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Author Topic: Erratic behaviour?  (Read 867 times)

Hollybrook

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Re: Erratic behaviour?
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2019, 12:00:05 AM »

Jeff, thanks for a quick response.  I will reply here once I have had some time to test.
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bkenobi

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Re: Erratic behaviour?
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2019, 12:39:46 AM »

I have a very similar setup to what you are running*.  I have had the CM15A plugged into the booster port for a few years without any known issues.  That doesn't mean you won't, but I have been very happy overall with this configuration.

*configuration:
2 200A panels with vault in between
1 distant sub panel
XTB-IIR on dedicated 240V breaker
CM15A plugged into booster port
HG on RPI

Hollybrook

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Re: Erratic behaviour?
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2019, 12:48:24 AM »

Thanks for the confirmation -- I thought I understood that from some previous post. 

I have been having intermittent issues for years, and especially now with the PiX10Hub using HABridge and Alexa voice commands.  Alexa commands from my Android phone seem to be more reliable as do my RF switches, but none are anywhere near 100%, though they eventually do work after multiple attempts.  This sounds a lot like what Jeff was describing, so a test makes sense to me.
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bkenobi

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Re: Erratic behaviour?
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2019, 11:20:30 AM »

Since you are capable of working with your panel (I assume you installed the XTB-IIR), you could just add an outlet on the same breaker as the 240V (either leg should work IIRC).  If I were to install things again, I'd probably do the same since that's what Jeff recommended (didn't see it until after everything was set up though).

In fact, if I had it to do again, I'd install a 240V outlet and a 120V outlet.  I'd install the XTB-IIR via a 240V plug rather than hard wired which would eliminate any issues should an inspector freak out.  Then I'd have the 120V for the CM15A.  All would be off the same breaker.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 11:22:06 AM by bkenobi »
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Hollybrook

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Re: Erratic behaviour?
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2019, 12:37:04 PM »

I actually use the breaker for the XTB-IIR for my generator hookup, so have the XTB-IIR connected though a dryer outlet/plug.  When I have to use the generator, I unplug the XTB-IIR before connecting the generator.  I like your idea of adding a 120V outlet on that circuit and will do so if the testing shows better performance with the XTB-IIR not plugged into the Boost outlet.  Thanks for suggesting!
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brobin

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Re: Erratic behaviour?
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2019, 09:02:58 PM »

Since you are capable of working with your panel (I assume you installed the XTB-IIR), you could just add an outlet on the same breaker as the 240V (either leg should work IIRC).  If I were to install things again, I'd probably do the same since that's what Jeff recommended (didn't see it until after everything was set up though).

In fact, if I had it to do again, I'd install a 240V outlet and a 120V outlet.  I'd install the XTB-IIR via a 240V plug rather than hard wired which would eliminate any issues should an inspector freak out.  Then I'd have the 120V for the CM15A.  All would be off the same breaker.

Doing that can be dangerous if not done correctly. The dryer outlet is likely served by a 30a or higher dual breaker. If you put a standard 15 or 20a 120v outlet on one side it is only protected by that 30a breaker. That means that whatever is plugged into the 120v outlet will likely melt and catch fire if there's a problem. The proper way to do it is to run the 240v line into a small sub-panel with a dual breaker for the XTB-IIR and a single 20a amp breaker for the 120v outlet. There are some small sub-panels for pool equipment that will do nicely and take up very little space.
A good choice that I've used before is the GE TPL412CP for under $20 at HD, Lowe's and Amazon.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 12:15:06 AM by brobin »
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bkenobi

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Re: Erratic behaviour?
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2019, 12:12:27 AM »

I installed a 15a 240V breaker, so in my case a standard outlet would work. If a 30A breaker is used, a 15a outlet could pose a safety Hazzard since a device plugged into the 15A outlet would not trip the breaker until 30A.

Noam

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Re: Erratic behaviour?
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2019, 09:04:35 AM »

When I got my XTB-IIR (many) years ago, I installed a dedicated 240V breaker (I think it was 15A - on each leg), and ran that to a new 2-gang outlet box I installed right next to the breaker box. That box has a 240V outlet for the XTB-IIR (which I wired with an appropriate cord and plug - so I can disconnect it), and also a split-wired duplex outlet. That gave me a test location on each phase, as close to the breaker box as possible. It also gave me a dedicated circuit I could use for testing - while shutting *everything* else off in the house. Once I was assing the new breaker(s) and dedicated 240V outlet for the XTB-IIR, adding the extra duplex outlet was a no-brainer.
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bkenobi

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Re: Erratic behaviour?
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2019, 02:34:39 PM »

A split outlet is brilliant!  If I rewire things, I like your approach and would definitely consider going that way.  A simple 2-gang box next to the XTB-IIR should be compact and look good as well.

Hollybrook

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Re: Erratic behaviour?
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2019, 10:20:36 PM »

A circuit breaker is intended to protect the wiring, so that if too large a current is passed through it, the wire will not overheat and cause a fire.  The NEC allows for a 15A outlet to be used on a 20A circuit if there are other receptacles on the circuit, the 15A outlet is rated for 20A passthrough (most are) and the wiring is suitable for 20A (12ga in most cases).  On a 30A circuit, as stated above, you would need to have a subpanel with a 15A or 20A breaker and appropriate wiring downstream.

