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Old 04-24-2012, 11:31 AM   #1
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Outdoor Subpanel 350' feet away from Barn


Need to run wire for automatic horse waterers (1.3 amps each) to an open field about 350' away from the barn.

Ran 14/2 UF wire to 3 waterers inside the barn.
350' away from barn, is #10 wire OK for such a small load (1.3 amps for each waterer - 3 waterers in the field)? or do I need #8?

In the field, need to run to 3 separate wateres, so I think I need a subpanel out in the field...
How do I install the subpanel in an outdoor setting & what materials do I need?
If #10 wire is ok, I need 10/3 UF to run from the main panel to the subpanel - correct? Also, does the entire run need to be in conduit?
What size conduit if needed?
Is 18" deep enough?

What size breaker at the main panel?
What size breaker at the subpanel?--> only need to run 3 waterers (1.7 amps each) and maybe two separate circuits of outdoor receptacles...
What else is needed here? type of outdoor subpanel, grounding rods, etc...????

Thanks for the help!


Last edited by hagler; 04-24-2012 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:12 PM   #2
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Outdoor Subpanel 350' feet away from Barn


Use 10 gauge wire if you are absolutely sure that nothing else will be plugged in and turned on out there at the same time the horse waterers are running.

You can use a simple light switch and no subpanel out in the field, but the switch box and the box with the receptacles to plug the horse waterers into need to be of weatherproof design and sheltered from rain. You could drive a pressure treated 2x4 (end cut at an angle) into the ground and fashion a birdhouse like shelter for the electrical boxes.

Use a 15 amp breaker back at the barn panel. Suggestion: Add a short length (pigtail) to the 10 gauge wire entering the panel to connect to the breaker screw so anyone working with the wiring does not try to connect it to a 30 amp breaker which normally goes with 10 gauge wires.

You should have ground fault circuit interrupter protection. A GFCI receptacle unit can be installed out there.

(If you needed 15 amps out there, say, for tools, you would need 6 gauge copper wires.)

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Last edited by AllanJ; 04-24-2012 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:50 AM   #3
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Outdoor Subpanel 350' feet away from Barn


Thank you....I made an error in not explaining things a little more...

After I make the 350' run, I need to branch off in both directions another 300" or so to run wire to 2 other waterers...Would I use 10 ga wire here with 15 amp breakers also at the subpanel???

ALso, these are direct wired waterers, they do not plug into the outlets....thought I would use outlets in case I needed a light or something with a small load out there.

Do I need GFCI breakers with direct wired waterers???

What about 10 ga UF... do I need to run in conduit? If so, what size?

BTW....what is the correct way to size wire for runs like this? I've read that you drop a size for about every 150' or so --> 14 ga initially would drop to 10 ga at 300' .... something like that...is that correct?
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:58 AM   #4
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Outdoor Subpanel 350' feet away from Barn


You mean a total of five waterers, three at the 350' mark and two 300' branches each with a waterer at the end?

I don't know the required depth for UF Romex type cable which can be buried without a conduit, I think it is 18 inches deep.

For GFCI protection you have a choice of:

1. None. (Not recommended; a suddenly developing defect in a waterer can kill a horse)
2. GFCI breaker at the barn panel.
3. GFCI receptacle at the 350' mark only.
4. GFCI receptacles at the 350 mark and also at the end of each 300' branch continuing on.

The waterers can be direct-wired to the far side (load terminals) of a GFCI receptacle without using plugs.

The advantage of #4 is that if you plug in a tool and trip a GFCI you don't have to walk somewhere else to reset it.

Voltage drop should not exceed about 3-1/2 volts (3 percent of 120). Voltage drop within a piece of wire equals the number of amperes being drawn times the resistance of that piece of wire. There are charts for wire size versus resistance usually stated as ohms per 1000 feet. Don't forget to figure round trip distance.

Figure the voltage drop separately for the 350' section and also the 300' extension because the amperes in each section will be different. To have less than 3% voltage drop at the extreme end, the sum of the voltage drops of the segments in any given path should be less than about 3-1/2.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 04-25-2012 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:40 AM   #5
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Outdoor Subpanel 350' feet away from Barn


The waterers are direct wired from the breaker to the waterer...nothing gets plugged in to a receptacle.

I think I'll use GFCI breakers at the panel.

As far as a subpanel....do I need an approved outdoor subpanel? or what are the options for that?...does this require a grounding rod? How to set up?

Thanks again.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:45 AM   #6
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Outdoor Subpanel 350' feet away from Barn


I will suggest that you may want to rethink about the RCD (GFCI) breakers with that much distance it may cause faux tripping.

Normally the RCD breaker with a receptale I genrally kinda limited to about 150 feet otherwise any longer the induction voltage can cause funny thing so you may want to put a faceless RCD recetptale or use the subpanel at that location and use the RCD breaker that may slove your issue there.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:39 AM   #7
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Outdoor Subpanel 350' feet away from Barn


A subpanel is not needed for a 15 or 20 amp circuit except to provide space for GFCI breakers close to the horse waterers. Everything put out in the field has to be in enclosures for outdoor use..

Provided you have a regular 15 or 20 amp breaker for the circuit back at the main panel, a GFCI receptacle will do everything else a GFCI breaker can do, costs a lot less, can avoid the need for a subpanel, and does not prevent direct wiring of the horse waterers.

A subpanel will require two 8' ground rods at least 6 feet apart (and a 6 gauge wire connecting them). (Under some conditions requiring complex test equipment to prove, one ground rod will suffice.)
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Last edited by AllanJ; 04-26-2012 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:01 AM   #8
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Outdoor Subpanel 350' feet away from Barn


Thanks AllanJ....The main panel will be too far away...350', 450', and 700' for the three waterers...that's why I think I need a subpanel.

I do not need receptacles in the field --- the waterers do not use them, just direct wired from breaker to waterer in the unit itself.

As far as the subpanel, I will have one waterer 50' from the panel and a second waterer about 100' from the panel....the third waterer is about 350' away from the subpanel in the field....do I need a second subpanel due to the length of the run?

Also, when installing 2 grounding rods, how far down do they have to be? You can lay them horizontally, correct?
And do they just connect to the grounding bar -- #6 copper wire?
Also, do you have to loop the wire from one bar to the other? - clamps?

Thanks again - appreciate the help!
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:29 AM   #9
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Outdoor Subpanel 350' feet away from Barn


Distance does not create the need for a subpanel. Given the total current draw of about five amperes, a subpanel is still not mandatory. You could use a (weatherproof) junction box instead. Optionally you can add on-off switches wherever you wish.

The 8' ground rods need to be driven down almost flush with the ground. From the subpanel ground bar. It's easy to clamp the 6 gauge wire from the panel ground bar to one rod and have that wire continue on to the other rod.

For the distances you specified (700' to the furthest point), use 6 gauge from the main panel out 350' or so, to the first junction and unshared 10 gauge cables to the waterers themselves (12 gauge from waterer to junction if less than 200'), or useuse 8 gauge wire from the main panel throughout.

I don't know whether, in your situation, the long wire runs will cause funky behavior of a GFCI breaker at the main panel so I can't pass judgment on whether you should instead isntall in-line GFCI units near the various waterers or perhaps just one GFCI unit at the first junction.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 04-26-2012 at 10:06 AM.
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