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 01-20-2002, 17:38 Post: 34795
Gary in Indiana



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 Best way to wire/rewire my barn

I'm proud to be the first post on this forum. ;o)

I'm going to try to explain this as best I can here. I bought some land with a barn on it that used to get it's electric from a run from the nearby farmhouse I didn't buy. I'm have my own drop brought in and new 200 amp service where the old box was (in the NE corner). Unfortunately, for my purposes this is the back corner of this 70W x 80D barn and, of course, I want to put a shop in the SW corner. Because of all the existing wiring for lights, etc., I'm committed to leaving keeping the main box in the NE corner. My question is whether I'm better off just running Romex lines the 130-160' to the new shop area or if I'd be better off making one run that length to a secondary box and running my Romex for the new shop lights, etc., from there? If I do go with the second option, what do I use for that run from box to box? Any other ideas or suggestions are more than welcome. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.






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 01-20-2002, 18:14 Post: 34797
Peters

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 Best way to wire/rewire my barn

You beat me to it Gary.
I hope I understand this correctly.
The question you need to ask is where will be the greatest load. You would like to have the compressor, welder and other large load items as close to the main box as possible. Remember that the you will get voltage drop and resistance load from the line.
Lights do not require much of a load.
Here the power company will install the line to the meter therefore the it is their wire.
If you have a large load in the shop area then you will need a large copper wire 3-4 or 3-2 from the old box to the new one (assuming 100 amp). I do not have a guide handy. You might need to take a loan out to pay for the wire.
The alumium wire is inexpensive as are boxes and meterbases.
My recommendation is to if possible run the new service to the shop and then run a smaller wire back into the old box. If the old box is only running lights then you need only run 3-6 or less for ~ 35-45 amp service. You can run the service to the old box off the other box on a breaker.






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 01-20-2002, 19:27 Post: 34801
Gary in Indiana



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 Best way to wire/rewire my barn

I'm stuck with the new 200 amp box in the NE corner. Anywhere else causes me to put in at least one and probably two more poles in an area I'd like to leave open as a site for another building or to go underground, which around here can only be done by the utility company and, hence, is hugely expensive. Have I saved with the utility company just to spend with the wire supplier?






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 01-20-2002, 20:23 Post: 34804
Peters

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You need to determine the potential load on the shop box. I had to rewire my barn and used a 100 amp service from the house UG to the barn. I suspect unless you have a lot of equipment running constantly you should be able to get by with 100 amp. My service runs at least 160'from the house, the voltage is fine.
I think you should be able to fine a small box and then run one 100 amp circuit to the old box and one to the new one. Leave space and the small box and then if you need more power in the shop you could run a third line and put in a third panel.
You do not want to run around the whole barn each time you pop a fuse or need to turn off a circuit in your shop. You do not want to run all your equipment off 160' of Romex, you need more amp potential when you start motors or you run the risk of damage.






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 01-21-2002, 06:29 Post: 34809
TomG

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One of the alternatives seems to be running a 100A branch circuit from a 200A service panel to a sub-panel in the shop area. I believe that codes in most areas allow max 125A branch circuits, so a branch circuit would work unless the shop has large requirements. However, codes probably require over-sized line for a 130' branch circuit run. A branch circuit to a sub-panel is a commonly used alternative, because it is much cheaper than running separate circuits over considerable distance. Most any standard service combination panel will work as a sub-panel provided a bonding screw between the common and ground buses is removed. What ever is used, it has to have it’s own disconnect, which is provided by the mains in a combination panel. Prices of new panel/breaker packages are often much less than equipment needed to do specialized hookups. I’ve got several 200A service panels that have mostly blank breaker slots just because standard residential equipment is much cheaper than alternatives. Supplemental grounding may be required if the barn houses livestock.

I did all the work for new services at our camp and house as well. In each case, I found the utility’s site facility planning people and the inspector very helpful. My first step was to contact the utility to get a site plan done—the alternatives suggested saved my many thousands. Then, permits were taken out for the service upgrade, renovation and new wiring. Once a permit issued, you can talk to the inspector, who often will say what they will approve prior to an inspection. That can save a bunch in equipment bought that wouldn’t pass inspection. You should be aware that any modification can require all affected equipment to be brought up to current codes, which can be very expensive. However, inspectors generally accept existing wiring unless definite safety hazards exist.






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 01-24-2002, 18:45 Post: 34891
B.wood
2002-01-24 00:00:00
Post: 34891
 Best way to wire/rewire my barn

gary, make sure you have space in your new 200A panel for a 2pole 100A breaker.run 2/0 typ.ser.alum.across to best point of exit.set j-box either inside or out (use rated box)then run underground w/typ urd 2/0 alum. wire to new 100A panel either in pvc or direct burial.(rated for both)I believe you will need to drive rod-rods at barn be sure to follow local codes and rated fittings check out a copy of the NEC at a local bookstore .woody






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 01-24-2002, 18:59 Post: 34893
b.wood
2002-01-24 00:00:00
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 Best way to wire/rewire my barn

gary,ido not know your load in the shop but 100A should sufice ,measure the distance from panel to panel if under 300ft you should be ok as far as voltage drop if in doubt run next size larger cable .again check out a NEC book






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 01-25-2002, 06:24 Post: 34909
TomG

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 Best way to wire/rewire my barn

It's good to check out codes before buying materials. For example, I'm virtually certain that around here any underground line has to be direct burial rated, whether it's in conduit or not. The reason is that a 1' frost loop has to be left at each end of an underground run. For the loops to work, conduits are left open at each end underground, so loops can go 1' below the trench floors.

The main reason for running underground branch circuits in conduit is so the line can be replaced without digging an entire trench up. In addition, although conduit doesn't technically qualify as line protection, many inspectors are less particular about trenches when conduit is used. Service line must be in DB rated conduit, but conduit for branch circuits is optional. Here, most anything can be used for branch circuit conduit. I’ve had runs using 3” drain and even 4” flex drain approved. However, anything that is inside of a structure has to run through raceways of approved material.

Anyway, codes in other areas may be different. However, it's good to check them out. For example, if I bought overhead line and wanted to go underground, I'd be out of luck. Suppliers don't usually take back line that's been cut.






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 02-01-2002, 17:23 Post: 35169
Mike A
2002-02-01 00:00:00
Post: 35169
 Best way to wire/rewire my barn

I am an electrical contractor and above messages all have a little truth but none are correct.If you can find a good contractor to give you advice thats what you need, a little money spent getting correct way to install your sub-panel will save you truoble ahead.






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 02-01-2002, 20:51 Post: 35186
Peters

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Mike;
Yes and no. I checked around and tried to find a good contractor, I had him wire my barn and then rough the house. Then I had to rewire the barn and restring the house after dry wall was completed. Neither are what I would term correct, it is difficult to correct someones mistakes. In this area the inspection is less than complete.
Although I know some about electrical. I assumed I did not have to go behind him and trace all the circuits.
I bought the house off someone that owned an electrical contracting company. The house burned due to an electrical fire.
The old barn is a rats nest of wire. Another task on my list of tasks.
An electrical contractor does not necessarily mean it will be done correct. Believe me.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Electric Forum

Thread 34795 Filter by Poster:
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