Drill size and types used for various tasks.

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bjp_ne_elec

Senior Member
Location
Southern NH
What do you guys use for drill/hole saws - size and type - to do these specific jobs:

1. 200A SE cable from Meter to Main Panel (with various kinds of outside finish - vinyl siding, wood, etc.) - run out of bottom of meter socket, and then 90'd through sill area

2. 200A SE cable from Meter to Main Panel (with various kinds of outside finish - vinyl siding, wood, etc.) - run out of back of Meter Socket

3. Normal everyday NM (Romex) holes

What other auger bits/hole saws/self-feed wood bits ( http://www.irwin.com/irwin/consumer/jhtml/browse.jhtml?catId=IrwinCat100182) do you have on hand, and what are there uses. Debating if I go out and buy a whole set of hole saws, or just individual. I have them for the 4" Recessed, as I had a remodel with 4" cans - but don't have any outside the standard 7/8", 1-1/8" = maybe a 2"+ - but I can't remember what I used that for. Then, like to hear feedback on the various manufactures of Hole Saws. Is it worth paying the long dollar for the carbide tipped models?

Thanks

Dave
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Retired Electrical Contractor
bjp_ne_elec said:
What do you guys use for drill/hole saws - size and type - to do these specific jobs:

1. 200A SE cable from Meter to Main Panel (with various kinds of outside finish - vinyl siding, wood, etc.) - run out of bottom of meter socket, and then 90'd through sill area

2. 200A SE cable from Meter to Main Panel (with various kinds of outside finish - vinyl siding, wood, etc.) - run out of back of Meter Socket

3. Normal everyday NM (Romex) holes

What other auger bits/hole saws/self-feed wood bits ( http://www.irwin.com/irwin/consumer/jhtml/browse.jhtml?catId=IrwinCat100182) do you have on hand, and what are there uses. Debating if I go out and buy a whole set of hole saws, or just individual. I have them for the 4" Recessed, as I had a remodel with 4" cans - but don't have any outside the standard 7/8", 1-1/8" = maybe a 2"+ - but I can't remember what I used that for. Then, like to hear feedback on the various manufactures of Hole Saws. Is it worth paying the long dollar for the carbide tipped models?

Thanks

Dave


Hey Dave

A carbide tip is great if you are drilling lots of hardy plank siding, otherwise I would not get one.

1) Bottom of the meter to inside--- 90???? I can't see that. 2" LB with a 2 9/16" hole saw.

2) same as one but you may want to add a 3" hole saw -- this will give you a little fudge factor--- you don't have to be as accurate and the meter will still cover the hole.

3) 7/8 augers--

I also have hole saws for each size pipe. For 1/2 pipe I would use a 7/8" hole saw. For 3/4" I would use 1 1/8" saw. For each pipe size I add 3/8" to the size of the pipe.
I also have various size self feeder bits for different pipe sizes but just the ones I normally use. I like to add a spare conduit from an attic to the crawl space. I use an 1 1/4" conduit so a 2" bit or a little smaller works well there.

I use mostly Lennox and Greenlee.
 

bjp_ne_elec

Senior Member
Location
Southern NH
Dennis - what I mean in #1 is that the SE cable would be going out the bottom of the meter socket, running on what ever the house was sided with, and then popping through near the sill. It essentially 90's in to the basement, just above the foundation.

Make sense? You see it all the time - at least in NY-NE area.

Thanks
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Retired Electrical Contractor
bjp_ne_elec said:
Dennis - what I mean in #1 is that the SE cable would be going out the bottom of the meter socket, running on what ever the house was sided with, and then popping through near the sill. It essentially 90's in to the basement, just above the foundation.

Make sense? You see it all the time - at least in NY-NE area.

Thanks

I don't use SE cable. I always pipe fom the meter to the panel. I like copper--I guess I am stubborn. Can't help with that answer.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
Dennis Alwon said:
I don't use SE cable. I always pipe fom the meter to the panel. I like copper--I guess I am stubborn. Can't help with that answer.

Do what pleases you. :)

I have copper SE for my service, I tried RMC but it looked way to industrial on the front of the house for my taste. :)

The only reason I chose copper SE over AL SE was the fact the overall cable size was smaller. :cool:

bjp_ne_elec, I have always used a hole saw for the sill penetration but I suspect if I was doing them a lot I would get a large self feed bit like the plumbers use.
 

stickboy1375

Senior Member
Location
Litchfield, CT
When drilling for SE type cables, If it is an older house with say a 18" log I have to drill :), I will start with a holesaw then switch to a self feed bit... the self feed will cause some damage on exterior finishes.... as for my everyday drilling for RX I use a 1" bit.... usually a nail eater. And FWIW, I usually just buy throw away hole saws from HD, I work in too many older homes to buy anything expensive...
 

mdshunk

Senior Member
Location
Right here.
For 200 amp SE through wood, two 1" NailEater bit holes side by side, and connected to make an 'oval'.
For 100 amp SE through wood, 1" NailEater bit hole
For 100 amp SER, 1-1/4" NailEater bit
For nice material, like vinyl siding, start with the same sized hole saw to get through the nice material, and then switch to a nail eater bit.
You'll need the same sizes of masonry bits to do the same job in masonry.

