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Old 04-20-2013, 03:45 AM   #1
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wiring a distant pump


I am a new member at this forum from rural ND, so I hope I am doing this right. Please let me know if I am not following the proper forum etiquette.

I have been trying to figure out how to run electricity to a separate garage and from there to a water pump for my garden, which is several hundred feet away. I have limited resources and would like to use materials that I already have if they are acceptable.

I need to know if I can use wire that is labeled 'RHH/RHW/USE' for direct burial to a box from which I can run a pump that pulls water from a river below my garden. I have not been able to find any info on wire that is labeled USE as opposed to USE-2. I get the feeling that it is an older or no longer used designation.

I also need to run wiring from the main box in my house to the garage. I am wondering if it is acceptable to run USE-2 (aluminum URD) wire on the inside of the house if it is in conduit in order to get it from the main box to the point outside where it runs underground to the garage. If not, how might I make that connection - the USE-2 wire is already underground between the outside of the house and the garage, but it terminates kitty-corner across the house from where the main box is in the basement.

The reason that I want to run from the main box in the house is that I have an overhead service entrance with no shut-off at the meter (a new meter was recently installed by the power company, and I was told too late that they no longer install shut-offs at the meter unless requested). Consequently, I can't connect anywhere but the main box unless I pay the power company to shut the power off and install a shut-off at the meter, which I can't afford to do.

Thanks for any advice.

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Old 04-20-2013, 09:30 AM   #2
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http://www.southwire.com/products/RHHRHWUSEOEM.htm

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Old 04-20-2013, 03:53 PM   #3
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My apologies - I am from rural North Dakota and have updated my profile.
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:29 PM   #4
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The reason that I want to run from the main box in the house is that I have an overhead service entrance with no shut-off at the meter (a new meter was recently installed by the power company, and I was told too late that they no longer install shut-offs at the meter unless requested). Consequently, I can't connect anywhere but the main box unless I pay the power company to shut the power off and install a shut-off at the meter, which I can't afford to do.

Thanks for any advice.
Interesting, this is allowed by the NEC without a disconnect. (Of course, you would have the power turned off to make this installation)
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:17 PM   #5
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Lets start from the beginning. What is the voltage and amperage of the pump, how far is it going to be from the house? As for running a line to the garage, then to the pump, you cannot do that, since it would be considered that you have two sets of power lines running to the garage, and using the garage as a junction point.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:31 PM   #6
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As for running a line to the garage, then to the pump, you cannot do that, since it would be considered that you have two sets of power lines running to the garage, and using the garage as a junction point.
And that is not a code violation.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:55 PM   #7
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Interesting, this is allowed by the NEC without a disconnect. (Of course, you would have the power turned off to make this installation)
The power company told me that if I have a main breaker that can be shut off in the house, they don't have to have on on the pole - strange if you ask me, but it was too late when they told me; they didn't have one with them, and would have to charge me to come back and do it later. Hrumpf!
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:24 PM   #8
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Lets start from the beginning. What is the voltage and amperage of the pump, how far is it going to be from the house? As for running a line to the garage, then to the pump, you cannot do that, since it would be considered that you have two sets of power lines running to the garage, and using the garage as a junction point.
The pump is a 2hp sprinkler pump, either 115 or 230V, 24 or 12 amps. I would have to run it 240 because of the distance, about 450 feet from the garage and another 75 to the house. I have been running it with a generator, but, of course, that is cost prohibitive as a permanent solution for a large garden.

The reason for running it from the garage is that it is right in line with the pump location, and I needed to run power to the garage as well. I buried a 2-2-4 aluminum URD line from the closest corner of the house to the garage, but have not hooked anything up yet. My plan was to put in a 60 Amp plug fuse box in the garage as a secondary main, and wire all the garage circuits to that, including the pump, which would use the 4AWG RHH/RHW/USE that I asked about in my original post. I have a 200 Amp main panel in the house, but I think the service from the pole is only 100 Amp - it does not look like 4/0 SE wire, more like 1/0 or 2/0.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:27 PM   #9
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Even at 450 feet, you would not have a problem running at 120. Also, which is it, is it 12 amps, or 24 amps? Using http://www.elec-toolbox.com/calculators/voltdrop.htm the largest size you could get away with at 240vAC, 12 amps, is #6. 120v @ 24 amps, you are looking at #1. If Aluminum for 240v @ 12 #4, @ 120 24 2/0.

You are looking at a very expensive project there, depending on if you are going with Aluminum or Copper, and if it needs 3 wires, or 4 wires. Rough calculation, you are looking at around $10,000.00 for 3 sets of wire @ roughly $7/ft for the high side price, that I can find online.

May want to rethink.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:32 PM   #10
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Even at 450 feet, you would not have a problem running at 120. Also, which is it, is it 12 amps, or 24 amps?
It's 24 Amps at 115V and 12 Amps at 230 - convertible voltage.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:50 PM   #11
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It's 24 Amps at 115V and 12 Amps at 230 - convertible voltage.
See above.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:07 PM   #12
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I know you mentioned using an old plug fuse box in the garage. (i'm assuming you mean the Edison screw-in type) . Keep in mind this would not be legally up to code.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:44 PM   #13
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I know you mentioned using an old plug fuse box in the garage. (i'm assuming you mean the Edison screw-in type) . Keep in mind this would not be legally up to code.
The screw-ins are what I would be using for the individual circuits; the secondary main I mentioned in the 60A type that looks like a shotgun shell with the brass at both ends - I can't remember what they are called. Why would that not be up to code? Are circuit breakers the only thing that meets code now?
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:50 PM   #14
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The screw-ins are what I would be using for the individual circuits; the secondary main I mentioned in the 60A type that looks like a shotgun shell with the brass at both ends - I can't remember what they are called. Why would that not be up to code? Are circuit breakers the only thing that meets code now?
You can use the cartridge style fuses, which are used for heavy loads, but the old Edison fuses, you cannot. Even with Cartridge fuses, people place 1/2" or 3/8" copper pipe with the ends flattened in the fuse holder. With the old Edison's, people would just place a Penny in the socket, or even some have placed light bulbs in place of a fuse.

It is not that they no longer can be used, it is just that the code has changed over the years, and because breakers have a quicker trip response than fuses, is why you have seen the change over the years.
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:03 PM   #15
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You are looking at a very expensive project there, depending on if you are going with Aluminum or Copper, and if it needs 3 wires, or 4 wires. Rough calculation, you are looking at around $10,000.00 for 3 sets of wire @ roughly $7/ft for the high side price, that I can find online.

May want to rethink.
I don't understand the price quote you used. Using 6/3 UF-B w/grnd would cost less than $1400.00 for 500 ft. according to suppliers I found on the web. Not that it would matter - I still can't afford that much. I am just wondering if I am missing something else in the estimate you used.

The real question here is still 'can I use RHH/RHW/USE wire for direct burial to a box where I can hook up my pump?' I have some 4AWG aluminum in that type that I picked up at an auction and would like to be able to use it if it can be direct buried. If that is acceptable, is it also acceptable to simply ground the remote box to earth instead of including a ground wire with the buried wire as long as the source is also grounded to earth? Or is a ground wire always required in any wiring on the load side of the main box?

Also, I am still wondering if I can run a length of aluminum URD (USE-2) through my house if it is in conduit, so I can hook up power to my garage.

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