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Old 10-31-2006, 02:59 PM   #1
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30Amp Hookup @Home

I'd like to install a 30amp hookup at the house for the camper. The spot I have in mind is about 50ft from the foundation of my house...wire run to the panel in the basement would be ~70ft. The driveway I want to bury the line in is currently gravel...but I'm having it paved...want to get the wires in before that happens...then have an electrician make the actual connections.

The question: what kind of wire? I was planning on digging a trench and laying conduit (pvc) for the whole length of the run, so that it can be easily replaced in the future if necessary. UF cable seemed appropriate at first, but poking around on some other websites, I've seen it said that it is rather difficult to pull through conduit. (its also really expensive!). What else would be appropriate?
I thought I read that you could use 3 seperate conductors of type THWN, THW, or TH...do you just buy 3 seperate wires with the appropriate colored insulation and twist 'em together yourself? (or just pull them through the conduit?).
any other tips?
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Old 10-31-2006, 03:18 PM   #2
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Chuck,

If you buy the single conductor wire it comes in black -- just get the colored electrical tape (red, white, black and green) and mark each end with a few wraps - about 6" from each end. If you use conduit then you won't need direct burial - just buy the THHN and your good - for that length I would think you should go with 8 guage but you will get better advice on this after I post. Use grey PVC pipe conduit and get the correct raduised 90's not the tight ones. Have a pull LB on the outside of the house to pull wires, maybe an outside power off switch.
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Old 10-31-2006, 03:31 PM   #3
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I had a 30 amp outlet installed in my garage. The location is about 60 feet from the electric panel. My electrician used 10 guage romex which is has a orange/red covering. It seems that each guage of romex comes in a different color now. An electrician can tell you what guage to use. You can purchase single strand in black, red and white and you should so that there will be no confusion as to which wire is which. You can put the wire in the conduit before it is buried or a good electrician can pull the wire if you put a pull rope in the conduit.

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Old 10-31-2006, 03:50 PM   #4
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During some remodeling a few years ago I had an electrician install a new panel in our garage. He tapped into our main panel and ran the wire to the garage - wired pretty much as Clancyboy described.

The benefit of this is I have a full panel available for future use, and today I have 50 amp, 30 amp and a quad 20 amp boxes outside mounted - just outside of the garage. This way, no fishing cords under the gargae door.

At the same time, I had our "clean out" cap moved close to the driveway, so I can dump. If you are going to pave your driveway, this may come into play for you as well. This adds a huge benefit for getting the trailer ready for camping, as well as returning.

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Old 10-31-2006, 04:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clancy_boy
Chuck,

If you buy the single conductor wire it comes in black -- just get the colored electrical tape (red, white, black and green) and mark each end with a few wraps - about 6" from each end. If you use conduit then you won't need direct burial - just buy the THHN and your good - for that length I would think you should go with 8 guage but you will get better advice on this after I post. Use grey PVC pipe conduit and get the correct raduised 90's not the tight ones. Have a pull LB on the outside of the house to pull wires, maybe an outside power off switch.
I checked an online voltage drop calculator, and it said there would still be >110volts...can't remember exactly, but the drop wasn't much.

I saw the long sweep elbows on the shelf...also, they had preformed off-sets, but the offset isn't much. There's going to be a problem transitioning from the foundation wall of the house to the trench...the foundation's footing is nearly exposed by the walk-out basement door. I need to dig the trench deeper than this level..but the footing sticks out 6" or so...I'll need something flexible to make this transition. or 3 elbows. (out--down--out again into the trench).

