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Old 10-29-2007, 10:52 AM   #1
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Outdoor lights with seasonal elec. run


Hi All,
I love this site!! and just want to thank everyone in advance for any help.

I have an outdoor electrical project which includes installing lights along my driveway, but I want to install a couple of elec. outlets for seasonal lighting & service to a motorhome (summertime only).

The run is about 150' long. I want to install 5 wires, in 3/4 conduit. to do this I will share the green and run thicker wire for the seasonal/motorhome supple.

Two Light runs;
1) Post lights (3); Use 12 guage green, White & Black 12 gauge. Hook up to existing switch at front door.

2) Seasonal/Motorhome hot service run; White & Black 10 guage, share green. Looking at the Intermatic heavy duty wall switch with timer. I want to use the 10 or 12 guage, I park a 40 foot motorhome and run electric to it. In the summer the rating for the motorhome is 30amp (although the A/C is supposed to cycle on and off -dont think this matters much)





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Old 10-29-2007, 11:26 AM   #2
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Outdoor lights with seasonal elec. run


What is the distance to the motorhome receptacle? Is it 120V or 240V? You may need to increase that wire size if you are all the way out at 150ft.

If you intend to share the grounding conductor, it must be sized for the largest conductor used (10ga if you use 10ga or 8ga for the 30A circuit).

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Old 10-29-2007, 12:34 PM   #3
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Outdoor lights with seasonal elec. run


Hi HH,

WELL, the distance is 150' to the motorhome. As for service we normally get 120V service, especially while traveling and hook up a conditioner/breaker between us and the service. I have been running a very heavy 100' extension cord from the clossest outlet (upped the breaker in the box) for the existing setup. Didnt consider 220v, I would need to make a call on this.

i plan on buy stranded wire, and with that last comment should I use 8 guage for the motore home and 10 or 12 for the lamp posts?

Glad you cleared up the grounding flaw
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:47 PM   #4
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Outdoor lights with seasonal elec. run


The lighting circuit should be fine at 12ga. I would bump the size for the 30A circuit to 8ga and use a 10ga grounding wire, which can be shared. If the motorhome requires 120V, then that is what you have to provide.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:58 PM   #5
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Outdoor lights with seasonal elec. run


Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger01 View Post
I have been running a very heavy 100' extension cord from the clossest outlet (upped the breaker in the box) for the existing setup.
This sounds dangerous. Did you replace a 15 or 20A breaker with a 30A breaker, without increasing the wire size to that outlet? If so, the 12 or 14 gauge wire supplying that closest outlet is in danger of overheating and starting a fire! I'd fix that immediately, even if it means no power for the RV until you have the new line installed.

I believe you want to use THWN wire for your underground conduit application.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:58 PM   #6
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Outdoor lights with seasonal elec. run


There are few thing it did bring to my mind about the set up what you are describing.


For a Motorhome repectale i really recommoned that it will be on it own circuit [ 120v 30 amp circuit is very common with this one but some will have 30 amp or 50 amp 120/240v as well but most likey use 120v 30a circuit ]

you did stated that you upped the breaker on that exsting circuit you should back it back to the oringal level back to either 15 a or 20 a circuit.

for the wire sizes

120v 30 amp circuit for motorhome i recomoned stick to #8 THHN/THWN wires [ black , white and green ]

for the light post i am sure you will end up putting a repectale out there but typically if not much load you can run with #12 THHN/THWN in there [black and white ]

yes you can bring in 3/4 inch PVC conduct underground

a sidenote here if you want the repectale at the light post you have to have a GFCI repectale there you may have to use slightly oversized weatherproof box to get all of this mounted in.

i know sometime the RV dealer will do sell the outdoor repectale with cover for it.[ for the motorhome. ]

from the 30 amp recpetcale box you can run 1/2 inch pvc to the light post if it is very close by.

if mounted to the light post just run it straght to the post and from there split the repectales the 30'er is on own circuit and the standard repectale will be it on own circuit.

a afterthought idea while we are on this subject you can add a switched circuit for the light post if so let us know i can tell you how to termated [ hook up ] properly

Merci , Marc
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:50 PM   #7
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Outdoor lights with seasonal elec. run


[quote=NateHanson;70559]This sounds dangerous. Did you replace a 15 or 20A breaker with a 30A breaker, without increasing the wire size to that outlet? If so, the 12 or 14 gauge wire supplying that closest outlet is in danger of overheating and starting a fire! I'd fix that immediately, even if it means no power for the RV until you have the new line installed.

