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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Power

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504

10-15-2012 19:30:48
64.111.61.44



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It is 220 feet from my electric meter(200amp) to the shed, I will need at least one 50 amp circuit plus lights. What do I need for direct bury line? I am tired of the lights going out when I use the skill saw. I am just running a drop cord now.




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36 coupe

10-19-2012 03:51:59
66.186.169.176



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 Re: Power in reply to 504, 10-15-2012 19:30:48  
My Dad ran over head line to his shop.We used a 240 electric motor to run a cordwood saw and welder..I have seen too many problems with aluminum wire to ever use it under ground.I used 60 feet of 6 uf copper in 1968 to power my shop.No problems.Grand son had problems with aluminum feeding his garage.He does auto detailing.He has oil heat, just asked me about changing to wood heat in the garage.I told him to charge enough to cover oil heat costs and forget the wood heat.You might do better running a seperate service to the garage.Power co will set one pole and run wire here.Check the monthly rate for non residential, its higher here.I have 200 ft of #8 feeding the barn.I run a 5hp motor inside and a 50 amp welder on a 40 foot extention cord outdoors.Never at the same time so no need for big wire.It would help to know what you expect to use in the shed.

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David G

10-17-2012 11:59:03
205.215.206.18



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 Re: Power in reply to 504, 10-15-2012 19:30:48  
B&D, I realize you do not like aluminum, but everyone is using it now due to the high cost of copper.

Go price enough copper to run 50 amps 200'



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buickanddeere

10-16-2012 20:50:41
173.241.102.119



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 Re: Power in reply to 504, 10-15-2012 19:30:48  
http://www.reliancecontrols.com/ProductDetail.aspx?TWB2012DR

You don't want aluminum direct burial cable.



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MarkB_MI

10-17-2012 13:46:39
198.208.251.23



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 Re: Power in reply to buickanddeere, 10-16-2012 20:50:41  
B&D, what's your beef with Al for direct burial? I don't know about Canada, but in the US almost all direct burial is done with aluminum. 4/0 copper gets to be a little pricey.



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buickanddeere

10-17-2012 14:51:17
209.240.127.156



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 Re: Power in reply to MarkB_MI, 10-17-2012 13:46:39  
Aluminum wire just gives more problems with loose arcing terminal points. Aluminum wire seems to suffer more under ground failures failures too.



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Dusty MI

10-17-2012 17:00:18
108.95.157.76



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 Re: Power in reply to buickanddeere, 10-17-2012 14:51:17  
I've also seen too many problems with AL wire.

If someone were to insist on using AL, I would recommend going 2 or 3 sizes larger rather than the 1 size over that code calls for.

Also PVC conduit is not very expensive. If you ever have a problem you will be glad you put it in conduit. Besides by going over size with the conduit, if tomorrow you wish/need more power, you can replace what you put in with larger wire.

Why go to the work of digging a trench and not leaving a hole, conduit ?

Dusty

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MarkB_MI

10-16-2012 14:32:29
75.198.79.15



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 Re: Power in reply to 504, 10-15-2012 19:30:48  
Go big. John T knows his stuff.

Personally, I would run 4 conductors, using USE (Underground Service Equipment) cable, which will get you 240 to your shed. MINIMUM AWG #2 aluminum, but bigger is better. 2 hots, one neutral, one ground. Ground rod at the outbuilding.



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buickanddeere

10-16-2012 11:14:07
184.151.61.194



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 Re: Power in reply to 504, 10-15-2012 19:30:48  
Reliance Electric makes a feed through transfer switch with four breakers to supply out buildings direct . Just install at the utility pole and run four cables to your shed. Three insulated in a conduit and a bare copper beside the conduit.



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DaveK(IN)

10-16-2012 12:03:59
75.103.133.193



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 Re: Power in reply to buickanddeere, 10-16-2012 11:14:07  
Why would you run the GEC outside of the conduit? Code requires that all the wires be run together in the conduit.



