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wendell2 05-28-2011 06:38 PM

another barn wiring question
First post on this forum, though I've enjoyed reading through it the last several days. Lots of great information. I've done some electrical work in the past, but reading the posts on here I can tell the depth of my knowledge is sorely lacking. Which brings me to my questions.

I am running a water line out to a barn that has neither power or water. In the future I want to run power out to the barn, but am not doing so at the moment for cost reasons.

But while I have a trench open I would like to bury conduit or conduit/wire for the future electrical addition, so I don't have to trench again. I'm not going to do the wiring myself apart from possibly running conduit and wire, but b/c the project is to be completed at some date in the future I have not consulted a local electrician.

I think I will want a 100 amp panel when I finally do run electric to the barn. The barn is for agricultural purposes and possibly a shop there as well.

My questions are these:

1. Will an electrician work with already existing conduit/wire or will they want to run it themselves?

2. Will the electrical inspector want to see the trench before it is filled in? And can I put a water line and electric line in the same trench?

3. Assuming I can lay the conduit myself, what size should I use? It's about 200' from the house to the barn. Including the turns to come out of the ground there are 5 90 degree turns. Unfortunately there are some structures between the house and barn that prevent a simpler run.

4. Planning much further into the future.... I would like at some point to put solar panels on the barn roof to power the barn and possibly the house. At which point I would like to use the already buried line that has been powering the barn to send solar power to the house. The house currently has 200amp service. If this solar panel thingy on the barn to house is even possible, I would like to run wire to support that now or at least plan conduit wise for it to be able to be run. So what type of wire/coduit would be required to do this?

5. If I just forget the solar panel thing, what type of wire should I use for 100 amp service at 200' for the barn?



Saturday Cowboy 05-28-2011 06:47 PM

you are only allowed a total of 360 deg (4 90s)in a run of pipe. this is a minor problem. you could install a pull box, underground cable, or change the piping

Missouri Bound 05-28-2011 07:53 PM

I would run 2 seperate conduit lines. Digging the trench is the hard part, and that you are doing anyway. If you have two different sources you would be best to seperate them from each other. Buring the conduit shouldn't cause any concern by an electrician, but if you run the wire he may not want to do the work since he can't physically verify the condition of the wire. The pull box is an excellent idea regardless of the 90's. That's a long run to pull a service line. And are you using pvc conduit? If so you may be able to lessen the amount of 90's. You may want to consider a couple of pull boxes.

Saturday Cowboy 05-28-2011 08:50 PM

why dig two trenches? they can be put in the same hole.(no code restrictions) the only thing he would need is to come outta the ground at some point to a Jbox and then go right back down.

Missouri Bound 05-28-2011 09:06 PM

I didn't say two trenches. I suggested two conduits. My reference was to the trench he was already digging for the water, I.E. that "is the hard part". Sorry for any confusion.

kbsparky 05-28-2011 11:15 PM

For that kind of distance, I'd bury at least a 2" PVC conduit for future wires.
As for those bends in the pipe, be sure to get some "long sweep" bends, which will make wire pulling MUCH easier.

IF you can make those turns gradually, instead of abrupt 90 bends, you might be able to use straight pipes and lay `em in the trench without angle fittings.

Such configurations can make wire pulling feel like straight pipe runs, even though they may gradually "turn" along the way.

frenchelectrican 05-29-2011 01:19 AM

Just keep in your mind with KB's comment with very long sweep ell's most case you may not find them in the big box store but for sure electrical supply will stock them you have to ask them for it.

I go thru quite few of very long sweep ells they really worth it with pretty long runs or both long run and large conductors they worth the extra cost to make it easier to pull it.

{ Some case very few big box store may have them but check with them }

Otherwise what few of electricians do is heat them up and bend them to very long sweep which I do that from time to time this part is little tricky to do it without getting the PVC conduit collosped or kinked.


AllanJ 05-29-2011 01:44 PM

Why run two conduits? You are are allowed to have only one electrical feed between any two buildings.

(For the U.S. the most efficient way is to run a 120/240 volt line consisting of two hots, one neutral, and a grounding conductor.)

Missouri Bound 05-29-2011 02:08 PM

Allan The OP has the intention of using solar at the barn, and being able to use it to supply power to the residence. The systems need to be seperate....that's why the two conduits.

frenchelectrican 05-29-2011 07:23 PM

I did noticed the OP mention solar panel at the barn building that is a good way to use it however I haven't reserch fully with new updated NEC code related to the solar panels but you will need a disconnect switch before it can go in the conduit { it will be seperated from the other conduit } and at the controller box next to the electrique meter device again you will need a disconnect as well and it have to be well marked where the source is comming from.

Note this part is still changing along the way so the best infomation you can get is from the inspector they may know something in your area what it can be allowed and what not.


wendell2 05-29-2011 08:04 PM

Thanks guys for the suggestions. I appreciate it.

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