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Old 04-24-2008, 10:51 AM   #91
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John

You did read where we were thinking about new conductors. So the aluminum feeder is an excellent advice. Cyndi is operating on a budget so we are trying to get a reasonable design at minimum cost. My concern was conduit size which Cyndi has clarified. So most likely an aluminum feeder is in the works later unless she prices aluminum wire and thinks the cost is within her budget. I'm not sure if the big box stores carry aluminum xhhw in sizes smaller than 1/0.

Anyway good advice John.

Cyndi

See if you can get a per foot price on aluminum xhhw wire size #3 this will give you 3% drop or better for 65 amps on the feeder at around 50 cents per foot I think. OCPD will stay a 70 as we were talking earlier in the thread. As John said copper has gone through the roof and since your conduit is larger than 1" this is a great way to go.

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Old 04-24-2008, 11:10 AM   #92
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Morning Cyndi

I thought I told you to tie your bad ass (oops I'm being vulgar) dog to that pole....

Ok my previous reply was addressing the issue of having more power for the barn as we discussed earlier. #6 copper is higher in cost per foot than al #3 so that is what i'm getting at and you still need a ground. The ground if aluminum needs to be#6 or a use a#8 copper. I really didn't think you had conduit larger than one inch so that's what I get for assuming.

So heres the decision... if your budget doesn't allow all new wires in aluminum for a higher amperage feeder then just do the #8 copper ground with what you already have. Plus the other stuff.

If you can afford aluminum then the design gets even better for future expansion. Let us know.

So your basically deciding on buying one #8 ground for an average design that will get you by on your budget. Or deciding to use aluminum and changing out the entire feeder, as John correctly pointed out, for a better design. It's pretty much a cost thing. The change out to an aluminum feeder will be more cost than one #8 copper but it may fit your budget.

If the heaters do not have adjustable thermostats ( I've done several of these trough heaters by the way) then they may have a fixed temp thermosatat and that is good or if they stay on all the time that is also good. Just operate your heaters together and don't unplug any so that one leg is not being used.... since your using 12 awg at that distance. There really isn't any harm when you operate resistive loads like heaters and lights. You just don't get the heaters to reach the peak temps they are designed for and the lights may be a tad dimmer than normal.

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Old 04-24-2008, 11:50 AM   #93
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I already got the # 8 copper stranded ground and will price the alum today! Thanks. Cyndi
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:26 PM   #94
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Thats fine Cyndi.

You can use it with an aluminum feeder down the road unless you want to change things now. So in other words you will need 3 aluminum wires plus that copper ground if you choose.

If affordable I would consider how much you intend to grow over what you have out at the barn and change things now. If you dont see any more change than what we have discussed I would just put in the ground wire with the #8 coppers and see how it works out. This will give you 50 amps noncontinuous load if you put a 50 amp breaker in the pole panel. I really think that will work for you at this time.
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:35 PM   #95
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O.K.- This is what Home Depot has. #2 alum black @46 cents per foot or #4 alum black @37 cents per foot. Lowes has #4 alum @ 30 cents a foot and a 3 wire # 2 @1.39 per foot. Whacha think???? Obviously if #4 works I can go with Lowes. If not will I use the #2 single wires or the 3 wire combo???
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:51 PM   #96
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by the way, I totally screwed up figuring the copper #6. I don't know why but I was thinking 4 number 6 wires. At 126.00 per wire, that was $500.00!!! In reality, with the #8 ground at $65.00 and the 2 # 6 copper it would have been $320 bucks. Duh.

If #2 or #4 works, that will still be cheaper, if not I will probably have to go to an electrical supply house right??
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:55 PM   #97
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Cyndi

If your sure the conduit is at least 1 1/4 inch then go with the #2 at home depot and the #8 copper ground you already have,... I need to now what kind of wire that 3 wire combo is before I can say if it is ok but the cost is the same either way.

#2 aluminum will set you up for a 90 amp feeder and that is great I wouldn't want any more demand out at the barn than that without a service upgrade.

Remember your service supplies both the house and the barn so don't expand too much and cut your house short of power.

With #2 you can install a 90 amp breaker or any breaker less that will accept that size wire. I really think a 70 will do you but installing a 90 now will fill the bill for your new panel which is 100 amps or will give your 125 amps panel 90 amps instead of the 40 it has at present at not much more cost. Then if you need we can address any problems you have with the long runs at the barn.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:15 PM   #98
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I'm just gonna quit figuring while I'm not too far behind!!! I need 3 alum #2 wires not 2 of them right????? One for the neutral and 2 for the hot??? Plus the #8 ground that I already have.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:19 PM   #99
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I called Lowe's again on the 3 wire. It has two 2 guage and one 4 guage wire in it. Yokee Dokee???? He says it is for direct burial or conduit.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:33 PM   #100
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No....I'd just say you know what it takes to get him to agree with you.....

It is a beautiful day here after a bunch of rain yesterday. I'm going fishing for awhile I'll be back on this afternoon late.

If you get the aluminum it is much bigger wire and takes more effort to get it through the conduit. Use wire pulling lubricant like Ideal 77 or clear guide. Have someone feed the wires into the conduit while applying the lubricant as you go. Use a conduit pull string rather than the #8 wires its easier to tie off on the pulling grip (see below). Put some lube on the start of the new wires before putting them in the conduit.

Use a pulling grip like this in the below link....Put it on one of the #2's and tape and stager the remaining wires. Don't have a big ball of wires taper them!!!

http://www.mytoolstore.com/klein/kln34.html

Its very hard Cyndi to go over everything. Also do you remember if you have a lot of bends in the conduit if you have more than a couple 90's you're really going to have a hard time with these large wires.. so maybe you can explain how your conduit is assembled before we go any farther.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:41 PM   #101
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Have fun fishing!!! I AM JEALOUS, I LOVE TO FISH!!!!!

This will be waiting for you when you get back with your huge fish tales, I mean huge fish!!!

From the main panel the conduit runs down into the ground with a 90 underground heading toward the barn. It's straight from there till ya get to the sub panel and it has a 90 underground and then goes up to the sub panel. Not bad huh?
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:43 PM   #102
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Cyndi

You can also put all the cables in one grip if you like but I have had better success not doing that but here is a link to show you how to get the right size pulling grip.
You can also be resourceful use one of the #8's to pull with and use the #8 ground to tie to but if it comes loose or breaks in the conduit that really sucks.

http://www.mytoolstore.com/klein/kp.html
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:46 PM   #103
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Just saw your post before leaving .....that is as good as it gets. You are wiser than you may think in this electrcial stuff.


Fish for dinner tonight!!!
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:34 PM   #104
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In most cases, would I be able to get a cable grip cheaper on-line or at a supply house?? I hate to spend $79.00 if I am only going to use this tool once. But, you got me kinda leery to pull it with the #8 as it might break you say. That would suck!!
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Old 04-24-2008, 06:08 PM   #105
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Cyndi

Home depot or Lowes has them much cheaper probably will be greenlee brand.. If you want use a couple of your #8's to a #2 just be sure to get them connected really good. I wouldn't be surprised if you could pull the whole works on the #8 ground Especially since only two 90 sweeps in the conduit. I'm just trying to be cautious. If they have a grip for a #2 awg at the big box it should'nt be any where near that outrageous price of $79.00 you saw on that link. It just makes life much easier than taping and twisting and cussin trying to get wires hooked together to make a pull like you have.

Also don't measure too close but be sure to get an accurate distance. Add several feet to the exact measurement. The absolute worst thing that could happen is the wires not be long enough.....yuck... and you will think of a better word than "ass" if that happens.


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