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ground wireing

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brokenarrow
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1288 Wisconsin
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2006-11-14          136907


Whats better to use, black 1 1/2 or 2" pottable water pipe (plastic), or the white glue together pvc?
I was leaning towards the pvc because it seams it would be easy and water tight to put in "t"'s to the surface verse the black tubing although the black tubing would be great for long runs?
I plan on laying 500 foot of under ground electric. Was planning to run it down my driveway and have several poles with lights and or security camersa on em (not that I need security but it would be nice when you hear a car on gravel to be able to see what or who it is?)
Any suggestions before I spend a day reading back posts?
Also, is it a very good idea to keep it water tight? I was thinking, maybe that would be real important

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2006-11-14          136908


I don't think underground runs are normally expected to stay 100% dry. Water will always find a way in, so you need to use underground rated wiring. The conduit is more to protect against chafing, rocks, etc. I'm no electrician but that's what I've heard and read. Be sure to take voltage drops over long runs into consideration when you size the wiring. I know that underground low voltage cable is "flooded" with a gooey silicone like substance to protect against water and it wouldn't surprise me to find high voltage UF (?) cabling is similar. ....

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MiikeJD
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 25 Southern Illinois
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2006-11-14          136909


I use grey plastic conduit for buried runs. I also use direct bury wire in the conduit. I usually buy it at Lowes or Home Depot. There are a lot of boxes and fittings that are made for the conduit. I also leave a pull string in the conduit in case I need to pull additional wires for future use. Hope this helps you. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2006-11-15          136913


I think we can get to an overkill level on buried wires at times. The first buried wire I put in at the farm was just common underground rated wire in a trench, then as time went along we kept adding runs here and there to new buildings or bins as needed. The last runs we buried were in underground conduit. My point being that the 35 year old direct bury runs have worked fine so maybe that's all we really need in the first place. An electrician friend of mine who put in the last couple runs laid a yellow caution tape about a foot under the surface for a safety measure, i thought that was a good idea. Frank. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2006-11-15          136914


I'v seen guys use the black 4" corrugated non-perforated drain pipe---cheap and easy to dig up and cut a hole in to access the pipeline to install a branch line. Of course all wire and connections would have to be waterproof. And to run a line, tie a close-fitting rag on a string and pull or push it with a shopvcac or air compressor. Which leads me to my next point: If you plan on having poles or any branch lines off the main one, unless you use electric-rated, glue-type, gray pipe, and the large-sweep radius elbows, you'll kick yourself when it comes time to pull cable due to hanging up on the edges of regular, small radius pipe and connections (been there). The caution tape hardwood mentioned is Code where I'm from. Except the tape has to be a foot above the line so that the excavator knows he's very close to hitting it then have a helper hand-dig, rather than finding the tape a foot below ground and guessing when he'll find it---BBBVvvvvvzzZZZZPOW! (my impression of how an electric line sounds when hit by a backhoe bucket)

And as far as cameras go, you might want to consider battery-powered wireless ones. And I think there are solar-powered ones too.

Lowes has solar-powered security lights too.

Broken, did you end up buying a skid steer? You might want to check out eBay--there are many that are going for many, many thousands cheaper than what the dealer gave me for trade in on my LS180 ($20,000)---I've seen some in the range of $12,000-15,000 in very good shape. ....

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JAZAK5
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 276 coxsackie,ny
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2006-11-15          136916


I know that code in my area is
0-18 inches under grade: metal conduit

18 inches to 24 inches :plastic schedule 40 which is ALOT tougher than black plastic pipe /it's crush resistance would be highly recommended near a driveway

You can direct bury as long you have 6 inches of fine sand as a base and cover below 24 inches of grade how ever you can not back fill with rocks larger than fist size.

in my area thats immpossible,conduit is run every where its cheaper than fill and the man hours ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2006-11-15          136917


I just remembered something I saw just yesterday that did'nt look good to me. Someone is building a house down the road from us on a pretty big lot probably 500 ft. deep and the same wide. The house is at the far side of the lot with the driveway running parallel close to the east lot line to the house. Yesterday the power co. was there puting in the service. They ran the buried line from the house diagional across the lot to the opposite corner where the pole is at the road. I think the power co. gives you the first 50 or 75 ft. then the rest is your expense, so I suppose they took the most direct route to save on the footage. My immediate thought was that sooner or later the home owner will want a shed, pool, horse barn, etc., and guess what will be right where they want the building. If it were mine I would want the power line along side of the drive where it would likely never be in the way. Frank. ....

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kyvette
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 194 Central Kentucky
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2006-11-15          136920


Broken,
I would recommend using schedule 40 PVC conduit. It is normally stock in 10ft lengths but, you can sometimes get it in 20ft lengths. I would also recommend a depth of 36". This exceeds NEC depth requirements, but will add additional protection. The warning tape is also a good idea and should be about 12" below final grade.

You cannot keep water out of conduits, therefore use conductors rated for wet locations. I would suggest junction boxes at the base of each pole.

Hopes this helps, Dave ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2006-11-15          136923


Dave's right, you will never keep the wires dry, so don't even waste your time trying.

Use the Sced. 40 conduit, it's cheap insurance compared to digging it up when a rock or tree root breaks the line.

There is often very little price difference to up grade one size, if you do, buy a spool of light rope to put in with the wiring, if you ever decide to add another wire, you will be *very* glad you have that wire there to pull the new cable through. If you do put a second wire in, be sure to pull a piece of heavy twine through with it, you can then use the twine to pull the rope back in place for next time.

Best of luck. ....

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