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Old 10-10-2013, 09:00 PM
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Need to run electricity to barn 200 feet away..Conflicting reports CPS/electrician

I am trying to run electricity to a barn/shed I'm about to start building. I have had a master electrician come out and tell me I can run if off the box on the house or have electric company put a new pole and meter.
So I have elect company come out and they say since we are out in the country, there is no need for code and to run it underground. They say to run it off the box. They say it's just the same as running above except they'll charge me 1,500 per pole x3 poles. What the heck?
Here are the specs...
I have a pole with a transformer on it about 50 feet away from house connecting to my box. From there, I would need to run another 200 ft run to shop. I have no clue what size wire is coming in from transformer. I am planning on running a compressor, maybe a welder ect. I would like to do the majority of work myself (trench and lay conduit/wire) and leave the hook up to an electrician.
1. Is this ok?
2. What size wire should I run?
3. Any other suggestions?

I was stumped and said "Oh shoot! I'll just ask the hotrodders"!!!
Thanks in advance

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Old 10-10-2013, 10:02 PM
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I am going to assume 100 amp service would work for your application? Also, ask the electrician to confirm this, but I think 2/0 aluminum or #1 copper should be a little on safe side of things. Be sure to use a conduit and most code requires it to be 18" or deeper. Again, I am working off of memory, so confirm this with your electrician before spending any cash.

Kelly
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:04 PM
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get the shovel and dig my friend , have the electrician tie it in on both ends !!
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:12 PM
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I would add a 2 pole circuit breaker in the panel at the house to feed the shop. The breaker size will depend on how much load you plan to operate at the same time. I had a shop several years ago where I did this. I think I added a 100 amp breaker and ran an underground feeder with an ampacity greater than the breaker rating. I had a compressor and lights in my shop. You can find ampacity tables on the web by searching for "ampacity table". You will probably want to use a cable that is rated for underground use such as type UF. If the cable is rated for underground use, you can direct bury it without a conduit. You can use copper or aluminum, but copper is easier to terminate at the breaker. If you use aluminum, the cable size will need to increase and you should use special grease to terminate each end of the cable. For example, if you put a 100 amp breaker at your house, you would probably want to run at least a 1/0 awg copper cable which has an ampacity of 125 amps. The other end of the cable would connect to a 125 amp breaker panel at the shop.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:29 PM
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I ran mine with 2/0 aluminum wire. Sheathed with underground flexable plastic cover with ground. Light grey in color and available at Home Depot stores.

It is run off my 100 amp house box. Simply by using a 100 amp breaker in the top right out load of the box. Then run wire to box in garage and split to 50 amp for box in another out building. Both buildings also have driven ground rods grounded into the respective boxes.

The power company and township wanted thousands of dollars, permits, lots of red tape for a basic simple job. So me being "mr. fixit " did it myself..Been working for 23 years now with zero problems.. Many pieces of equipment run on the power.

Ironic thing happened twenty years after the house was built. Power company came out and replaced the wire from the transformer to the house underground 280 ft. "Gave" me all the 2/0 old cable.. Now even my sheds and horse shelter are wired up!!
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:00 AM
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Instead of worrying about this, find a copy of the NEC (National Electric Code)2013 and build accordingly. Doing anything but following that plus not building anything that your county requires will put you and your insurance company at odds and maybe even a county/town building inspector. What we say here doesn't count with those folks

Dave W

PS: I just found the 2013 NEC on line: National electrical code 2013 - free eBooks download (or talk to a licensed electrician and look at his books)
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:05 AM
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and don't forget...

