Electrician Talk banner
1 - 20 of 61 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Seabees, we're US Navy general construction (and a ton of other stuff baked in). I've been an electrician in the Seabees for a decade, but that definitely doesn't mean I have 10 years' equivalent electrical experience compared to civilian sparkies because we spend so much time with the "other" stuff.

I'm set to deploy overseas to do an install and I do not have design specs - this is common in my field, but I don't have the training/skillset to make sure I'm doing this right so I'd appreciate some help. In the past I've come here for help when I'm in some oddball country and stuck and you folks have been a huge help.



@Dennis Alwon I made a new account because my last one had some identifying information on it, so I wanted to start fresh. I've made a photo album of my plan to help walk through what I've got, but I am blocked from posting it because this is a new account. I sent an email to website contact requesting my post limit be removed, can I have a mod do that please? It would really help explain what I've got here.


-Job is to install eight new dwelling units that are built into ISO Shipping containers. I don't have their specs, but each ISO has a 50A 120v service connection (OCPD/disconnect of some kind, or perhaps just a tie-in). Each ISO has two rooms, each with a window AC unit, convenience outlets, and lights.


-I've been told to connect the eight ISOs to two 100A subs with 4x50A CBs in each. There will be four ISOs connected to each 100A sub.


-My panel is anywhere from 250'-400' away from where the subs will sit. I haven't seen the site in person and I'm estimating based on satellite data of the area; so 250' is my short run trench path and 400' is my worst case path.


-Panel is 400A 120/208 fused disconnected service point for the camp. There's room for some more 100A or 200A breakers.


So the layout for how they wanted me to run this was essentially a napkin drawing with "put in a new 200A 120v breaker and something something dashed line to the ISOs 100A subs and make electrical stuff happen." The area I'm getting materials from probably doesn't have any availability of CBs with double lugs, or feed-through lugs (This is a very very small and isolated country in the middle of the ocean), so I'm planning to work with a design that goes off of two 100A breakers instead of a single 200A.

My plan is to run an underground set of two feeders in sch80 PVC, but I'm not sure how to size the conductors - the voltage drop for a 400' run is significant, but I'm not sure I'm doing the calculations right, I've never had to before.

I'm pretty sure the NEC would classify these as feeders, right? The utility connection is just this one panel, everything else on the camp is fed from it. I'm using article 215.

I also don't know how to select the correct 100A subs for this work. Do they need fuses, or disconnects?

This is kind of embarrassing to ask all of this, but the reality is that Seabees aren't trained to plan installs, just conduct them in accordance with applicable standards once someone tells us what to install. But I've been put in a (not unusual at all) situation where I'm told to "figure it out." Normally I can figure it out with some good reading but in this case I'm stuck.

ALSO - if anyone thinks this plan is dumb and there's a better way, please let me know. I am not married to a plan with two subs, or two sets of underground ductwork, etc.


Thank you so much for the help!
 

·
Chief Flunky
Field Service Engineer
Joined
·
2,444 Posts
Set it up like an RV or mobile home park because that’s very close to what you are describing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Administrator
Retired EC
Joined
·
23,652 Posts
Mods can only control limited account info... I am not sure that the limit can be lifted for one person anyway... sorry.

I can't believe they would send you over there to do a job that you are not trained to do. Isn't someone else there that can help?

200 amp breaker at 120V ????? What is that?

You can't tie two 100 amp breakers together and get 200 amps unless you mean have 2- separate 100 amp breakers feeding different areas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,054 Posts
I can't believe they would send you over there to do a job that you are not trained to do. Isn't someone else there that can help?
You would be surprised to gobsmacked as to the training/equipment. :sad:
 
  • Like
Reactions: MechanicalDVR

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm sorry, this means nothing to me. All the work I've done has been related to new installs or renovations on military bases, or doing work in 3rd world countries to improve rural infrastructure for local populations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm sorry, this means nothing to me. All the work I've done has been related to new installs or renovations on military bases, or doing work in 3rd world countries to improve rural infrastructure for local populations.

sorry, this reply was meant for:



Set it up like an RV or mobile home park because that’s very close to what you are describing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Don't think I can edit posts yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mods can only control limited account info... I am not sure that the limit can be lifted for one person anyway... sorry.

I can't believe they would send you over there to do a job that you are not trained to do. Isn't someone else there that can help?

200 amp breaker at 120V ????? What is that?

You can't tie two 100 amp breakers together and get 200 amps unless you mean have 2- separate 100 amp breakers feeding different areas.

There is no training in the Navy for this. There is no other person to help, I am "the guy." Honestly I'm pretty knowledgeable compared to most of my peers because I'm good at reading references, but we do so little actual electrical work in our careers and we just learn from each other, not trade professionals - so it's a bunch of the blind leading the blind. Real talk it's kind of scary, but that's why I'm seeking some help - because this install WILL happen one way or another and I want it to be safe.



I didn't mean tie two 100A breakers together to get 200A, I was saying that it is possible to feed two 100A subs off of one breaker if you have the right CB, or so I thought. It's moot anyways because that won't be available where I'm going.



The service panel is 120/208 and I need it to feed two 100A subs (per the plan I was given, but I'm trying to submit design changes because I'm 99% sure the "plan" I was given was from someone who isn't even an electrician in the first place).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You would be surprised to gobsmacked as to the training/equipment. :sad:

To be fair, we have pretty good training - the problem is we don't just focus on electrical, there's construction planning, project management, finances, weapons, convoy tactics, chemical/biological/radiological defense and response, heavy equipment operation, vertical construction (carpentry/masonry), plumbing, logistics, first aid....



