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talosian


Feb 8, 2006, 7:07 AM

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How can I find? Where can I get?

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I live in the Chapala/Lakeside area.

First, I need to find a fuse/circuit breaker which has an amp rating half or less of my house current. Question: How do I figure my house current w/o calling an electrician and trying to communicate in Spanish, of which I know about 20 words so far.

Second, where can I find an electronic supply store (hopefully Lakeside) where I can get some .47UF Electrolytic Capacators with a minimum rating of 50V and some 1/2 Watt resistors, 20-30 ohm?

If you know a specific store, an address and directions will help greatly.

Finally, I need someone Lakeside to assist me in building a small and very simple electronic box and I will pay.

Any help/thoughts here?

Thanks.
"When all logical explanations have failed, we must look to the illogical for the answer.



Rolly


Feb 8, 2006, 7:35 AM

Post #2 of 20 (8544 views)

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Re: [talosian] How can I find? Where can I get?

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You can figure the load of your house by adding up the watt ratings of all your electrical devices -- light bulbs, fridge, computers, etc. To find the current load, divide the total watts by the line voltage, which is probably about 130.

The easiest way to find the caps and resistors is to go the Radio Shack in GDL.

I be glad to help with your building project, but I'm too far away.

Rolly Pirate


raferguson


Feb 8, 2006, 4:43 PM

Post #3 of 20 (8514 views)

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Re: [talosian] How can I find? Where can I get?

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The clip on AC ammeters are not expensive, and make it easy to measure the current being used at any given time. All you need is one of the wires separated out to where you can clip around it.

The separate issue is how much current you can safely draw from the supply wiring. I would think that depends primarily on the size of the wire, but also the rating of the breaker box.

Obviously, house voltage can kill you, overloading can cause fires, etc. You are probably wise to get someone over to your house to consult, rather than try to interpret whatever we say, which may be based on a misunderstanding of what you said, which may be based on some misunderstanding that you have.....

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


johanson / Moderator


Feb 8, 2006, 6:43 PM

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Re: [raferguson] How can I find? Where can I get?

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When I first saw Talosian's post I was afraid to answer. I did not know quite how to say it. Luckily Richard said it for me. Talosian, the questions you posed tell me that you need help and that you should not try to do the work yourself.

Now I think it's great that you want to learn. Most persons don't even bother. But please for your sake continue to try to learn; but get an expert in there to help you if you are going to change the wiring in your house.


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Feb 8, 2006, 7:33 PM

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Re: [johanson] How can I find? Where can I get?

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In Reply To
When I first saw Talosian's post I was afraid to answer. I did not know quite how to say it. Luckily Richard said it for me. Talosian, the questions you posed tell me that you need help and that you should not try to do the work yourself.

Now I think it's great that you want to learn. Most persons don't even bother. But please for your sake continue to try to learn; but get an expert in there to help you if you are going to change the wiring in your house.

I'm an electrician and I'll be around there in a couple of weeks if all else fails.
Getting older and still not down here.


johanson / Moderator


Feb 8, 2006, 8:22 PM

Post #6 of 20 (8487 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] How can I find? Where can I get?

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Just to let you know what you are in for Ron, standard voltage here is 127 +or- 10%. Yes that is true. Oh and it's not quite 60 cps. Here I am a little faster than 60 cps. My electric clocks gain about a minute per week.

Oh and 240? What's that? I have 3 phase with each leg 120 degrees out from the other, and I am in a residential neighborhood.

The old neighborhood transformer used to blow out once a week to once per month. We have a new one now with greater capacity which hardly ever blows.

My line voltage is better than many. During periods of heavy neighborhood use, the voltage now only drops to about 122. I used to see 114 and I have never seen voltage over 128 to 129. Of, course I am only monitoring one leg. I ought to check the other two.

And grounding? What's that? I had to provide my own grounding, three very long interconnected copper grounding rods.

In my new house I had a backup generator put in by a very good electrician, the same one that wired the house during construction. He ran out of black wire and wired everything white. Well the power went out, I started up the 4KW generator and noted that there was now power to my HDTV, satellite receivers, stereo etc. I tried flipping on a light bulb and it fried.

I immediately disconnected the generator and discovered that there was 240 to one very unimportant circuit and 00 to the important circuits. The electrician was very embarrassed and immediately came out and made the corrections

Does one need a backup generator? Probably not any more. But one did years ago. When I first started visiting this area 9 years ago, many folks had them. Now only us nerds have them.

Hey, I have only wired two houses, and I am no pro. But I used color coded wiring because it helped me. I have very little practical experience, but I am strong on theory.

KD7ION



(This post was edited by johanson on Feb 8, 2006, 8:26 PM)


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Feb 8, 2006, 8:41 PM

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Re: [johanson] How can I find? Where can I get?

