220 lights on 50 Amp Circuit?

I want to add several 220 light fixtures to a basement workshop. There's an existing 50 Amp circuit in the space. The 6 gauge cable from the panel is in metal conduit.

1) How do I pull the cable out of the conduit? It's a long run of pipe (~50') with three 90 degree bends. Should I just saw through it (after duct taping the circuit breaker OFF!)?

2) Does the cable in the basement need to be in conduit? It used to power a hot tub, so it goes from the basement then through the backyard in a trench.

3) Once the cable is free, can I run it into a J-box and splice one or more 12-3 cables to it? If not, what should be done instead?

4) If it's ok to make the splice, how should the 6 gauge be connected to the 12-3 romex? Wire nuts?? Would Gardner Hex Lock Universal Wire Connectors work-they're for 6 -14 gauge cable?

Please excuse my ignorance, I've never tried to splice such a big cable to a smaller one before so it's pretty intimidating! Thanks for your help.

5 Answers

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  • 10 years ago
    Best Answer

    First off, it's possible to do it the way you describe, but that would not be my recommendation. I would try to find a j-box somewhere on that line and pull the wire out first. Removing the wire first is ALWAYS your best option, but if you can't, oh well, turn that breaker off and get to cutting.

    I don't know where you live or what the code is for your area, but interior wiring in a home does not require conduit anywhere I've ever worked.

    Connections can be tricky, especially with such big differences in wire size. If you can, (this depends largely on how much you are willing so spend), the bet bet would be to buy a large junction box with a terminal strip inside, Bring you large wire to one side and jumper your connections, so many one phase, so many the other, and a neutral bar, or ground bar. If that's not an option, or you just don't want to spend that much, wire nuts are your answer.

    Whatever you decide to use, be sure your connections are tight and won't slip out. Loose connections are the cause of more electrical fires than almost anything else. Best of luck to you. If you have any more questions, you can email me at jerrywmc@yahoo.com.

    Source(s): 30+ years as an electrician
  • 4 years ago

    Obviously some ignorant people want 2 points without given any knnowledge. 220 volts it the standard voltage on many countries around the world. The US standard is 110 Volts. Korea is 220/380 The 50 amps is the amount of current that all the lights, appliances and other equipment used on the operation or maintenance of the house can use without tripping a breaker. A breaker is like a safety valve. If you use more than the rated amps - 50 in this case, this breaker will trip and shut the power down so that wires will not overheat and cause a fire ot other trouble. Especially in the case of a defective devise that causes a short circuit. That is serious. The amount of power allowed in most houses is 220 @50A. Lower voltages require more amperage and are in greater danger of overheating and consequential damage. Look at you main breaker in the *** box on the power panel. You will see the rating. There will be other smaller breakers for each of the special circuits in the house. Usually one for each room, the heating system, electric stove, washer & dryer, . The average house may have about 10 smaller breakers protecting each of the sub circuits. Even they may add up to more than 50 amps, remember that this is a tremendous amount of power and unlikely that you will demand all of the 50 amps at the same time. If that should happen - Bang, out go the lights and though the house may be dark, you are safe.

  • 10 years ago

    Don't cut off the 50amp. I would say run a sub panel there with the present 50 and feed a small panel to supply the lights and such. You'll never get it out undamaged.

  • 10 years ago

    run the cable to a new breaker box, as a feed,

    then branch off the new box to the lights w/breakers

    Source(s): maint man /old timer
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  • 10 years ago

    Yes and it sounds like you are trying to do a grow op-- there is no need for SEVERAL 220V lights in a basement

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