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Running New Electrical - Need Help


chowell
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Alright, here is the situation. This year I am running 80 channels of LOR. It is my first year and I plan to expand as each year progresses. I know many of you run many more channels than that. What I would like to know is, just how many circuits do you guys use?

If these are 30 amp controllers, my electrician says he can turn 1 socket into 2 circuits by separating the connector. If they are run with 20 amp breakers with 12-3 wiring, this would essentially make each socket a 40amp service socket. Then you could plug one side of the 15amp controller into the top plug, and the other side into the bottom plug. However, If I were to expand to say....10 or 15 controllers one day, that is a ton of circuits being used up. In this situation, a guy who has 300+ channels of LOR would be using 18+ circuits. Is this correct? Are you guys using that much power?

Or...

Is everyone just plugging 1 LOR controller into a 20amp socket, and being sure not to overload the circuit?

Or...

Is there a way to create a 30amp socket? I know 10-2 supports 30amps, but they don't make a standard plug for 30amp service do they?

Getting ready to start the electrical expansion so your feedback would be greatly appreciated!!!

Thanks in advance Guys and Gals.
Corey

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Corey -

In my case, I have run a 20A circuit to each side of each controller. I do not use the full 20 amps on any side of any controller, but that doesn't mean I won't in the future. It is much cheaper to run the 2x20A service now, than to run a 15 for each side (or a single 20 for both sides) now, and find out next year or the year after that your new plans require 20A per side.

Just my two cents worth.

D.T.

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Is there a way to create a 30amp socket? I know 10-2 supports 30amps, but they don't make a standard plug for 30amp service do they?



The controllers are 30 amp controllers when using 2 input cords, 15 amps per side. You should not put the controller on a 30 amp circuit, using one power input cord.

More important than the number of circuits is what is the load on the channels, controllers. I will be running 160 channels this year and only pulling slightly over 30 amps total for the 10 controllers. This will be just slightly over 19,xxx lights. I made the commitment 2 years ago that whenever I can I will be using LED lights.

Pay for many more circuits or pay for LEDs. Just a matter of choice.

Chuck
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I balance my controllers full load against the power available. I end up using about 60A with all lights on - I only have 6 outlets at 15A each

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Brian Mitchell

I have done what your electrician says to add 10 more circuits outside my house, but what I do is put a 4 pack of outlets instead of splitting a pair. That way you have 2 outlets for each 20 amp circuit.

You really have to know the loads on your boxes. The majority of my LOR boxes have a total load of less than 20 amps so I run both sides off one circuit.

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I don't think your going to get a clear answer to that question, because everyone setup is going to be different

For me, I installed a 250 amp panel that can hold 40 separate circuits.
1 is for the security lights, cameras, computer and stereo. 39 are dedicated for LOR boards. I am running a total of 23 boards. Several have 2 15a circuits for each board (30 amp total) for large loads. Others have 15a for the whole board.
The light loads are spread across the rest.

Light loads like the mega tree (9600 LEDs) could have 4 boards on 1 15a circuit.
However I decided against this just in case the breaker trips I don't want to lost the whole tree.

Scott

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Thanks so far to everyone who has posted. I do realize that everyones setup will be different, but I want to get some ideas on just how much power everyone is using and the way they are wired. So my electricians idea of wiring so each 2 plug socket can be 30-40 amps across 2 circuits is not too far fetched? If that is the case, then I too would have to add a whole new panel simply for the lights. I just wasn't sure if that is what you guys are all doing.

Please continue posting with your setups!

Thanks again.
Corey

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chowell wrote:

Thanks so far to everyone who has posted. I do realize that everyones setup will be different, but I want to get some ideas on just how much power everyone is using and the way they are wired. So my electricians idea of wiring so each 2 plug socket can be 30-40 amps across 2 circuits is not too far fetched? If that is the case, then I too would have to add a whole new panel simply for the lights. I just wasn't sure if that is what you guys are all doing.

Please continue posting with your setups!

Thanks again.
Corey

I hope what he is planning to do is cut the 'bus' between the 2 outlets, and run a separate 15 amp circuit to each outlet (if 15 amp outlets, or 20 amp circuits if 20 amp outlets). That is doable, but i'm not sure it is optimal. If I was doing it, I'd want at least 2 outlets per circuit, and possibly even 4. This way, I could plug in extra controllers (keeping the total current below the 15/20 amp limit, of course). Since I tend to only have 1 string of lights or multiple strings of LEDs per channel, I can power a bunch of controllers from each circuit (which is good, because I currently have only 2 20 amp circuits for lighting).
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Donald Puryear

John Hertig wrote:

chowell wrote:
Thanks so far to everyone who has posted. I do realize that everyones setup will be different, but I want to get some ideas on just how much power everyone is using and the way they are wired. So my electricians idea of wiring so each 2 plug socket can be 30-40 amps across 2 circuits is not too far fetched? If that is the case, then I too would have to add a whole new panel simply for the lights. I just wasn't sure if that is what you guys are all doing.

Please continue posting with your setups!

Thanks again.
Corey

I hope what he is planning to do is cut the 'bus' between the 2 outlets, and run a separate 15 amp circuit to each outlet (if 15 amp outlets, or 20 amp circuits if 20 amp outlets). That is doable, but i'm not sure it is optimal. If I was doing it, I'd want at least 2 outlets per circuit, and possibly even 4. This way, I could plug in extra controllers (keeping the total current below the 15/20 amp limit, of course). Since I tend to only have 1 string of lights or multiple strings of LEDs per channel, I can power a bunch of controllers from each circuit (which is good, because I currently have only 2 20 amp circuits for lighting).

Are these outlets inside? If they our outside you should have GFCI protection. You can not split a gfci outlet. You can run 12/3 to the first GFCI outlet then 12/2 to the second GFCI outlet. (same results just safer and more outlets.)
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Donald Puryear wrote:

Are these outlets inside? If they our outside you should have GFCI protection. You can not split a gfci outlet. You can run 12/3 to the first GFCI outlet then 12/2 to the second GFCI outlet. (same results just safer and more outlets.)

Yes, GFCI is good to have for outside lights. If you really wanted the 'split' outlets and GFCI protection both, you might be able to use GFCI breakers.
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Donald Puryear

John Hertig wrote:

Donald Puryear wrote:
Are these outlets inside? If they our outside you should have GFCI protection. You can not split a gfci outlet. You can run 12/3 to the first GFCI outlet then 12/2 to the second GFCI outlet. (same results just safer and more outlets.)

Yes, GFCI is good to have for outside lights. If you really wanted the 'split' outlets and GFCI protection both, you might be able to use GFCI breakers.
If you use GFCI breakers then you can't use 12/3. After the breaker you must have separate neutrals.
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