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David G

10-16-2012 08:25:34
205.215.206.18



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 Re: Power in reply to 504, 10-15-2012 19:30:48  
That is a LOT of copper, I would run it in Aluminum, John T can probably size that for you.



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Greenday

10-16-2012 07:30:18
204.185.166.101



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 Re: Power in reply to 504, 10-15-2012 19:30:48  
I would think you wouldnt want any less than a 100 amp service to your shop. So with that being said # 4 wire would be the absolute smallest wire you want to go with. I would go with the next size heavier wire to be on the safe side.



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Brian G. NY

10-16-2012 18:05:54
72.10.223.251



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 Re: Power in reply to Greenday, 10-16-2012 07:30:18  
I agree with Greenday; my shop is 220 feet from my main panel also.
Back in '96 I ran 3 2-0 aluminum cables in conduit out to the 100 amp breaker which seemed to work just fine.
However, after discussions by John T. and others here and on other forums, I "saw the light" and ran a #4 copper ground wire back to the main panel and separated the ground and neutral in the sub-panel at the barn. Luckily, I "saw the light" just before the price of copper skyrocketed. LOL

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John T

10-16-2012 10:24:09
216.249.82.117



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 Re: Power in reply to Greenday, 10-16-2012 07:30:18  
No 4 wire drawing 50 amps over 220 feet drops 5.62 volts or 4.68% while No 2 only drops 3.53 volts or 2.94%. Dern copper is expensiveeeeeeeee lol

John T



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John T

10-16-2012 05:56:30
216.249.82.117



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 Re: Power in reply to 504, 10-15-2012 19:30:48  
Okay heres the deal, but I can ONLY provide an answer based on the info you provided!!!!!!

1) You mentioned a "50 amps" so heres the voltage drop according to a formula I found (NO WARRANTY I did this in a hurry) and the data you provided:

If you use # 2 AWG Copper Wire 220 feet one way from meter to load 50 amps of current VOLTAGE DROP 3.53 Volts Percentage Voltage Drop 2.9%

If you use # 1 AWG Copper Wire 220 feet one way meter to load 50 amps of current Voltage Drop 2.8 volts Percentage Voltage Drop 2.34%

OF COURSE, NO 6 WIRE CAN HANDLE 50 AMPS BUTTTTTTTTTTTTT YOU SAY 220 FEET AND YOU ARE CONCEREND WITH VOLTAGE DROP, SO AT 50 AMPS IM ONLY ANSWERING YOUR QUESTION AND CONCERNS REMEMBER !!!!! If you wanna just use 6 or 4 gauge AND LOCAL AUTHORITY ALLOWS IT OR THE LOAD IS ACTUALLY LESS (in which case smaller wire suffices) ITS YOUR MONEY AND YOUR CHOICE

NOTE When I was a design engineer I didnt like over 2% in Voltage Drop I.E. you would need even bigger wire, 1/0 yields only a 2.21 volt 1.85% Voltage drop

NOTE If your actual load is less then 50 amps, then, of course, the wire size can be reduced, BUT YOU CANT MAKE THIS CALCULATION WITHOUT KNOWING THE LOAD, SO BEWARE OF BILLY BOB AND BUBBAS ADVICE AS TO WIRE SIZE (considering voltage drop) WITHOUT KNOWING THE ACTUAL LOAD!!!!!!!!!

2) Okay you stated from your "electric meter" to the shed NOT from any Main Distribution Panel out to what would be considered a "Sub Panel"

NOTE if thats the case, for a 120/240 volt single phase three wire service from the meter base out to the shed YOU CAN GET BY WITH RUNNING ONLY THREE WIRES (L1, L2, Neutral) just the same as you only run 3 wires from a service transformer to your meter and meter into main panel.

