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Thread: Not using certain wire sizes

  1. #11
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    Feb 2003
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    I had a boss at a previous engineering company that told us never to show 1-1/4" conduit in a design. It was either 1" or 1-1/2" for him. He never said why. I imagined it had to do with the availability of the 1-1/4" in the supply stores. But it may have been one of those "that is what I was taught and that is what I am teaching you" things (the "ham bone story," if you have heard of that).
    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted.

  2. #12
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    I say #2 3/0 and 500s are more commonly used

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
    I agree and don't understand why it's not a stock item here. In the Asheville area you could walk into any supply house counter and buy it, large orders were never a problem either.

    Roger
    I would hazard a guess that it's primarily an issue of how much of what size wire the local supply houses sell and therefore stock.

  4. #14
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    I don't see why a supply house not stocking #3 would be a reason for an engineer to state it can't be used

    My supply houses typically stock #3. But at same time if I went in and wanted 10,000 feet they may not have that much on hand but can possibly have some sent from another branch and have it the next day.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    I don't see why a supply house not stocking #3 would be a reason for an engineer to state it can't be used

    My supply houses typically stock #3. But at same time if I went in and wanted 10,000 feet they may not have that much on hand but can possibly have some sent from another branch and have it the next day.
    Well, as an engineer I don't see any reason not to specify a #3 when it's what the circuit calls for if availability were not the issue.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by infinity View Post
    For us #3 AWG is a common size for 100 amps and it is readily available.
    Quote Originally Posted by infinity View Post
    We do a lot of large high rise apartment buildings which typically have a 100 amp panel within the apartment. Using #3 over #2 saves some money on each apartment, multiply those savings by 700-800 and you have some nice money in your pocket.
    I was doing a 100 amp subpanel the other day and thought I had enough wire on the truck, but did not so off to Home Depot I ran. Code book said I could use #3, but I just assumed it was a non-stock item. Instead I asked them to cut 30 feet of #2. A second after the wire was cut I noticed the reel of #3 sitting right next to the #2 reel. 30 cents cheaper per foot and a lot easier to squeeze into a crowded main panel. Ouch!

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coppersmith View Post
    I was doing a 100 amp subpanel the other day and thought I had enough wire on the truck, but did not so off to Home Depot I ran. Code book said I could use #3, but I just assumed it was a non-stock item. Instead I asked them to cut 30 feet of #2. A second after the wire was cut I noticed the reel of #3 sitting right next to the #2 reel. 30 cents cheaper per foot and a lot easier to squeeze into a crowded main panel. Ouch!
    Yup as an installer I would prefer #3 over #2 even if I'm not paying for it.
    Rob

    Moderator

    All responses based on the 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
    I had a boss at a previous engineering company that told us never to show 1-1/4" conduit in a design. It was either 1" or 1-1/2" for him. He never said why. I imagined it had to do with the availability of the 1-1/4" in the supply stores. But it may have been one of those "that is what I was taught and that is what I am teaching you" things (the " if you have heard of that).
    I don't wish to take this off topic but "ham bone story,".........?
    Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.

  9. #19
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    Jul 2003
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    MA
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    I wish the engineers would stop specifying 3-1/2” conduit, especially PVC.
    Tim
    Master Electrician
    New England
    Yesterday's Technology at Tomorrow's Prices

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    1,258
    Quote Originally Posted by Besoeker View Post
    I don't wish to take this off topic but "ham bone story,".........?

    That makes two of us.

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