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Thread: Need: "Used & Cheap" Electric Line (BIG...1/4 mile run)

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    Default Need: "Used & Cheap" Electric Line (BIG...1/4 mile run)

    Looking for advise on where to find used but use-able Electric Line, need to run 1,300 feet, with minimal drop, yet still be able to afford the line. Is there a salvage yard, or even a wholesale outlet.

    Thank you for any help.

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    How many volts and amps??????
    I wrote an excel app. that will calculate voltage drop or line size with above info.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

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    Quote Originally Posted by travelers View Post
    How many volts and amps??????
    I wrote an excel app. that will calculate voltage drop or line size with above info.

    I have a fair amount of flexibility, it will only be a cabin. That said it would be good to have reserve for future. I have been advised 4/0 is roughly what I need. The target is 200 AMP and 660 Volts. Electricity is not my department. The line will most likely lay on the ground, as long term, "Temporary" service.

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    Look at military surplus auction sites. I have seen power cablings for big genset camps from time to time.

    If you can do the run after the meter drop in 220A to a 200V subpanel at the cabin I think you may come out cheaper. Another idia to look into is that crain and towing companies usually have a used wire rope that was damaged by pinching on the winch drum that would work to suspend a non-overhead type line.
    Andy
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    660 volts at 200 amps, 4/0 wire will have 4.47 percent voltage drop or a loss of 29.49 volts for the 1300 feet.
    To keep within the recommended 3 percent voltage drop, 4/0 will run 873 feet at 19.8 drop in voltage.
    350 wire size will keep you in the 3 percent range at 19.8 voltage drop for the 1300 feet.
    Doug
    "The older I get, the better I was."

  6. #6

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    I really don't understand this stuff, How much larger is 350 wire than 4/0???

    What I really need to know is what size wire is required to operate at the end of 1,300' a normal house, with a normal garage with washer/dryer microwave, etc.

    It seems most properties here have 200 AMP service, but I don't really know what the volts is for sure. The 660 volts is just one of the numbers swimming in my head from this type conversation in the past.

    I do remember that attaching large Dia. Wire to the Boss on a temporary meter box was going to be a issue, as the wire is to large for the Boss.

    Thanks for your help. Try to keep it simple, I am a old fool, that was never all that bright to start with, and the bulb is getting dimmer daily.



    Quote Originally Posted by travelers View Post
    660 volts at 200 amps, 4/0 wire will have 4.47 percent voltage drop or a loss of 29.49 volts for the 1300 feet.
    To keep within the recommended 3 percent voltage drop, 4/0 will run 873 feet at 19.8 drop in voltage.
    350 wire size will keep you in the 3 percent range at 19.8 voltage drop for the 1300 feet.
    Doug

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    When they say "350 wire" I think they are saying "3" strands of 5/0 (five ought) wire but I am not used to hearing numbers that large so I could be wrong. 5/0 would have a conductor about 3/4" and be over an inch with the plastic over the conductor.

    The conductor inside 4/0 (four ought) wire is a bit over ½” like maybe 5/8” or so. Copper will carry more amps for the same size wire than aluminum but copper costs more and is harder to hang overhead due to weight.

    To help you understand what you need here are some basics of electric. Volts are what transports the amps to the work and the amps are what do the work so it’s much like plumbing water you need enough flow (volts) and pressure (amps) for it to work. Power draws are listed for all electric goods so you can add them up and find the max draw of your home if everything was on full blast at once by simple math. It is a good idea to excide this number by 10% or more in design to account for spike loads when things start up.

    Volts times amps = watts
    Watts divided by amps = volts
    Watts divided by volts = amps

    So for example my well is a 5 horse and calls for 220v and 30a or 6600 watts.
    My TV says 240 watts so 240w/110v=2.18a or 2.18 amps of 110 volt.

    My house has 4/0 220 single phase coming from MEA's transformer to MEA’s side of the meter, I own the meter box and they own the meter. When I put it in I got a box with a 400 amp rating and two 200 amp main brakers. The 200A brakers take a 2/0 wire and that was fine for the house but I have a shop 100 yards away with welders, compressors, and all kinds of power suckers so I ran 4/0 to it. To hook the 4/0 wire to the 200A 2/0 contactor I picked up 2/0 to 4/0 adapters from Browns Electric in Anchorage, as they did not stock it at the Wasilla store. The adaptor is a solid round bar of aluminum with one end turned down to fit inside the braker and a hole at the other for the 4/0 wire and a set screw.

