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Author Topic: Wire  (Read 2106 times)
Ace
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« on: March 21, 2007, 06:26:45 AM »

Been to HD and Lowes but before I take the plunge and purchase the wire I need to run for my 50 amp hook up, is there any on-line wholesale source that anyone can recommend? A 500 foot roll of 6 gauge stranded wire is $220 at the aforementioned. I need approximately 700-800 feet to do what I want to do from where I want to do it!
Just thought maybe there would an online source that may be a little cheaper!...

Thanks
Ace
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Ace Rossi
Lakeland, Fl. 33810
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2007, 06:45:47 AM »

 :)I would also check with a local electrical supply house or do you have a friend that is an electrician. He might get a better price. Copper is still high in the market. You will need either a 1000' or 2 500' rolls. You might get a deal on line etc but shipping could be high because of the weight.
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Steve Canzellarini
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2007, 08:07:14 AM »

Have you looked in to using TriPlex? It is direct-bury. A lot of electricians around here use it to supply 100Amp panels in out buildings. It is only 3 conductor so you would have to use a grounding rod at you sub-panel. You would have to check you local code to see if that is OK down there. The TriPlex is aluminum so make sure to use paste on the connections.

I know it is a lot less expensive.
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DavidInWilmNC
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2007, 08:51:46 AM »

I was also going to suggest using aluminum.  I know it's still used for the feeders for service entrances; it just has to be sized correctly (bigger than copper for the same capacity) and terminated correctly, as oldmansax mentioned.  I'm not sure how much cheapr it would be.  Another idea, from another thread, is to have the power company install a second service.  I'm not sure that this is possible, but it might be worth a try.  Let me know what you find, as I'll be doing the same soon enough.  That price seems to be about inline with what Lowe's has for 6-3, but I think direct burial was a bit higher.  Are you planning on running it in a conduit?  I'd thought to use a 1" or 1" schedule 40 PVC pipe as conduit if I didn't use direct burial.  What are you using for a box for the bus to plug into?  I've been having a hard time locating an RV box with  20 and 30 amp 120 outlets and breakers and a 120/240 50 amp outlet and breaker.  It'd be nice to have a place to plug in other items besides the bus, so this would solve both issues.  Keep us informed!

David
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andy
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2007, 08:59:26 AM »

Ace check with your local REMC somtimes they can sell you triplex out of there warehouse. Andy
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niles500
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2007, 10:02:22 AM »

If the only internal location of the wire is at the Main and Sub Panel lugs it would be far more cost effective to use AL wire as suggested - just bury it deep and not in the way of your future Pool - HTH

David, I've not had a problem locating 120/240 20,30,50 amp boxes w/ disconnect at HD - HTH
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2007, 11:04:09 AM »

If the only internal location of the wire is at the Main and Sub Panel lugs it would be far more cost effective to use AL wire as suggested - just bury it deep and not in the way of your future Pool - HTH

David, I've not had a problem locating 120/240 20,30,50 amp boxes w/ disconnect at HD - HTH

Niles, do you mean the type that are commonly used on the power poles at campgrounds?  I'll have to look at HD online, 'cause our store doesn't seem to have them, or hasn't when I've looked.  Thanks for the tip on where to find them.

David
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2007, 02:08:50 PM »

David - No those are expen$ive, more like the sub panel disconnects for HVAC,Spa's,etc. only not hard wired, that have receptacles - Even if you can only find one with a 50 amp recep it should be cheap enough to buy the dog-bones for 30 and 20 amp service needs - or buy an inexpensive 50 amp panel and build your own - I am not near my RV Park - but I'll try and remember to get the info on the last ones I installed - If your not in a hurry - HTH
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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2007, 08:19:31 PM »

Ace, If you want 50 amps at that distance you better not buy #6. If no one tells you what size you need I will look it up for you.  Tom Y
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Tom Yaegle
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« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2007, 11:20:36 PM »

Ace, If you want 50 amps at that distance you better not buy #6. If no one tells you what size you need I will look it up for you.  Tom Y

I suspect Ace isn't actually going 800 feet, but rather around 200 feet.  There are four conductors needed for a total of 200 feet. 

Is there really enough voltage drop in 200 feet to make a difference?  I know DC it would matter, but does it for AC?

Brian Elfert
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Old4103
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2007, 03:58:45 AM »

It actually takes #4 to go 180' @50A /240V

#6 is only spec'd for 105' @50A /240V

You might even be better off using #2 and branching off from it with #6 to a couple of boxes, that way you have excess capability.
 The voltage drop of using too small a gauge may cause you problems down the road. NEC only allows a maximum Voltage drop of 2% for single phase.

A good method to figure voltage drop is:

22 X wire length in feet X current in amps / circular mils.

the 22 figure is for copper only, if using aluminum, change it to 36.

