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Old 04-19-2007, 09:58 AM   #1
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Wire Size Help-400ft line to pond for fountain


I am running a line(buried) from my barn to my pond to power a fountain. The fountain pump is 115volt 9.5amp. I need to know what depth to bury line and also wire size for 400 feet.

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Old 04-19-2007, 12:06 PM   #2
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Wire Size Help-400ft line to pond for fountain


According to table Table 310-16 of NEC, you would need #4 copper conductors. I wouldn't use the direct bury wire, I would use conduit to run the wires. According to code, you can use 1" pvc to run this, but I would use 1 1/4 to make the pull easier. As for depth, it depends on what it is going under

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Old 04-19-2007, 02:22 PM   #3
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Wire Size Help-400ft line to pond for fountain


I am curious as to how you came up with #4cu for 9.5A at 400'. Also, where in T310.16 do you see this?

I come up just on the fringe of #6cu for this circuit.

I have to ask. What is up with folks running these super long branch circuits for this stuff?
Do you really need a fountain 400' away from the nearest power source???
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Old 04-19-2007, 02:28 PM   #4
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Wire Size Help-400ft line to pond for fountain


That's going to be a $1200 run of wire! Maybe looking at a lower draw pump, or a solar powered installation would be more cost-effective.
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Old 04-19-2007, 05:17 PM   #5
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Wire Size Help-400ft line to pond for fountain


It would be cheeper to run 240 volt using 10 wire and install a transformer.
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:37 PM   #6
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Wire Size Help-400ft line to pond for fountain


thanks petey for realizing my mistake. Yeah number 6 would be used with a voltage drop of 2.8% at 400 feet with 9.5 amps, I think I used 11.5 amps, I think I read the 115v as amps when I read it, My mistake, but thanks for clarifying. Yeah, can't you guys put stuff closer to the power supplies???
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Old 04-20-2007, 06:43 AM   #7
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Wire Size Help-400ft line to pond for fountain


I use a little DOS program for VD and using #6 I come up with like 3.1% for this calculation. I would be more than comfortable with that.
I just saw #4 and thought .
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Old 04-20-2007, 06:51 AM   #8
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Wire Size Help-400ft line to pond for fountain


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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
I am curious as to how you came up with #4cu for 9.5A at 400'. Also, where in T310.16 do you see this?

I come up just on the fringe of #6cu for this circuit.

I have to ask. What is up with folks running these super long branch circuits for this stuff?
Do you really need a fountain 400' away from the nearest power source???

I live in the country. My house is maybe half that distance but the 200A box is full. The barn is new with plenty of openings in the box. Suggestions?
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Old 04-20-2007, 09:32 AM   #9
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Wire Size Help-400ft line to pond for fountain


If you ran it from the house, you could use two #8 cu conductors, with a #10 ground (I believe) in 3/4" conduit. That would probably save you well over $500 in materials alone. And you wouldn't have to dig the extra 200 feet!

Assuming your panel doesn't have the maximum number of circuits it's rated for (usually 42, right?) then you could put two household circuits on a tandem breaker/mini-breaker. That's two breakers that take the space of one normal breaker. That would free up a space in your main panel for the pond pump circuit.

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Old 04-22-2007, 12:11 AM   #10
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Wire Size Help-400ft line to pond for fountain


Thanks,
someone else suggested that idea and running 10/2.

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Old 04-22-2007, 05:52 AM   #11
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Wire Size Help-400ft line to pond for fountain


To keep the voltage drop to <3%, I think you need #8, but maybe that's only for a sub-panel. For an appliance is it 5% VD?

Last edited by NateHanson; 04-22-2007 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 04-22-2007, 06:56 AM   #12
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Thanks,
someone else suggested that idea and running 10/2.

I suggested running 10-2 with ground from a 240 volt breaker, then installing a transformer at the pond. The reduced wire cost may wash out the transformer cost. But on further reflection you would then need an enclosure of come kind, and this may prove to be more expensive.
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Old 04-22-2007, 07:13 AM   #13
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Wire Size Help-400ft line to pond for fountain


jwhite, can you straighten me out on the VD issue? Is 3% the maximum for a run like this? Or is it different for branch circuits than for sub-panel feeders?
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:09 AM   #14
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Wire Size Help-400ft line to pond for fountain


VD is not required by code at all. It is suggested and most professionals consider it to be a rule as equipment can be dammaged due to under volt. It is required that "if" you increase the size of the hot wires you must increase the size of the ground accordingly.

5 percent is from the service enterance or main panel to the load served. 3 percent is from the sub panel (this installation for example) to the load. This leaves 2 percent from the main panel to the sub panel.

In the US most utilities guarntee is plus or minus 5 percent nominal. Most equipment mfg equiptment can be safely run at plus or minus 10 percent name plate. This leaves us with our plus or minus 5 percent for VD. (i know this will never go minus)

I have been lucky to work in places where the utilities provide good power. Meaning that with no load the building has about 125 to 128 volts. Under load it will drop to about 121 to 122. In cases like this one must run a circuit a long way to even worry about VD.

If your utility voltage is 120 unloaded and only 115 or so loaded, you are starting at a disadvantage. VD is a very serious concern.
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:50 PM   #15
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Wire Size Help-400ft line to pond for fountain


Thanks Jwhite. That's a helpful explanation.

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