    As for how much you need 200A of 220 single phase is about standard today for 1500 to 3500 foot house. What you describe would run fine on a 100A or 150A service without electric heat or AC in place. But just in case you grow your needs you would be money ahead to go with the 200A service from the get go.
    Andy
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    Also in single phase you will be dealing with after the power companyís transformer you will have a (one) common leg wire and hot legs, the hot legs are 110 volts each. So 220v is 2 hot legs and a common, 3 total conductors to buy. 440v single phase will need 4 hot legs and a larger common leg, 5 total conductors to buy. 660v downstream from the transformer will need 7 total conductors. This is why if you can get away with the meter drop on the far end from your house and just run 220v in it will save you money.

    You can get some power companies to bring in their line all the way to your house on an easement you give them and bill you monthly for installation till itís paid off. Thing I donít like about that is they own it even though you paid for it, but it gets you power for less out of pocket.
    Andy
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    Thank you, ANDY. I think my brain just blew a fuse.....

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    For very large wire sizes (fatter than 4/0), the wire gauge system is typically abandoned for cross-sectional area measurement in thousands of circular mils (MCM), borrowing the old Roman numeral "M" to denote a multiple of "thousand" in front of "CM" for "circular mils".

    Circular-mil is how electrical geeks measure the wire's circular cross section.

    You'll see these numbers on wire, 4/0 4/0 2/0. That means you have 2- 4/0 wires and 1-2/0 wire in a bundle of insulation. The wires are insulated from each other also.

    350, 350, 4/0 wire is 2-350 diameter wires and 1-4/0 diameter wire in the bundle.

    350 wire is the next size larger than 4/0.

    Now back to your 1300' run.
    1st check and make sure you are starting with 660volts and not 480 or 1200 volts.
    660 volts is not used around my area, but your area could be different.
    The higher the voltage the smaller the diameter the wire you can run. If you put the transformer at the cabin site (220 volt) and run high voltage (660 volt) the 1300' to the cabin site you will need 350 wire size to keep within industry standards of voltage drop.
    If you put the transformer at the beginning of the 1300', wow, you'll need 600+ wire size.
    It just won't work.
    If you can get by with 125 amp service, you can run 4/0 wire at 660 volts for the 1300'.

    No offense meant, but if you lay a 660 volt line on the ground for a temp. service, very,
    very dangerous. A least bury a foot deep or go overhead.
    If you can get your hands on some wire from an old generator plant like used in gravel pits, it would be better insulated and you might get buy with it.
    Last edited by travelers; 06-19-2009 at 17:38. Reason: added info
    "The older I get, the better I was."

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    OOPS, "350 wire is the next size larger than 4/0."

    3/0, 4/0, 250, 300, 350, etc.

    waited too long to edit.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

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    Hopeak and ADfields, please ignore this part of the above post. I spoke without knowing
    enough about your service. If a moderator reads this, please delete this part of the post.




    Quote Originally Posted by travelers View Post

    Now back to your 1300' run.
    1st check and make sure you are starting with 660volts and not 480 or 1200 volts.
    660 volts is not used around my area, but your area could be different.
    The higher the voltage the smaller the diameter the wire you can run. If you put the transformer at the cabin site (220 volt) and run high voltage (660 volt) the 1300' to the cabin site you will need 350 wire size to keep within industry standards of voltage drop.
    If you put the transformer at the beginning of the 1300', wow, you'll need 600+ wire size.
    It just won't work.
    If you can get by with 125 amp service, you can run 4/0 wire at 660 volts for the 1300'.

    No offense meant, but if you lay a 660 volt line on the ground for a temp. service, very,
    very dangerous. A least bury a foot deep or go overhead.
    If you can get your hands on some wire from an old generator plant like used in gravel pits, it would be better insulated and you might get buy with it.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

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    Default to energize or not energize, that is the question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeak View Post
    Looking for advise on where to find used but use-able Electric Line, need to run 1,300 feet, with minimal drop, yet still be able to afford the line. Is there a salvage yard, or even a wholesale outlet.

    Thank you for any help.
    Are you connecting into a utility power source? If so, you will be pulling "residential" voltage, which is 240volt single phase. The minimum req. by the Nat'l Elec code for residential services is 100 amp service. If this is the case, consult your utility for proper wire sizing. Also consider aluminum underground (USE rated) cable. It is much cheaper than copper.
    If you are not connecting to the "grid", reduce your ampere rating to, say, 40 or 50 amps and @ 240 volts you could get away with 2/0 copper or 3/0 aluminum for that distance.
    Your voltage drop varies based on your load. The higher the load (in amps), the bigger the voltage drop, based on a certain wire size.

  14. #14

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    When I did this the cheapest way was for MEA to put a Meter by the pole and then I ran the wire to a transformer that stepped it up to 660v and then ran down to the house where it was stepped down to 220v by another transformer and into the house. Been working fine for 5 yrs. Husky Elec did the specs for me and I did the install. Wasn't too hard. akraven

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