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Thread: A/C distribution especially for rentals

  1. #1
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    Default A/C distribution especially for rentals

    Hello all,

    So there is a question for y'all at the end, but I thought i would share some some background first. I did a few searches and could not find any information about how to do temporary setups for houses that are rented. I therefor came up with my own design. It would be useful for anyone that can't or won't make changes to their house. However i was trying to decide of i should take the time to write it up, draw a wiring diagram, and post the few pics i took. If y'all are interested I will share my info.

    Regards,
    John.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2012
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    Wenatchee, WA
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    Default Re: A/C distribution especially for rentals

    Id be curious what you have setup. I rent and have a lot of freedom with wiring but always open to new ideas.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A/C distribution especially for rentals

    It would take me a while to write it out in detail, but basically our house is so old that using the couple of outlets we could get to tripped the breaker because of how this house is wired. The first year here we ended up using our generator to power our display. We were pushing it's limits and it cost a lot of money in gas. So the second year I came up with the idea of using a small external rated circuit breaker box, some heavy gauge SOOW cord and a dryer plug. I used a cord grip and a board to get the power out a window and around to our carport. Since I split the 230 Volt 30 Amp into four 115 Volt 15 Amp circuits I can now safely run 60 Amps worth of lights and inflatables. That is a good thing considering our display is around 40 Amps and grows every year. I did make some minor mistakes that I corrected among other modifications this year. I rewired it, added a switch (there was only one and it was a pain to not turn on the inflatables due to heavy winds), and few generator inlet boxes (1 is now an outlet) so now it can be safely used to either get power out using the dryer outlet or in if needed in an emergency using the generator. It is now a multipurpose system that is way more useful than just for holiday lights. There is quite a parts list and I would have to make two wiring diagrams ( one for 3 prong and one for 4 prong dryer outlets), but if there is a desire for that information I would be willing to share it. For a fee I would even build someone one if they were not confident they could make one safely.
    So, what do you think. Should I make the effort to write it all up or are most of the people here already knowledgeable enough to figure it out with a basic description? I am relatively new here and don't get on the forum much due to work, so I don't know.
    My history that gave me the knowledge to do this
    3 years aircraft avionics drafting.
    8 years Navy electronics
    5 years Hydraulic power supply and shop electrician
    2 years board level soldering

    Voltages from 1.5 Volt to 20kV and Amperages from milliAmps to somewhere over 200. Been building or repairing stuff since basically i could walk over 40 years ago.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2012
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    Wenatchee, WA
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    Default Re: A/C distribution especially for rentals

    I figured that was what you were getting at. I am in much of the same position however I can actually put in a breaker and receptacle off the breaker box. Thinking about running a 230 Volt 50 Amp out to the front yard. I was debating if it would be cheaper to put out a temporary sub panel or use a spider box.

    Running this much power sure isn't cheap no matter what way you go, and I'm certainly not discounting the risk of having 220 in the yard. I need somewhere around 18 350w power supplies in my front yard and I'd like to plan for the future as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    West Bloomfield, MI
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    Default Re: A/C distribution especially for rentals

    Quote Originally Posted by jmruth72 View Post
    It would take me a while to write it out in detail, but basically our house is so old that using the couple of outlets we could get to tripped the breaker because of how this house is wired. The first year here we ended up using our generator to power our display. We were pushing it's limits and it cost a lot of money in gas. So the second year I came up with the idea of using a small external rated circuit breaker box, some heavy gauge SOOW cord and a dryer plug. I used a cord grip and a board to get the power out a window and around to our carport. Since I split the 230 Volt 30 Amp into four 115 Volt 15 Amp circuits I can now safely run 60 Amps worth of lights and inflatables. That is a good thing considering our display is around 40 Amps and grows every year. I did make some minor mistakes that I corrected among other modifications this year. I rewired it, added a switch (there was only one and it was a pain to not turn on the inflatables due to heavy winds), and few generator inlet boxes (1 is now an outlet) so now it can be safely used to either get power out using the dryer outlet or in if needed in an emergency using the generator. It is now a multipurpose system that is way more useful than just for holiday lights. There is quite a parts list and I would have to make two wiring diagrams ( one for 3 prong and one for 4 prong dryer outlets), but if there is a desire for that information I would be willing to share it. For a fee I would even build someone one if they were not confident they could make one safely.
    So, what do you think. Should I make the effort to write it all up or are most of the people here already knowledgeable enough to figure it out with a basic description? I am relatively new here and don't get on the forum much due to work, so I don't know.
    My history that gave me the knowledge to do this
    3 years aircraft avionics drafting.
    8 years Navy electronics
    5 years Hydraulic power supply and shop electrician
    2 years board level soldering

    Voltages from 1.5 Volt to 20kV and Amperages from milliAmps to somewhere over 200. Been building or repairing stuff since basically i could walk over 40 years ago.
    Do you have ground fault protection for your exterior circuits?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Mississippi Gulf Coast
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    Default Re: A/C distribution especially for rentals

    Quote Originally Posted by ezellner View Post
    Do you have ground fault protection for your exterior circuits?
    I did part of last year. They were causing more issues than they were worth so after carefull consideration I removed them. GFCI is intended to protect people from shock hazards and they are damn sensitive. The sections where are display is setup are enough of a trip hazard we don't let the kids over there anyway. Of course I recommend using them when possible, all locations and setups are different they aren't always practical. Ours were tripping all the time and i could not find a cause. I checked from end to end the entire string plugged into whatever one tripped with no idea as to what happened. I got so ticked that after about the 3rd time with no cause that I yanked them out and put in standard outlets. No more issues.

  7. #7
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    Dec 2016
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    Default Re: A/C distribution especially for rentals

    Quote Originally Posted by StickyWicket View Post
    Running this much power sure isn't cheap no matter what way you go, and I'm certainly not discounting the risk of having 220 in the yard. I need somewhere around 18 350w power supplies in my front yard and I'd like to plan for the future as well.
    LOL, no it isn't cheap. With the proper selection of cable and connectors it isn't much different than having 115 in the yard. There is an old adage that explains that perfectly. "Volts thrill, Amps kill".

    Have fun this year and be safe.

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