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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Re: OT home service electric panel upgrade

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John T

02-09-2018 05:38:21

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Kevin, that's a valid question and usually electrical or legal questions draw out more opinions (including yours truly) then any other topic, SO LETS SEE WHAT HAPPENS

FIRST SHORT ANSWER sure IFFFFFFFFFFF the Utility (ask them not us) will even furnish you three phase service (very expensive for them and you both) it can be made to work BUT ID GUESS YOU WILL END UP WITH CONVENTIONAL 120/240 VOLT SINGLE PHASE THREE WIRE SERVICE (200 amps may suffice subject to your loads) AND USE A CONVERTER TO PROVIDE THREE PHASE FOR YOUR TOOLS that's a more typical, practical and cost efficient solution. Many with more power needs then yours use such.

You ask: There is 3 phase on the poles in front of the house. So I was going to ask if it is possible to have my old service replaced with 3 phase panel????????

ANSWER: YES its "possible" but the Utility may or may not even provide it and if so its very very expensive (you and them) as compared to 120/240 single phase household service.

You ask: but can I still get 120/240 single phase for dryer and outlets from the 3 phase box ? without transformer?

ANSWER: YES AND NO it depends:

(A) If you installed a 120/240 Volt Three Phase Four Wire Red/High Leg DELTA service you have 240 Volt Three Phase,,,,,,,,,,,, PLUS 240 Volt Single Phase,,,,,,,,,,,PLUS two legs of 120 Volt Single Phase

HOWEVER that's NOT for Billy Bob or Bubba or amateur wannabe electricians to install or use as they likely do not understand how it works or that the Red/High Leg is over 200 volts !!!!!!!!!! and how to balance the system.

(B) If you installed a 208 Y 120 Volt Three Phase Four Wire system you have 208 Volt Three Phase PLUS three legs of 120 Volt single phase

HOWEVER While some equipment works on 208 volts some does not do well THIS IS NOT MY RECOMMENDATION

(C) YES you could install dry transformers to obtain 120 or 240 volt single phase form other services if needed but that's expensive and inefficient THIS IS ALSO NOT MY RECOMMENDATION.


1) Talk to your utility provider to see if they would even furnish it and even if so the costs and installation and equipment required ID ALMOST BET IF YOU TALK TO THEM YOU WONT END UP WITH THREE PHASE (Converter instead for your three phase tools) but sure its "possible" especially if money is no concern YEAH RIGHT LOL

2) Talk to an experienced competent electrician or electrical engineer plus local authority and compare what they say to any lay or even professional opinions posted here.

3) Determine you actual needs and three phase power requirements and shop around for three phase converters to power your tools.

Best wishes

John T Long retired electrical power distribution design engineer and rusty so no warranty (Consult electricians engineers the utility and local authority) the NEC has changed since I practiced

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