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Mar 25th, 2012
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Running Electric #7143088
04/17/18 02:26 PM
04/17/18 02:26 PM
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Hunt in Cass County, live in T...
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Someone please give me the ballpark figure of running electrical underground for 300 feet. I know nothing about this but the electrical company said $10 a foot. Not counting the breaker box which they said 600-1,000. All I am going to run at the most is two travel trailers. Most likely just one. So, what do you think about their estimated cost. This will just be for my campsite at the property. It will never be for a barn, house, etc.


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Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7143101
04/17/18 02:36 PM
04/17/18 02:36 PM
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That includes the trenching and wire? We trenched and conduit ourselves 300 feet and spent close to $3K on the copper alone. It ain't cheap. We did overkill though on size. Bought a little too much though. Had the breaker box replaced and electrical outlets put on a pole. Price sounds about what we paid and we did the labor ourselves. We used a personal electrician from Dallas.

Call an electrician and see what they say.

Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7143107
04/17/18 02:44 PM
04/17/18 02:44 PM
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1/0 copper is $1.87 a foot at Lowes. You need three runs minimum, maybe 4. A panel will be about $200 populated. 2 1/2" grey PVC is about 14.50 for 10'. You will need about 300', plus fittings. And you need a ditch.


Cast



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Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7143141
04/17/18 03:12 PM
04/17/18 03:12 PM
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Hunt in Cass County, live in T...
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Wow, that's about $1,600 for wire, $200 for panel, $435 for PVC, = $2,235 plus digging ditch of 300. So, my guess now is just to let the electric company do all of that for $10 a foot.


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Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7143147
04/17/18 03:15 PM
04/17/18 03:15 PM
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Great question, and great, informative answers !!!! Thanks all.

Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7143240
04/17/18 04:45 PM
04/17/18 04:45 PM
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Purchase a panel (find one used), I'd put in at least 3 runs of 3 wire. With outdoor bury wire really they say no need to conduit/pvc it except for the vertical up on a post where your 30amp rv water deterred plug outlet will be. We mounted outlets to a 4x4 post holed in ground and also cover over top with a bucket. Wire is expensive. If you do it right, trencher, wire, panel, breakers,plugs etc adds up big $.

IIRC you have a young man leasing hog hunting from you. so provide him a pick axe and ask him (after a rain) to trench you a line about 4-6" deep. Then you should be able to do the rest of the install. if uncomfortable with the live hook up then seek help.

At my last lease, we put in new panel box, new breakers, hand shallow trenched down fence line, ran underground wire, covered, conduit the wire coming up out of ground up 4x4 post to outdoor covered outlets, put buckets over posts/outlets, plug up and have been running for over 10 years. we have separate run for each camper, camp shacks, outhouse/storage.

Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7143243
04/17/18 04:49 PM
04/17/18 04:49 PM
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Another option is call septic or a sprinkler contractor and show them where you want trench. Ask them to do it when they are in the area (no rush for better side $ deal). If it is a clean (free of brush) run they can trench it pretty quick. Probably cheaper than you renting trencher, transportation, load/unload and return.

Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7144201
04/18/18 02:31 PM
04/18/18 02:31 PM
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Live in Katy, Hunt in Llano Co...
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I think you can substantially beat that cost. Start with how many amps you'll need at the camp site. Then, you can use a voltage calc to size your wire.

If you're just going to run two travel trailers max that is 30 amps at 120V x 2, or 60 total amps at 120V. So, if you had capacity for 40 amps at 240V then you'd be fine. (240V will have less line loss than 120V. Step it down at panel.) Direct-burial Aluminum is cheaper than copper. My voltage calc shows that 2 AWG would do it. 2/2/1 AL URD Triplex (all three wires in one) goes for $1.23 a foot at Lowes. Lifespan will be 10 to 15 years, but if you want you can put it in conduit and changing out later would be much easier as you won't have to dig it up.

So, you got about $375 in wire. A 100 amp panel and breaker value pack with two added RV sockets can be had for <$100. Meter Loop will be a few hundred bucks. Beyond that, it is trencher rental (or hand dig if you have the time) then the labor to wire it all up if you don't want to do it yourself. So, I'm thinking you could do it for considerably less than the $3.6K the Utility Company was going to charge you.

Last edited by TxAg; 04/18/18 02:34 PM.

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Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7144297
04/18/18 04:03 PM
04/18/18 04:03 PM
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Hunt in Cass County, live in T...
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I really appreciate all of this information. It gives me a lot to think about.


