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llbarnes,

wow! Lots of questions and it "looks" like you want to D-I-Y but are uneasy. Therefore, get someone else who has some electrical background if you're not going to hire a pro. Always have two people around (with a 2x4) if you're going to work on a "hot" electrical panel. If you ask "why" do this...then get a pro.....I'll tell you later on, if you live long enouh..ha, ha

Now, from the main panel to the garage, run a 50' length of 6/4 Romex with a dual 50 amp breaker (as if you are setting-up a new clothes dryer outlet in the garage).

Go to Home Depot and get a 50 amp sub-panel. You can always tell the size of the panel (your main panel or the sub-panel) by reading the ampacity of the MAIN breaker in each panel. It has nothing to do with the "capacity" of the panel, but the physical numbers on the main breaker handle itself. Your house main breaker "should" be 150 to 250 amps......

When adding that 50-amp 220-V breaker to the main panel, either trip the master breaker but NEVER get near the top of the box, or go outside and ulplug the meter itself. Both of these poerations should be done by somebody who is VERY familiar with panels and new branch circuits.

Lastly, out in the garage, install the 50-amp sub-panel and a bunch of 15-amp or 20-amp branch circuits with GFI protection. The plugs can be located close to the panel and cords run out to the LOL controllers.

Yes, you can run the branch circuits from the garage out to areas of your lawn in electrical PVC, but those permanent conduits must be 24" below ground (hence you'll need a trencher) to meet electrical code in most states. This is like running power out to a swimming pool. Instead, just put the panel in the garage and run heavy-duty extension cords out to each LOL node.

Personally, I'd put the LOL nodes as close to the lights as possible and then run 18 ga wires from the LOL modules to each light circuit.

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DrHitch wrote:


ONE MORE THING:

If you add-on a 220-branch circuit or sub-panel, there are actually FOUR (4) wires traversing between the sub-panel and main panel. Two (2) "hot" wires (red & black), a white "neutral" wire and a copper earth ground. Yes, the common and ground basically are paralleled at both ends. Then each branch circuit taps off of the left-hand half of the 220 and the other breakers tap off the right-hand half, each getting a 3-wire 110 branch circuit.




Neutral and Ground are NOT tied together at a sub-panel. A sub-panel must not have the bonding screw installed that grounds the neutral buss. Neutrals from the branch circuits tie to the ungrounded enutral buss, and grounds from the branch circuits tie to the grounded ground buss.

-jim-

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Santas Helper wrote:

Here is some info I found while googling.

Go to this site to calculate wire size http://www.csgnetwork.com/wiresizecalc.html



Obviously I was using the highest number to calculate. 40 amps per box max (20 amps on each side) X 5 boxes gave me the 200 amps.

I realize 200 amps will probably be overkill which requires at least a #10 wire (depending on the length of run).

Hope this helps,

Tom


You are really talking about a 100A circuit, not 200A. And you said #10 wire, I assume you meant #1/0 which is a *lot* bigger.

I wouldn't get too hung up on using tha max capacity per card *5 for your calculations. To do that would mean installing a 100 amp 2-pole circuit to your sub-panel, probably overkill and expensive.

I would think you would do well with a 50A circuit using #6/4 wire. Then use 20A breakers for the branch circuits. I think you mentioned using 30A breakers at one time, but that is a no-no when wiring circuits for standard 120V receptacles.

You need to consider GFI protection also. If you use 2-pole breakers and 12/3 wire to your receptacles your only practical GFI option is to use GFI receptacles.

If you use single-pole breakers and run 12/2 to each receptacle you can use either GFI receptacles or GFI breakers.

In theory you could GFI-protect the whole sub-panel by powering it through a double-pole GFI breaker from your main panel, but that isn't really a good idea since a GFI trip will kill everything, and you will get a lot of those with all of the ground-fault currents from every circuit hitting a single GFI breaker.

-jim-

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This is great information Jim. Thank you everyone again.

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