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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Default wiring help please

    So I was looking at upgrading the shed power to 20amp ,but having an old school 1986 power box with those old 10amp breakers (the white porcelain ones with the breakable wires). The shed runs its own circuit. I was advised to upgrade the line to the shed to a 6 mm one, which I'm 90% sure it is 6mm already as it has 400/750v written on the 3 core cabling casing. Matches the one selling at bunnings. My question is what do I need to purchase to have 20amp running to the shed? Also i would like to have a sub breaker box in the shed too. What do I need to purchase?


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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Katoomba NSW
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    Default

    Legally you need to purchase the skills of a qualified electician. This is not a job you can do yourself.
    The writing on the cable sheath is merely the voltage rating and has nothing to do with the cross sectional area. From your description it is unlikely to be 6mm≤.
    Get a quote from an electrician, he will be able to advise you on what needs to be done to upgrade your power to the shed.
    Those were the droids I was looking for.
    "just because I donít need the lathe doesnít mean the beer isnít cold" - Grand Master Flett

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
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    35
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    Default

    Forgotten to mension this will be done by a sparky. He just didn't tell me what to get. As he is a mate of mine and to busy to get parts for me. So I thought posting in here would give me a means/list of parts to get so he can just come over and hook it all up without bothering him to much. I wouldn't touch this job myself.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Perth
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    665

    Default Mine

    Mine was done last week.

    I ran 3 phase because my machine (Robland X 31) is a 3 phase machine.

    The sparky supplied and ran 6mm^2 Orange sheath 4 core and earth cable... it retails around $6.24/ lineal meter - its best to get a sparky to supply it because he will have a 100 m roll most likely - if you get a length cut and supplied and its too short - then you have no choice but to join it (junction) (coz the supplier won't take it back once cut) with the attendant voltage loss thru the junction.

    Your RCds and Mains switches etc all need to be rated to what draw there will be and only a sparky can advise you of this...

    I went all over buying 2nd hand switches and outlets only to find that some of what I bought was the wrong outlet (4 pin outlet and my machine had a 5 pin plug.... so we had to supply and fit a new plug to the machine).

    Unless you know what your buying - its best left to the sparky probably - a LOT of what I bought couldn't be used...and the time effort and Distance to collect it all adds up (fuel along with the multinova speeding fine I got)

    Unless your mate gives you a list of EXACTLY what you need - probably better to let him do it most likely!.

    My guy had a lot of bits n pieces in his van left over from other jobs etc that he was able to spin a buck on by selling to me for my job. Better to look after him than some stranger you go buying bits and pieces from.

    Others mileage may vary.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Adelaide, Australia
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    35
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    Default

    Thanks Mine for the reply.
    I think this would be the better way to go, as you made some very valid points there.
    I did get up into the roof with string and measured the existing wiring, which worked out to be 45m from shed to the break box.
    Think I might just leave it up to my mate as running around buying random parts seems like a waste of money unless, like you said I have an exact list.
    Joys of newer, bigger, better machines...

  7. #6
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    Jul 2013
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    Perth
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    665

    Default Sparky was

    My Sparky was just back hooking me up this morning - turned out one of the RCd's I bought second hand off gumtree (yeah for like $10) didn't work - it would trip even without power connected... had the sparky scratching his head for a bit - till he disconnected it and it still tripped - so we threw it out and he supplied a new one that worked.
    Me trying to save a buck wasted some of his time... this is one issue of trying to buy stuff 2nd hand and not knowing if it works or not till you connect it up. I wouldn't have known that till this afternoon. Bit of a steep learning curve.
    Hopefully I don't run into this same issue - when he comes back top hookup the lights I got 2nd hand off gumtree!
    It all seemed like a good idea at the time!
    Hopefully you can benefit from my recent experience and mistakes!

  8. #7
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    Jun 2008
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
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    Default

    I wouldnt be buying 2nd hand gear though. But good know what to look out for. Thanks Timeless
    I rang up Rexel today inquiring about 6mm power cabling ($3 per cut meter if anyone wants to know or $2.85 p/m for the 100m roll) but im still not sure what breakers i need (25A ? brand etc).
    Also with the sub breaker box can this be made out of wood or would this need to be steel, for fire reason?

  9. #8
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    Jul 2013
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    Perth
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    Default I saw

    I saw a metal one on gumtree for $50, had 7 rcd's & a 3phase main switch already in it.

    Showed it to the sparky who pointed out the rcds etc were a very expensive industrial type, meaning if I wanted to add anything to it later and had to buy new ones, in time to come - they would cost a small fortune compared to the standard Clipsal RCD offering new.





