg?

Jason :

Does it have electric heat strips in it? What is the amperage of the breaker that feeds it? More specifically, does it have a seperate breaker for heat strips?

Customer :

double 30 for the heater and 4 strips

Jason :

It's fed by a double pole 30, and you are getting a reading of 60 amps on one leg, and the double pole 30 is not tripping?

Customer :

sorry....there is a double 50, a double 40 and a double 30....I am not sure what is for the heater and what is for the AC

Customer :

I assume the 50 and 40 are the heater

Jason :

The higher rated breaker is most likely for the heat strips. Electric heat strips draw a lot of power.

Jason :

Still, a 50 amp breaker should trip if it is feeding wires that are loaded at 60 amps.

Customer :

ok, just concern cause something blew two fuses at the transformer on the power pole two days ago....power company said it was heater and heater guy said heater was fine

Customer :

they installed a bigger transformer

Jason :

I don't think your heater would go all the way back to the pole to blow a fuse. I agree with your heater technician about that.

Jason :

Unless, the breaker feeding the heat strips is unable to trip for some reason.

Customer :

i will see when i get my power bill

Jason :

But if that were the case, the 200 amp main breaker should have blown before the fuses on the pole blew. What brand is the 200 amp panel?

Customer :

murry

Customer :

bought the pole pre-fab

Jason :

OK, that's not a bad brand. There is only one bad brand, Federal Pacific (FPE). They caused so many fires that they were forced out of business. Their breakers are known not to trip, even when they should.

Customer :

ok...thanks

Customer :

one other question

Customer :

maybe this caused my problem

Customer :

I install heat tracing on my water pipe and well tank....the well is 220v, the heat tracing is 110v...i install an outdoor out plug using one side of the 220v

Customer :

i used one side of the 220v well pump to run my 110v heat trace off of

Jason :

Did you have a neutral wire with the two hots that make up the 220?

Customer :

yes

Customer :

but i only used one hot for my heat trace

Jason :

That's unusual, that someone would install a 4 conductor wire for a 220 well pump. Normally, you would not see a neutral wire in that circuit. I don't think that's what caused your problem. I'm sure you would agree that that's not an ideal installation, but it shouldn't be causing fuses on a pole to blow, or a high amperage draw in the heat pump. What size is the breaker that feeds the well pump?

Customer :

in my oustside 200 amp service panel there is a double 20 breaker that runs to my well.... sorry it is 12/2 with copper ground(1 black, 1 white and 1 bare ground)....at the well pump switch where the 3 wires connect, I came off the black wire and the bare ground to run my heat trace

Jason :

OK, that's even more of a concern, because you are using an equipment grounding conductor as a neutral. If you ever disconnected that bare ground wire in the panel, and held it with one hand while touching a grounded surface with your other hand, you would be shocked if the heat trace were on.

Customer :

so I should ground the white instead?

Jason :

I would install a new circuit for the heat tape as soon as possible. Or, find an existing 110 volt circuit that will handle the added load of the heat tape. The white wire for the well pump is hot, so don't connect your heat tape white to the well pump white. That would put 220 volts on your heat tape, which it is most likely not rated for.

Customer :

i knew better than to connect both the black and white to the heat trace...i just needed a quick something to keep the pipes from freezing...i had plan on a seperate circuit as soon as my utility shed is done

Jason :

I understand. Just make sure you don't disconnect the ground wire for the well pump anywhere between the pump and the panel. It's good that you plan to install a new circuit as soon as possible. I'm sure you understand that I am required to post what is safe and what isn't.

Customer :

I understand completely and i appreciate all the info you have given me...I am no electrician

Jason :

That's OK, I'm here to help. One of the great benefits of this site is that there are professionals here from many fields, and you can get help from us at very reasonable prices.

Customer :

water heater question:

Jason :

I'm happy to answer your water heater question if I can, but it really should be opened as a new question. The site prohibits new questions being opened in existing threads. I wouldn't want your accept count to get too low, so you may want to consider accepting the original answer regarding the feed to the shed. Customers with good accept counts tend to get faster answers.

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