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True Pete, but electricity is electricity. I've worked it up to 12.7kv. I don't know what Spocks (Star Trek fan? Me too) problemo is, but I'll have some time on my hands while I'm in the neighborhood looking around and I have no objection to assisting a possible new neighbor with a bit of troubleshooting & maybe a bit of repair. Besides, maybe he'd have some time to show me and Jim where Joes Bar is.
If you had a "very good electrician", I hate to think of what a mediocre electrician would be like let alone a lousy one.
Maybe that might be a good option for me when I get down there to live. Provide electrical inspections and improvements. I also have years of eletronics background as well.
I'm going to have to keep this in the back of my mind when I visit next month.

Hey! Have a good one.

Ron
Getting older and still not down here.


Cynthia7

Feb 8, 2006, 9:19 PM

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] How can I find? Where can I get?

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If you get bored in Lakeside..come on over to San Miguel de Allende..I'll show you some unbelievable electrical work and keep you working till the burros come home..Cynthia


johanson / Moderator


Feb 8, 2006, 9:32 PM

Post #9 of 20 (8474 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] How can I find? Where can I get?

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12 KV? I know just enough to be afraid of that. I've never played with more than 240 volts. Yes color coding is just catching on down here. And yes there is a real need for folks who know code down here. Maybe I should say who can provide good advice down here.

I had one electrician, or I was told he was, install a 400 watt, 127 volt small water pump that perhaps drew up to 700 watts during start up. Guess what size breaker he installed? 20 amps of course. The larger the better and the less chance that it will trip. WRONG. I now have the smallest I could find, a 10 amp breaker. I could go on.


(This post was edited by johanson on Feb 8, 2006, 9:34 PM)


Rolly


Feb 8, 2006, 9:37 PM

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] How can I find? Where can I get?

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Ron, if you are not already familiar with Mexican ways electrical, you can find an introduction to typical residential wiring on my website where I show in some detail the building of a couple of houses. This link will take you to the start of the electrical part of the story of the big project: http://rollybrook.com/07-13.htm

Welcome to our electrical wonder land. "Wonder" as in I wonder how the hell....

Rolly Pirate


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Feb 8, 2006, 10:33 PM

Post #11 of 20 (8460 views)

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Re: [johanson] How can I find? Where can I get?

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"If you get bored in Lakeside..come on over to San Miguel de Allende..I'll show you some unbelievable electrical work and keep you working till the burros come home..Cynthia "

Don't know wether my trip will be long enough to get over to SMA as I only have March 4th to March 25th (portal to portal) but in 07 I expect to bring my motorhome down to stay and it will have all my tools and equipment in it.

Rolly: Thanks for the link however I've already been there and in spite of the method of "rough in" it looks good. Plastic is acceptable NOB and works very well. However the wire should be stranded and should include a ground wire.

Pete: Your small water pump would be on a standard 20amp circuit up here. With something that size (less than 1hp) it could be on a "shared circuit" with lighting, but should be on it's own according to NOB code.

I'm assuming that down there they run 2 wires (hot & neutral, no ground) for supply. As I figure it, a local ground rod in the soil conditions that exist down there would be next to useless due to non-conductivity of the soil. It would probably be helpful down around the lake where the water level helps to dampen the soil.
Getting older and still not down here.


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Feb 8, 2006, 10:46 PM

Post #12 of 20 (8458 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] How can I find? Where can I get?

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As I figure it, a local ground rod in the soil conditions that exist down there would be next to useless (but should be included) due to non-conductivity of the soil. It would probably be helpful down around the lake where the water level helps to dampen the soil.

Sorry 'bout that. My laptop wouldn't put any more characters in that last post. Must be a limit as to how many characters can be utilized in each post.

Anyway, there's a lot to take into consideration depending upon circumstances. The poor conductivity of the soil is probably why they don't run ground wires.

Gonna be interesting. Maybe my trip SOB will help clear some of these cobwebs from the old noggin. Guess I've been retired too long.

A pleasant evening to all.

Ron
Getting older and still not down here.


Esteban

Feb 9, 2006, 6:08 AM

Post #13 of 20 (8443 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] How can I find? Where can I get?

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What do you think about putting the ground rod (in new construction) in the foundation?


johanson / Moderator


Feb 9, 2006, 7:25 AM

Post #14 of 20 (8436 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] How can I find? Where can I get?

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Ron you wrote "Pete: Your small water pump would be on a standard 20amp circuit up here. With something that size (less than 1hp) it could be on a "shared circuit" with lighting, but should be on it's own according to NOB code".

Sorry I wasn't clear. Imagine now a new house wired to code, or almost. Imagine now the landscape architect (kind of sort of) putting in a reflection pond with a 400 Watt pump some 50 feet from the house.

Imagine now a conduit leading not from the breaker box but from the closest access to electricity which was one of several outlets protected by a single 15 amp breaker.

