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I am trying to install 4 residential LOR controllers this year.  I want to install each controller onto two 15amp breakers so that each side is getting the recommended 15 amps.  The problem is that if I am installing 4 controllers, that means I need room to add 8 15 amp breakers, which I don't have the room for in my panel.  Also, the main line on the outside of my house from the power company is rated at 200 amps, and it has 4 breakers on it outside, then is ran to the subpanel on the inside of my house which has the remainder of the breakers.  I'm not certain how many amps are being ran to the sub panel (looks like 1/0 awg power cable), but will this panel even be able to handle 120 amps of breakers even if I did have the room?  I am considering adding 4 30 amp breakers, and having them run to RV outlets, then buying an adapter cord which splits it into two 15 amp outlets.  This will allow me to only have to install 4 more breakers in my box.  The adapter cable (www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/b007577nlu/ref+mp_s_a_1?qid=1367939428&sr=8-8π=sl75  ) cost 22 dollars and the RV plug is around 8.  A 30 amp breaker is around 10 so the total per LOR controller would be 40 dollars. With 4 controllers I'm looking at around 160+ dollars.  Is there a cheaper and better way of doing it?  Can I install a second sub-panel just for them?  How do people with 10+ controllers power them? Do you have to upgrade your main supply power coming from the street?  Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

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I ran 7 controllers last year on 1, 20 amp circuit, and, a 5 ft^3 freezer with no problems whatsoever. I built a box with 8 receptacles and 2 pigtails. Plugged the 2 pigtails into the outside circuit, and then ran the extension cords for the controllers from there. If you're using LEDs, you will have zero problems with 1 circuit. No need for upgrading.

Get you one of these: http://www.amazon.com/P3-International-P4400-Electricity-Monitor/dp/B00009MDBU

Hook up a controlles with all channels on at 100% and see how many amps you're pulling. Mine last year was roughly 0.7 amps per controller. I had 1 string of 70 ct LEDs on each channel

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I agree with Ron. It all depends on what you are going to be using in your display. If your display adds up to a total of 35 amps then you only need a total of 3, 15 amp circuits to run the display. How you have them connected to the home outlets would be dependent on how you have the load distributed across the controller, etc.

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I meant to mention this, I have all incad's (about 12,000) and about 25 strands (25ct) of C9's that I am running. My spotlights I am running off separate outlets and using relays with the LOR controller only doing on/off.

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I ran 7 controllers last year on 1, 20 amp circuit, and, a 5 ft^3 freezer with no problems whatsoever. I built a box with 8 receptacles and 2 pigtails. Plugged the 2 pigtails into the outside circuit, and then ran the extension cords for the controllers from there. If you're using LEDs, you will have zero problems with 1 circuit. No need for upgrading.

Get you one of these: http://www.amazon.com/P3-International-P4400-Electricity-Monitor/dp/B00009MDBU

Hook up a controlles with all channels on at 100% and see how many amps you're pulling. Mine last year was roughly 0.7 amps per controller. I had 1 string of 70 ct LEDs on each channel

It's funny that you mentioned this item. I forwarded it to my wife just yesterday suggesting she should buy me one.

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I meant to mention this, I have all incad's (about 12,000) and about 25 strands (25ct) of C9's that I am running. My spotlights I am running off separate outlets and using relays with the LOR controller only doing on/off.

 

Last I looked a 25ct strand of incandescent C9's were running about 1.46 amps each. That right there would be 36.5 amps.

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Good grief, I would think that between the upgrade to your power panels and the power cost to run them. That upgrading to LED might be cost effective.

 

I ran about 8 AC and 1 DC controller a couple years back. With a Kill A Watt inline and all on at 100%. My current draw was at 10 amps. I have added 36 strings of 100 ct C6 for my mega tree and 5 trees with about 450 ct each. I have not checked to see how much current draw was added. But I didnt trip the 15 amp breaker all last year.

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I actually had an licensed and insured electrician out this last week to get a quote on a 60 amp circuit in the front yard... He also said that my panel would need to be replaced as it was using aluminum...

Total cost to replace the panel and and the circuit was 6500.00. I think I'll get more bids as I will also be powering a water feature.

 

Kip :)

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I actually had an licensed and insured electrician out this last week to get a quote on a 60 amp circuit in the front yard... He also said that my panel would need to be replaced as it was using aluminum...

Total cost to replace the panel and and the circuit was 6500.00. I think I'll get more bids as I will also be powering a water feature.

Kip :)

6,500? Or 650? There's no way it should cost 6500.

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It was 6500.00 total.... which is why I am taking more bids... I originally wanted Licensed and insured as if anything happens to the house, then I come back on them. but I have a friend that had a licensed electrician do all the work for around 500.00 he had to have electricity run to his barn.

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Also they make a NO-OX compound to keep the Al from oxidizing and fire issues. So, I am not sure why he would have to replace the panel cause of the Al. Ya, someone made a mistake on the 6K figure.

