Anyone an electrical contractor?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by WinstonTJ, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. Random question I know - but I'll eventually post up a DIY thread that I hope competes with the i7 build thread :)

    So I'm building a server room on a budget and just tonight learned that I paid an expensive electrical contractor to use old sections of extension cords instead of legit electrical wire. I need to re-do the job and I know nothing.

    I know how much power (volts & amps) and where I want the plugs (he only installed half of what I asked for) but I don't know what gauge & type of wire to use as well as if I need multiple 20A circuit breakers or if I can just get one massive one for the room, etc.

    I've also got legit climate control (air conditioner with dehumidifier) but they installed the back-plates on the studs incorrectly and the water drains are not trapped or gravity fed so water builds up in the lines. I need to properly bolt the AC unit to the wall and possibly change the way that the H20 drain is routed.

    The only other question I have is regarding insulation - from heat and noise. Do I need sound deadening AND heat insulation? I bought very good quality fiberglass insulation but if I were to do sound deadening I would lay that down first (the inner layer) and then the fiberglass and then **possibly** a second outer layer.

    I know it sound a bit crazy but anyone???

    I'd ideally like to know about the electric first (what wire gauge I need, etc.) because I can add the sound proofing at a later date.

  2. received a couple of emails regarding the sound. Thank you for the help and advice.

    I am trying to upload a cad/room drawing but for now I am thinking thee circuits - each 20A. Two 20A circuits for machines/racks and one single for the AC unit and to power the battery for the generator.

    I have a combination of racked servers and workstations and desktops so it is hard to plan for power needs. Customers/Clients send me all kinds of random stuff to "host" for them.

    Will I regret going 20A per circuit? Should I make each 40A just incase even if I can't deliver that much power yet at least I'll have the infrastructure?

    I like the idea of two 20A circuits for the machines - but I'm concerned that 20A each will not be enough.
  3. I have decades of experience in construction and from my experience you won't go wrong spending what it takes to hire a professional. Even if you can do the work the pro's will be faster, do better work, be much more knowledgable and carry insurance and warranty their work.
  4. Heh, I've already tried that twice. Once I told the landlord that we would build it into the rent - hire anyone just make sure there was enough power for me (that was botched) and once on my own I hired an independent contractor and they ended up using old outlets and junction boxes with sections of extension cord spliced into the main wiring.

    Since I'm 2/2 with these clowns and I've used hole saws, drywall saws and fish sicks a time or two with network equipment - and the back of this room is fully exposed on all three sides (I just insulated it)... I figured that I would do the outlets and the wiring up to a junction box or just leave long enough leftover wire tails just before the main circuit breaker box and then hire an electrician to connect the live power to the system.

    It's just hooking black to black and white to white... Use insulated staples and don't drive them through the power wires... I think??
  5. Good luck, it doesn't sound that hard. I know it's frustrating getting a bad sub contractor, believe me I've been there. Now I just use the same subs year after year. I find someone I like and I stick with them, even if they charge a little more.
  6. There's that other green wire in there as well. You usually want to hook that one up...
  7. Check your main breaker box. See if you have blank spaces to add extra circuit breakers.

    Install 20 amp breakers, you need 12/2 nm wire (black white green).

    A/c should have a separate 20 amp line.

    there are formula's on line where you can calculate how many circuits you need for equipment you are planning to use.
  8. There are no spares in the main breaker box which is an issue. There are plenty of double breakers (meaning one circuit using two slots) so I don't know if that can be upgraded to free up space or not.

    My initial thought was to run an additional line from the power meter into a second circuit breaker box and run this room off a dedicated box...

    If I run this as a sub-box off the main one I will need to shift things around as well as verify that the main box can handle the overall capacity. Adding a second box into the system with it's own lines over to the pole & meter would be better IMO. But I'm not sure how much more expensive.

    I had planned on adding five circuits into the room - one 20A for the AC, four 30A 120V for the computers & server racks (some of the batteries and PDU's need 30A) and then a single 10 or 15A for the lights and an exhaust fan.
  9. Imo, that's pretty major project, probably should have another 200 amp box (as it is you're looking at min 150 amp). You need a liscensed electrician for all that. As far as the double breakers in the existing box, looks like you're maxed out on the existing panel.

    An electrician could tell you if you can add a sub panel or need an additonal wire to the pole. I don't think expense it going to be a factor, point being their may be only one way to do this.
  10. Re sound.

    You also need to consider this before installing elec boxes. This will add to wall thickness and depth of electircal boxes. If I had the room I would have two interior walls. Build a 2x4 wall sheetrock it and then build another 2x4 over it, again with a sound proof board and insulation.

    You'll have to investigate these products, Imo, probably 2 walls would provide the max benefit if you have the interior space.

    Plumbing is also a consideration on wall thickness.
    #10     Jun 13, 2012