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Tool Talk Discussion Board

Re: 3 phase question

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Posted by John T on October 24, 2013 at 14:49:19 from (

In Reply to: Re: 3 phase question posted by WyoDave on October 24, 2013 at 12:49:01:

Hey there Dave, I see from your response you certainly understand the benefits or pitfalls of the 208 or red leg system, you're NO Billy Bob!!!

Heres my experience. Actually any half A$$ real electrician knows and well understands the red leg system, they have seen it in industrial applications if they have ever done much work at all and aren't confused or dangerous if all is configured and labeled correctly. Our electricians labeled and red taped any high legs in all panels plus clearly labeled the panelboards.

NOTE for the house you don't have any red leg problem, you run 4 wires to it, the two hots (from that center tapped transformer), Neutral, and Equipment Ground. Theres no red leg even ran to the house, its feed is same as all other houses, simply a 120/240 center tapped transformer THATS NO BIG DEAL every other home in the neighborhood is fed from a 120/240 center tapped transformer!!!!!!!

HOWEVER when I specified that system it was in a primarily industrial application where I had a chance to balance the 3 transformers and there was a lot more 240 loads (both single and 3 phase) then the 120 which was for the office to run on. But if you don't use much 240 those other two transformers are just gonna be sittin there wasting heat energy while the one center tapped transformer that feeds your house doin all the work.

This is why I talked about the choice depending on the loads. I'm just not a fan of the 208 Y 120 for a shop or farm where most of the equipment choices are better suited to 240 then 208, although most will still work

Talk to the utility provider and get a good handle on the equipment youre gonna be using and see if 208 or 240 will work and then make the decision. I don't want to discourage your from three phase, its best, but just take a look at your actual loads before making the decision is my best albeit rusty engineering advice. Again, any real electrician isn't confused by that system so I wouldn't worry that much over that, just be sure all is well labeled

John T


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