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Old 06-14-2010, 02:05 PM   #1
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Electric Service

I will be trying to set up electrical service for my trailer at the place I park it. This location is about 150' from the main breaker in the house. I would like to install underground wiring enclosed in PVC from the parking area to the house breaker box. The parking area would include a plug for my 31'1983 excella,and two lights overhead and plugs for my boat charger and a extra one for whatever. I have a air conditioner and the normal appliances in the trailer. What size breaker in the breaker box would I use? What size wire to run the distance from the house to insure proper current. Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:22 PM   #2
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I have done this exact same thing. I ran a 220 50amp sub panel to the parking barn and then ran all of my power out of this to my 30amp rv plug as well as over head lights and convenience outlets. With 150' run you have to account for voltage drop. If you decide to to run 220, then you can use #4 wire. For this you will need two hots a neutral and a ground. (2 black, 1 white, 1 green)

If you decide to only run 110volts you will need to upsize the wire to #2 for the run. Keep in mind that you can derate the neutral to one size smaller #4 and the ground to #10.

You will need to use carlon (the gray pvc).
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:33 PM   #3
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ck21084 - I assume you ran copper wire? Regardless, I agree that voltage drop has to be accounted for.

Here's a voltage drop calculator which may help the effort.

Okiegent - be advised that the materials alone (with the price of metal) is going to make this an expensive project.

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Old 06-14-2010, 02:40 PM   #4
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ck21084 - I assume you ran copper wire? Regardless, I agree that voltage drop has to be accounted for.

Here's a voltage drop calculator which may help the effort.

Okiegent - be advised that the materials alone (with the price of metal) is going to make this an expensive project.

Tom
Correct! Copper only!

I think #2 is around $1.30~$2.00 a foot. depending on how you go it could be $757.50 just for wire ( these prices are from my local lowes) an electric supply house is cheaper.
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:03 PM   #5
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You may find that aluminum cable is cheaper, even though you have to go up a size.
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:55 PM   #6
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I appreciate your quick reply. Your answers have got my mind to thinking here. We have a local supply house who has wire it would seem a little cheaper. Copper 2 hot and a neutral would run me around 250.00 for 150' Aluminum would be around 1.20 a foot x 3 The copper would come as a package so I would not have to buy three wires.I still do not know what I am doing here just yet. I will do some more home work. I will get back to you all.
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:12 PM   #7
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We're creeping up on a little pucker factor here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Okiegent View Post
... The copper would come as a package so I would not have to buy three wires..
Be careful. Packaged wire gets tough to fish through a PVC pipe over long distances. Nothing sux worse than not being able to fish wire through pre-laid conduit.

Another option your may want to consider is buying "packaged" wire suitable for burying instead of fishing through electrical PVC.

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Old 06-15-2010, 05:04 AM   #8
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Be careful. Packaged wire gets tough to fish through a PVC pipe over long distances. Nothing sux worse than not being able to fish wire through pre-laid conduit.

Another option your may want to consider is buying "packaged" wire suitable for burying instead of fishing through electrical PVC.

Tom
Yes I had thought of that Tom. I wanted to try and save as much as possible on the project and romax #8 in the carbon PVC seemed reasonable at this point . I am thinking I will also do as CK recommended and run 110 and do a 30 amp service instead of a 50 amp.I will mull it over some more though. We are leaving Friday for ten days. When we get back I am sure I will have more questions. Thanks for all the information at this point. Have a great day all.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:01 AM   #9
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Yes I had thought of that Tom. I wanted to try and save as much as possible on the project and romax #8 in the carbon PVC seemed reasonable at this point . I am thinking I will also do as CK recommended and run 110 and do a 30 amp service instead of a 50 amp.I will mull it over some more though. We are leaving Friday for ten days. When we get back I am sure I will have more questions. Thanks for all the information at this point. Have a great day all.
I know that money can be tight but, you mentioned that you wanted to run a boat charger, a few outlets and a couple of lights. These items could pull more than the service would allow with the RV plug at 30 amps you could burn the wire up, esp with #8 and a 30amp circuit.

As for direct burial cable, it has always been more expensive and much harder to service if there ever is an issue. Ask me how i know. (conduit would have kept the shovel from being blown out of my hand.)
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Old 06-15-2010, 03:22 PM   #10
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CK My thought was. That an air conditioner only requires around 30 amp's to get started. Once started and cycling it would probably pull 15 to 20 amp's. Now I know the boat charger want pull more than say 15 amp's, probably 3 amp's to be real. Then two lights and a convenience plug 20 amp's. I don't think I will ever have my air conditioner running and both outside lights on and the receptacles all utilized at the same time. So I figured that 30 amp service would work. #8 would be plenty for 30 amp service. Now like I said I am mulling all the great advice over though. I have not made a decision yet.
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Old 06-15-2010, 03:35 PM   #11
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It might be much easier to lay all of your wire out and slide the PVC conduit over it and glue together, then roll it into the trench and do the short connections on each end to fit. I realize this is not the pro method but it works for the DIY types like me that have little experience pulling cables in conduit. 150 feet, it's only 6 pieces of 20 foot conduit.

Never short change yourself on the wire size - always go bigger. The tools and equipment you burn up over the years will cost alot more than the pennies difference in cable costs. Think of it this way, if you do it yourself - you are already saving the cost of an electrician - that's alot of savings verses the cost of materials alone.

Aluminum wire requires special connectors and if your house power box is not rated for aluminum wire you cannot use it. Go copper and save yourself the headache.
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:51 PM   #12
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I don't want to beat a dead horse but go bigger. When you spend a few bucks for a job like this you only want to do it once. What you want to run today, battery charger and a few lights may change in the future if you get new, bigger or more toys.

I agree with ck21084 go for 50 amp 220. You never know what you might need in the future. A simple weld repair will make it worthwhile. You may not have a welder but needing a job done gets easier if you rent a welder or if a friend brings his welder or other tools over. A compressor to inflate a flat tire, it all takes power.

If you run direct burial cable and bury it 24" I hope you never need to dig that deep that you would hit it with a shovel. Also take pictures and make a sketch of where your wire is buried in case you do have to work around it in the future. Who knows you may sell the place some day and the buyer will have a big Moho with a 50 amp service and that plug will make the sale.

Good luck, Dan
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:31 PM   #13
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If you are running that far, I would slide the conduit over the wire one stick at a time, then just be carefull not to over do it with the glue. Once all the pipe is assembled , then just slide it in the trench. I'm not sure but I don't think your trailer requires 220 volts. Make sure you know the requirement and that you have met it before turning on the power. If it is wrong you will probably let the smoke out of some stuff. Since electrical devices work on smoke, if the smoke is released, they won't work any more. LOL.
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:54 AM   #14
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It is great to hear so many genuine responses to the post. That was what I was needing and looking for. I wanted to be sure that the job was done right and I would have no trouble. All of the post have been on target in my thinking. As well as enlightening me on what size of wire and service to run. All of this has been very helpful. Thanks to all of you for your advice. I will keep you posted when I start the project.
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