In any case, I find it confusing to use 15A outlets on a 20A circuit and do not install them even though it meets code.  My concern is for others who might work on the circuit later and assume incorrectly that it is protected by a 15A breaker.
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Noam

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Re: Erratic behaviour?
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2019, 09:59:41 AM »

A split outlet is brilliant!  If I rewire things, I like your approach and would definitely consider going that way.  A simple 2-gang box next to the XTB-IIR should be compact and look good as well.
I went back to my notes, to make sure I had the information right.
I installed a 20A 2-pole breaker (they didn't have any 15A ones for my breaker box in stock at Home Depot that day), and I ran a 12-3 wire from the breaker box to the 2-gang box I added on the wall right next to it. I wired that to both a NEMA 6-20 plug, and the split-wired duplex outlet (which I think was actually a 15A outlet, because that's what I had on hand, but I don't think that's a problem in this case). I could find an appropriate 2-gang cover plate that had the duplex outlet on one side and the singe round hole on the other, so I modified one for a toggle/duplex by making the center hole larger. It worked. (Tip: you can't easily modify the plastic cover plates - they crack too easily. Use the "unbreakable" nylon ones instead).

I used another length of the 12-3 wire between the plug and the XTB-IIR, which in hindsight was a mistake. That wire is too rigid to easily work with (and was overkill for this application). But it's what I had on hand at the time, and it is done.
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bkenobi

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Re: Erratic behaviour?
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2019, 11:26:42 AM »

...I ran a 12-3 wire from the breaker box to the 2-gang box I added on the wall right next to it.

You said you swap the XTB-IIR for a generator.  Are you only feeding 15A from your generator into the box via a 30A dryer plug?  My Honda inverter is 15A only, but most full size generators push 20A, 30A, or larger for whole house systems.  The genset plug outside my house is a 30A IIRC.


A circuit breaker is intended to protect the wiring, so that if too large a current is passed through it, the wire will not overheat and cause a fire.  The NEC allows for a 15A outlet to be used on a 20A circuit if there are other receptacles on the circuit, the 15A outlet is rated for 20A passthrough (most are) and the wiring is suitable for 20A (12ga in most cases).  On a 30A circuit, as stated above, you would need to have a subpanel with a 15A or 20A breaker and appropriate wiring downstream.

In any case, I find it confusing to use 15A outlets on a 20A circuit and do not install them even though it meets code.  My concern is for others who might work on the circuit later and assume incorrectly that it is protected by a 15A breaker.
Yes, the breaker will protect the wire if it's sized correctly for the breaker.  But if you have a 15A outlet I would say generally you won't see that on a breaker rated higher than 20A.  I was just saying that a 30A breaker with 15A outlet would not stop a device that was designed for 10A from pulling 30A and destroying the outlet (who cares, they are cheap) and causing a fire within the device or the wall (well now we have a problem).  I'm not an electrician and have only done minor work after speaking to qualified techs so don't design a system based on my word.  I'm just giving my experience as a DIY homeowner.

brobin

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Re: Erratic behaviour?
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2019, 01:32:32 PM »

Even a properly sized breaker is no guarantee.  30 years ago we had a saltwater aquarium in the living room with a powerstrip on the floor for the filter pump and heater.  Apparently some water somehow splashed on the powerstrip which caused enough of a short to melt it into a blob and burn the carpet. B:(  When I walked in the door the tip off was the layer of smoke wafting through the house. Neither the breaker on the power strip nor in the panel had tripped.  If it weren't for the fire resistant carpet it would have been much worse!  Since then I've developed an affinity for metal powerstrips.
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Noam

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Re: Erratic behaviour?
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2019, 04:05:09 PM »

...I ran a 12-3 wire from the breaker box to the 2-gang box I added on the wall right next to it.

You said you swap the XTB-IIR for a generator.  Are you only feeding 15A from your generator into the box via a 30A dryer plug?  My Honda inverter is 15A only, but most full size generators push 20A, 30A, or larger for whole house systems.  The genset plug outside my house is a 30A IIRC.
Nope, that wasn't me - I don't have a generator. Hollybrook was the one who mentioned connecting the generator in place of the XTB-IIR.
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bkenobi

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Re: Erratic behaviour?
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2019, 05:47:52 PM »

...I ran a 12-3 wire from the breaker box to the 2-gang box I added on the wall right next to it.

You said you swap the XTB-IIR for a generator.  Are you only feeding 15A from your generator into the box via a 30A dryer plug?  My Honda inverter is 15A only, but most full size generators push 20A, 30A, or larger for whole house systems.  The genset plug outside my house is a 30A IIRC.
Nope, that wasn't me - I don't have a generator. Hollybrook was the one who mentioned connecting the generator in place of the XTB-IIR.

Ah, ok.  Was just merging comments together!
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