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Old 11-25-2011, 03:12 PM   #1
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Some questions on a new service


I’m having electric brought onto my property and I would like some advice and ideas. The more I think about it the more questions I have so I will spread them out in different posts. Just for reference, I’m an electrical engineer so I know electricity but not the electrical trade. I did wire my new construction home from the ground up in 1982 on a homeowners permit so I need to brush up on code changes. I also have been searching hardware and I’m getting familiar with what is out there for my needs.

A pole barn is the only structure on the property and the POCO designed a 2 meter, 2 transformer setup for the barn and future house but I’m thinking of changing that to a distribution pedestal (farm pole) with just 1 pad mount transformer as I can place it in the middle and have 150’ runs to barn and future house. I hate doing things twice so some of my questions relate to the possibility of future runs and buildings. Everything is underground BTW.

Anyway, going with the original design with a meter socket attached to the side of the pole barn, what is the best way to route the service cable into the pole barn from the meter socket? It’s a standard metal sided non-insulated barn with a gravel floor.

My second question which may change your answers to the first question. I may build one or 2 more barn/shop type buildings close to this existing pole barn and I would like to extend the 200 amp service from this barn to the future buildings so I want to incorporate an easy way of doing this on my initial install. Judging from the hardware I’m seeing online, I see feed through lug options for breaker panels or possibly a short inside wire trough running from the meter socket to the breaker panel and maybe I can splice off of the service entrance cable in this trough and add fused disconnects for the future buildings. I would also want to add a disconnect right after the meter if I go with this idea so I wouldn’t have to call POCO for a meter pull when adding on in the future. I would like to extend 200 amps to all future buildings from a 200 amp service just to be flexible. The inspectors might not like this but I can’t see any reason why this can’t be done safely with the proper size wire and equipment. If I add other buildings, this existing barn which has the initial 200 amp service will just be for machinery storage with a few lights, wall sockets for battery trickle chargers, and a high amperage outlet in case I want to weld in this building. If I do end up with 3 buildings the total load still probably wouldn’t justify a 200 amp service but I want to overkill now so I don’t have to redo any of the work if my needs change.

Sorry for the long explanation but the 2 questions are pretty simple I think. Bedford county PA.


Last edited by zappa; 11-26-2011 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:44 AM   #2
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Some questions on a new service


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Originally Posted by zappa View Post
Anyway, going with the original design with a meter socket attached to the side of the pole barn, what is the best way to route the service cable into the pole barn from the meter socket? Itís a standard metal sided non-insulated barn with a gravel floor.
Can anyone give me any suggestions please?

There will be a 3" diameter sweep feeding the meter socket from underground. Can I run my wires out of the back of the meter socket into the barn or would it be better to run them straight down a few inches into one of those conduit connectors with an access plate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zappa View Post
I may build one or 2 more barn/shop type buildings close to this existing pole barn and I would like to extend the 200 amp service from this barn to the future buildings so I want to incorporate an easy way of doing this on my initial install. Judging from the hardware Iím seeing online, I see feed through lug options for breaker panels.


Will I be able to use the feed through lugs at the bottom of the bus in my breaker panel to feed 1 or 2 other buildings? This seems to be the most simple way if it can be done.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 11-27-2011, 11:44 AM   #3
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Some questions on a new service


Your extremely long first post is why no one is responding. Besides your an engineer. But I will try my best.
Why would you want to change what is currently in service? (no pun intended). The install if large enough in capacity is already more than satisfactory for the house and any subsequent structures on the property.
Lets start with how big (in amps) is the existing service?
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:30 PM   #4
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Some questions on a new service


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Your extremely long first post is why no one is responding. Besides your an engineer. But I will try my best.
Why would you want to change what is currently in service? (no pun intended). The install if large enough in capacity is already more than satisfactory for the house and any subsequent structures on the property.
Lets start with how big (in amps) is the existing service?
Uggg…..you are going to make me type a lot again as your questions don’t relate to mine. There is no service installed at this point, I’m in the process of laying 1800’ of conduit to get primary to my location. If I stick with 2 transformers each will be a 200 amp service. If I change to 1 transformer and a distribution pedestal it will be a 400 amp service. The reason POCO set me up with 2 transformers is back in December when they were out I wasn’t 100% sure where my house was going to be located but now I know. The reasons I want to change to a distribution pedestal and one meter is the monthly equipment charges, minimum electricity usage for each meter, and the ease of running everything from one point with a generator through a transfer switch. For whatever reason, if I don’t get around to building more barns/shops close to the existing barn I’m going to be paying a relatively high monthly charge on this one building and in most cases I won’t meet the minimum electricity usage so I will be paying for electricity that I’m not burning.

I think it’s a good thing to give people a little background on experience level as it tells the folks giving advice how much detail they need to give in their answers and can save them a lot of typing. In this case it is causing me a lot of extra typing. I don’t think electrical engineering and the electrical trade has a lot in common but it does tell posters that I’m most likely aware of things such as voltage drops and general safety but not up on codes or wiring practices. I wired the house I’m living in now but the questions that I am asking pertain to new things that I have never done before so I’m a noob in these areas.

P.S. The only reason I mentioned the 2 different transformer setups is because I have more questions that relate to the pedestal system. If I was a poster helping someone and saw them bouncing back and forth on unrelated feed systems I would be without some sort of explanation.

Last edited by zappa; 11-27-2011 at 04:08 PM. Reason: adding more junk
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