HOWEVER if you run from the homes main distribution panel out to a "sub panel" in the shed THEN YOU NEED FOUR WIRES (L1, L2, Neutral, Equipment Ground) and at the sheds "sub panel" keep the Neutral and Ground Busses SEPERATE AND ISOLATED FROM EACH OTHER

3) SUBJECT TO LOCAL AUTHORITY RULES NOTTTTTTTTTTT ANYTHING SAID HERE You may get by using direct burial rated cable like UF Underground Feeder or USE Underground Service Entrance and again for 120/240 volt single phase three wire service 3 CONDUCTOR FROM METER TO SHED OR 4 CONDUCTOR TO SHED FORM HOUSE MAIN PANEL

4) If from meter to shed, at the sheds panel the Neutral Buss is bonded to the Ground Buss and the Neutral Buss has a No 4 "Grounding Electrode Conductor" ran outside and attached to a "Grounding Electrode" which may be a "made electrode" such as driven copper rod or rods (SUBJECT to Local Authority Rules NOT whats anyone here including myself thinks, especially Bubba and Billy Bob lol) and other suitable approved grounding elecrodes such as metallic water pipes and structural foundation steel etc etc.

NOTE check with local authority because I have seen the Neutrals grounded 1) Up on the weatherhead service riser 2) in the Meter Base 3) Inside the Main Panel SO THE ABOVE MAY BE WRONG IF THE LOCAL AUTHORITY WANTS NEUTRAL GROUNDED IN THE METER BASE !!!!!!

5) If youre running from a main panel out to a sub panel, you still need a "grounding electrode" at the shed remember, its just that you need to carry 4 instead of 3 wires and at reh shed Neutral and ground are NOT bonded but seperate and isolated

Okay I do my best to give an answer based on THE INFO YOU PROVIDED........BUT LOCAL AUTHORITY IS WHAT COUNTS, NOT WHAT I OR OTHERS THINK....And I havent designed in years and am rusty on the latest codes SO NO WARRANTY, but I do my best........

You asked what you need for 50 amps and were concerned with VOLTAGE DROP, so thats the answer I gave you. I wouldnt run any less then a 60 amp 120/240 volt service if it were me and even better a 100 amp SO YOU HAVE TO SIZE YOUR WIRE TO MATCH THE LOAD NOTTTTTTTTTTT WHATS GUESSED AT HERE.

I know I left a lot out, so if any other experienced electricians and engineers here can add to this or correct me Id sure appreicate it.......... John T Too long retired EE and rusty on this but like to help the best I can

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504

10-16-2012 19:58:38
64.111.61.44



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 Re: Power in reply to John T, 10-16-2012 05:56:30  
Yea I know that I didn t give all of the information. I am just trying to get an idea of the cost. The REC puts a 200 amp main breaker panel on the pole for the house. I will hook up there and use another breaker panel in the shed. 50amp is for the welder and compressor(one outlet two plugs) By the time I get some lights out there I should just wire it for 200amp and be done with it. Before somebody points out that two boxes each at 200 amps is a 200 amp over load, the REC has told me as soon as I blow their breaker, they will upgrade my service. It will be just a home shop. It has to be better than what I am doing now,I can not run a portable compressor at all.(250ft of drop cord) Thank you all for your comments and replies.

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36 coupe

10-20-2012 03:07:48
66.186.169.176



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 Re: Power in reply to 504, 10-16-2012 19:58:38  
If you ever drew 200 amps very long you will have trouble paying the bill.that figues out to 48,000 watts per hour.200 feet of #8 wire have run my welder for 45 years with no problem.



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John T

10-17-2012 05:01:20
216.249.82.117



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 Re: Power in reply to 504, 10-16-2012 19:58:38  
Youre welcome, let me know if you need more specific help

John T



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Dusty MI

10-16-2012 04:57:04
108.95.156.241



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 Re: Power in reply to 504, 10-15-2012 19:30:48  
You need to know what your total load would be at any time, then add some to that just for future. Then google voltage drop, to figure wire size.

Dusty



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Billy Shafer

10-16-2012 05:11:30
173.184.79.154



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 Re: Power in reply to Dusty MI, 10-16-2012 04:57:04  
I agree with Dusty. That would be the way to do it.



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