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    Fire safety for new grow set up

    I’m getting my set up pieced together, and plugging everything in is one of my last big “projects”.

    My house was built in the 50s, and it looks like the last owner might have DIYd a lot of his home improvement projects, especially with the mess of electrical wires hanging everywhere in my utility room where I’ll be growing, but it did pass an inspection.

    There are no outlets in the corner of the room I’ll be working in, and I very much feel out of my depth with determining the current available load capacity on any of the rest of my circuits. I think I need a professional to come point me in the right direction, but my 600w 4x5 set up needs to remain on the DL.

    Does anyone have any starting points? Cover stories I can tell an electrician? Advice? Anything at all?? Google is not my friend on this topic, and I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this stuff for two weeks now.

    I attached a video video of what I’m working with inside my utility room, in case I’m being dumb and there’s something glaringly obvious I’m missing. Thank you thank you thank you for taking any time to try to help me at all.

    https://imgur.com/a/W45q5Yp

    #2
    For cover stories, it's reasonable for an electronics hobbyist to have a 600W+ power supply on their bench/desk. I've got one on my desk (16V DC, 60A). You could just say you're turning it into a workshop. If in doubt, just use words like Arduino and Raspberry Pi!

    I don't know much about US electrics, but your light will draw around 5 amps from the outlet. A quick search suggests that a standard US outlet is 15 amps, so around a third of the capacity.

    The wiring is a mess, though. I would get an electrician in, too.

    Comment


      #3
      Tell the electrician your putting in a shop for your hobbies and you need a couple 20amp circuits. 2 to 3 separate 20amp circuits is more than enough for your needs.
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      Comment


      • DW2
        DW2 commented
        Editing a comment
        a great cover story for sure!

      #4
      Hi Kayjan...I'm not an electrician. I have done a lot of reno and DIY projects. Electricity is always a challenge for me so I understand your dilemma. My house was built in 1964. In the 50's and 60's most homes in the USA had 100 amp breaker boxes. Nowadays the standard is a 200 amp breaker box. I know this because I had mine replaced. The wiring doesn't look to bad to me. I've seen worse. Access to it is a good thing. To wire a receptacle or two in your grow space you'd need to tie in to an existing circuit to obtain power. I learned how to do this from searches on Google. If you tied into an existing circuit you'd need to have an idea of the load (potential power draw if everything on the circuit is turned on at the same time) already on the circuit. There are load charts on the internet. The breaker will trip if the load exceeds capacity. If that isn't an option have a licensed electrician do it for you. A cover story might be a simple as you are creating a work space for your spouse who is taking up a hobby that requires the use of power tools. Hope everything works out.
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        #5
        Watching the video on the legend #8 and #11 along with a couple of ones in lower right have breakers but nothing listed for their use. You do have one unused slot still has a blank covering it bottom on right bank. Couldn't see all amperage's on each of the current breakers. The make a 2 pole single slot breaker which will give you 2 circuits from that unused slot. And any of the other currently used circuits single slot 120 volt 15 or 20 amp circuits can be switched to a double pole single slot beaker to add circuits if needed. That being said I only have 2 - 20 amp circuits run into room I built for actually growing 1 is for lights and an outlet that I use for my plants radio and oscillating fan that is only energized when lights are on. The other circuit is for exhaust fan and 5 different outlets around the room to power the 2 box fans I run 24/7 for air circulation and the nutrient and air pumps, plus their handy when ever I just need to plug in pumps when doing nutrient changes. I am adding a few pictures my breakers mount differently than your do but yours is like the Square D box at the house I rebuilt for my kid and I used a number of that type of breakers when I rewired it. First pictures is to show difference between single slot single pole and single slot double pole breakers. The second shows timers I hard wired for exhaust and lights https://www.homedepot.com/p/Intermat...700K/205478789. The 3rd and 4th show light timer controlled outlets and the last one I added to show the heat detector I added to my homes fire, smoke and CO2 interlinked detection system in-case of fire. As for cover story for a hard wired timer like mine just say you will be installing and exhaust fan to remove fumes when spray painting on your projects. Adding this only because I would be curious as to why there are 3 breakers turned off in picture of my breaker box 1 will be used to add a 20 amp circuit to my garage (only 1 15 amp in it now), other 2 will be used if or when I build a setup for mother plants or to use as a area to veg in.
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        Comment


          #6
          I have two 30 amp circuits feeding into two duplex outdoor receptacles on each side of my grow space (Total of 4 duplex outlets). My spec's to the electrician was I needed to be able to run a 115 bench top welder, he had to tell his boss something :-). He ran 10 gauge wire that he had on the truck (Cost me a Jar). watching him trying to smash and extend the wire into the boxes was worth it. I have not had any issues running any type of equipment. I do have a automatic fire suppression that was lifted off a boat, but its only good for about 50 square feet and to big to keep inside the grow space.
          I have multiple normal fire extinguishers located through out my shop. I also have a home fire alarm setup in the shop.

          I constantly "Feel" all the wires and timers for heat, check the output and condition of my fans. That's about all the hints and advice I can come up with at the moment.
          Good luck and your setup!
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            #7
            The good thing about the electronics workshop cover story is that it maps quite neatly to the actual application. They both have a high power unit (HPS light / DC power supply) at around 600W, a lower power unit (soldering station / fans) at around 50W, plus other even lower power stuff.

            The power tools story may involve more questions, like what kind of tools - a circular saw? A lathe? It will look a bit odd if you don't know but just got told X amps will be enough.

            Definitely over-thinking this, but an electrician will probably want to know what you're trying to achieve, to make sure you're asking for the right thing and actually get what you need. You could just say, "Never mind that, just give me a 20A outlet". That will be plenty (15A would also be more than enough).

            Comment


              #8
              You dont need to tell the electrician a damn thing lol, all you need is to ask for 2 20 amp breakers added and sockets run from them to your "utility room". I am running 6 1200w equivalent leds and fans out the wazoo off two 20 amp breakers, also a window ac.

              Comment


                #9
                Luckily for me, I know how to add breakers and wiring on my own and will have to do a similar project soon. Insist on a 20 amp breaker and no smaller gauge wire than 12 for your air conditioner/dehumidifier if you're using one and keep it on a separate circuit. Have all outlets used for your grow the ground fault interrupt (GFI) kind. Since yours is a basement grow, adding the wiring should be as straightforward as it gets. I too have an older house (1895) that thankfully has a modern breaker box and most knob & tube wiring is gone. No wiring original to the house exists because it used gaslights when it was new.
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                Comment


                  #10
                  We had a in-house electrical engineer but had some issues with the admin and he moved to cocoforcannabis. He’s called dr.photon but if you email him and say hey dan 9fingrerleafs over gwe said you could help me understand what I need electrical wise because you are the greatest I’m sure he’ll walk you thru what you need and what you can say to the electrician

                  Comment


                  • RagWeedDWC
                    RagWeedDWC commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Think he can help me convince the bride I need a bigger grow box?

                  • StillHigh1982
                    StillHigh1982 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    9fingerleafs Does that go for the rest of us too? I would love a "dope" electrician giving me advice.

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