17 years ago
When I installed my manufactured home, I didnt want any overhead
lines, so all my utilities are buried. My meter is mounted on a
typical pedistal, with a 100 amp main, and a 20 amp used for
electrical to my shop.
I installed everything to code, all passed properly of course, but I
didnt put in an extra conduit or two...damnit. And the pedistal is
located about 50 feet away from the back of the home at the property
line. I did this so I could in the future, fence, and not have to have
Pacific Greed and Extortion come into the yard and deal with dogs.
There is a spare 50 amp breaker at the homes breaker panel, that used
to serve the A/C, before I converted to swamp cooler, which Ive been
using to supply power to the shop, via RPC, etc etc and also is the
sole breaker for my welding area. Its now 20+ yrs old, and as Ive
started tigging aluminum, Im running into supply issues..it pops the
breaker when I get much over 140 amps of tig welding power going. Im
sure that its weak from age and use, and needs to be replaced.
If Im going to have to expend or scrounge, its time to look at
supplying the welding area better. With only 100 amps of service at
the pedistal, Im a bit screwed, but I have to do what I can. I was
tigging an aluminum assembly (intake manifold for NO injection) for a
friend, and was popping that breaker just about the time Id get a good
The pedistal was installed in a concrete pad, so removing it and
replacing it is going to be a PITA. I actually dont know what the amp
rating of the pedistal is, I only know there is a 100 amp breaker in
it that feeds the house. There is room for additional breakers, both
110 and 220. There are no stickers visible and Ive not pulled the
meter and the covers to check. If I recall after 20 yrs, it was a
Zodiac (?) brand
Im in an unincorporated area, so county rules (Kern) follow state regs
and are interpretted with the usual rural blind eye
Some questions if I may be so bold...
1. How do I determing the total amp rating of the pedistal? Id hate
to melt down the buss.
2. Can I simply put in another 60 or 100 amp breaker..assuming the
buss will handle intermitant loads?
3. Would it be kosher to mount a weather tite electrical connector to
the outside of the pedistal, and run SOW over to the welding area? A
run of about 30 or so feet. I have at least that much "0" or #2 SOW
I of course would (and have done so) put a sub panel at the welding
area. I could hole punch into the breaker section and install rigid
conduit and run it over to the welding area as well. I have plenty of
sutible 4ga wire that I could run, but since the heart issue..Id
rather not be trenching by hand this time of the year espesialy.
4. Do I have to rip out everthing and in$tall a new pedi$tal, and if
$o..what would you $uggest for 200 amp $ervice, and where do I
$crounge one? I would NOT be changing the service at the home. The
100 amp main breaker has never tripped
Mine, IRRC correctly was purchased at Home Depot or similar and the
name was Zodiac or something that started with a Z. The wife has all
the manuals/docs filed someplace and she is back East for a while.
Both tig welders are rated at 100 amp, 220, and while I can run them
normally just fine with most materials..aluminum is requiring me to
draw far more power than Id normally use for any of the welding I
I thought I had a pretty good grip on normal electrical issues, as I
had a C7-C10 for a number of years, but this is way outside of my
expertise. I dont know if its even code to tap into the pedistal above