Electric Questions

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Mike in Ohio, Dec 26, 2003.

  1. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    I'm having 200 amp primary service brought into an existing cabin on our property. It is approximately 240 feet from the transformer. There is no charge because it is considered residential. My question is as follows.

    Where we are building the barn is about 600 feet beyond the cabin. The engineer from the electric cooperative told me it would be $4.25 per foot to run primary service to the barn. According to him the voltage drop will be too high because of the distance from the primary service. Any thoughts or comments?

    I held off installing electric to the barn for now because I am thinking that at $4.25 per foot I can either trench and lay myself (or contract) the electric, telephone and water (there is a well right by the current cabin) along the gravel drive.

    Another fact to consider is that we eventually plan on building a house about 300 feet (kind of off to the side) beyond the barn.

    Looking forward to your thoughts and suggestions.

    Mike
     
  2. Farmer Brown

    Farmer Brown Well-Known Member

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    600 ft is along ways. You could not run any high amp items. Things like lights I'd say would work fine---but that's a high cost to pay just for lights. I'd have a high voltage line run closer by power company. FB
     

  3. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    you did not indicate how many amps you need at the barn, here is a voltage drop calculator that will assist with your decision.
    http://www.stanselectric.com/vdrop.html

    If you will plug in 50 amps at 600ft and aluminum wire size 2/0 you can see using the calculator that you can run to the barn and you will only have one meter and the resulting savings from not having 2 separate meters.
     
  4. charles

    charles Well-Known Member

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    Mike, at least they are being consistent. My electric power company said the same thing (at even less distance).
     
  5. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

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    mike -
    you don't say if the barn and/or new home are uphill or downhill from the cabin
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Mike, just as a followup on the above. I have a similar situation and here in NC I requested what is known as a central pole distribution from the power company. My meter is not on the house nor the outbuildings. It is located on a freestanding pole and I have a dual feed meter base. One feed comes to the house and the other goes to the main farm building. Both are underground to mostly avoid equipment tearing it down . I had to pay for one feed line and the power company picked up the tab on the other. I chose to pay for the shorter one, :D . Obviously the power company did not volunteer information that this setup was available. I happened to see a job where this was installed and requested the same. The power company did give me a hassle until finally they sent an engineer and I had to explain the various loads and that I was not setting up a manufacturing business and trying to run it off the house meter. Things went smoothly following that meeting and I like the system. If I had the choice now , I would install a disconnect at the meter so that I could run the generator at the equipment building and back feed the house during power outages and have the power company feed isolated. Currently, I just pop the meter from its base to avoid backfeeding the power company and they frown on that practice. Hard to keep everyone happy!
     
  7. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    It can be done. You will probably have to use #2 or #4 wire plus your ground and neutral, depending on how much power you need at your barn. I would think that #4 would be adequate, for about 60 amps of service to a subpanel. More will probably require #2. Just so happens that 600 ft. is the exact same distance from my service pole to the boathouse I recently built. This is what I was told. I am no expert, BTW, but did tons of research on this subject. And mine is not done yet. There's lots of free advice on the net - try handymanwire.com and doityourself.com. Good luck.
     
  8. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Joan,

    The barn is uphill from the cabin and the eventual homesite will be downhill from the barn.

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'd love to have 200 amp service back to the barn and would settle for 100 amp. I suppose I could live with 60amp if I had to. The main electric need will be to run things like honey extractors or this nut huller I'm planning on buying. Of course lights and possibly an air conditioner in the summer.

    Mike
     
  9. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the calculator agmantoo. Looks like 60 amps does it.

    Mike