    So he supplied a plastic sub mains switch board of all things (Its inside the shed so why not it will never see any weather.

    It has a metal bus bar for common earths and a metal mounting bar inside for the RCD's & sub mains switch...along with doors that close to keep the dust etc out.

    It works OK...

    I could snap a pic if you want?.

    Cheers

  10. #9
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    Jun 2008
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
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    Default

    Ill have to keep an eye out for one.. Adelaide gumtree has noting

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    3,260

    Default

    For a submain, you could try the range of el-cheapo switchboxes from Masters - one that will fit six standard sized breakers costs all of about $10, throw in a ten amp breaker for the lights, a few 16 amp breakers for power and a suitable RCD to cover the lot. At that price, it's not even worth thinking about second hand or home built.

    SPM Lume Board 6 Pole Box Of 2 - Masters Home Improvement

    You sparkie mate will probably have access to Clipsal breakers at a trade price; they are generally very well regarded, even if they do cost three times what every other breaker costs.

  12. #11
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    Jul 2013
    Location
    Perth
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    665

    Default Yup

    Yes that's not a lot unlike the one he put in for me.

    And the expensive 10amp Clipsal RCD, was the one that was "Kangaroo Ted" in my installation and had to be thrown out - looked fine, but just wouldn't work!.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Armidale NSW
    Age
    48
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    1,938

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Timless Timber View Post
    ... had 7 rcd's ...
    I'm pretty sure they are not RCD's at all, just normal circuit breakers (CB's).

    With the cheapness and reasonable quality of new gear (non clipsal, that is), it's hardly worth the risk of buying second hand. Even 3 phase plugs and sockets can be had for relatively good prices new, especially compared to the price of second hand clipsal plugs/sockets
    Cheers.

    Vernon.
    __________________________________________________
    Bite off more than you can chew and then chew like crazy.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
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    35
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    Default

    Ok was hunting around the close scrap/salvage yards today and most are way over priced for what you actually get. So rang up a few electrical wholesalers around my area and this is what i came up with:

    50m Roll 6mm Cable - $137.50
    12 Pole Meter Box - $38.78
    25A Clipsal Breaker - $10.99 each (think I need 2, one for the main and one for the sub break box??)
    10A Lighting Breaker - $8.70
    16A Power Breaker - $9.68

    Think that is basically all I need right ??

  15. #14
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    Jul 2013
    Location
    Perth
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    665

    Default No

    No you'd need a breaker in the main meter box as well. (Re reading, I see you did mention this in brackets with a ?)

    How do you know you need 6 mm cable?

    What size wires, 2.5Mm^2 ?

    In essence a sparky needs to calculate voltage drop over the length of your run, so that when the power enters the shed sub board, you still have as many of the original 240 odd volts as you started with, at the main switch board... in the sub board, coz you then have voltage drop running cable around inside the shed, and what if you want to run something else in there later thats a heavy draw - will the cable your running now be sufficient?

    What if you wanted 3 phase later on? - that cable your running now and all the work expense of running it (conduit underground & trench etc perhaps) would be wasted if it were all then pulled out - only to be replaced by a 6mm 4 core and earth 3 phase cable - worth $6 odd a meter?

    Would you be smarter - better to run 3 phase cable while your doing the job - even if you only use L1, Neutral, and Earth, (one phase) and L2 & L3 are left dis - connected for now?.

    If you already have 3 phase run in from the pole in your meter box for say an elec stove in the house...and you do run the 3 phase cable now - then if you ever see a 3 phase machine going cheap at auction for e.g. - you know you can grab it cheap and not be up for a small fortune to hook up 3 phase in future coz the cables already there.

    Just something to consider maybe....

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Katoomba NSW
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    4,258

    Default

    You don't need a meter box and you can't use all circuit breakers. You need either a large RCD at the main board or individual RCDs at the sub board.
    You really need to check with your electrician and get him to give you a list.
    While the larger capacity RCD at the main board can be cheaper it can also be a PIA as you have to go to the main board to reset a trip. Saying that, I don't thnk mine has ever tripped but a bit of sawdust in a switch can cause nusiance trips.
    And while it's not necessary it would be a good opportunity to replace the semi-enclosed rewirable fuses on the main board with decent earth leakage protection. Wouldn't cost that much more while he is there anyway.
    Those were the droids I was looking for.
    "just because I donít need the lathe doesnít mean the beer isnít cold" - Grand Master Flett

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