ccalling on a good electrician! :: help please :)

Discussion in 'Growing Marijuana Indoors' started by WWstoo, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. So I moved into a new house about a month .5 ago . It's an older home with an old detached "mechanics-style" garage that I think would make for an absolutely perfect spot for a grow.
    It has electrical already strung/wired through but the system looks pretty odd too me because it has a bunch of 220/240v sockets, a bunch of 110/120's , 4 rows of floro's which I think are average volt, t5's, on fixtures that take 2 tubes each. and there are 3 switches. 2 switches controlling the 4 floro's, and the 3rd switch controls a single mogul socket.

    Right now I plan to grow using a shit load of standard socket CFL's but I will be upgrading to 400w + ballasts. I'm trying to work out how many V's I can pump out. I don't want to run the risk of a fuse blowing or the panel switching while in mid-grow. ...or starting a fire for that matter because I will be using enough power adapters and extension cords.
  2. p.s. ... I don't know much about electrical so I hope I explained that all throughly enough
  3. I'm a journeyman sparky. Too bad you don't live near me else I'd help you set it all up.
  4. :/ indeed. I'm starting to figure it out though. I just need to calculate amps and breaker load I think.
  5. My outlet situation is so fucked because certain outlets in the house stopped working so I have it wired like
    Lights -> Power Strip -> Timer -> Extension Cord -> Power Strip -> Power Strip -> Outlet

    And no fire yet. Your mileage may vary.
  6. Is there a breaker box in the garage? If so what size breaker is feeding it from the main panel? Are all the outlets grounded?
  7. I would seriously consider using CFL's until you can get your power situations straightened out.

    You're going to burn your friggin house down. No idea why the outlets in the house stopped working, eh? Scary. :(
  8. I would seriously consider using CFL's until you can get your power situations straightened out.
    No idea why the outlets in the house stopped working, eh? Scary. :(

    Don't burn your house down!
  9. As a matter of fact, I am using CFLs. And the outlets (random ones in the house all stopped working) went out before the grow began.
  10. Excellent. :)

    Still a bad situation to have outlets that don't work without knowing why... How's your electric bill? If the meter is spinning faster than it should be then you may have more dangerous issues than it looks. I hope not though!

    Good luck!
  11. im no expert but im pretty sure you gotta find out how many breaker are run to your detach garage from your main panel...normally each breaker is many be 20...newayz..... if it only have one thats only 15amps i can barely run my 1000hps, a/c and exhaust fan without tripping my breaker.....i need to wire a second breaker to my garage on a sub panel....
  12. #12 WWstoo, Aug 12, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2008
    Yeah theres a breaker in the garage. 3 x 15v's - 2 joint 40's which seem to power all the 15's and then 2 x 20's which I think are for the 240v outlets. Grounded?... i'm assuming so. everything seems to work fine. I figured out that the floro's are running from the first 15 and the 2nd and 3rd 15 switches are for all the 120 outlets. I only have a stereo plugged into a 120v socket so i'm going to assume that it uses 1amp like the floro's which use .77 i believe. So to run 10 ( apx. ) CFL's on one of the 15 switches i should be fine right?

    I'm going to be running an extension cord from the main level up to the loft ( where i'll be operating ) that I'll have my power bar plugged into and my timer. Hopefully I'll be able to run it all on the one socket without problems.

    Gamemastax, you probably already know this but maaan thats a risky sounding setup. What about buying a larger power bar? I don't know how big power bars go up to for 120's but one with more sockets would help prevent potential electrical fires from starting.

    and Mr.Tangent, I do have 2x 240v sockets running on I think the 20v circuit. if I do decide to buy a 1000w ballast , could i run it fine off of that circuit you think?
  13. yup you could run ur 1000watt of ur 240v no problem.....just make sure ur ballast is compatible with 240v.....some are 120v some are 240v and some are both....
  14. As long as the plugs are 220v 20amp plugs, you will also need a 220v timer as well. The cords that come with the ballast wont plug into any receptacle larger than 20amps. Unless their is a specific need it's easier to just use 110v 20amp circuits.

    If you are going to use an extension cord PLEASE buy a high quality 10 or 12g cord. I It wouldn't take much for a grow room to max out the capacity of smaller/cheaper cords. You best bet would be to run a couple cords up there so you have plenty of capacity as well as installing either a GFCI breaker or outlet
  15. Ok Dude. I'm no journeyman, but I know how not to kill myself.

    Isolate the electrical to the garage. This means make it it's own circut.

    Once that is done, everything else can be done safely. You have two choices now. How to get electricity to the garage. Overground, or Underground. I prefer underground. Buy an appropriate ammount of properly rated outdoor cable. Run one cable only. This meaning from the breaker on the pannel to the primary junction box in the garage, there should be no splices or connections. Bury the cable in abs or pvc conduit 6 inches below your frost line. (it's 2 ft in Toronto, so 2.5 ft is great, 3 better)

    Now that you have power TO the garage, it is time to distribute it. Make a seccond breaker box here. No need to be fancy, just a way to instantly access all your outlets or lights at once if the situation ever should come about. Also makes for a great master switch.

    Mark out where you would like your boxes, dont install them yet. Rule of thumb, outlets should be 3 inches below knee height. Switches at nipple level.

    The best cable to use in a garage or shed environment (and probobly in your local code) is metal armoured 14 guage integrated cable. This means it has one black wire, one white wire, and one bare ground in one metal wrapped cable. This stuff is great because it is outdoor rated, the shell gives a safety in case a ground fails, and the shell also means no conduit is needed when running without finished walls.

    GFCI outlets are your best friend. it's an outlet with a super sensitive circuit breaker inside. One outlet will protect the entire circuit. Dont doubble up on them. no worries about burning your house down.

    And everywhere you wire, remember the ground doesn't work if it's not connected. And keep the juice off till you're all done.

    Everything else can be found by google'ng Bob Vila
  16. Better to run 12g wire so a 20amp breaker can be used which will work better if a 1,000w fixture would be to use. The cost to use the bigger wire is pretty minimal.
  17. #17 sgt.poop, Aug 12, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2008
    use the 240v..your electric bill will be less with the same wattage as a 120.. and that comes from a Master Electrician.. :) if you know how to add 240 components you could even wire up cfls.. or whatever you want.. tubes and 240 balasts are nice too.. You can look up lots of wiring plans for lights ect. then just hit radio shack, or most stores that carry electrical supplies. bicycle running ac/ or dc generators hooked to batteries works great...fudge the electric companies..
  18. because of guys like you i will always have a job.. keep up the good work

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