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I am trying to install 4 residential LOR controllers this year.  I want to install each controller onto two 15amp breakers so that each side is getting the recommended 15 amps.  The problem is that if I am installing 4 controllers, that means I need room to add 8 15 amp breakers, which I don't have the room for in my panel.  Also, the main line on the outside of my house from the power company is rated at 200 amps, and it has 4 breakers on it outside, then is ran to the subpanel on the inside of my house which has the remainder of the breakers.  I'm not certain how many amps are being ran to the sub panel (looks like 1/0 awg power cable), but will this panel even be able to handle 120 amps of breakers even if I did have the room?  I am considering adding 4 30 amp breakers, and having them run to RV outlets, then buying an adapter cord which splits it into two 15 amp outlets.  This will allow me to only have to install 4 more breakers in my box.  The adapter cable (www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/b007577nlu/ref+mp_s_a_1?qid=1367939428&sr=8-8π=sl75  ) cost 22 dollars and the RV plug is around 8.  A 30 amp breaker is around 10 so the total per LOR controller would be 40 dollars. With 4 controllers I'm looking at around 160+ dollars.  Is there a cheaper and better way of doing it?  Can I install a second sub-panel just for them?  How do people with 10+ controllers power them? Do you have to upgrade your main supply power coming from the street?  Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Amstone

  I have to admit I am not familiar with that splitter you are showing in the link......but have to ask where is the GFCI protection?  My two cents is that that method is not acceptable.

  You need to plug your controllers into 15 or 20 amp GFCI protected outlets.   Seek some help from an electrician.

 

Steve

 

 

Steve

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but have to ask where is the GFCI protection?  My two cents is that that method is not acceptable.

  You need to plug your controllers into 15 or 20 amp GFCI protected outlets.

 

I agree with this.

  1. Ungrounded, outdoor lighting, at >50v, which is what most of us do here, requires GFCI. (You can build a safe system without GFCI by enclosing everything in a metal grounded case, or only using low voltage, but this is usually not feasible.)
  2. 30A wall outlets (regular or GFCI) are not made. The ones you find in your house are typically 15A, and the ones with the 'T' shaped neutral are 20A.
  3. It is not allowed to connect a 20A outlet to a 30A circuit. (Although it is allowed to install multiple 15A outlets on a 20A circuit.)

Therefore, your setup must use 20A or 15A circuits (and breakers). Either the sockets or the breakers must be GFCI. You can't connect NEMA 5 outlets to a 30A circuit.

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  • 4 months later...
but have to ask where is the GFCI protection? My two cents is that that method is not acceptable.

You need to plug your controllers into 15 or 20 amp GFCI protected outlets.

I agree with this.

Ungrounded, outdoor lighting, at >50v, which is what most of us do here, requires GFCI. (You can build a safe system without GFCI by enclosing everything in a metal grounded case, or only using low voltage, but this is usually not feasible.)

30A wall outlets (regular or GFCI) are not made. The ones you find in your house are typically 15A, and the ones with the 'T' shaped neutral are 20A.

It is not allowed to connect a 20A outlet to a 30A circuit. (Although it is allowed to install multiple 15A outlets on a 20A circuit.)

Therefore, your setup must use 20A or 15A circuits (and breakers). Either the sockets or the breakers must be GFCI. You can't connect NEMA 5 outlets to a 30A circuit.

I'm also expanding from 1 to 4 controllers this year...

Are you saying each controller needs a 15-20a circuit?

Wouldn't that depend on the load / controller? I do NOT have a dedicated circuit for each box....

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I'm also expanding from 1 to 4 controllers this year... Are you saying each controller needs a 15-20a circuit? Wouldn't that depend on the load / controller? I do NOT have a dedicated circuit for each box....

Yes it would depend on the load..........there are lots of LED user who run thousands of lights on a single circuit.......and use lots of controllers................

Edited by steve synek
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I am not an electrician but I know a little something about it.  If he said $6500 it may be correct, especially if it is aluminum wiring, in the 60's and 70's electricians wired houses with aluminum wiring. Aluminum requires a larger gague to carry the same load as copper. If you run a standard 12-3 copper wire for a 20 amp circuit, they don't even make an equvilent size that small in aluminum wire, the smallest gague in aluminum is 6 gauge and it is very dangerous to wire copper (today's wire) and the aluminum wiring so he may be taking about rewiring the house to a safer copper standard box and wire.

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  • 3 weeks later...

You can connect a 15amp outlet to a 30amp 120 volt circuit as long as 10 awg copper wire is used from the breaker to the outlet. The breaker is designed to protect the wiring in the wall not the device(s) plugged in the outlet.

 

I just did some searching and found table NEC 210.21( B)(3). It specifically lists circuit ratings of 15, 20, 30, 40, and 50, and says that all outlets on a 30A circuit must be rated 30A (exactly). That is, you can't put a 15A, 20A, or even a 40A receptacle on a 30A circuit.  On a 20A circuit, receptacles may be 20A or 15A, as long as there are more than one.

 

Granted, this is just to be "up to code." In reality, if your 15amp outlet on a 30amp circuit is mounted outside away from anything flamable, the worst that could happen is the outlet itself could be destroyed with too much current.

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You can connect a 15amp outlet to a 30amp 120 volt circuit as long as 10 awg copper wire is used from the breaker to the outlet. The breaker is designed to protect the wiring in the wall not the device(s) plugged in the outlet.

John

 I have to dissagree with you.   As I see the Electric code, you can not install a 15 amp outlet on anything larger than a 20 amp circuit.    Per NEC 210.21 B- the outlet must have a rating not less than the circuit feeding it.    I would say you can have a 30 amp outlet on a 15  amp circuit, but not the other way around per code.  General use outlets are not rated for more than 20 amps.

 

Steve

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Steve

You beat me to the punch.     What are you reading that says 30 must be exactly 30?

 

Edit- never mind......I know what you read. ...........the table that says 30 must be 30..........and that table refers to multiple outlets on a circuit............If the installation is a single outlet, the code text does not send you to that table.

 

Steve

Edited by steve synek
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If the installation is a single outlet, the code text does not send you to that table.

 

Good catch. That would seem to say that a 20A outlet could be installed on a 15A circuit, but only if it were the only outlet on the circuit. But then, I believe a duplex outlet is consider 2 receptacles, according to the NEC.

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