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One-Line Diagrams: Feeders

Monday, December 14th, 2015

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Feeders are automatically inserted when the one-line diagram is generated or when distribution equipment is inserted on the drawing. A default route is created, but it is not always correct. Use these commands to adjust their location.

Feeder Breaks

When feeders cross, a break is automatically inserted. The breaks are updated when the DM Electrical->One-Line Diagram->Update or DM Electrical RT->Update One-Line Diagram command is run. They do not automatically update as you modify your feeders. Inserting the breaks takes a little bit of time. Updating them with every change to your feeders is too slow to work in actual practice.

The default break is a gap in the line, but this graphic can be changed. See the Customizing Feeder Breaks section at the end of this page for information on changing the graphic.

Labeling Feeder Size

There are two main ways to label the size of a feeder. You can insert the feeder size directly on the one-line diagram with a label, or you can insert a feeder ID that refers to a size in a schedule.

Use the DM Electrical->One-Line Diagram->Insert and Modify Labels or DM Electrical RT->Labels->Insert and Modify Labels command to insert the feeder size as a label. Select the feeder. Turn on the size label you want to use. The Feeder label gives the whole feeder callout, including conduit size and size of all the wires. The Wire Size label gives just the size of the conductors.

Feeder IDs are included on the feeders by default. To turn them on or off, use the One-Line Diagram->Insert feeder IDs inside feeder lines option in the DM Electrical->Customization->Options->Edit Project List or DM Electrical RT->Customization->Options->Edit Project List command. Set the option to Yes to turn them on or to No to turn them off.

When the option is turned on, the feeder ID will be inserted inside the feeder automatically.

The default feeder ID is a hexagon with the ID inside it. See the Customizing the Feeder ID Block section at the end of this page for information on changing the graphic.

Locating Feeder Labels

When you move a feeder label, if you move it close to the feeder line, it will jump next to the line for you. The Insert labels inside feeder lines option  in the DM Electrical->Customization->Options->Edit Project List or DM Electrical RT->Customization->Options->Edit Project List command controls how the label aligns itself to the feeder.

If that option is set to No, the label is inserted directly above or below the feeder line.

If that option is set to Yes, the label is inserted inside the line, with the feeder line being broken around it.

Small Changes to the Feeder Route

The initial feeder route will often be wrong. If it is close to correct, you can adjust it using grips to move the location and commands add and remove segments.

The move the feeder, select it on the drawing. Use the grips to move the ends, corners, or middle of the segments.

If the start or end of the feeder is not pointed in the right direction (horizontal vs vertical), use the DM Electrical->One-Line Diagram->Add Segment to End of Feeder or DM Electrical RT->Feeders->Add Segment to End of Feeder command. Select the feeder near the end that is incorrect. A new segment will be added to the end of the feeder. Once the new segment is inserted, use grips to adjust the location.

If you need to make an additional turn with the feeder, use the DM Electrical->One-Line Diagram->Add Segment to Middle of Feeder or DM Electrical RT->Feeders->Add Segment to Middle of Feeder command. Select the feeder at the location where you want to break a segment. The segment will be broken and a new segment will be inserted. The appearance of the feeder will not immediately change. Select the feeder and use the grips to move one side of the broken segment or the other.

Redraw Feeder

As mentioned above, the initial feeder route will often be wrong. If it is not close to correct, it is often simplest to redraw it rather than try to adjust what was inserted.

Use the DM Electrical->One-Line Diagram->Redraw Feeder or DM Electrical RT->Feeders->Redraw Feeder command to insert the feeder from scratch. You will get to specify the location of the feeder from start to finish and new locations for the blocks and labels on the feeder.

You can draw the feeder from the upstream or the downstream distribution equipment. If you select the feeder, you initially are set to draw from the upstream distribution equipment. If you select a piece of distribution equipment, you will redraw the feeder to that equipment starting from the equipment , which will be the downstream equipment. In either case, you can use the command-line options to reverse the direction you are drawing.

When you are drawing from the upstream distribution equipment to the downstream distribution equipment, you have the option at the command line to Finish the feeder. This option will insert an end to the feeder that connects to downstream distribution equipment at the appropriate connection point. It saves you from having to line up the end of the feeder.

Node and Tangent Osnaps

Feeders use the Node and Tangent osnaps for special purposes. These osnaps are especially helpful when redrawing a feeder.

The Node osnap will snap to a point that is offset from the start or the end of the feeder.  This snap is useful for arranging sets of feeders coming from a single panel. To turn on the Node osnap while running a command, type NOD at the command line.

