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Electrical question #6771469 05/22/17 06:50 PM
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JohnRussell Offline OP
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Okay... let me state... I am not going cheap.. I am doing what is in my budget.. lol

So.. I had a pole barn built and I want to add electricity. I have a 200amp service for our house and I guarantee we don't come close to needing it. The dryer, A/C, and one oven use it.. and almost all the lights are led.. so..I figured rather than adding another 200 amp pole, I will just come off that box and add a sub-panel.

I have to go 125 ft to the barn.
I will be burying it in conduit.
I just do not do welding and if I decide to get another welder, it would be like a 120 mig welder, not a 220/240.
The A/C window unit will be the only high user.

I expect to add a few long fluorescent lights and then outlets, nothing more.

So, copper would be too expensive. While I would think 100 amp would be plenty, I am fine with 150-200 capability, if the cost is not crazy.

What would you guys recommend?

Here is the barn: (they are missing the roof trim in the front and back... it is being shipped) and the corners are getting replaced. The door is on order, separately, and I am now trying to get an idea what it will cost for the concrete flooring.




Thanks!

R


Hunting is easy..it's getting permission from your wife that is tough.
Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6771484 05/22/17 07:00 PM
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Have you contacted your electrical provider to check cost of a second service? A lot of time that can be done cheaper the bad part is that the monthly minimum

Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6771487 05/22/17 07:03 PM
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JohnRussell Offline OP
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Oh, they are a coop and expensive as heck. The first service was 5k just to trench it to the house. This would be further away from the road so I am assuming more expensive.

The base cost would be able 37 a month. The best option I have is running a sub-panel.

R


Hunting is easy..it's getting permission from your wife that is tough.
Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6771493 05/22/17 07:07 PM
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I ran a 100amp service from my house to my shop. Used aluminium in conduit.

Re: Electrical question [Re: Paluxy] #6771496 05/22/17 07:08 PM
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JohnRussell Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Hancock
I ran a 100amp service from my house to my shop. Used aluminium in conduit.


Which wire did you use? About how far did you run it and what is the biggest thing you run in there (beer kegerator? lol)

Thanks!

R


Hunting is easy..it's getting permission from your wife that is tough.
Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6771513 05/22/17 07:27 PM
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I run my house, garage, and mancave buildings from the house 200 amp service. Also phone and Ethernet, water and compressed air in both out buildings. All underground, all copper wire. I pulled 100 amps to garage (50') from house, and 50 amps to cave (150'). Did it all myself long ago when copper was just wire.


Cast

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Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6771538 05/22/17 07:45 PM
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I saw a spool of aluminum at Home Depot, but not sure it would work.

Home Depot Link

No idea if that will work at all.

I was looking at 4/4/4/2 wire as well.

Copper is a bit much for me to spend as we spent like 3k more on the dirt than we expected and I do not have the concrete done yet so trying not to spend over $1000 on copper if I can get it for a few hundred and use aluminum...but that starts an entire debate.. heh

So, trying to see what type wire would actually work for what I need.


Thanks guys!

R


Hunting is easy..it's getting permission from your wife that is tough.
Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6771569 05/22/17 08:16 PM
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Minimum spec is #3 copper and #1 aluminum. I would use #2 copper and never look back.


Cast

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Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6771579 05/22/17 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted By: JohnRussell
I saw a spool of aluminum at Home Depot, but not sure it would work.

Home Depot Link

No idea if that will work at all.

I was looking at 4/4/4/2 wire as well.

Copper is a bit much for me to spend as we spent like 3k more on the dirt than we expected and I do not have the concrete done yet so trying not to spend over $1000 on copper if I can get it for a few hundred and use aluminum...but that starts an entire debate.. heh

So, trying to see what type wire would actually work for what I need.


Thanks guys!

R

Two yellows and a black AL is what I ran to my outdoor kitchen and shop....200A service to both off the house....

This is the one...

Electrician I had tie it in and the service provider said it would be fine....it's direct bury but I put it in 2" grey PVC conduit...about 360' total.....PM if you have questions....


Originally Posted by Sneaky
I believe in science and I’m an insufferable [censored]
Originally Posted by beaversnipe
Actually, BBC is pretty damn good

"You Cannot Simultaneously Be Politically Correct And Intellectually Honest!"
Re: Electrical question [Re: SnakeWrangler] #6771584 05/22/17 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted By: SnakeWrangler
Originally Posted By: JohnRussell
I saw a spool of aluminum at Home Depot, but not sure it would work.

