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Absolutely Ridiculous Greenhouse job, long read, Funny, I have to laugh about it or I will cry....

1009 Views 24 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  DK77
So, get hired to wire up a greenhouse in a new development, sounds fun, something new and cool. Get started planning, they want 10 plugs, 6 small LED lights (10W, not for growing), and 6 ceiling mounted fans. Also need to wire in two ceiling mounted propane heaters, and corresponding thermostats. Sounds good! Do some reading and learn PVC is not a good choice as the pvc melts and turns brown in the sun/heat. Can't use EMT, as it gets damp and rusts and corrodes. Decide I will do 1" PVC around the cement base of the greenhouse (approx 24" high base) to service all the plugs, and then in the middle of each area do 1" stubs to 1.5 meters and have NMWU coming out and along the rafters to service the lights and fans. Developer tells me the lot is zoned residential, and it's a residential greenhouse, also is a temporary location for now, in two years the entire greenhouse will be moved, ok, get started on the service. Mount a 100 amp meter base outside on some treated plywood, Drill a hole through the base of the greenhouse and run a #6 teck cable through the cement wall to a 60 amp D/C inside and from there connect a 1" pvc to a 100 amp sub-panel with 12 spaces. I wire up the lights, plugs, heaters, and fans. GFI protect all of them. Then put in the ground plate and run a bare to the 60 amp D/C Neutral and think everything is lovely. Call for an inspection.

FAIL, Inspector doesn't like the connectors I used for all the JB's I needed for the lights and fans, wants cord grip connectors, also wants the bare copper ground to be protected. Is also super pissed about the address of the building. I was given an address of the greenhouse by the developer and apparently it didn't correspond to where we were. Yells on the phone about this being a legal document and it's not his job to figure out addresses.

Take apart all the JB's and put in the cord grip connectors, put the bare gound inside a PVC pipe, and get a new address for the building. Call for another inspection.

FAIL, NMWU "is not UV rated" and has to be taken out and replaced. Address is not in the city system, so FAIL for that too, and now decides the Bonding is wrong and FAILS that too (still not sure why lol). Fight him on the NMWU, get a spec sheet from the manufacturer saying that NMWU is in fact UV rated (it's allowed to be outside for **** sakes), win that one. Get the address used for the gas (propane) permit and change things to that address, do nothing to the bond as I have no idea wtf he is talking about. Call for another inspection.

FAIL, 1.5 meter stubs don't have the proper connectors on the ends (they are only there for protection for **** sakes), Bonding now goes to the deficiency category, no fail for address this time, but has decided the greenhouse is now a COMMERCIAL property and FAILS for not having cold sequence metering. OK, take out all the NMWU so I can put some cord grip connectors on the ends of the stubs, pull NMWU back in, remove the 60 amp D/C from inside and place it beside the meter outside (it's 3R) and run new teck cable from D/C to meter, and Meter to Panel (inside).

Get a call from developer that Enmax has done their thing in that new section of development and can we please get the power on. OK, talk to Enmax, apparently they left me a 30M coil to bring to the greenhouse, Sweet! Developer gets a crew to dig the trench for me from the service drop (everything underground), approx 40ft away. Trenching crew bashes my D/C to bits, and hits the propane line, delays things by about a week. Get a call they are done, go check things out. Underground Enmax has left me a 30M coil of ****ing 4/0 wire. OK, get some 2 1/2" PVC pipe stick it in the trench and pull that **** through (Pipe required by the city even though it's SEC cable). Bring it up by the D/C, but wait....60 amp D/C cannot accept 4/0 wire. Go to 3 distributors, can't even find a 100 amp outdoor rated D/C that can accept 4/0 wire.

Well, I'm not going to get a 200 amp D/C for a temp greenhouse that uses not even 1000 watts of actual power, that is just crazy! PLUS it's like $2000. Decide I will run the Enmax wire to PVC JB and use lugs to size them down to #3, run that in PVC pipe to the D/C, then keep the #6 teck from D/C to meter and meter to Panel.

FAIL, can't splice the Enmax wires in the JB, provides a point where people "could possibly steal power". No viable options left for me.

Brings us to today, where now I have to get a 200 amp D/C to accept the 4/0 wires from Enmax. Get new 4/0 wires to run from the D/C to the meter base, Drill a giant hole in the base of the greenhouse so I can run 4/0 wires from the meter to the panel inside. ALL FOR 6 LED LIGHTS, 6 FANS, and 10 PLUGS that no one will ever use. AND IT'S TEMPORARY LOL.
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not to be mean or rude or anything, but most of those are common knowledge.

They make approved connectors for NMWU which are basically like a cord grip.
Mechanical protection on the ground wire is normal these days.
You need to give the inspector the correct address... lol
Splices ahead of a meter? Only ever seen the POCO do that.

Speaking of splices, why not go to 200 amp disconnect = 200 amp meter = 200 amp splitter then feed your 60 amp disco?

I'd have used teck cable for the lights.
PVC will hold up just fine in the sunlight, ESPECIALLY on a "temporary" install (2 years is NOT temporary, 90 days or less is lol)
And I'd have fought the inspector on the commercial argument. By the inspectors logic, he could say my 500sq foot apartment is commercial... If I have a residential property that someone builds a 3 car garage on and installs automotive hoists, it does not make it a commercial building... I know many people with automotive hoists...

Nuff' said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
not to be mean or rude or anything, but most of those are common knowledge.

They make approved connectors for NMWU which are basically like a cord grip.
Mechanical protection on the ground wire is normal these days.
You need to give the inspector the correct address... lol
Splices ahead of a meter? Only ever seen the POCO do that.

Speaking of splices, why not go to 200 amp disconnect = 200 amp meter = 200 amp splitter then feed your 60 amp disco?

I'd have used teck cable for the lights.
PVC will hold up just fine in the sunlight, ESPECIALLY on a "temporary" install (2 years is NOT temporary, 90 days or less is lol)
And I'd have fought the inspector on the commercial argument. By the inspectors logic, he could say my 500sq foot apartment is commercial... If I have a residential property that someone builds a 3 car garage on and installs automotive hoists, it does not make it a commercial building... I know many people with automotive hoists...

Nuff' said.
Don't mean to be rude or anything either.
well aware of NMWU connectors, use them when wiring docks in BC. Not super useful with 2+ NMWU's entering the same side of a box. The boxes are in channels in the metal trusses of the building, one spot for a connector on each end.
I've had bare grounds strapped to pipes pass fine many times, but agreed, should be protected.
I didn't decide the address, the developer did. It's a brand new development, half the addresses aren't even in place yet.
I don't really want to go 200 disco - 200 meter - 200 splitter - 60 disco - 100 panel is the whole point! The building is already set up for 60 amp, I'm trying to avoid the cost and utter waste of materials to make everything 200 amp for a building that pulls 3 amps.
Teck would be overkill, plus costs 3x as much, and is 3x as big, why?
It gets like 50-60 degrees plus at the top of the greenhouse, PVC would bend and look awful unless you strapped it every foot. The PVC boxes outside my place in BC turned brown and looked like **** within one summer.

I'm going to try the locked JB, Rocket splice angle first simply because that is the least amount of work for me right now as I've already moved the D/C outside. POCO said I could do it, inspector so far says otherwise....

Failing the splice angle, I am going to fight this commercial designation now that it has become an issue. I talked to the developer today and got the actual property designations, the lot the greenhouse is on is explicitly deemed residential and even shows a footnote that says "no commercial aspect involved". Hopefully that makes him see the light, but who knows lol!
 
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