I hope this post isn't too long winded, but I have a bit of a dilema. We are adding a pool + spa + shed to our house. Our service entrance doesn't have a disconnect switch (not required here) which means distribution panels have to be grouped. We have 2 150A panels with a 300A service. With the pool and spa turned on the draw is over 100A at 240V if a heat pump is installed. A 60A breaker in each panel would work but this seems like a bit much since the distribution panels would be routinely pushed well over 120A. I am worried about flickering lights as the spa heater cycles. Since I am not allowed by code to install an additional distribution panel on the house which is not grouped with the other two, I would like to supply the pool with a separate distribution panel mounted inside of the shed. The shed is a permanent structure on a concrete slab. I am having trouble finding an electrician to install this panel since they say code doesn't allow it, they feel a new distribution for the pool has to be inside the house near the other 2 panels. The local electrical inspector says no problem. Since the county follows the NEC concerning distribution panel location, can a separate ungrouped distribution panel be located in a separate permanent structure to supply a pool/spa? Thanks. George.
A sub panel in a seperate building on the same property is a common practice George,but drawing a 100 amp load off a 150 amp panel seems high.How does the heat pump draw so much? It would seem more economical to heat with gas. Also the 150 amp panels must have a main disconnect in each panel. You could shift some of the exsisting larger loads of one of the 150 amp panels to the other to make room for the 100 amp feeder to the pool shed. Also,use a larger feeder wire to help with voltage drop so the lights won't dim so much.
Re: Separate distribution for pool#90289 11/12/0409:16 AM11/12/0409:16 AM
I just talked to an electrician today who is going to stop by to look at the situation. My calculation was : 9hp spa + 5500W heater = about 12kw = about 50A or so. Heat pump = about 25A. 3hp Pool motors = about 10A. Allow 10A for the shed = about 90 to 100A at 240V. This could easily all be going at the same time. Using subpanels, I could have 2 60A subpanels installed with a dedicated panel for the spa. This would add up to 50A additional load on each 150A panel. The air conditioner and oven running at the same time is about 50A which would be 100A in one 150A panel. Tack on a bunch of lights and the the distribution panel is rather fully loaded. I am concerned about flickering lights as the spa heater cycles. A separate distribution panal with its own disconnect connected to the service entrance would prevent flickering and dimming lights and would be easier to install since conduit would be buried outside rather than run through walls and attic. The problem is that the house doesn't have a disconnect at the service entrance, each distrubution panel has its own breaker for disconnect and the panels are grouped per code. The panels are dead center in the middle of the house with 2 runs of about 50ft of conduit under the slab to the service entrance. I find it strange that code would allow a situation where a person has to wade through a burning house to turn off the juice, but that is a different issue. Adding a third distribution panel which is not grouped with the other 2 would require installation of a disconnect at the service entrance which is a rather expensive proposal, and grouping a new panel with the other 2 would be impossible. What I am trying to figure out is whether I can install a distribution panel connected directly to the service entrance with its own disconnect on a separate building on the same property. If not, I will just have 2 separate subpanels installed and hope for the best. The guy who is coming out is apparently pretty knowledgeable but I like to have my ducks in a row before talking to contractors. Thanks again. George
Re: Separate distribution for pool#90290 11/12/0404:10 PM11/12/0404:10 PM
Its called the bonestripper. Just kidding, but its a big spa. It will make my wife happy. Just in case the electrician who is coming over doesn't like the idea, we can look up 230.40 Exception NO 3 together. Maybe he will have a better solution than mine anyway. Thanks for all the good advice. George.
Re: Separate distribution for pool#90294 11/18/0402:42 PM11/18/0402:42 PM
ShortCircuit. Nothing yet. I looked up 230.40 exception 3 and xeroxed a copy, but so far nobody will install a separate distribution panel an a detached building without installing separate disconnects for each panel at the meter. I don't have the time to mess with this and we only plan to live here for a few years anyway, so I think I will just take the easy way out and install a pair of subpanels. Hopefully the light flickering won't be too bad. Thanks again, George.
Re: Separate distribution for pool#90296 11/26/0402:32 PM11/26/0402:32 PM
George If you have a meter enclosure installed that has triple barreled lugs on the load side you would have no problem running the additional service entry conductors directly to your pool house.
The other approach would be to install a four hundred ampere, main lug only, 3R raintight, twelve slot panel, that is suitable for use as service equipment. By installing that panel adjacent to the meter enclosure you could have a beaker for each panel including the one in your pool house. That would be a much more expensive approach however. It would also require a partial rewire of your two existing panels to separate the neutrals from the Equipment Grounding Conductors. -- Tom H
"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous for general use" Thomas Alva Edison