Home Depot Link

No idea if that will work at all.

I was looking at 4/4/4/2 wire as well.

Copper is a bit much for me to spend as we spent like 3k more on the dirt than we expected and I do not have the concrete done yet so trying not to spend over $1000 on copper if I can get it for a few hundred and use aluminum...but that starts an entire debate.. heh

So, trying to see what type wire would actually work for what I need.


Thanks guys!

R

Two yellows and a black AL is what I ran to my outdoor kitchen and shop....200A service to both off the house....

This is the one...

Electrician I had tie it in and the service provider said it would be fine....it's direct bury but I put it in 2" grey PVC conduit...about 360' total.....PM if you have questions....


Hrm,

Was under the impression I need 4 lines to the shop, vs 3.

R


Hunting is easy..it's getting permission from your wife that is tough.
Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6771589 05/22/17 08:38 PM
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I would highly suggest against aluminium.

Re: Electrical question [Re: ducknbass] #6771596 05/22/17 08:40 PM
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JohnRussell Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: ducknbass
I would highly suggest against aluminium.


Not to worry... I am burying oversized conduit so I can go back later and replace it if I like.. but right now.. the cost for copper is not in the budget.

R


Hunting is easy..it's getting permission from your wife that is tough.
Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6771609 05/22/17 08:55 PM
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Just three wires will do it. An 8' ground rod on the barn service too.


Cast

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Re: Electrical question [Re: Cast] #6771616 05/22/17 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted By: Cast
Just three wires will do it. An 8' ground rod on the barn service too.


Oh, sweet.. that makes sense. They are talking about if I did not add my own ground, I would run a 4th wire and share the ground of the house.

If I run three wires, and add my own ground rod, I do not need to run the 4th wire. That works!

Thanks!

R


Hunting is easy..it's getting permission from your wife that is tough.
Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6771645 05/22/17 09:21 PM
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Make sure you use noalox

Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6771683 05/22/17 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted By: JohnRussell
Originally Posted By: Cast
Just three wires will do it. An 8' ground rod on the barn service too.


Oh, sweet.. that makes sense. They are talking about if I did not add my own ground, I would run a 4th wire and share the ground of the house.

If I run three wires, and add my own ground rod, I do not need to run the 4th wire. That works!

Thanks!

R

If I remember correctly you have 2 hots and a neutral with three wires but always add a ground out of your breaker box.

Re: Electrical question [Re: ducknbass] #6771966 05/23/17 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted By: ducknbass
I would highly suggest against aluminium.

Why? I checked the specs....used in most overhead lines.....over gaged (not subject to over heating)....not subject to movement (fatigue failure).....reasonable application in some instances....mine was one.....AND I TYPICALLY OVER ENGINEER EVERYTHING!

Curious... popcorn


Originally Posted by Sneaky
I believe in science and I’m an insufferable [censored]
Originally Posted by beaversnipe
Actually, BBC is pretty damn good

"You Cannot Simultaneously Be Politically Correct And Intellectually Honest!"
Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6772155 05/23/17 10:59 AM
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JR, I had exactly the same dilemma as you a 3 years ago, 125" to shop, also with our co-op.

I ended up running a sub panel from my house main drop, I will have to go check in a while the exact size AL wire I ran to be accurate. AL wire is perfectly fine for line runs, but copper from the drop/ box head on. I used a 100a breaker in the main box, buried AL in 2" grey conduit, but used a 200 amp panel in the shop in case I ever need to upgrade, all I would have to do is pull the AL run and up size the wire gauge. I also used the 2 recommended ground rods set at 10' apart at my shop.

IIRC, running just 2 hots and a common back to the main is the old code, new code is 2 hots, common and grnd back to main.

My limiting factor and you may check as well. The co-op said in order for me to run another 200amp service, I would have to pay to upgrade the transformer on the pole ($400), but that the above ground wire they run for service would easily handel the added amp load (AL)....
So I had a couple of options they gave me 1 Pay for the transformer exchange, add a new 200a drop on the same pole as the house main, then run the service to shop. 2 Pay for a new pole dropped 100' from the supply line and then go to shop, or do what I did.

I run a 220 compressor and a 220/120 wire welder in the shop, also wired all plugs 20 amp receptacles not standard 15a, I have never ran out of power (even close) as I can only use a couple things at once and generally, the house would have to be on total usage to compete with what I'm using. In fact, I also have a small 40a sub panel that feeds a couple of LED lights for the flag pole and parking light, also a plug for a battery tender, but these run at dark when the house load is at its lowest.

