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Old 10-07-2005, 11:13 AM
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Where to get electrical wire?

Hello all,

I'm about to run 220 service to my detached garage. I've looked at the local hardware stores for supplies, but I'm just curious if anyone knows any online places to order electrical supplies from. I'll be running 60A through THHN 6 wire in conduit to a 100A panel that I'll be installing in my garage. The run will be about 100' or so.

It's aggravating, I purchased a new compressor, but don't have the juice to run it!!! Not too much longer though....hopefully. Then I can start the body work on my old Healey.

Thanks - Drew
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Old 10-07-2005, 03:30 PM
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I would imagine that you could find it somewhere online, but by the time you purchase all of the items then pay shipping and handling, you would probably be further ahead to go to the local Home Depot, Lowes, or something similiar and just purchase it. That's my $.02 worth.
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Old 10-07-2005, 03:36 PM
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I got really lucky when I ran mine. A buddy had just enough primary power wire from a mobile home. It easily handles all the juice I need it to, so far. It may, however, not be the perfectly legal wire to use. So, I can't totally endorse using it. There are bound to be a few guys on here that may be better equipped to help. Or try an electrical supply house. Local electricians usually get some sort of a break.


In a while, Chet.
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Old 10-07-2005, 03:42 PM
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Here you go:

outletelectrical.com


Ask for JJ OR Charlie
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:16 AM
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Personally, I'd recomend #2 ALU (aluminum) USE cable. It's direct burrial Underground Service Enterence. It's cheap, you'll save in conduit cost plus it'll have less voltage drop (200' round trip) then the #6. BTW, with a detached garage, the panel gets treated justy like your house, 2 hots and one neutral, bond the neutral buss to the case with the green screw supplied with the panel. The #2 ALu is good for a 100 amp service in residential only.

Of course, you'll have to use some #80 schedual PVC to stub into the ground. You'll need to burry the cable 18" because the PVC must go in 12" and a 6" bending radius. You do not need to seal the ends of the PVC in the ground. Kevin45 is right, just go to Lowes, Home Depot ect. Their prices are very good and any savings ordering on line will be eaten with shipping & handling. Oh, one last thing, you'll need to drive at least 1 ground rod depending if the inspector asks how many OHMs impeadence the ground rod has. More then 25 OHM, you need 2. How do you know? Good question! The inspectors by me want 2.

Last edited by Huskinhano; 10-10-2005 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:46 AM
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#6 wire is not heavy enough to run a subpannel 100' away that might possibly be pulling 60-100 amps at times. This is nothing to play with. You could burn down both your house and garage if it is not done properly. Check and see what local code requires. I would not bury anything and not run it in pipe, its just not worth the chance. Just like building a car, shortcuts will eventually catch up with you. Do it once, do it right and feel safe when it is done.
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Old 10-10-2005, 10:46 AM
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#6 wire is good for 55 amps. He would need #4 (CU) which is ggod for 70 amps but for a residential service, #4 CU is good to 100 amps. There should be no voltage drop issues at this point. "USE" cable is an accepted,safe and legal way to tun a feeder. There is no "short cut" involved with this, no issue in this case. Just because conduit is used, there is absolutely no garantee that at some point is is going to fail in keep water out. Now you have an insulation that is not rated to be in contact with water and will fail...ask me how I know! Utility companies run this to your house on an underground service unfused. Using #2 ALU (aluminum) "USE" cable is a safe, practical and economical way of doing this IMO for a 100 amp service.
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Old 10-10-2005, 04:55 PM
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Hello all and thanks for the replies. The #6 wire in conduit I was planning to use was based on recommendations from a local electrician. I believe 18" is the requirement for wire in conduit and 24" is code for wire not in conduit. I asked about the aluminum vs. copper wire and he said for Al wire I would have to use special connections because of the cold shrink issue. I'm not looking to take any short cuts and "thought" talking with an electrician was ensuring I didn't....guess you never know. I'll look more into the #2 and #4 aluminum USE direct bury cable.

