Buying underground copper line

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by 4 seasons lawn&land, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Posts: 3,587

    I'm looking for 500 mcm copper line and I'm finding 1000 foot rolls for anywhere from $8000 to $50,000. Anyone know about this stuff so I can narrow down what I need?
     
  2. twomancrew

    twomancrew LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 940

    What are you doing with it? That wire is rated for something like a quarter million watts. Are you building a small town?:)
     
  3. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Posts: 4,276

    Are you looking for direct burial or in conduit ? Does it have too be Copper?
     
  4. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Posts: 3,587

    It is for new service on a private road, about 2000 feet. 2 houses and at the end, my shop, with welder and all of that kind of stuff. Engineer likes copper I guess, he said aluminum would have to be 750 mcm. The prices are just all over the place though. Like I said from 8 k to 50 k for the same thing as far as I can tell.


    I was told to do 4 inch conduit
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  5. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Posts: 4,276

    Copper is about 4 or 5 times as expensvive as alu. Direct burial wire( no conduit is about 20% more and I would do conduit if it was my house. None of the power companies here use conduit. None of the power companies here use copper for neighborhood services.
    Normally here with a run like that the power company would drop a step down transformer on the property.
    I also will add that 500mcm is not ideal for that run and that load. It is only rated for 380 to 400 amps and the volt drop at high loads will be excessive.

    Aluminum does have less amperage capacity for equal size but the cheaper cost offsets that. 750mcm Alu should be about 2.50- 3.50 a foot. 500mcm Copper will be about 10.00-12.00 a ft. Easy choice in my book.

    Is this a single phase service? What voltage?
     
  6. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Posts: 3,587

    There does need to be a transformer , single phase. I need to get a real plan done in order to know the more particular details. I just talked briefly with this one engineer . He is probably much more familiar with electric plans for corporate buildings, towns, parks, etc. not so much residential.
     
  7. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,868

    Regardless, you're talking conveyance of electrons. There are billions of miles of transmission lines that are steel.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Posts: 3,587

    Looking at the aluminum prices, it's clear to me that I would go that route... But still, Is there any justification for the range of prices other than some people being a ripoff? It seems like I must be missing something. Admittedly, I obsess about things I spend a lot of money on.
     
  9. twomancrew

    twomancrew LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 940

    Off topic a bit- you ever notice on forums everyone loves to offer up ways to spend your money for you? Like money is no object and it NEEDS to be done a certain way reguardless of price-after all its your money were talking about here. Why not get some custom made gold plated wire made up? Gold won't corrode blah blah!

    Honestly this is over my head now, thought maybe I could help but def over my paygrade here. I am assuming you're only going to trench in the new service and you'll hire the termination? Good luck sparky:)
     
  10. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,868

    http://eddy-current.com/conductivity-of-metals-sorted-by-resistivity/
    Posted via Mobile Device
     

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