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Is 22ga meter box wire acceptable?

1carwash1

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Is it acceptable to use 22g stranded wire from the meter boxes to the equipment room? I have access to Belden 8458 (15 conductors) stranded wire from someone in the business. He got it from IDX some time ago. When I spoke to IDX they told me one of the reasons they sold it was because in the early days of carwashing when more functions were being introduced two cables could be run thru a 1/2 in conduit. In my case, I have back-to-back coin boxes that are fed with a single 1/2 inch conduit. The max current rating for the wire is 2.1 amps per conductor.

I'm also waiting for a sample from KR (15 & 20 conductor). The KR wire is 18ga. Perhaps I can strip off the outer sheathing and run the wires through 1/2 conduit to the meter box. Any ideas or opinions?
 

MEP001

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22 gauge is enough. You can run at least 100 feet without a significant voltage drop. The only time you might have an issue is if you have the older motor starters with the "heater" thermal overload - the coil draws too many watts for 22 gauge wire, and even that can be bypassed with a small relay in the control panel to remove the load of such a large coil.
 

1carwash1

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22 gauge is enough. You can run at least 100 feet without a significant voltage drop. The only time you might have an issue is if you have the older motor starters with the "heater" thermal overload - the coil draws too many watts for 22 gauge wire, and even that can be bypassed with a small relay in the control panel to remove the load of such a large coil.
How would I identify that? I only see 24vac to the motor starter coil. The heater portion consist of 3 screw in coils (one for each phase) that react to excess current. Seems to be a mechanical trip.
 

OurTown

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Could you apply voltage to the coil and check to see what amperage yours draws?
 

MEP001

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How would I identify that? I only see 24vac to the motor starter coil. The heater portion consist of 3 screw in coils (one for each phase) that react to excess current. Seems to be a mechanical trip.
That's the type of contactor that the coil will draw too much current to run with 22 gauge wire. You can either double up the hot wire to the bay and the contactor wire coming back to take the heavier load, if you have enough strands to do so, or as I mentioned put a relay in the control box to keep that load from running all the way to the bay and back. I've done both and it's never been a problem.
 

soapy

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All the wash equipment I have put in SS bays has always specked 18 guage. Buy a full spool from Kleenrite with 16 or more wires.
 

Randy

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All the wash equipment I have put in SS bays has always specked 18 guage. Buy a full spool from Kleenrite with 16 or more wires.
GEEZ! Soapy do know how much that would cost? 18ga. wire is $1.62 a foot, I'd have to take on another job to pay for that.
 

1carwash1

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Measured the current flow for each function. Current flowed ranged from approximately 800ma to 2.4 amps. Interestingly, the highest current flow was associated with my low pressure functions which used Allenair solenoids (liquid & air). The one exception was my triple shine unit which uses GC valves. That current draw was approximately 800ma (liquid & air). So 18ga wire is it. By chance, has anybody ever measured the current on the Kip block KR sells? And no, I don't think you can just divide the stated wattage by 24vac because the circuit is not purely resistive (inductive reactance).
 

MEP001

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The Kip solenoids are 7 watts, about .3 amps each.
 

mjwalsh

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I know this does not apply with these VAC specifics ... but whenever VDC is run ... gauge & distance becomes very important. When we put in the KR G&G led strip tubes ... it was extra critical to pay attention to the specific potential voltage drops.
 
Etowah

soapy

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Randy, I always get the 20 wire bundle so I have spares and it is now at $2.30 a foot last I checked.
 

MEP001

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Cheapest multi-conductor cable I've ever found:
They used to have an 18/15 but I can't find it.
 

MEP001

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That's a really good price. It's probably going to be solid wire, but for the box to room run it will work perfectly fine. Just don't try to use it anywhere it will get flexed.
 

Greg Pack

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That's a really good price. It's probably going to be solid wire, but for the box to room run it will work perfectly fine. Just don't try to use it anywhere it will get flexed.

Specs say it's stranded. name brand mfg. too, not some unknown.
 
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