Even though you told me all the electricians you spoke with said that #6 would be OK, in this case size does matter.

Be careful and good luck.

Dallas

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Stan
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2007, 05:56:07 AM »

If money is no object, put in a 200 amp service for your bus. Since you seem to be concerned with the cost of the wire, then consider the normal load that will be on the wire. Wire sizes and voltage drop are calculated at full load. If you are drawing 50 amps on your bus continuous, you will be looking at a daily cost for electric in the range of $40. to $50. per day. It is unlikely that you will ever average even half that amount.

Full load on a 50 amp service will use 288 kwh per day. When living in a coach on a 50 amp service, my average was less than that per month.  Modern electrical equipment will operate OK at 110 volts so any current surges causing even a 10% voltage drop would not be catastrophic. Like many things, the real world is quite different from the theory. The important thing is to use a breaker on the supply end sized to the wire being used.

I don't know what sources for wire are available in your area but I would look for companiies dealing in surplus electrical equipment. Go in person and explain what you want and you would be surprised at the suggestions they come up with. They may have a 200'  length of TECK cable or miles of a wire that will work. When I needed 220' of #6, I ended up with twisted 4 conductor made for downhole oilwell pumps. They cut 200' of a 15000' roll and charged me $200. along with a promise to return the big wooden spool  they wound it on.
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Ace
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« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2007, 06:10:57 AM »

Actually money IS an object! I'm far from rich and always looking for a good deal.

With all these replies, I am more confused now, then I was to start with!

Maybe it's just time to bite the bullet and call an electrician! That way, if it doesn't work, or it doesn't carry the load, it's their fault.

Ahh the joys of moving and starting over!

Hey did I mention the building I'm having built has cracks in the mortar joints after just two weeks and the contractor say's it normal! I can even see thru one joint to the outside. I think that's why he is pushing me to get some paint or what he calls block filler on the outside. LOL  This could be a whole new thread!

Ace
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Ace Rossi
Lakeland, Fl. 33810
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Stan
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« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2007, 06:29:56 AM »

Ace: I am sorry if I confused you but I am quite sure that you will not get a cheap (read low cost) job if you call an electrician.

It is sad that the quality of work you get from a contractor is so low. You just got the standard reply "It meets industry standad".  They are telling you that the workmanship is poor, but not any worse than other contractors.
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Chris 85 RTS
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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2007, 06:45:04 AM »

Maybe it's just time to bite the bullet and call an electrician! That way, if it doesn't work, or it doesn't carry the load, it's their fault.

Ace

The problem is that the way you will likely find out that it doesn't carry the load is a burned out AC unit or a fried fridge.  Motors don't like low voltage.  While hiring an electrician to do the work, knowing it was done right before burning something up is a good idea.  I don't think wire can ever be considered too big, but too small is a real problem.  When running long distances you will need to upsize.
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« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2007, 06:49:33 AM »

Ace........have you check this near Orlando, fl.?
http://www.skycraftsurplus.com/
Ask the manager if they have it or can locate another source of surplus roll of wire for your need.

Copper has skyrocket in cost in the last 5 years.

FWIW

Sojourn for Christ, Jerry
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Stan
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« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2007, 08:27:08 AM »

Chris 85 RTS: Your quote " I don't think wire can ever be considered too big,"

This is a fallacy frequently expressed on this board. Almost all electrical components are designed for a specific size of wire. #10 wire does not fit 15 amp duplex receptacles and #4 wire does not fit into boxes designed for 30 amp switches or receptacles.  In some cases you can go one size larger and the wire will still fit the termination and the specified length of wire will fit inside the box.
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DavidInWilmNC
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« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2007, 11:43:46 AM »

Ace, is your bus all electric?  If not, #6 with a 40 amp breaker on the supply should work... that's 6-3 with a 2-pole 40 amp breaker.  I know I've never tripped a 20 amp breaker with a 15K Carrier HP, small 'fridge, circular saw (or miter or recip. saw, big drill, etc), lots of lights, etc.  That's on 36' of 50 amp RV cable, a dog bone adapter to a 25' 30 amp cable with a cheap round adapter to a standard 110 volt outlet.  I measured the voltage with a few things running, including the A/C, it was around 110-112 volts in the bus.  Even with '40 amp service', you'd have 2 legs of 40 amp power - comparable to 4 standard 20 amp circuits.  If you've got an all electic bus, that extra 20 amps might matter. 

David
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gecole
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« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2007, 01:53:01 PM »

Ace if you are going to install a sub-panel you will have to use 4 conductors as the neutral and the grounding equipment conductor can only be bonded together at the service. OOps, I see someone mentioned that earlier.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2007, 01:56:43 PM by gecole » Logged
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