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Old 08-25-2011, 11:40 PM   #1
AdamCanFly
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Default What guage wire from main panel to spa panel?

So I've been collecting parts for my e-brewery for a few months now and I'm getting pretty close to the prize. I'm doing a build very similar to jsguitar's, with two 5500 watt elements. I will have a switch to select which element is hot, so only one element will be on at a time plus a March pump or two. The wire will have to run about 50-75 feet from the main panel to the spa panel in the garage. What size wire would you use?
Thanks!


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Old 08-26-2011, 12:00 AM   #2
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What size breaker is in your main panel?


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Old 08-26-2011, 12:24 AM   #3
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I haven't put one in yet.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:30 AM   #4
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The guage of wire needed is going to depend on the size breaker you are using. The wire gauge needs to be rated for the maximum amps your breaker can pull, even if your setup won't use all the current. If you use a 30A breaker in your main panel you can run 10ga. wire to the spa box. That is more than enough to power one element at a time. If you use a 50A breaker in the main panel 6ga. wire should be used.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:34 AM   #5
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The SPA Panel has a 50A GFCI breaker in it. I would suggest that you place a 50A standard breaker in your mains panel and run a 4 wire cable to a electric range 4 prong outlet in your garage. This way you will have 50 amp service available for future adventures. (Welding? Expanded brewery setup for doing back to back batches? Other stuff?)

With that said, the wire size that needs to be used has a huge depends attached to it. It depends on the cable insulation type and the wire material. i.e. - copper or aluminum wire. The cable cost would be your deciding factor for that setup. The electrical supplier (HD/Lowe's) can guide you.

If you decide to do a run for a 240V 30A outlet (dryer outlet) it also must be a 4 wire cable and a 4 wire outlet. With that I would suggest copper wire with 4 conductors, #10 gauge. The main panel breaker would be a 30A 240V breaker.

Hope this helps.

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Old 08-26-2011, 01:51 AM   #6
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So, at a minimum, I could get by with a 30A breaker in the mains and 10/3 wire to the spa panel? Then if I jump up to a 50A in the mains, I have to use 6ga wire?

What THHN? Could I use 3 strands of that? I'm just trying to think of the most budget friendly way to do this.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:58 AM   #7
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Current NEC requires 4 wire cable (2 hots, neutral & ground) for ANY new wiring from your mains panel for 120V/240V service to another location. It is the code.

Please do not bet your house on it.
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:07 AM   #8
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Wow! This is going to cost and arm and a leg! I just did a quick search for 6/4 wire and it's $356 for 100'!!
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamCanFly View Post
Wow! This is going to cost and arm and a leg! I just did a quick search for 6/4 wire and it's $356 for 100'!!
That is in copper. Also, that is why I made the comment:
Quote:
It depends on the cable insulation type and the wire material. i.e. - copper or aluminum wire.
Copper in that size is out of site today. An Aluminum fabricated cable would be a LOT cheaper. The wire size is larger - but - muck cheaper.!!!
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:24 AM   #10
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Ok, I'm off to search for aluminum cable. What should I be looking for?


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