a ground rod.. u will run 3 wire to the shed for a 220v svc, 2 hot and one neutral the 4th will be the ground rod.. they are 6 or 8ft long too...
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:09 AM
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dig, and put the wire in conduct.. and don't use alum wire.. yes copper cost more.. but you'll waste more money on your bill with the loss through that alum wire..
I'd see what if any cost from the utility is if you have the ditch dug, and ready to go, and conduct already , and per code, they SHOULD supply the wire from street to meter. At least they do here..
The utility here Will not hook up to Alum wired main.. to many fires from homes wired with alum in the 80's. they won't touch the stuff.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:57 AM
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dig the trench and pay the electrician to run the conduit and wire. better safe then sorry . and unless someone lives and works under the juristication and codes of your area then their advice is basically useless to you. it would suck to buy the cable ,dig the trench,hook everything up and then find out it's all wrong and has to come out.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:37 AM
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elect work

in the 80's I built a 2 story 24 X 48 Barn-shop. I used the Numbers from the elect code and ran the minimum size wire allowed per code. When some one was welding and the air compressor kicked on the lights would Dim. Every since then I run one size larger conduit and at least one size larger wire than minimum. Your house electrical panel has specifications on breaker placement. You will not want your 50 amp breaker for stove, water heater , ac, etc. directly across from your added 100 amp shop breaker. too much load on one set of lugs will damage-burn the contacts. Larger breakers and wire connections require the connectors be fastened with a torque wrench..And I always dig the trench deeper than minimum required and then bury an identifier tape about a foot above the wire-conduit. If you run a new service from the existing transformer -pole be aware that some electrical companies require that your conduit be one size larger than the minimum required by code. It makes their job easier to run new wire down the pole from the transformer to your shop.
As mentioned above it's best to hire a good knowledgeable electrician to do the hookups.
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:08 AM
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A lot of times it is not more $ to do it to code. And if it is it might not be much more but it is worth it. Not doing things to code can bite you later. Whoever said you "don't have to because you are in the county" is not someone I'd hire. All that means is your not going to get caught. Well, maybe not until later.

Not being to code can come up when you sell the property. It can also come up if ever an injury to someone (even after you sell too) and the cause is investigated and found to be not installed with a permit. Then comes the liability and lawsuit.

As for 100A service being enough - it's never enough. That's what most electricians will tell you. Been there more than once. Because later you expand, add this, add that. Going to have lights? Heat? Compressor? You already said welder. Power tools? So on.

Put in the largest panel you can afford or service. 100 should be minimum for putting in a new panel but consider 200A. Less money to go larger in the long run versus changing later or not being able to supply your needs in the future.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:39 PM
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??

Do u live in city or county??? U don't require inspection if out of city. 200ft of copper is going to kill you pocket book. I would go with at least 4/0 alum. And MAKE SURE u put it in conduit!! Don't even think about direct buried! Also check to see what size xfmrthe elec company is running now. May need upgraded a size for the added load of your shop. Food for thought
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:00 PM
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??

I highly agree with a 200amp service. Don't short yourself. U never know what ya gonna wanna add down the road and it will be nice to know your install will handle the added load. Make sure u install ground rod at your disconnect and breaker panel and ground At both locations.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:01 PM
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dedicated circuits

In my newer 40 X 120 ft shop I installed a separate meter and a 200 amp 40 circuit panel and a 60 amp sub panel half way down the wall. seperate feeds to all the major machines, mill, welder, lathe, lift, table saw, planer, air compressor plasma cutter, turret saw, each one has it's own circuit.
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:56 PM
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Well to clarify,
City told me it wasn't necessary to run overhead because I'm in country. I guess it doesn't have to meet that specific "code" of overhead run, not saying to throw code out completely. I am very green when it comes to electricity and it doesn't help that I have different electricians telling me different ways I can solve the same problem. I would assume they do the same thing. Take for example, some say 60 amp. Now I'm hearing 200 amp. Some say copper, others say aluminum is ok. They both work and meet code, but one is better. Just trying to do my homework. I WILL have a master electrician hooking all up. He's already been out. But let say "code" will call for #4, but #2 is a better idea looking to the future. I'm trying to gather KNOWLEGDE because it empowers my decisions. And y'all are helping with that. I thank you!!!!
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