And then on top of that you've got all the other paperwork that goes with any large organization. Our bandwidth for any specific thing is so low we get minimal training in most areas. We get the most direct training in our actual jobs, but over my entire career I think I've had maybe seven months' total of electrical training? The rest is OJT (blind leading the blind), and we only work an actual site with electrical maybe once or twice per 18 month period on average.
 

·
Just trying to get home
Site Engineer
Joined
·
2,651 Posts
Say what, brother???

There is no training in the Navy for this.
A qualified Construction Electrician would find this a very shady thing to say.

For those who don't know, Construction Electrician (CE NOS H110) is a Seabee source rating for "electrician" in the outside world.

my 2p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
wow...just...wow:surprise:

This isn't really true...they are obviously on the shady side of the tree

My no BS source

The career LaDR is your source on me being shady?


No offense, but you don't really know what you're talking about so I'd appreciate if you wouldn't derail this thread.


We get rate(job - in the case electrician) training. There's A-School, and various C schools and I've had the pleasure of going to those. But there is no training that directly correlates to the problem in my OP.



I would know, it's my job.
 

·
Just trying to get home
Site Engineer
Joined
·
2,651 Posts
The career LaDR is your source on me being shady?


No offense, but you don't really know what you're talking about so I'd appreciate if you wouldn't derail this thread.


We get rate(job - in the case electrician) training. There's A-School, and various C schools and I've had the pleasure of going to those. But there is no training that directly correlates to the problem in my OP.



I would know, it's my job.
I've been with the Navy as an electrician for nearly 35 years, jackass. I'm a facility engineer, now...so I get to help the electricians who work for me, including EM's and CE's.

Find a QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN instead of reaching out to a civilian populace, throwing shade on your little bit of training that you so desperately need.

Your OP stinks to high heaven.

WHO IS YOUR MASTER CHIEF or Senior Enlisted Adviser???

I need to have a talk with your ROICC as well...

NAMES AND NUMBERS, shipmate!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've been with the Navy as an electrician for nearly 35 years, jackass. I'm a facility engineer, now...so I get to help the electricians who work for me, including EM's and CE's.

Find a QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN instead of reaching out to a civilian populace, throwing shade on your little bit of training that you so desperately need.

Your OP stinks to high heaven.

WHO IS YOUR MASTER CHIEF or Senior Enlisted Adviser???

I need to have a talk with your ROICC as well...

NAMES AND NUMBERS, shipmate!

There's no shade on the training I've received. I made it clear that we get good training, it's just too varied and it can't/doesn't prepare us for every situation.



I like to use ALL resources available (DoD AND civilian) instead of letting my ego get in the way of A) admitting that this is beyond my current capabilities or B) admitting that my community does NOT do a good job training enlisted CEs how to properly size services or feeders, nor how to ensure we're selecting correct OCPD for ANY installs. It's ok to admit the training gaps we have.



We are taught WIRING METHODS at all points in our careers because the general assumption is that we're given incredibly detailed drawings and RFI everything under the sun. This is a FACT.



You are in a position that is far removed from the reality at the deckplates. You can throw your own shade all you want, you will not change my mind nor change the fact that I will continue to periodically seek civilian professional resources for assistance (with the understanding that I take nothing from an online forum without triple checking through other means that it is reliable information).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,054 Posts
I'm sorry, this means nothing to me. All the work I've done has been related to new installs or renovations on military bases, or doing work in 3rd world countries to improve rural infrastructure for local populations.
Get with your base electricians to lay this out with you. They also can explain why they designed it the way they did. You're way in over your head.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wirenuting

·
Coffee drinking member
I pretwist and then use wire nuts. Solder pots rule.
Joined
·
13,986 Posts
There's no shade on the training I've received. I made it clear that we get good training, it's just too varied and it can't/doesn't prepare us for every situation.



I like to use ALL resources available (DoD AND civilian) instead of letting my ego get in the way of A) admitting that this is beyond my current capabilities or B) admitting that my community does NOT do a good job training enlisted CEs how to properly size services or feeders, nor how to ensure we're selecting correct OCPD for ANY installs. It's ok to admit the training gaps we have.



We are taught WIRING METHODS at all points in our careers because the general assumption is that we're given incredibly detailed drawings and RFI everything under the sun. This is a FACT.



You are in a position that is far removed from the reality at the deckplates. You can throw your own shade all you want, you will not change my mind nor change the fact that I will continue to periodically seek civilian professional resources for assistance (with the understanding that I take nothing from an online forum without triple checking through other means that it is reliable information).
Please contact your nearest NAVFAC command.
We will assist and guide you towards the information you need for the area your deploying to. You didn't say what coast your at so I'll guess and say Norfolk. So NAVFAC MIDLANT would be a starting point. I'm sure there is a Contract Rep or OIC there able to help.
Please don't post plans here on ET
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,454 Posts
I can't believe they would send you over there to do a job that you are not trained to do. Isn't someone else there that can help?
Lol! Welcome to the US military.

None of us were ever really "trained or qualified". We just enlisted and they turned us into soldiers/sailors/airmen/marines/coast guards. Young, dumb and full of testosterone. Hold your chin up, stick your chest out and GO DO IT!

God bless the USA and all those that serve.
 
1 - 20 of 61 Posts
Top