I was planning on running a water line, and maybe some coax, too. but no sewer is available...septic tank, and its "uphill' from where I park the camper.
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Old 10-31-2006, 04:24 PM   #6
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Local codes require 24" of trench depth for power. You may want to check for your area. They make 45 angles which can get you around the footing on your slab. Keep the number of 90's to a minimum. Makes pulling wire allot easier - I think 3 is a max and at that it's still tough. Pull a nylon cord (small diameter) for future wire pulls if necessary. BTW - much easier to put wire in pipe before gluing up, been there done that - 400 feet worth.
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Old 10-31-2006, 04:26 PM   #7
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Chuck , definately go with the conduit and not direct burial , you will thank yourself later . You may not wnat to go all the way into the foundation until you are , or electrician is ready to pull the wires , it is sometimes hard to pull the wire thru the bends . As long as the conduit is in the rest can be done later , even the pull cord . Make sure you glue the joints so the conduit doesn't fill with water . Don't use the same conduit for all , you can use black heavy wall water line for coax and phone lines . Good luck
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Old 10-31-2006, 04:27 PM   #8
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Hi chuck, You can make your own sewer hookup with a plastic 55 gallon barrel with a 2in digester pump to pump it up hill to your septic tank. just ask a plumber or septic tank installer.it would be called a lift station just like in the cities only smaller...
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Old 10-31-2006, 04:38 PM   #9
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Chuck,

Talk to John HD. He's done a few and really know his stuff.

One suggestion I have would be to follow your instinct to place a conduit (outdoor rated) into the ground. If it's a wider pipe, it would be easier to pull cables. Even if you pave the area, you can still easily add circuits, enhance them, or yank the whole line and start over. If you burry it once using Romex or not using a conduit (PVC, galv pipe, etc), you'll always be digging if you add or repair to it later. I know it's hard to fathom needing more, but who knows, you may come across that magical unit that need a 50a connection, or you get a second Airstream and need two 30a outlets....what ever you may need, putting a conduit in the ground is insurance for the things you never knew you always needed.

I have a 1.5" galv metal conduit going from the house to the garage. Electrican thought I was nuts unitl the day I put a seperate 30a circuit in for the Airstream using the same conduit. One way around the issue of hard to pull is to install a pull string at install, then a pull string following each additional cable pull.
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Old 10-31-2006, 04:43 PM   #10
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PS- if you go the route of using a pull string, use nylon type rope. It can take the moisture (and not rot) and is not a conductor of electricity.
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Old 10-31-2006, 04:43 PM   #11
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If less effort appeals to you

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobchevy89
..You can make your own sewer hookup with a plastic 55 gallon barrel with a 2in digester pump to pump it up hill to your septic tank...


A macerator is a bit easier. I hear that the new ones will even pump uphill with gusto.

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Old 10-31-2006, 04:56 PM   #12
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Chuck, if you buy 3 wires, the ground doesn't have to be as big a guage as the neutral and hot. I don't know the ratio, but it would be slightly less expensive and easier to pull.

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Old 10-31-2006, 05:17 PM   #13
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I agree with Zep

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
...the ground doesn't have to be as big a guage as the neutral and hot...
Maybe a real electrician can comment, but I believe that for a detached location (power post by the side of the driveway), local codes may insist on a ground connection at the post itself.

But beyond that, I do not think it is safe to step down more than one gauge of wire is sizing the ground. Remember, if the HOT wire should come in contact with ground, you do not want it to melt the ground wire before the breaker trips.

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Old 10-31-2006, 05:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilesrob
During some remodeling a few years ago I had an electrician install a new panel in our garage. He tapped into our main panel and ran the wire to the garage - wired pretty much as Clancyboy described.

The benefit of this is I have a full panel available for future use, and today I have 50 amp, 30 amp and a quad 20 amp boxes outside mounted - just outside of the garage. This way, no fishing cords under the gargae door.

At the same time, I had our "clean out" cap moved close to the driveway, so I can dump. If you are going to pave your driveway, this may come into play for you as well. This adds a huge benefit for getting the trailer ready for camping, as well as returning.

Please excuse the clutter...
Brad, was just wondering why the need for a 50amp outlet and 20amp outlets? I thought Airstreams only required a 30amp outlet.
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