I think the word "fire" is pretty strong language, here. Yes, It needs corrected immediately, But a 30A load has little danger of starting a fire on 14 or 12 without a fault being involved.. For the motorhome circuit, #10 would work, but if we are going to do it, #8AWG THHN/ THWN would be the best.
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Old 10-30-2007, 06:40 AM   #8
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Outdoor lights with seasonal elec. run


Sorry, wasn't trying to be dramatic. I thought it was a bigger problem than that, but I guess there's more of a safety margin in wire sizes than I thought.
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:17 PM   #9
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In my thinking bigger is always better. 150 feet is a considerable distance. Plus, you never know what will be on these two circuits down the road.

Personnally I would pull #10 for the 120 volt lighting and receptacle circuit and #8 for the motor home circuit. 20 amp breaker for the lighting circuit and 30 amp breaker for the motor home. Upgrade the ECG (green) as well. #12 and #10 respectively.

Voltage drop is relative to the load (amps) you are drawing. Plug in an air compressor on that 120 volt line with number #12 and maybe see the motor smoke. Do it right this time. You will not have to do it again.

ps......I hope you have a good way to connect the ECG (green) to the others. Again me.....two greens, one for each.
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:17 PM   #10
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Outdoor lights with seasonal elec. run


All right, I am soaking in the advice. Thanks to all.

Nate, Andy; Thanks for the heads up on the wire size. This would be a fire hazard and being a Civil Engineer i have the ability to screw things up beyond the norm. see not below.

FE & J.V.; These are good comments. I like bigger is better due to we are a growing family and no telling what may happen out there in the future(basketball court lighting, low voltage lights, etc.)

Just to note the Exisitng Motorhome supply line is 10 guage romex , I installed a new 30 amp breaker for this line only and the distance is 15'. This is the only receptacle on this line. But after this project this can be stepped down to 15 or 20 amp.

After this my project as JV mentioned, "pull #10 for the 120 volt lighting and receptacle circuit and #8 for the motor home circuit. 20 amp breaker for the lighting circuit and 30 amp breaker for the motor home. Upgrade the ECG (green) as well. #12 and #10 respectively."

Thanks to all, you have helped me and this has cleared up a lot of my questions. I got the trench done and installed the conduit last night, it gets dark early, but i tried to measure the exact lenght and it turns out to be 190'. This in mind I feel better buying the size 8 & 10 wire.
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Old 10-30-2007, 02:00 PM   #11
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Outdoor lights with seasonal elec. run


Glad to see you used 3/4" conduit. Get some wiring pulling lubricant.
Also, for this distance you are not going to be able to use a fish tape. you will never get it through.
Get a good strong suction shop vac. Get some construction string. Get a small plastic bag. (I doubt you have a mouse)?

Tie the corner of the plastic bag to the string. Push the corner into the end of the conduit. (you may have to trim the plastic bag). The bag must not fit to tightly in the conduit. It needs to be lose. Put your roll of string on a screwdriver, so it rolls off real easy. Suck the plastic bag and the string through the conduit at the opposite end. You will need two people. One to hold the screwdriver holding the roll of string and one person on the vac. The vac will pull this through very quickly. So do not let the string touch the end of the conduit or snag anything. If you must, pull it back out and do it again. It works. You will see.
Use the string to pull the wires in.

Note: While your at it, why not add a couple spare wires. You have the room. This is the time to do it. Have fun....John

Last edited by J. V.; 10-30-2007 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 10-30-2007, 02:38 PM   #12
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Outdoor lights with seasonal elec. run


The vacuum trick is great. I have every confidence you'll be so impressed that you will giggle and want to pull the string out and do it again.
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Old 10-30-2007, 02:53 PM   #13
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Outdoor lights with seasonal elec. run


That does sound like an neat trick, maybe even one of those folk law stories... I got a shop vac and will definately have the kids on hand for this. They are just into any type of construction so this will be a winner.
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Old 10-30-2007, 03:08 PM   #14
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Outdoor lights with seasonal elec. run


If you do it right it will suck it in at the speed of frikkin light!!

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