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240 Volt Line


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Hello All!

 

I've finally come to the point where I need to install more plugs in my grow op. Seeing that I've been running everything off of one outlet and one light bulb outlet, I'd say I've been rather lucky.

 

The electrician is coming by in a couple days to install some more outlets for me and he's going to run a 240 volt line also for all of my lights.

 

I'm getting it regardless, but does anyone know the savings that could take place by running the lights on the 240?

 

 

I'm guessing I'm going to have to go out and get new timers for the 240's, seeing that my current ones are 120.

 

Also, new plugs for my ballasts....

 

Anything else anyone can add would be appreciated. I'm not much of an electricity guy....

 

Thanks!

Edited by Royal Smoke
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Just my two cents, but I think it's the same cost 240 vs 110, just lower amps on 240, and easier on your service(lower amp draw)= lower heat on conducters. Just my opinion..

exactally right. the power company charges for the kiloWATT. the wattage of your light doesn't change. what changes is the amprage. lowing heat with lower resistance. you can get a sweet 60amp timer, the type that you'd wire a pool filter/spa, for $50 or so at home depot

Edited by LongHairBri
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exactally right. the power company charges for the kiloWATT. the wattage of your light doesn't change. what changes is the amprage. lowing heat with lower resistance. you can get a sweet 60amp timer, the type that you'd wire a pool filter/spa, for $50 or so at home depot

 

So, is there a benefit of getting the 240?

 

A 60 amp timer, eh? How many 600 watt lights could I plug into one unit?

 

 

Sorry, I'm electrically illiterate.....

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there is no power savings... 1kw is 1kw regardless of how many amps you are pulling. but Indeed you only run 4.5amps average at 240volts as opposed to 9amps at 110v. The nice thing is that you can wire up or even easier buy a lighting controller that acts as a relay switch to turn on all your lights with one timer. They are fun. I'd look into the C.A.P. MLC8x or MLC8xt with a built in timer and have your electrician just wire that up instead of separate 240 plugs for each ballast. or have him wire up the 240 plugs and then put a high power switch relay that flips them all on a mechanical timer... that would be the cheapest way to go if he is already there doing upgrades.. I think that the lighting controllers that run up to 8 lights are usually on a 40amp breaker with 8/3 wire coming from the panel. Off the top of my head I can't remember exactly but I think they are about 200 bucks. I'd check out your local hydro store if you wanna go the store bought route. Happy gardening.

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there is no power savings... 1kw is 1kw regardless of how many amps you are pulling. but Indeed you only run 4.5amps average at 240volts as opposed to 9amps at 110v. The nice thing is that you can wire up or even easier buy a lighting controller that acts as a relay switch to turn on all your lights with one timer. They are fun. I'd look into the C.A.P. MLC8x or MLC8xt with a built in timer and have your electrician just wire that up instead of separate 240 plugs for each ballast. or have him wire up the 240 plugs and then put a high power switch relay that flips them all on a mechanical timer... that would be the cheapest way to go if he is already there doing upgrades.. I think that the lighting controllers that run up to 8 lights are usually on a 40amp breaker with 8/3 wire coming from the panel. Off the top of my head I can't remember exactly but I think they are about 200 bucks. I'd check out your local hydro store if you wanna go the store bought route. Happy gardening.

 

Thanks! I'll have to print this out and show it to him....LOL

 

I kinda follow you.

 

I do want one timer for at least 4 600 watts at a time. I guess I'd add them as I'm adding lights.

 

I did find this link for the C.A.P. MLC8x you referred to:

http://www.plantlightinghydroponics.com/cap-mlc8x-light-controller-p-1395.html

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I have a couple 220 lines coming into my timers. I have 3 220v Water Heater timers hooked up...one for each room. each timer has 3 outlets off of it pulling like 18 amps if all 3 are running 1000's or 1500's. If your guy's wise he should direct you to success. As far as the benefits?? less resistance and less heat in your ballast...it doesn't have to step it up at the transformer as far as the digi's they are really designed to be operated on 220, but they usually run em on 240 internally powering the 240 with 220 under runs the light whereas in the good ol days with coil ballasts you could hook em up to the 207v wire and overrun your light making it hi-performance..a 1000 will be like a 1100 :goodjob: but the new generation of the cord to switch voltage control limits our control :thumbsd: 220 is way safer to use.

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I have a couple 220 lines coming into my timers. I have 3 220v Water Heater timers hooked up...one for each room. each timer has 3 outlets off of it pulling like 18 amps if all 3 are running 1000's or 1500's. If your guy's wise he should direct you to success. As far as the benefits?? less resistance and less heat in your ballast...it doesn't have to step it up at the transformer as far as the digi's they are really designed to be operated on 220, but they usually run em on 240 internally powering the 240 with 220 under runs the light whereas in the good ol days with coil ballasts you could hook em up to the 207v wire and overrun your light making it hi-performance..a 1000 will be like a 1100 :goodjob: but the new generation of the cord to switch voltage control limits our control :thumbsd: 220 is way safer to use.