For 3-0 pop in boxes (Union old work boxes), 3-5/8" hole saw
For pancake boxes on old K&T where no box existed, 3-3/8" hole saw.
For regular ceiling boxes, 4-1/8" hole saw (my most popular larger hole saw).
For many old work smaller recessed lights, 4-3/8" hole saw
For progress recessed lights (new and old work), 6-5/8" hole saw
For dryer and bath fan venting holes, 5" hole saw (lets you get the clamp slid back inside the house to, yet still covers with the vent cap).
For day to day NM cable holes, 13/16th's NailEater bit.
For 1/2" EMT in wood framing, 1" NailEater bit.
For Central Vac pipe, 2-9/16th Hole Hawg bit.
For drilling the top plate of a house from the attic where the roof meets the wall, shortest 1" HoleHawg bit you can get your hands on.
I also keep a 3/4" or 13/16" short (9"?) NailEater bit in the cordless drill box for the odd missed hole and such.
1/4" masonry bit for plastic anchors
Tapcon bit in both 5/32 and 3/16 size

Just some stuff off the top of my head... naturally, this is in addition to the hole saw and Hole Hawg bits in all the regular "conduit sizes", and in addition to the masonry bits in the anchor sizes.
 
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bjp_ne_elec said:
Dennis - what I mean in #1 is that the SE cable would be going out the bottom of the meter socket, running on what ever the house was sided with, and then popping through near the sill. It essentially 90's in to the basement, just above the foundation.

Make sense? You see it all the time - at least in NY-NE area.

Thanks

BJ
Please post a picture of what your refering too. Remember only New England uses SE cable into & out of a meter. Most of everywhere else its pipe fittins.
Lost of places dont have basements either.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Jeff Weissman Electric said:
Remember only New England uses SE cable into & out of a meter. Most of everywhere else its pipe fittins.
Not true. Here in Va, SE cable is the norm for residences, and even some commercial.
 

quogueelectric

Senior Member
Location
new york
Drill bits

Drill bits

Re hashing an old post--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Drill bits have always been a problem for the electrician. I got to a point about 5 yrs ago where I said to myself I am not going to work like an ahole with the wrong equipment. I want only the best of the best you get what you pay for so I bought every single type of drill bit known to man in ny. After many painfully expensive reviews this is what I came up with. In my opinion the greenlee set with the quick change cutpretty good. It was about 300 bannanas for the set. However under heavy use and drilling into heavilly packed out corners in a bearing wall one of the replaceable worm screws pulled out at the worst possible time. Then as I was trying to work the bit out it somehow unlocked itself from its quick change extention and i have been carrying it the whole set in the bottom of the bag ever since. erwin bits cut good when new but dull quickly. the Ideal 1"auger has been one of the best with 2 cutting blades for heavy rough in is great dont hit nails tho it is not a nail eater . The small short ideal 3/4 and 7/8 augers are among the best with a cordless pricey but worth it stay clear of nails and will only go 2 studs fully extended. The milwaulkee self feed bits are pound for pound the best but must be kept clean of wood depris which gets jammed in the bottom of the worm screw I have 4 or 5 naileaters in my truck but hardly use them anymore. The invention of the century is the carbide cutter for drilling steel boxes panels ect. the greenlee 660 is by far the best followed by wilwaulkee then klien is the cheapest with a single cutting carbide tip. the greenlee set is about 300 bannanas and worth every penny for more comercial style work they get stolen a lot so keep them close to your vest. Bosch makes a quick change holesaw kit which is excelent and it has almost every size up to about 3 inch the only major drawback is the availability of the quick change pilot bits which I had to write to germany to get replacements. Bosch mailed me 6 free bits for my trouble and I now have plenty of pilot bits and pretty much every bit ever made in the history of bits. my advice is milwaulkee for wood self feed. Greenlee for light steel and the Bosch kit just so you know you have every size at all times.
__________________
 

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
For drilling and tapping metal, I have been using the Greenlee drill/tap kit, it has the correct size pilot bit and tap on the same shaft. They are hardened steel and I have broken a couple, where I skimped on the tap magic. I was suprised how well they work with a power drill..save a lot of time over drill and tap handle
 
I have one of those greenlee drill / tap kits too. Much better than my Craftsman version...

Regarding the other sizes... I carry self-feeding bits by Milwaukee with replacable tips.

For standard romex holes, I use my trusty 1" Ship auger. I like Lenox the best.

I agree with Dennis about carbide though. I used to get 2 holes out of a standard greenlee holesaw on masonite houses. When I switched to carbide, I got 30 - 50 holes out of one. Considering a carbide costs $90 for a 2" EMT size, and a regular costs $10-$20... I see the savings.