What does the landscape architects electrician do? He adds a 20 Amp breaker to the package and places same next to the pump. I am not even sure why he put in a breaker because the circuit was already protected by a 15 amp breaker, but as long as it was there, I put in the smallest breaker I could find which was 10 Amps. ( probably a waste of time )


raferguson


Feb 9, 2006, 12:47 PM

Post #15 of 20 (8418 views)

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Re: [Esteban] Grounding - was How can I find? Where can I get?

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Sandy and dry soils tend not to conduct electricity well, so it is difficult to get a good earth ground. In those conditions, there are a couple of ways I know to get around that. One is to install multiple ground rods, some distance apart, all tied together, 8 foot long rods preferred, probably 8 foot apart. Another technique, which can be used in rocky soils, is to encircle the entire building with buried heavy copper cable without insulation, so this long loop of copper is the ground. I would still add a few ground rods, tied to the loop of copper.

I would not put the ground rod in the foundation, but you could take advantage of the excavation to encircle the house with heavy bare copper wire, buried as deeply as practical.

The building I used to work in had ground rods every so often, and used a mile of heavy bare copper cable that went around the entire building, tied to the building steel and tied to ground rods in places. An overkill installation, especially since the local soils were so conductive that they were highly corrosive.

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Feb 9, 2006, 8:27 PM

Post #16 of 20 (8392 views)

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Re: [Esteban] How can I find? Where can I get?

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What do you think about putting the ground rod (in new construction) in the foundation?

Up north it's practical where it's damper ground. However an 8' ground rod would still be required at the panel, and the ground connection has to be available at all time for inspection so couldn't be covered by the foundation


One is to install multiple (3) ground rods, some distance apart, all tied together, 8 foot long rods preferred (mandatory NOB), probably 8 foot apart. Another technique, which can be used in rocky soils, is to encircle the entire building with buried heavy copper cable without insulation, so this long loop of copper is the ground. I would still add a few ground rods, tied to the loop of copper.

Either would be acceptable according to code. #4awg would be the required wire but still need a gnd rod at rhe panel. The price of copper makes the copper wire a bit expensive, but would be the way I'd do it for myself on new construction.


As for Petes setup, your ten amp breaker makes it easier to troubleshoot if something shorts out. 10 amp trips, it's the pump. 20 amp trips it's the lighting circuit. However, if the ten amp breaker lags, the twenty amp could trip as well. Not too likely, but possible.

Keep in mind that the breakers are meant to protect the wireing, not the equipment.

20 amp breaker=#12 wire
15 amp breaker=#14 wire
10 amp breaker=$16 wire

In other words if your casa is wired with #14 wire, largest breaker that can be used is a 15 amp for branch (lighting, refrigerator, etc.) circuits.

As an aside, sounds to me that the electric company runs higher voltage so the have at least 115volts at the end of the runs to take into account the low voltage distribution losses & inefficiencies. Hell of a way to run a ship.
Getting older and still not down here.

(This post was edited by Ron Pickering W3FJW on Feb 9, 2006, 8:42 PM)


johnv

Feb 10, 2006, 8:28 AM

Post #17 of 20 (8367 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] How can I find? Where can I get?

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In the house that I am renting, I have grounded one receptacle so far, for my computers and office equipment, by driving a 4 ft. bronze rod through a drilled hole in the patio, into problably moist ground underneath. When I plug a circuit tester into this recepatcle it reads "correct", ie. grounded. Is it safe to assume that the receptacle is indeed grounded? This tester is a small 3 prong unit with 2 yellow lights and 1 red light, made by A.W. Sperry. Can a ground tester like this one be trusted for accuracy?


patricio_lintz


Feb 10, 2006, 9:34 AM

Post #18 of 20 (8359 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] How can I find? Where can I get?

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Ground rods are required for CFE connect. Go to your friendly CFE office & pick up a pamphlet of requirements for connection. It has a lot of nice drawings in it . Including ground rod requirements


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Feb 10, 2006, 12:58 PM

Post #19 of 20 (8348 views)

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Re: [johnv] How can I find? Where can I get?

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"When I plug a circuit tester into this recepatcle it reads "correct", ie. grounded. Is it safe to assume that the receptacle is indeed grounded? This tester is a small 3 prong unit with 2 yellow lights and 1 red light, made by A.W. Sperry. Can a ground tester like this one be trusted for accuracy? "

Yes to all of the above. The Sperry outlet tester is pretty much the primary tester used NOB. I use them in my motorhome to put/keep my mind at ease. Great buy for very few pesos. Everyone should have at least one.

Ron
Getting older and still not down here.


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Feb 10, 2006, 1:00 PM

Post #20 of 20 (8347 views)

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Re: [patricio_lintz] How can I find? Where can I get?

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Sounds like something everyone should do for their own information. Might help when/if you need to keep an eye on your hired electrician.
Getting older and still not down here.
 
 
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