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Temporary Construction Power Box – Build your own!

Job Site Temporary Power Box. 

If you build or remodel homes for a living you’ve definitely encountered times when the crews didn’t have enough power.  This is especially true when you condition your houses during construction.  I’m a big fan of Quest Construction Dehumidifiers, Air Conditioners, and Electric Heaters (the heaters run at either 30 or 50 Ams!).  Couple that with a 220V cabinet saw for my finish carpentry crew, several miter saws, two compressors, and a half dozen makita chargers and you can quickly max out a small temp power service!

Quest PowerDry 4000 Dehum with Quest Air Mover fans running in the background drying a house in framing after a rain. 

  I thought I’d share how we bring a portable power panel to our jobs to get everyone connected.  First, here’s the video overview.

Here’s the parts list you’ll need to make one for yourself.  It’s going to run about $1000-1200-ish for the parts but this power panel should provide many years of use.  Tim Hill my Project Manager made this parts list for this particular panel box:

2- GE 125Amp / 16 circuit surface mount Main Lug Panel
6- 2 gang Bell boxes
3- single gang Bell boxes
2- 2 gang Bell box covers for single 14-50 Receptacle
4- 2 gang Bell box covers for 2- 110 V duplex Receptacles
3- Single gang Bell box covers for single 220 V Receptacle
1- “14-50” Receptacle (range plug)
1- “6-30” (heater plug) or “18-30” (dryer plug)  Receptacle (depending on equipment needs)
8- 20Amp 110 V duplex receptacles
2- 20Amp 220 V receptacle
1- Leviton combination 110V / USB receptacle
1- “in-use” single gang flip-up cover for combo receptacle
1- 2 pole GE 50 Amp GFCI breaker
1- 2 pole GE 30 Amp GFCI breaker
2- 2 pole GE 20 Amp GFCI  breaker
4- single pole GE 20 Amp GFCI breakers
1- single pole GE 15 Amp GFCI breaker
2- single pole GE 20 amp “thin” breakers
1- Whole house surge protection device
100′ 1″ Carflex non-metallic liquid tight conduit
Fittings for conduit to panels
110’ 4 ga. 3 conductor with ground aluminum “service entrance cable”
Lastly, you’ll want a 45 degree position hand truck to make it manageable getting to/from the job site and to set it up onsite.  

Here are some more photos, if you click on a picture a full sized image will come up so you can see the details better. 
By the way, if you buy from the Amazon links above I’ll get a small commission on your sale which helps support my blogging habit!)

This style power panel gives us lots of room to have plenty of guys on the job all plugged in.

The labels help to quickly identify the plug you’ll need. 

We mounted it on a piece of 3/4″ plywood and covered it with some leftover Tyvek Flexwrap for longevity.

These 220V plug are for our portable dehumidifiers and air conditioners. 

The 50Amp 220v is for our Quest Electric Heater.  I don’t like propane inside the house, and I don’t like running the clients furnace. 

Be sure to give yourself plenty of 20Amp 110v plugs! 

Click on the image to make it full sized in your browser. 

Let me know if you build one, and I’d love any tips/tricks you’ve found with temp power for your job sites.

Matt Risinger
Risinger Homes in Austin, TX

Risinger Homes is a custom builder and whole house remodeling contractor that specializes in Architect driven and fine craftsmanship work. We utilize an in-house carpentry staff and the latest building science research to build dramatically more efficient, healthy and durable homes.
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