Cheapest wire I found was at Elliots electric supply, they have several locations, so you ba near one, or similar supply, so price check those kind of places as well.

As ducknbass said, make sure you use an anti-oxidation cream on the AL at the connections and double check there tightness a couple moths after your running.


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Dennis

Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6772164 05/23/17 11:24 AM
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Perfect information! Thanks!

Okay, so hammer 2 rods in the ground 10' apart.. got it.. and a 200 amp box, which is what I was planning to do.

100 amp breaker? Was going to go with 2 60 amps for some reason it did not make sense to me, but then again, I am just researching this atm.. a 100 amp makes more sense. dual breakers sounds like I would have to run 2 times the cables.

So, stick with GE because that is what the house uses. Found a 100 amp breaker.

I have to take the current breaker box and swap out a few 1" breakers with half inch breakers as he put all 1" 20a breakers in and used up all the freaking space. Well, not all.. I have 3 1" spots left...probably enough room for the 100amp breaker, we will see.

Thanks!

Oh, and still run 4 lines, correct? 2 ground rods and 4 lines?

Russ


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Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6772190 05/23/17 12:09 PM
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The new NEC is 4 wire, I did it the "old" way of 3, 2 hots, 1 common, w/2 ground rods at the sub, #8 copper ground from the sub-panel out to the ground rods.

I used a 200a box incase I ever needed/wanted to upgrade, I also chose one that came as a package, meaning had about 20 breakers with it (at Lowes iirc) saved me a little over buying breakers separate to match that box.

The box should also come with instructions on if, or not to have the ground bar tied to the box, mine is not since I went with 3 wire run from main. Usually there is a screw that will ground the box to the bar for running 4 wires back to the main, it will be in the box install papers and generally easy to understand.

I am not an electrician by any count, but ready and able grin I did have access to 2 electricians in the family and a THF member (DTCooper)) that helped me "bigly" with information and specking it out. It is electricity, so if in doubt, double check before moving on.

iirc, they spec'd me for 100a service with 2/0,2/0, #6 for the common for the 3 wire run, but I will confirm that in a bit when I take the dog out.


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Dennis

Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6772213 05/23/17 12:32 PM
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There's not a thing wrong with aluminum, just size it correctly. A ground wire is required by current code, this may come into play if you live in a city or plan to sell anytime soon. Inspectors will flag it. Remember to NOT bond neutral and ground at the subpanel.

FYI, one of the reasons code was changed to running a ground wire to subpanels was the addition of telephone, Ethernet and other low voltage cables between the house and out building. In a fault, electricity will take the path of least resistance. Sometimes that path can be telephone or network cable if the ground at the subpanel is not adequate.

Last edited by Hancock; 05/23/17 12:40 PM.
Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6772227 05/23/17 12:45 PM
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Exactly what Hankock said, when spec'ing mine, what was between the sub and main, was the 1st question I was asked, for the reasons he stated up


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Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6772231 05/23/17 12:49 PM
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Oh, I planned to do a ground, just looking at a grounding rod vs running a ground from the main panel vs doing both, etc.

The ground here is actually pretty soft, so can do it all...just making sure it is planned and done right and economically...mostly right wink

I do not need or ever plan to use 200 amps in the barn, doubt I will even use 100. The A/C is really the only energy hog I will have. I do not weld any longer, but if I DO.. it would be hog traps etc.. and thus a 120 mig welder would suit me just fine. Anything larger and I would go to my friend's place and do it there.

So...need to find the best wire and how many need to be run. If my math is right, a 2/0 would get the job done, but a 3/0 would be a safer bet. Running 4 of them 125 ft would "get the job done" and then go ahead and add 2 8' grounding rods as well. At 12 bucks per rod (I would use the copper rods there since they would be in contact with moisture I think)... not a big deal to add two.

Then a 100 amp breaker on the main box, and 2.5" conduit all the way.

Not sure of the difference in the $14 dollar per 10' gray conduit vs the regular sch 40 white pvc though.

Anyone?

Thanks guys, I really appreciate the help.

R


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Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6772233 05/23/17 12:50 PM
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Oh, the main line from the road is all copper to the house. This would only be aluminum from the house 100 amp breakers to the barn sub panel.

Also, my network and telephone etc would be in a different panel, and I would add a ground to that as well.


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Re: Electrical question [Re: JohnRussell] #6772241 05/23/17 12:54 PM
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Ran 200 amp to my garage last year. I used coper wire, but it was given to me. Any good buddies that work for an electric company?


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