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Question about vfd wiring.

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Biggie357, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. Biggie357

    Biggie357

    21
    Sep 10, 2018
    I'm setting up my new 2x72 grinder and I can't find any 16/4 or 14/4 wire to use to go from the vfd to the motor. There are places online where you can get it by the foot but you have to order at least $20 worth of stuff and then pay $10for shipping.I don't want to do that if I don't have to. I only need a couple of dollars worth of wire. Can I use four 14 or 16 gauge single wires run through a metal or liquid tight conduit? It's a kbac 27d vfd. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  2. Stang Bladeworks

    Stang Bladeworks KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    496
    Feb 19, 2018
    Yes you can but i would just go to home depot and have them cut you what you need. They have lots of 4 conductor cable. Its normally only a dollar or two per foot. I would ask for 4c14 bx cable. It has an armored jacket around it.
     
    Ken H> likes this.
  3. Biggie357

    Biggie357

    21
    Sep 10, 2018
    That's what I was trying to do. But the smallest 4 wire Lowes and Home Depot carry around me was 12g and that is too big for the spade connectors that fit the terminal.of the kbac.
     
  4. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    They don't call it four conductor wire, they call it 14-3 with ground.

    As said, four single wires and a conduit will work fine, too.
     
  5. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley

    Oct 17, 2007
    If I remember right, I used 12/4 for my wiring from my KBAC to my motor, as it's what I already had on hand. I think I had some 12/3 for the power in as well, but you could also just use a 12/4 and cut out the white conductor. To get it to fit, you can separate the strands into 2 "bundles" and twist them together as tight as you can, then put a bundle on either side of the terminal screw before you tighten the little clamping plate down. It helps to strip more wire than you'll need, before you separate and twist, then cut to the length necessary. You can also wick a little bit of solder in to help keep the strands together if you like. If you still can't get it to fit, you can cut a few strands off, but do so at your own risk. This practice is generally frowned upon, as it could create a hot spot if you cut too much. As long as you leave 14 gauge worth of conductor, you'll be fine, but again.... not the best practice.

    As to your question, you could certainly use seal tight or some rigid conduit as well, though by the time you buy all the parts and fittings for that, you'll probably be nearing your ~$30 mark anyway.

    A lot of places have a $50 minimum for free shipping, so sometimes I'll just order $50 of cable, cable glands, and a few other electrical odds and ends, and just keep the leftovers for future projects.
     
  6. Biggie357

    Biggie357

    21
    Sep 10, 2018
    You are right, when you buy wire like romex 14/3 would be 3 conductors and a ground. But from what ive found when you buy sjoow type cable it's different they reference the number of wires in the bundle that includes the ground. So they called it 12/4 Thanks for the response.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
    Lieblad likes this.
  7. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley

    Oct 17, 2007
    I see your profile says you're in NE Indiana? How far from Valparaiso are you?
     
  8. Biggie357

    Biggie357

    21
    Sep 10, 2018
    I may try using the 12g and splitting the wires on either side of screw like you are talking about. Ive done the old cut out a few strands trick on things in the past with no problems but id rather not go that route on this project.Ive been waiting on this grinder for so long I've become impatient and want to get it running asap. Thanks for the ideas.
     
  9. Biggie357

    Biggie357

    21
    Sep 10, 2018
    Just short of a couple hours. Near Ft Wayne.
     
  10. 12345678910

    12345678910

    Jul 13, 2009
    Damm multi quotes - not working

    That's solid wire ?
    I would not do that.
    Stranded wire is much easier to work with, especially in that enclosure.

    The stuff with the black rubber outside coating - extension cord wire - Cabtire or SO cable

    Yes as Stacy said, four wire or three with ground.

    Home depot has it, you can pick and poke and see it in person.
    They will also have the cable glands there too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  11. Stang Bladeworks

    Stang Bladeworks KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    496
    Feb 19, 2018
    It can be had in either solid or stranded. I like having the armored jacktet. Whatever you decide there will be plenty of options to suit your preferences.
     
  12. Jesse Latham

    Jesse Latham

    611
    Jul 4, 2010
    Buy different spade connectors .
     
  13. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Jesse has a good tip for anyone who plans on doing shop wiring with motors and VFDs … get a connector kit from HF. It has all the lugs and tips needed to fit the terminals in electronics and motors, as well as making other wiring tasks simple and professional. Get yourself a combo "wire tool" - cutter, stripper, and crimper - when you get the kit.
     
    Jesse Latham likes this.
  14. Biggie357

    Biggie357

    21
    Sep 10, 2018
    I ended up using the 12/4 so from the motor to the vfd and 12/3 so for the power. I stripped the wire split the strands twisted them tight and put one on either side of the screw. It worked great!
     
    Drew Riley likes this.
  15. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    That is a very poor connection method. Get some round lugs for 12 gauge wire with holes the size of the terminals ( probably 1/8") and crimp them on the wires. Then put them on the terminals with the screws.
     
    kmf600 likes this.
  16. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley

    Oct 17, 2007
    I’ve never had an issue with this connection method, as long as there’s a clamping plate between the wire and screw, which there is, assuming the wire was inserted correctly.

    I’m not saying that a properly sized crimp on connectors wouldn’t be a good option, but I’m not sure if you can get ring terminals that small for a 12awg wire; at least not at every corner hardware store. The ring lugs I normally see are a bit wide.

    At any rate, I’ve never seen this method fail, or cause any issues.
     
    Stang Bladeworks likes this.
  17. Biggie357

    Biggie357

    21
    Sep 10, 2018
    It's no different than how you attach the plug on a power wire. The connection is solid with steady voltage. I wanted to use connectors but all of the ones for 12g I found were much bigger than the terminals in the vfd. I probably could have ground them down to fit but I chose this method and it works well for me.
     
    Drew Riley likes this.

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