I also carry at least 1 drill index for standard holes.

I carry a special set for stainless too, with titanium unibits...

I also keep at least a dozen masonry bits on me: 1/4, 5/16 are most common.

I keep a set of spade bits for miscellaneous stuff.

I think extensions are good ideas too. I keep 6", 12", and 18" extensions for my spade bits (1/4" shank) and for my auger bits.

I also have lenox holesaw kits for anything else that could come my way.

I get most of my stuff online... WAY cheaper than HD or Sears, or especially the supply house!

And great stuff for metal on metal applications: Anchor Lube. It totally rocks. Reduces friction, saves wear and tear on bits, keeps bits cooler, and such! I highly recommend.

Greg
 

badabing

Member
I must disagree with the "new England" statements that are made on this board... I hardly ever see any new construction projects or service upgrades here in CT atleast that use SE cable.. We usually use 2" PVC from weatherhead to meter, and from meter to LB and inside to panel... I notice a lot of these comments on the board and it's just a generalization of how the houses might have been done years ago, but we're not really doing it any longer. I take pride in the time it takes me to pipe something, i think it looks horrible with some piece of wire just strapped to a house and you won't catch me doing it. The only time we do use it is to come directly out of the back of a meter and into the panel, or if needed we will still use PVC LB's out of the bottom of the meter and then into the house, then change over with a female adapter and connector to run the SE cable inside the house to the panel area of it's not located right on the other side of the meter.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
badabing said:
i think it looks horrible with some piece of wire just strapped to a house and you won't catch me doing it.

I think a big chunk of pipe strapped to the side of my home looks terrible.

If you don't think anyone is still using SE ask your supply house how much they sell.:D
 

stickboy1375

Senior Member
Location
Litchfield, CT
badabing said:
I must disagree with the "new England" statements that are made on this board... I hardly ever see any new construction projects or service upgrades here in CT atleast that use SE cable.. We usually use 2" PVC from weatherhead to meter, and from meter to LB and inside to panel... I notice a lot of these comments on the board and it's just a generalization of how the houses might have been done years ago, but we're not really doing it any longer. I take pride in the time it takes me to pipe something, i think it looks horrible with some piece of wire just strapped to a house and you won't catch me doing it. The only time we do use it is to come directly out of the back of a meter and into the panel, or if needed we will still use PVC LB's out of the bottom of the meter and then into the house, then change over with a female adapter and connector to run the SE cable inside the house to the panel area of it's not located right on the other side of the meter.

I see it day in and day out... it's still very popular... As far as looking horrible, well some are horrible, just like some PVC installs......Your more than welcome to do the install any way you prefer... I prefer SEU...
 
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Davis9

Senior Member
Location
MA,NH
I used some on Friday for a 100A to 200A Service upgrade. I think it came out nice. If I tried to use pipe it would have been a nightmare due to the 3 different levels of siding within 10'. It most likely would have looked horrible. Ever seen those houses that have the bump detail halfway up and someone tries to use PVC? Pretty funny IMHO.

To each his own. SE cable has it's place, it was also 7.55/ft for 2/0Cu....

Tom
 

Davis9

Senior Member
Location
MA,NH
I use the 2" Self feed for the 200A SE through the siding. The "Sill Plate" and duct seal finish it off nicely. Sometimes you need to angle the hole for the SE to sit for you.

1" Self feed for 100A SER works nice.

Other than that situation the regular arsenal of 7/8"auger for standard stuff.

Lately I've been using those new Greenlee carbide cutters for a Metal stud project, getting anywere from 800-900 holes from them. I got one that still cuts OK with one of the teeth left. My biggest gripe is the small ejector spring that falls out and gets lost.

The new Greenlee Self feed Spade bits work good for those times you just need a few holes in wood. The Craftsman version works well for the $$$ as well.

Standard Electricians Holesaw kit and then as You need the larger sizes pick them up.

Tom
 

badabing

Member
when i say horrible, i mean the victorian houses that we have around here, it wraps around on the outside of all the eaves and moldings and just follows all of the curves of the house instead of going straight up. It seems to attract more of my attention then one that is straight up and out of the way. Could stand out more to me since i dislike them so much, or it could be that the previous guy just did a hideous job of installing it.
 

quogueelectric

Senior Member
Location
new york
discussion of drilling exterior walls

discussion of drilling exterior walls

Just a note to always drill on a downward angle penetrating an exterior wall from inside to out. Reason being that water will tend to run out rather than in. Just a simple good practice to get into
 

mdshunk

Senior Member
Location
Right here.
quogueelectric said:
Just a note to always drill on a downward angle penetrating an exterior wall from inside to out. Reason being that water will tend to run out rather than in. Just a simple good practice to get into
So.... you do much old work? :grin: I would have to think not! That's a very impractical statement, when applied to old work. Your heart's in the right place though, brother, but it just ain't gonna happen for a variety of reasons.
 
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