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Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7144596
04/18/18 08:21 PM
04/18/18 08:21 PM
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Don’t buy any of your electronic supplies at Lowe’s or Home Depot go to a electric supply distributor like Elliotts much cheaper. I wired a tankless hot water for my home for a fraction of the cost of Home Depot prices . Txag is has good info Direct burial aluminum wire .


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Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7144601
04/18/18 08:24 PM
04/18/18 08:24 PM
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Bertram, Texas
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Texas ag gave great advice but do not be a penny wise and a pound foolish.


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Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7144624
04/18/18 08:59 PM
04/18/18 08:59 PM
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Be sure to take voltage drop into consideration with your installation. Depending on circuit amperage required for your application a rule of thumb is to increase wire size one size for each 100’ after first 100’.
Good luck

Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7144942
04/19/18 03:01 AM
04/19/18 03:01 AM
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Jersey Village
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Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7145124
04/19/18 01:28 PM
04/19/18 01:28 PM
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Again, thank you all so very much. I starting to feel like I have some knowledge about what I am wanting to do now.

Last edited by Mr. T.; 04/19/18 01:28 PM.

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Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7145164
04/19/18 02:12 PM
04/19/18 02:12 PM
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And do aluminum wire. Will save you a good chunk of money.

Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7145361
04/19/18 04:29 PM
04/19/18 04:29 PM
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There's a lot of information for a rookie here, don't get confused.

1. Voltage drop is not a consideration here, I doubt you could document any loss worth mentioning.
2. Using aluminum wire is not a good choice. It will fail. Copper in gray PVC lasts forever.
3. Direct burial wire is a terrible idea. Put it in a nice big pipe with long sweeps for an easy pull.

This is your property, think long term and don't scrimp. Put in a bigger COPPER feed than you think you will ever need. It'll just be more expensive 10 years later when you need it, and you will be older.


Cast



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Re: Running Electric [Re: Cast] #7145425
04/19/18 05:07 PM
04/19/18 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted By: Cast
2. Using aluminum wire is not a good choice. It will fail. Copper in gray PVC lasts forever.


So the bare aluminum wire in use for essentially 100% of the electrical transmission and distribution systems in the U.S. is bound to fail any day now???

Aluminum wire in conduit will outlast you.

Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7145438
04/19/18 05:16 PM
04/19/18 05:16 PM
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All transmission lines are aluminum all the cables run over your backyard or under your backyard are all aluminum . The lines from the transformer to your house or more likely aluminum also


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Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7145485
04/19/18 06:13 PM
04/19/18 06:13 PM
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Fort Worth
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popcorn


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Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7145487
04/19/18 06:15 PM
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The transmission lines are steel reinforced fellows. You can't expect aluminum to hang, support its own weight, swing in the wind and survive. What you have is a steel messenger strand carrying the load, kinda wrapped in heavy aluminum strands.

Apples and oranges.


Cast



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Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7145582
04/19/18 07:54 PM
04/19/18 07:54 PM
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In transmission you overwhelmingly have ACSS (Aluminum conductor steel supported) or ACSR (Aluminum conductor steel reinforced). For distribution you generally have AAC (All aluminum conductor). A few other types of wire exist but these are what is mainly out there. The first lines to fail are the lines with steel in them because they corrode faster than the all aluminum lines because of the steel cores. In addition, in a large city maybe 2% are ACSS/ACSR transmission lines, with a balance of largely AAC distribution lines, plus rounding errors of underground copper. But all of this is irrelevant since underground lines do not need to support themselves. The ampacity/cost ratio for equivalently loaded aluminum and copper wire overwhelmingly favors Aluminum and that is the bottom line.

Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7145622
04/19/18 08:32 PM
04/19/18 08:32 PM
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agree ... I only had to run about 25 feet from meter box to breaker load box inside my shop, I used copper in gray PVC. If I had to run 100+ feet, I would have gone with Aluminum Conductor in gray PVC.


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Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7145624
04/19/18 08:33 PM
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I have repaired too many aluminum wiring jobs to ever run or recommend aluminum wire. If you MUST use aluminum, do not let it bend or kink, handle it gently, use no-ox paste on all connections and up-size the conduit to make it easy to pull so you don't damage it while pulling. Use plenty of monkey snot to lube during the pull.

Or just use copper and don't worry.


Cast



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Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7145629
04/19/18 08:40 PM
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yes, if money isn't an issue, copper would be the only way for me too.


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Re: Running Electric [Re: Mr. T.] #7145698
04/19/18 10:08 PM
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Is your electric utility Bowie Cass COOP?

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