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Old 10-02-2012, 06:45 PM   #1
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Running Service to a double wide home


I want to run our electrical service underground, and I am faced with a minor dilemma here. The home sits on a block foundation 10' off the ground.

Is it permissible to run the main electrical service through the basement and encase it in conduit? That would be the easiest way by far to do this job.

I could enter the front wall and run the service along the ceiling area (unfinished basement) along the end of the home & over to the entrance conduit of the power panel.

Otherwise, I would have to dig another 40' or so to get around to the back of the home the where the inside panel is located.

Also, if I went the latter route, I would also exceed the 360 bends that are permitted. That would entail adding more boxes/hardware/etc., and adding more to the cost.

I am very handy & well experienced with repairs and would be able to perform this work myself, as I do all other repairs around the home without calling on a contractor.

Comments/suggestions welcome!

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Old 10-02-2012, 07:11 PM   #2
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Running Service to a double wide home


I am not sure of the code-legalness of this, but my house is wired this way:

The meter and service entrance is a one end of the house, where it enters the basement. In the basement the main wires from the meter go into a 200A double breaker in a small panel.

From the breakers the cable (not in conduit) runs through holes in the joists the length of the house (about 45') to the breaker panel for various branch circuits.

The house was built in 1979, so the relevant codes may have changed since then.

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Old 10-02-2012, 07:15 PM   #3
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Running Service to a double wide home


Yes, you can run it through the basement. If you mount the meter and a fused disconnect on the outside of the foundation wall, then the cable from the disconnect to the main panel is considered a feeder rather than a service, and it has no special limitations or rules related to it. If you choose not to have a disconnect outside, then the service entrance conductors must run no further through the building than necessary before reaching the panel. Approving or disapproving this is up to the local officials, so check with your inspector regarding the planned routing of unfused service conductors inside the structure before you do the installation. Some won't want more than a few feet of unfused conductor in the building and will insist that anything more is "unnecessary" since the panel or a disconnect could be located closer. Others will allow dozens of feet, which is kind of scary in my opinion. I would not want any length of unfused service conductor inside my house.

One way of handling this situation is concrete encasement. Any raceway surrounded by at least 2" of concrete is considered to be outside the building. It's like you're creating a little concrete tunnel of the outside world that extends through the building and carries the service conductors. You could run concrete encased conduit through whatever route you want with no restrictions on distance into the building, since it's not technically "in" the building.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:41 PM   #4
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Running Service to a double wide home


Thanks for the info., guys.

I should have included a bit more info., I believe. My meter and fused disconnect box is mounted on a pole in my yard that is approx. 10' from the house. It is my pole, not the elect. company. I wanted to bury the wiring from that pole & run it underground for the 10' length & enter the basement/foundation at that point.

Does the meter and fused disconnect have to be mounted on the outside of the foundation wall in order for my scenario to be considered a "feeder", or is the set up I already have considered a feeder?
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by diykatz View Post
Thanks for the info., guys.

I should have included a bit more info., I believe. My meter and fused disconnect box is mounted on a pole in my yard that is approx. 10' from the house. It is my pole, not the elect. company. I wanted to bury the wiring from that pole & run it underground for the 10' length & enter the basement/foundation at that point.

Does the meter and fused disconnect have to be mounted on the outside of the foundation wall in order for my scenario to be considered a "feeder", or is the set up I already have considered a feeder?
It's already a feeder. You can treat it just like any other wiring inside the structure.

The whole issue here is that the conductors between the power company's transformer and the first overcurrent protection device on your property are completely unprotected. If there is a fault on that line, the result is REALLY impressively bad - lots of fire, molten and vaporized metal, etc. And it doesn't stop until a primary (high voltage) fuse blows, which usually never happens, or the power company comes and shuts it off. So the service conductors need to be very well protected and ideally shouldn't enter the structure. But the conductors AFTER the first overcurrent protection device (your fused disconnect) are much less of a hazard because the fuses will blow if there is a fault.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:58 AM   #6
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Thanks so much, mpoulton.

This is so interesting. I didn't realize it was considered a feeder after the fused disconnect. So, it sounds like you're saying that the feeder lines do not have to be encased in anything going through my basement, but could simply be fed through holes that are drilled into the joists as Dave mentioned previously in his post.

For added security, I still feel like I should run it through conduit...maybe I'm just being overprotective. But this is good info., as it will make my life much easier! I am digging the trench by hand, and all along I thought I was going to have to dig another 40' to get to the back of the house where the inside panel is.

I will have to contact an inspector for final clarification on this. I live in Pennsylvania, and from what I understand of the electrical code, we have a statewide code that is enforced down to the local level. I do not believe there are any special local codes that supersede the state code.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:04 AM   #7
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Running Service to a double wide home


Conduit with individual conductors will probably be the easiest solution for this. Otherwise you would need a direct-burial cable assembly that's also rated for interior use.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:57 AM   #8
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Running Service to a double wide home


Penetrations through basement walls are notorious for leaking. Causing all kinds of water damage and mold. Any way to make the penetration above grade?
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:17 AM   #9
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Penetrations through basement walls are notorious for leaking. Causing all kinds of water damage and mold. Any way to make the penetration above grade?
This will be above grade where it goes through the basement wall. This home sits 10' off the ground on a block foundation, and I will want to go through at the top of the block wall.

I can get through that wood much easier than going through the block.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:18 PM   #10
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Running Service to a double wide home


Hey guys,

What type of fused disconnect box would you recommend? This would be for 100 amp service.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:13 PM   #11
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Hey guys,

What type of fused disconnect box would you recommend? This would be for 100 amp service.
Any 100A fused disconnect. NEMA 3R if it's outdoors. I don't think there are very many different "types" of them.

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