The Tangent osnap will snap to a perpendicular point that is offset from the feeder. This snap is useful when running a feeder parallel to a feeder that is already inserted on the drawing. To turn on the Tangent osnap while running a command, type TAN at the command line.

The distance from the feeder for both snaps is controlled by the One-Line Diagram->Feeder offset distance option in the DM Electrical->Customization->Options->Edit Project List or DM Electrical RT->Customization->Options->Edit Project List command.

Align Feeder

Use the DM Electrical->One-Line Diagram->Align Feeder or DM Electrical RT->Feeders->Align Feeder command to line two feeder segments up with each other. It is useful when you have two parallel feeders that need to turn in different directions and when you have a series of feeders connecting distribution equipment.

You first select the feeder segment that is in the right location. Then you select the feeder segment that you want to move. The second segment is moved so that it is on the same line as the first feeder segment.

Offset Feeder

Use the DM Electrical->One-Line Diagram->Offset Feeder or DM Electrical RT->Feeders->Offset Feeder command to evenly space your feeders.

You first select the feeder segment that is in the right location. Then you select the feeder segment that you want to move. Finally you select a side of the first segment you selected. The second segment will then be moved.

You have the option to continue to select feeder segments. Each segment will then be offset from the last segment that was moved. You will not be prompted to select a side again. The feeders will continue to offset to the same side.

The distance of the offset is controlled by the One-Line Diagram->Feeder offset distance option in the DM Electrical->Customization->Options->Edit Project List or DM Electrical RT->Customization->Options->Edit Project List command.

Swap Feeder

Use the DM Electrical->One-Line Diagram->Swap Feeder or DM Electrical RT->Feeders->Swap Feeder command to switch the location of two feeders. Most often this command is used on two feeders coming from the same panel. Changes to the rest of the diagram have created a situation where you need to rearrange the order of the feeders coming off the bus. This command allows you to easily move them around without losing your spacing or general routing.

You select two parallel feeder segments on different feeders. The location of the feeder segments will be swapped with each other. The swap will often cause the two feeders to cross each other. The command will follow the feeders and swap segments until they no longer cross.

Customizing the Feeder ID Block

The default feeder ID is a hexagon surrounding the feeder number. Two other feeder IDs, a circle and a rectangle, are included in default blocks. You can change the block that is used with the One-Line Diagram->Feeder ID block option in the DM Electrical->Customization->Options->Edit Project List or DM Electrical RT->Customization->Options->Edit Project List command. The included feeder ID blocks are:

  • dm_elec-feederID-hex2.dwg: Default hexagon feeder ID.
  • dm_elec-feederID-circle2.dwg: Circle feeder ID.
  • dm_elec-feederID-rectangle.dwg: Rectangle feeder ID.

To use another shape, you have to create a new block. Open one of the existing feeder ID blocks and use the AutoCAD Save As command to give it a new name. Modify the graphics of the feeder ID to match the appearance that you want. There are five attributes that already exist in the block that you want to keep.

  • ID: The feeder ID attribute. The value of this attribute will be set to the ID number when it is inserted in the one-line diagram. The style, justification, and size of this attribute will be used exactly as defined in the block. Adjust these values as desired for the text appearance that you want.
  • LEFT/RIGHT: The points on the left and right side of the feeder ID. The feeder line will connect to these two locations when the feeder ID is used on a horizontal segment. Move these attributes so they are on the left and right edges of your feeder ID.
  • TOP/BOTTOM: The points on the top and bottom of the feeder ID. The feeder line will connect to these two locations when the feeder ID is used on a vertical segment. Move these attributes so they are on the top and bottom edges of your feeder ID.

Once the block looks correct, save it. Then set the One-Line Diagram->Feeder ID block option in the DM Electrical->Customization->Options->Edit Project List or DM Electrical RT->Customization->Options->Edit Project List command to point to the name of the block.

Customizing Feeder Breaks

The default feeder break is a gap in the feeder line. You can customize this graphic to show something else if you prefer. The block is set in the One-line diagram->Wire break block options in the  DM Electrical->Customization->Options->Edit Project List or DM Electrical RT->Customization->Options->Edit Project List command.

The default block is dm_elec-oneline-break. The dm_elec-oneline-breakLoop block uses an arc where the feeders cross.

To use another shape, you need to create a new block. Open one of the existing breaker blocks and use the AutoCAD Save As command to give it a new name. Moidyf the graphics of the break to give it the appearance you want.

There are two attributes, IN and OUT, that already exist in the block that you want to keep. The feeder line will connection to the location of these attributes. Put them at the start and end of the break graphic.

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