 

Thanks for the schooling!

 

I didn't anticipate the cost of a timer.

 

I don't figure he's really making much more money by installing the 240's. He's got to install plugs anyway. Why would an electrician say it would save me money. It will pay for itself in so and so time. Why the pitch? :D

 

I do run digital ballasts, so you all know. I've only got 3 - 600 watt lights in the flower room right now. It'll will probably be a month until I add more....so...hmmmm

Edited by Royal Smoke
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http://www.4hydroponics.com/lighting/HIDcontrollers.asp

 

 

that link is a bunch of controllers. I would recommend getting one without an onboard timer so that you can plug the external trigger cable into a single digital timer. You can do it for 4 or 8 ballasts with a simple 240 line and your trigger cable and timer go into a seperate 110 outlet. That way you can use a single digital timer to control 4-8 lights.

 

no clue why he's giving you any pitch about it being more cost effective over time. Truth be told its probably going to cost more but you will then have more room to expand to MANY more lights in the future... just make sure that you use the "overkill is underrated" method and get a higher amperage breaker than you think you will need and certainly more than what the unit will call for. a 4 light controller is usally 30amps and an 8 light should be 50amp breaker even though it will do it with properly gauged wire and a 40amp.

 

Regardless if you get a controller all he has to do is wire it directly to the breaker and doesn't have to install any other 240 plugs at all

 

 

... OH AND TIP OF THE DAY....!!!

 

!!!! VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!!

 

do not let him wire the white neutral wire on the 240 wire from the breaker to the lighting controller. ONLY 2 hots and a ground!!

 

!!VERY IMPORTANT!!!!

 

 

for some reason it messes up digital ballasts to have a neutral wire connected to the lighting controller.

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Yeah wont save ya a dime so I'd stick to the the 110. Run 3/10 wire and split that for 2,110 lines and save the cost of runnin another line. Hook to a twin 30 amp breaker and forget the 220 stuff. You'll not save a dime on your bill but will spend like mad switching everything over from 110 to 220.

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Hello All!

 

I've finally come to the point where I need to install more plugs in my grow op. Seeing that I've been running everything off of one outlet and one light bulb outlet, I'd say I've been rather lucky.

 

The electrician is coming by in a couple days to install some more outlets for me and he's going to run a 240 volt line also for all of my lights.

 

I'm getting it regardless, but does anyone know the savings that could take place by running the lights on the 240?

 

 

I'm guessing I'm going to have to go out and get new timers for the 240's, seeing that my current ones are 120.

 

Also, new plugs for my ballasts....

 

Anything else anyone can add would be appreciated. I'm not much of an electricity guy....

 

Thanks!

If you want to understand electricity better read about ohms law for the basics.

 

1000w / 120v = 8.33 amps

1000w / 240v = 4.13 amps

 

600w / 120v = 5 amps

600w / 240v = 2.5 amps

 

Same cost per/watt hr. but less amperage draw means the system runs easier(your ballast will not heat up as much from wasted power, wasted power creates heat) See how that works?

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If you want to understand electricity better read about ohms law for the basics.

 

1000w / 120v = 8.33 amps

1000w / 240v = 4.13 amps

 

600w / 120v = 5 amps

600w / 240v = 2.5 amps

 

Same cost per/watt hr. but less amperage draw means the system runs easier(your ballast will not heat up as much from wasted power, wasted power creates heat) See how that works?

 

I think I'm getting it now! LOL

 

So, really, the only reason to install a 240 is to reduce heat and your ballast should last longer. No real savings. Unless, perhaps the cost to cool the higher temperatures that running 120v on the ballasts will bring. And I may have to replace my ballasts more often...

Edited by Royal Smoke
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Guest knucklehead bob

I think I'm getting it now! LOL

 

So, really, the only reason to install a 240 is too reduce heat and your ballast should last longer. No real savings. Unless, perhaps the cost to cool the higher temperatures that running 120v on the ballasts will bring. And I may have to replace my ballasts more often...

 

I do believe that is correct . In the end , you are still using 600 , 1000 or whatever watts for X amount of time .

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Exactly!! it just gives you a piece of mind if your using alot of equipment, cooler=safer. If you use a 50 amp breaker instead of a 30 it'll take a LARGE load to throw the breaker....I'd reccommend sticking to a 30 amp since you'll be only drawing probably 20 amps max. If you use too large of a breaker it'll take too much to trip it. Good rule of thumb.... use 50-70% of your amperage and your circuit will function perfect!!! :thumbsu:

I think I'm getting it now! LOL

 

So, really, the only reason to install a 240 is to reduce heat and your ballast should last longer. No real savings. Unless, perhaps the cost to cool the higher temperatures that running 120v on the ballasts will bring. And I may have to replace my ballasts more often...

