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Old 07-02-2010, 11:00 AM   #1
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pulling large wires 175' - separate or together?


I am trying to run wires underground to an outbuilding 175' from the main house. The PVC conduit has large diameter bends in both ends where it stubs up next to the house and in the slab of the outbuilding (put in by previous owner). I wish to have a 100A sub-panel in the outbuilding for a small workshop and possible loft space. I bought #2 cable last year and my understanding is I need to run 3 of those and a neutral. My question is do I tape all these monster cables together and try to pull them all through the 2" diameter PVC all together, or is it easier if they are separate and I do it 4 times? Sure seems like separate is easier, due to the size of these things, but I don't want to get stuck halfway through the job and find out I am making more work for myself. So....What's the best way? Separate or together? I have plenty of lubricant for either way. Thanks.

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Old 07-02-2010, 11:20 AM   #2
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pulling large wires 175' - separate or together?


You need #3 Cu or #2 AL for the 100 amp panel. What type of wire do you have? You pull all four together. Four individual wires. The wires must have the letter "W" on the sheath. The most common is THWN, or THHN/THWN. Do not use any tape. Feed the four conductors in with one person pulling and one person feeding. Use cable lube and squirt some into the conduit and apply liberally to the cable as it's pulled in.

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Last edited by J. V.; 07-02-2010 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:20 PM   #3
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pulling large wires 175' - separate or together?


I was previously advised to get #2 THHN, because of power drop over distance(?), so that is what I have already. As long as it will work, I am OK with overpaying a bit. Also have #8 green coated as the neutral. Is that OK? I am curious why you would not tape the wires together along their length to pull them. It would seem that making them act more as one bundle might be easier, no?

Thanks in advance for your feedback and insight.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:24 PM   #4
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pulling large wires 175' - separate or together?


You need 2 hots & a neutral, #2 is fine due to voltage drop
A #8 neutral will not work, a #4 neutral may work...not sure
A #4 ground will work also as I understand

You want the wires to be able to move individually while in the conduit
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:44 PM   #5
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pulling large wires 175' - separate or together?


Went back to review previous post on this topic, since I never got around to doing it back then. I mis-spoke on my last post. The three #2's are for the 2 hots and the neutral, with the #8 being for the ground. All wires are copper. You can see in the thread where I was told previously that this configuration would work. I realize I should consult the electrician who will do the final connection (I am NOT smart enough to handle that! LOL), but I wanted to get a jump on the grunt work that I could do myself. Unfoirtunately, I don't have an electrician yet. Any comments on the 3 #2's and a #8 for a ground?

Here's the previous thread:

wire pulling question

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:50 PM   #6
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pulling large wires 175' - separate or together?


There is something about the ground size needed...based on the amps
I do remember seeing the sizes needed based on panel size
KBsparky did mention he thought the ground wire would need to be upsized since the hots were upsized
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:05 PM   #7
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pulling large wires 175' - separate or together?


As JV said, straight THHN cannot be used in a wet location, and underground conduit is a wet location per the NEC.

Check your cable for ALL types identified on it - as JV said, it is probably THHN/THWN and the THWN would allow it to be installed in a wet location.
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:22 PM   #8
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pulling large wires 175' - separate or together?


When was the last time any of us saw wire rated ONLY THHN???
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:35 PM   #9
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pulling large wires 175' - separate or together?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
When was the last time any of us saw wire rated ONLY THHN???
..the question was there to check whether someone reads ALL of the advice, not just what they want to hear...
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:53 PM   #10
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pulling large wires 175' - separate or together?


Well, my apologies, I guess. I found the plastic label that was on the wire package I bought, as well as the receipt, and each says THHN. The actual label says this in letters about 1/2" high. Then, on a smaller sticker attached, which I did not originally see, or look for after seeing the huge print "THHN", it says in 1/8" high letters "2 stranded black THHN or THWN - 2 or MTW". So I guess it is rated THWN as well. I should scan this label so you can see how prominent the THHN is and how insignificant the THWN is, but as long as I have the right stuff, I don't mind looking too ignorant. ;-) Now, about using the #8 as a ground...any constructive comments besides those already received?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:00 PM   #11
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pulling large wires 175' - separate or together?


You have upsized connductors for the feeders due to voltage drop. The equipment groundinng conductor must also be upsized.
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:41 PM   #12
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pulling large wires 175' - separate or together?


to meet code you would have to use a #6 ground due to upsizing the feeder wires. If you used #3 you could have used the #8 but the 100 amp rating is the limit for #8. Up to 200 amp requires #6.


BTW; those aren't that large of wire. Definately not what I would consider monster wire
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:59 PM   #13
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pulling large wires 175' - separate or together?


Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
to meet code you would have to use a #6 ground due to upsizing the feeder wires. If you used #3 you could have used the #8 but the 100 amp rating is the limit for #8. Up to 200 amp requires #6.


BTW; those aren't that large of wire. Definately not what I would consider monster wire
Would you recommend some 500 MCM?
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:04 PM   #14
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pulling large wires 175' - separate or together?


Quote:
Originally Posted by brric View Post
Would you recommend some 500 MCM?
why not? It is just so much fun yanking that stuff. I remember early in my apprenticeship pulling a run of about 3oo feet with just 3 people. One guy running the tugger, one guy feeding and soaping and one guy (me) pulling up the wire feeding to the soap guy.

I was just plain beat after that pull. I think 500 is 1 1/4 lb /foot so 4 wires and a ground gives you over 5 lbs foot. That is a lot to drag around.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:59 PM   #15
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pulling large wires 175' - separate or together?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
There is something about the ground size needed...based on the amps
I do remember seeing the sizes needed based on panel size
KBsparky did mention he thought the ground wire would need to be upsized since the hots were upsized
Correct. Since this involves an upsizing of the circuit conductors, the ground wire must also be upsized a proportional amount. Using a #6 ground in this case would be sufficient.

As for the original question, pull them in together! You will have nothing but problems trying to pull those wires in separately.

With a 2" conduit -- even at 175 feet -- it should go smoothly.

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