Thanks...and any more recommendations are always welcomed. You guys have lots of great information.

- Drew
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Old 10-10-2005, 06:40 PM
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I just dropped by the local Home Depot/Lowe's stores and saw 2-2-2-4 SER ALU cable. Is this what I need? I think this is rated at 100A and the SER type can be used in wet/underground applications. This cable is a bit cheaper than copper...might save me a few or enable me to rent a decent trencher.

thanks again..Drew
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:12 PM
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Aluminum Wiring Hazard

I am not familiar at all with building / wiring code in the US, but I'm pretty sure that the use of aluminum wiring has been pretty much outlawed here in Canada.

Have a look at this: http://www.inspect-ny.com/aluminum.htm
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:42 PM
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About the only applications for ALU wire that I know off hand is for residential services. I have NEVER seen a failure due to the wire being aluminum. I think for this application it's fine, in fact even the service drop from the pole to the house is aluminum. As long as connections are tight and anti oxidant are used, there should be no issues. It's not that I'm a fan of aluminum just I haven't seen any issues with it in this use. In fact, I repaired an older service that was aluminum. A tree had come down and pulled the service off the house. Who ever did the job didn't use the required anti oxident compound but the wire was fine with no signs of distress or failure. It still looked brand new. I wouldn't recommend using it if I thought there were any problems.

For residential the NEC allows shallower depths. But always check with your local inspector, he has the final say. I'd highly recommend contacting him if you plan on having the work inspected before hand so you'll only have to do the job once and not 2 or more times. Don't laugh, I just did a service change and the guy was making up his own rules, a violation right there on his part.
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:55 PM
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Huskinhano,

Is the 2-2-2-4 SER cable a "USE" cable and is it the right kind for me to use? If not, what should I use? I'll have to check into the number of ground rods to use. Once I get a plan together for the installation, I plan to contact an inspector to verify the work.

Thanks - Drew
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Old 10-11-2005, 04:33 PM
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Correct, "USE" cable. Generally speaking, if the garage is detached, you only need 2-2-4 USE cable. If there was a disconnecting means for example on a pole outside of the garage, then you'd use the 2-2-2-4 cable between the garage and the disconnecting means. If no disconnecting means, then the 2-2-4 cable In a detached garage, the panel gets treated just like your house. If the garage was part of the house an you added a panel, you'd need the 2-2-2-4. The panel is a sub panel and not the "service disconnect" the key is the garage being a seperate structure on wether you run 3 or 4 conductor cable.

Like I said, if you are pulling a permit and having it inspected, contact the inspector before you start and see what he wants. He's the guy with the final say so and you have to meet his needs not mine.
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Old 10-11-2005, 08:45 PM
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Just when I think I get it.... I don't. Well, I understand what you are saying, but I've also been told to run 3-wire plus ground. I realize that the main panel to my house is 2 hots and a ground. So, the detached garage should be the same and not 2 hots, neutral, and ground?
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Old 10-18-2005, 07:45 PM
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Unless your house is really old you should have 3 wires coming from the meter, two hots and a neutral, ground is supplied from a grounding rod or the water pipes. The wire you found a the depot is good for up to a hundred amps. Some one told you to bound the Neutral in the sub-panel this is wrong, in a sub panel you need to keep the grounds and neutrals separated.Are you going to run anything else other than the compressor on this?
The building is detached so be sure to put in a ground rod and tie it into your sub panel ground bar. If you use the Al. wire be sure to get a bottle of anti oxident too, follow the directions and you should be OK using Al. wire. I am a big fan of running sub-panels for this kind of thing but, if all you are running is the compressor you could get away with #6/3W ground underground feeder cable into a J box in the garage then either a 220 recep or you could hard wire compressor directly. Wait a minute if you run it directly in UF cable all you would need would be a #6/2 WG because most @20 volt equipment does not use a Neutral!
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