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IMO when you have excess heat or buzzing that wasted energy is like a leaky water pipe. You are paying for that electricity that is causing the heat & it is not giving you any bang for your buck. I think You do save a small amount through smarter usage with 240 but the main advantage is it's better for your equip, easier start ups, runs cooler, and best of all you can run more stuff.........

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  • 1 month later...

Basically you are running your lighting more efficiently on 240, so it will save you money in the long run. Not ton's, but every little bit helps. Like everyone said, you are still using the same wattage so your electric bill will be about the same, because kilowatts are what the electric company charges by, not amps.

In simple terms look at it like water pressure running through a pipe. Your wires are your pipes though. If you are running twice the amps through the same size wire, then your currents pressure is twice as high in your wire than if you were to run it at half the amps. By drawing less amperage in a bigger diameter wire you are easing the flow of current through your wires, just as if you cut the water pressure in half in your pipes, water will flow more free on it's own instead of having to be compressed and forced through the smaller diameter pipe.

Your light's and ballast's will really appreciate not having to contain the extra pressure. If your equipment blows from the pressure it is much more serious than a blown pipe. You could lose your life in a fire. A broken pipe can be fixed, you and your family's life can't! That is why it is SO important to make sure your breaker box is up to par, and to not overload any circuits.

Hope this made sense.

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Thanks for the response....

 

I just wanted to give an update.

 

I had him install the CAP light controller with a 30 amp wire. I can plug up to 4 1000 lights on it and it's running 240.

 

Never thought I would be so happy about having a bunch of plugs to use. I guess you would have to see what I was running off of before! :D

 

Everything's all good now. Like someone else above said, it's fun! LOL I just use one timer and it turns the controller and all lights plugged in on at once.

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This is a very important thing. People need to watch what they are doing when it comes to power. They had a news report on the radio about a grow in Argentine caught the trailer on fire, said probly was an overloaded circuit. Well I am a contractor so I anwsered an ad on another site for electrical help. He hired a couple of guys to build him a room, in the basement of his 1/2 million $ house. When they plugged the 1000 watters, humidifier, dehumidifier, fans, into the sump pump circut and the one for the softener it kept tripping the 15 amp breaker. So these brainiacs decided to replace the 15 amp breakers (on a 14 wire) with 30 amp breakers. I have to admit I actually got pissed, to think these guys actually charged for this. Those people could be dead right now. So People keep it safe, if your not sure ask someone who is. Your life is not worth your grow.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I wanted to give this thread a bump-a-roo here.

 

I blew a new ballast and I'm confused as to why. I thought I'd ask some of our electrical/mechanical experts here.

 

 

So, I'm running a CAP light controller with a 30 amp wire. The electrician said I should have plenty of juice. He said I could run 4 -1000 watt lights and not have a problem.

 

 

Currently, I've got 3 - 600 watt lights with electronic ballasts. They're all plugged into the controller and then to a timer.

 

I just bought a 1000 watt light Sun Systems light with a remote ballast. When I plugged it in, the light came on for a second and then the ballast started smoking and making a noise.

 

I'm wondering if I should replace it with another electronic ballast like the other 3 I've got. Haven't had any issues with the ones I've got and they are quiet, unlike the remote one I just tried.

 

I'm going to return the ballast tomorrow and see what info they can provide.

 

One more point I'd like to bring up is that the ballast had the option to plug into 120v or 240v. The pronged end was a grounded 120.

So although all of my ballast plugs are the 120 type, it was my assumption that the controller had something to do with switching it to 240? Is that right?

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My guess would be you plugged in a 220 ballast into 110 or vice versa. 220 plug ends are different than 110 so you can't mix them up. If your ballasts still have a "normal" plug then they are running on 110. The controller should have 220 sockets that look something like this http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:aXNTseRAR62YLM: Note the sideways blades. Electronic ballasts sense the input voltage and adjust accordingly, coil and core ballasts either need to be wired differently internally or have separate 110 and 220 plugs on the outside. To run your ballasts at 220 you need to replace the power cords with 220 cords. Cords are about $7 each at the grow store, I would switch over to 220 if it was up to me.

 

I found that the biggest energy cost saving was running lights at night and getting time of day electric service. I'm running about 3000 watts and pay less a month than I did before I had the lights running, of course I have 3 kids that don't know how to turn off anything and probably 6 computers running 24/7 so my bill was always way too high.

 

Mike

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