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Thread: Electrical woes

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    56,628
    I know the electrician I hired for the work (it was major to rehome all the multiple generations of house circuits to the new panel) used aluminum from the weather head...it kinda looks stupid mated to the feed from the power company (who laughed at my request for a stouter wire) but I don't recall what's in the conduit to the shop. It's been quite awhile since I had the cover off to add or change something. I suspect the feed is aluminum, however, because copper was darn expensive at that point in time. (it's climbing back up again now I understand)
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Seng View Post
    One way to save potentially a bunch of money is to work with your electrical contractor and do all of the trench digging and backfilling yourself. A good way to save money and it's good exercise
    I did that myself for the 250' to the shop and more recently about 650' to a new building site and 400' for another line. I have the equipment to dig but you can rent a trencher for not much. A backhoe or excavator makes a wider trench but that can make it easier to work. There may be requirements on the depth. I use 2" PVC conduit for big wiring. I do all the wiring myself which can really save money if permitted by the inspector (if it will be inspected.)

    Note that a trencher that advertises 2' depth may not reach that depth or require manual removal of dirt which falls in. If renting I prefer a trencher with diesel engine and tracks.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    5,520
    If you run the wire yourself, dig the trench before buying the wire. Measure carefully, and get enough to have some to throw away, or you're sure to come up short, which you don't want to do.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Eastern Iowa
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    618
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    I did that myself for the 250' to the shop and more recently about 650' to a new building site and 400' for another line. I have the equipment to dig but you can rent a trencher for not much. A backhoe or excavator makes a wider trench but that can make it easier to work. There may be requirements on the depth. I use 2" PVC conduit for big wiring. I do all the wiring myself which can really save money if permitted by the inspector (if it will be inspected.)

    Note that a trencher that advertises 2' depth may not reach that depth or require manual removal of dirt which falls in. If renting I prefer a trencher with diesel engine and tracks.
    If using 2 pvc conduit a 24 trencher is fine as you only need to go down about 20 (2 conduit + the 18 required depth). If direct burial then you need to go that full 24+.

    If I recall, Jordan, you prefer copper. Four #2 thwn .... 650 + 400 each... at the recent price for copper...ouch!
    Comments made here are my own and, according to my children, do not reflect the opinions of any other person... anywhere, anytime.

  5. #20
    Sounds like an additional selling point for whenever we sell the house (The EV charging point). I think I will be doing all of the digging on this. Probably a lot of the wiring as well...just hesitant to do the actual hook up in the house and get a hand with going down the wall to the box. Probably have them hook the new box up as well in the garage. I'll be the ditch digger...it's only 30 feet of trench.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
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    2,710
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    If you run the wire yourself, dig the trench before buying the wire. Measure carefully, and get enough to have some to throw away, or you're sure to come up short, which you don't want to do.
    As we always say after a long pull & there's excess wire, "better looking at it than for it". We did a 300' underground run with 750 MCM wire & in the end, we were "looking for it" Turned out the supplier had shorted the cuts by 15'. Sad day.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    If you run the wire yourself, dig the trench before buying the wire. Measure carefully, and get enough to have some to throw away, or you're sure to come up short, which you don't want to do.
    I always bought the wire and conduit first, then dug the trench. I don't mind buying extra but I do measure VERY carefully, and several times. I like to have everything on hand when I start.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    10,631
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Velasquez View Post
    ...If I recall, Jordan, you prefer copper. Four #2 thwn .... 650 + 400 each... at the recent price for copper...ouch!
    Yes. After my bad experience with direct burial aluminum I figured the extra for the copper is still only a small part of putting up a building. In my case the 650' is to a breaker box then from there I ran much smaller copper that only fed 110 to the security gate and a couple of lights. I think I ran #1 copper for the 250' to the shop.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Doylestown, PA
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    6,507
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    That's a lot of labor to run that circuit, so you might as well run some 6/3 or at least 8/3 & put a sub-panel in the shop. I don't think you'll ever regret having one and it's almost a certainty that you'll need more circuits at some point.
    That was my thought if the service in the house is adequate to support a subpanel.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Mt Pleasant SC
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    709
    The big box 6ga copper is only rated for 55 amps. For a 100 ft run it would be best to put in AL wiring, check with electrician or code book for size and do a 100 amp panel.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    5,740
    It might be a good idea to upsize the wire for 100 amp service even if the existing home panel can not supply that many amps. Use a 50 amp breaker until the home panel gets replaced in the future, when needed.
    Bill D.

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