Pole Barn Electric Run
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    Pole Barn Electric Run

    I have a 36 x 32 Pole barn with second story. I plan on running electric, water and cable to the barn. It is about a 75' run from the Main panel in the house to the barn. I plan on putting in a 100 amp service. All services will be split off the service I already have at the house (sub-panel off my main panel for barn). My questions are the following:

    What size/type wire should I use?

    Would it be better to run a seperate service from the pole rather than the house? Run to pole would be about 300 feet.

    Any other ideas or recommendations would be appreciated.

    Kennyd gave me his version and will add more to this thread. Thanks Kenny.
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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    I would run off the house and save the basic service charge. I would also have a local electric company give you a quote to provide all materials, run the wire and hook up the new panel.
    We did our garage last year and for the cost of an electrician that basically shows up with an electrical wholesale company on wheels it ends up being a couple hour job. I gave the company 8 hours of work to be fair and had the guy help with other wiring in the garage until he had a full day. $1,000.00 done deal. My wife and I installed the conduit from the house to the garage. Electrical run was about 80 ft.
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    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    My answer to the PM:
    Bob, Mine is setup as a 100 amp subpanel off of my main, it's feed by three #2 AL conductors one #6 copper for the ground. The run is about 75'. I used what's called URD triplex cable rated for direct burial although I placed it into 2" conduit.

    Here is an example: http://products.customwireandcable.c...-direct-burial


    There are other types of wire you can use, but I got a "deal" on this stuff so that's what I used.
    Are you going to do this yourself?
    What size main panel do you have and how many spaces are blank?
    Is a path/conduit already installed?
    Do you understand that you need 4 conductors and keep your grounds and neutrals separated in the subpanel?
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    I did something similar. I ran from the house to the shed underground.


    You might think about running some Internet line as well(cat 5e or 6 should be plenty for basic needs). That way if you ever want to take advantage of Ethernet you don't have to dig up the ground again. Just make sure to get shielded cable if it's going to be near the power line.
    ~Lebneh

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kennyd View Post
    My answer to the PM:



    Do you understand that you need 4 conductors and keep your grounds and neutrals separated in the subpanel?
    Kenny is warning you of a very common pit fall.
    I'll warn you of a couple more.
    1) You will need to drive a ground rod, and if you are pouring concrete with rebar, you have to tie your grounding electrode conductor to that as well.
    2) Make sure your URD actually carries a dual rating of USE as well. All modern URD does, but if you have some laying around, check to make sure.
    3) Make sure you use schedule 80 PVC conduit where you are emerging from the ground.
    4) Direct burial cables need 24 inches of cover.
    5) You need a warning ribbon 12 inches (or so) above the wires.
    6) Snake the wire back and forth a little in the trench and put a gentle"s" curve in in the wires at the ends to allow for ground movement and thermal expansion.
    7) Penetrate your conduits on each end of the run into the ground at least 18"
    8) Use a bushing on the ends of the conduits to protect the wires.
    9) make sure you line your trench with nice black dirt, clay, or sand. Then cover with the same; NO ROCKS.
    10) check with your inspector regarding using #2 AL to a building. The NEC allows this for dwelling units only. Many inspectors allow #2, but some do not. You may have to use #1 AL (see NEC table 310.15 (B) (7))
    11) Check with your inspector regarding your trench. If you explain to him how you plan on doing it, he may tell you it's OK to cover it up before he sees it. This is very handy if you are working on weekends.
    12) Check with your inspector with everything. They don't mind and it will save you some headaches. Remember, even when they are wrong, they are right
    13) clean the AL wires up good with a stainless steel brush, and work some anti oxidant goop into the wires before you terminate.
    14) Don't nick the wire when you strip it; AL hates this.
    15) make sure if you go under driveways or slabs, you are in conduit.
    Good luck, it's not hard.
    All this stuff is in the code except 13. I can give you the code references if you want them.
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  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to arlen For This Useful Post:

    Kennyd (08-15-2012), rgd (08-14-2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by arlen View Post
    Kenny is warning you of a very common pit fall.
    I'll warn you of a couple more.
    1) You will need to drive a ground rod, and if you are pouring concrete with rebar, you have to tie your grounding electrode conductor to that as well.
    2) Make sure your URD actually carries a dual rating of USE as well. All modern URD does, but if you have some laying around, check to make sure.
    3) Make sure you use schedule 80 PVC conduit where you are emerging from the ground.
    4) Direct burial cables need 24 inches of cover.
    5) You need a warning ribbon 12 inches (or so) above the wires.
    6) Snake the wire back and forth a little in the trench and put a gentle"s" curve in in the wires at the ends to allow for ground movement and thermal expansion.
    7) Penetrate your conduits on each end of the run into the ground at least 18"
    8) Use a bushing on the ends of the conduits to protect the wires.
    9) make sure you line your trench with nice black dirt, clay, or sand. Then cover with the same; NO ROCKS.
    10) check with your inspector regarding using #2 AL to a building. The NEC allows this for dwelling units only. Many inspectors allow #2, but some do not. You may have to use #1 AL (see NEC table 310.15 (B) (7))
    11) Check with your inspector regarding your trench. If you explain to him how you plan on doing it, he may tell you it's OK to cover it up before he sees it. This is very handy if you are working on weekends.
    12) Check with your inspector with everything. They don't mind and it will save you some headaches. Remember, even when they are wrong, they are right
    13) clean the AL wires up good with a stainless steel brush, and work some anti oxidant goop into the wires before you terminate.
    14) Don't nick the wire when you strip it; AL hates this.
    15) make sure if you go under driveways or slabs, you are in conduit.
    Good luck, it's not hard.
    All this stuff is in the code except 13. I can give you the code references if you want them.
    Electricity is one thing I will never understand, I'm just glad there are smart people like you that can figure it out
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    arlen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martian View Post
    Electricity is one thing I will never understand, I'm just glad there are smart people like you that can figure it out
    Thanks for the kind words. One thing I've learned from this forum: With the incredible diversity of all of us, together we make a pretty smart guy
    This forum is better than google
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    300ft will be a long run for CAT 5 cable, that's at the max range for ethernet. Just something to keep in mind.
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    I did mine the opposite, shed to house do to construction timing. One question I have is how many amp service did the utility hook you up to? I had a choice between 200 or 300 AMP service and went with the higher.

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